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Steve Selseth, at left, helps son Nick, 12, haul his first deer out of the woods north of Dorset Saturday morning. Brother Jack, 11 is in the background. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Deer opener up and running

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The 2011 whitetail opener got off with a bang as thousands of orange-clad hunters descended on the Hubbard County area.

Convenience stores and grocery stores reported brisk sales that started Thursday.

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"We've sold hunting licenses, pop, chips and cigarettes," said a clerk at Ortons in Park Rapids, pausing for a breather.

The woods rang with the sounds of rifle fire.

Relatively high winds had fire officials worried about campfires at deer camps but no serious incidents had been reported as of Saturday morning. Campfires are allowed but open burning is not.

The Sebeka First Responders were called to the scene of a woman injured Saturday morning when she fell out of a deer stand. Hubbard First Responders were dispatched to First Crow Wing Lake, where a male hunter had fallen out of a tree.

Authorities were called out to settle some hunting land disputes.

But mostly the opener was a success story as it was for 12-year-old Nick Selseth.

Up visiting his grandparents from Nevis, the Cokato youngster had bagged his first deer ever, a 3-point buck, by 9 a.m. on public hunting grounds north of Dorset.

"I don't know if they were more excited or I was," said dad Steve Selseth. "It took me 12 years to shoot a deer this big."

Nick and brother Jack, 11, lugged the heavy animal several hundred yards out of the woods.

"I want them to know this is hard work," Steve Selseth said, pitching in to help drag the deer when the boys seemed spent.

Despite the effort, Nick couldn't stop grinning. Jack was anticipating good luck of his own.

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