Deer hunters pick up early season success

PARIS — Successful opening day deer hunters had stories to share after surviving a cold, snowy experience.

Chris Holsworth, 33, of Paris was the first entry Saturday in the Pioneer’s Big Buck contest for the rifle season. He bagged a 10-point buck with 16-inch rack span during the morning while hunting in the Rodney area.

“I was sitting there in the blind,” Holsworth said. “It had been pretty slow in the morning. I happened to look over in the brush and seen him coming through. I took a shot. I’ve seen a few on opening day, probably half a dozen.”

It’s the second biggest buck he’s shot in his career.

Brenden Larie, 15, of Paris, was a successful hunter opening day with an 8-point buck that had a 10 1/2-inch rack span. He shot it in the Big Rapids area. It’s the fifth deer in his lifetime.

“We’ve seen him come in from 100 yards, down by the river bank,” Larie said. “We saw him come up but he left where we couldn’t see him. We got out of our blind. He came back to the spot he was. We tried getting a shot at him. I missed one time. I didn’t have any more bullets. We got more bullets. We looked around for him to see if he left. I looked over my shoulder and saw him 50 yards to our right. I freehand shot it. It ran toward us a bit. It saw us and turned toward the hill, then rolled down the hill.”

Larie said he saw 10 does and three different bucks.

Aiden Zimmerman, 9, of Big Rapids, brought home a button buck while hunting opening day in the Paris area. It’s his first deer. He was hunting with his grandfather, John Zimmerman.

“He was in some pine trees, walked out and was behind some brush,” Aiden said. “He walked out into an opening. My grandpa told me to get over.”

Kaylee Langworthy, 15, of Big Rapids, shot an 8-point with an 11-inch rack span while hunting Saturday morning in the Paris area. It’s also her first one.

“My dad recently shot and then five minutes later, this deer came walking out,” Langworthy said. “I got ready. My gun didn’t go off at first, I tried it again and it still didn’t go off. It started to run away, at the last second I got it. My gun fired.”

She was about 100 yards away when she shot what was the second deer of the day she saw.

“It was pretty amazing,” Langworthy smiled. “It was cold.”

Meanwhile, Vic Schut bagged a buck in northeastern Osceola County Nov. 13 on private property with his bow and brought it into the DNR check station south of Big Rapids on Monday.

It’s a 10-point buck should score a 135.

“I hadn’t seen this one, but we have deer management up here big-time and it’s really paying off the last four to five years,” Schut said.

He was 25 yards away from the buck when he shot it.

“He was west of me and I grunted him in,” Schut said. “He dropped like a rock. This would be my biggest (deer).”

He’s been hunting for more than 30 years so it was no small accomplishment.

“This year, it was a little bit down, but we figured we had a big winter kill,” Schut said. “We found winter kill in the swamp, actually. Otherwise we’re seeing good deer, healthy looking deer.”