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      Deer Season: About the bond, not just the buck

      Tens of thousands of Michiganders made their way into their hunting blinds early Friday morning for opening day of firearms deer season.

      "We got out here at about 6 a.m. and we didn't see anything for the first two hours," said Rick Hansen, a hunter from Harris. "Around 7:30 or 8 a.m., two does came in."

      But, Rick Hansen let them go. He and his campmates have a rule: eight point bucks only.

      "We want to get bigger bucks around here," Hansen explained. "If I'm not going to mount it I'm not going to shoot it."

      Hansen is optimistic it can happen and attributes it to recent photos taken from his trail cams. It's been a few years since he's got lucky but hopes this year will end the dry streak and relinquish his name to their camp trophy wall. As of Friday afternoon, Hansen wasn't the only one who returned empty-handed.

      The dozen others staying at their camp did not get lucky, but said itâ??s not the only reason they love deer season. Their favorite part is the R&R that follows.

      "Coming here to camp, playing cards, eating and getting to see everybody, that's what camp's about," said Austin Hansen, Rickâ??s son.

      The group will continue to try to catch some bucks, but even if they don't, they say the camaraderie makes their time well spent.