Deer hunter on opening day: 'Best buck of my life'

10:46 PM, Nov 15, 2013   |    comments
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MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) -- Opening day of deer hunting season started with a bang Friday morning and brought hundreds of hunters to state game areas in West Michigan.

However, some spots in Muskegon County were slower than usual, because of concerns about a deer disease from last year.

It's that time of year, when the woods become a playground for thrills and adventure. For fathers and sons like Matthew and Mark Booher, it's something special to share.

One of them gets to feel young again. "I'm still a kid you know," says Mark Booher as he laughs. The other is proud to be all grown up. "Looked up and all of a sudden said, 'Oh shoot-- a buck!' and pulled my gun out and shot him real quick," says Matthew Booher.

"This was his second deer killed, two years in a row," says Mark.

Opening day for deer hunting season was slower in some spots at the Muskegon state game area. "Deer aren't moving as much as they normally would because it's too warm," says deer hunter, Burt Cooper.

Once the deer is killed, it must be tagged properly. "If I see any deer out in the field, I make sure they are tagged properly," says Greg Patten, a conservation officer with the Department of Natural Resources.

Meanwhile, DNR officials evaluated the health of the deer. Almost every hunter was well aware of the deer disease known as EHD and last year's outbreak discouraged some of them from showing up to certain areas.

"Granted, we did lose some deer but we still have a lot of good opportunities here," says Bill Fuchs, a wildlife technician at the Muskegon State Game Area.

Some hunters had a lot of success. "Best buck of my life," says one hunter.

Matthew and Mark Booher also took home a deer and a day to remember. "We're like friends, that's my buddy there," says Mark. "It gets us close, it's fun," says Matthew.

Anyone who doesn't properly tag their deer could face between five and 30 days in jail and lose their hunting license for up to four years.

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