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Hunters stumped by lack of deer

Photo by Rachelle Klemme At mid-morning on deer opener, Rachel Folkestad and Robert Boen were the first hunters to register at Orton's after harvesting two bucks.

So where are they?

That is what a lot of area deer hunters have been asking themselves during the nine-day firearm season.

Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Greg Oldakowski has had more than one hunting party complain about the lack of whitetail deer around Wadena.

"Back in October they were seeing a lot of deer on their trail cameras," Oldakowski said.

Oldakowski does not pretend to know the reason for the lack of whitetails, although he was not surprised to hear of poor hunting on the first weekend. Strong winds from the south kept a lot of deer from moving both Saturday and Sunday.

Wadena County and eastern Otter Tail County have been deer meccas in past years. With the corn off and the fall harvest completed it was expected that deer would be popping up all over when the season began last Saturday.

The firearm deer season sees the heaviest amount of pressure on the state's deer herd, which is estimated at 1 million.