Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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Minnesota firearms hunters registered 68,401 deer during the first three days of firearms deer season, according to a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) release that was issued on Tuesday. Final numbers from the first three days show that the number of deer registered rose 6.3 percent from 2014.
The sound of water trickling over the rocks in a narrow creek below me was the only sound that broke up the darkness as I waited for the sun to rise on opening morning of firearms season. There was no blaming the weather for slow deer movement on Saturday. Conditions were almost perfect — light west winds; cool temperatures. Deer should be on the move. It's never long after first light before the first shot rings out in the distance. Was that close enough to be someone in our hunting party?
Herd named All-MIAC at St. Catherine Shanee Herd, an Alexandria native and Jefferson High School graduate, was named an all-conference volleyball player in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) this season for her efforts in helping Division III St. Catherine University to an 18-13 overall record. Herd stood out defensively as a libero in the MIAC as she averaged 6.19 digs per set. That was second in the league behind only MIAC defensive player of the year, Camille Benson from Carleton College, and fifth nationally in Division III.
The fall season is coming to an end in high school sports and the Alexandria girls hockey team wasted no time getting the winter season off on the right foot. The Cardinals have some high expectations after a consolation title in Class A last winter. They dominated their first game of the season on Saturday afternoon at the Runestone Community Center, winning 9-2 against a North Metro team they beat 4-3 in overtime a year ago. "I was very thrilled with how we played," Alexandria head coach Blair Hovel said.
The Echo Press wants to publish your hunting stories from this deer season. Big bucks, first deer, interesting tales — every hunt has a story, and we would love to share yours. Send some of your favorite hunting photos and details of the hunt from this season through email to Outdoor editor, Eric Morken, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hunters can now preview an interactive deer information tool being developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the deer map page at www.dnr.state.mn.us/deermap/index . "This is our first step toward launching an online application that delivers useful information hunters need and want," said Steve Merchant, the DNR's wildlife populations and programs manager.
The Alexandria Blizzard is searching to find a winning formula early in the season after falling into last place in the West Division with a 4-9-1 record as North Iowa...
A bad week on the Minnesota sports scene got even worse last Wednesday with the news that Gophers football coach Jerry Kill was forced to resign due to health reasons. It seemed unbelievable when the news broke early that morning. It's been obvious since day one that the only way he would step away from coaching football due to his battle with epilepsy is if he simply had no choice, which is what it finally came to last week. Kill's work in turning the Gophers into a respectable program again was inspiring to watch in his five seasons.
Bucks are starting to move with the calendar turning to November this week. I haven't seen it myself, but others I have talked to are starting to see some chasing. A nice buck was moving a doe through a bean field this past Saturday morning as a buddy of mine was hunting on the opposite side of a river. My dad shot a buck last Tuesday with his crossbow, and another member of our hunting party got a buck with his bow at about 9:30 a.m. this past Saturday.
Retirement can't get here soon enough for some, but lifelong coaches tend to put it off as long as possible. One more year becomes the mantra. "Once this group of seniors is gone ..." The problem is that there is always another group of seniors to see through. Eventually, a coach just has to say enough is enough. For Alexandria's Orin Schueler, 55 years and almost 1,700 games were finally enough. "I think that's more than most people," Schueler said from his winter home in Sun City, Arizona last Wednesday. "I just felt it's time.