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Sam Penrod reporting70- thousand hunters hit the hills this morning for the first day of the deer hunt. And so far, it appears to be a good one.
The weather's been a huge factor for hunters. It's been cold all over the state today, but no serious rain or snow. But the storms from earlier in the week has made it tougher on hunters.
Most deer hunters were up very early this morning to get into place before sunrise when the hunt officially got underway.
The die hard hunters chained up their trucks and SUV's so they could hunt in the snow and mud.
This week's storm forced many hunters to change their hunting strategy, and many hunters found themselves stuck in the snow or mud for awhile.
And while there are still deer in the higher elevations, most hunters that had success in getting a deer today told us they found them early and below the snow.
Hal Jones/Deer Hunter: “Up into the snow we didn't seen any bucks, saw a lot of doe as we were coming down we saw this one with two others so we lucked out"
Grant Jense/DWR Wildlife Biologist: “We've checked eight bucks this morning one two and a half, the rest yearling bucks, they're getting them right close here very accessible, with this weather they aren't getting too far off the road and it's been pretty good for this early in the morning"
Wildlife biologists are again taking tissue samples of deer at several game checking stations all over the state as they look for chronic wasting disease. Few deer tested last year were positive, but this year hunters are being asked to document on maps exactly where they got their deer, so if they are infected it can be pinpointed for researchers.
Deer hunter success so far today is said to be very good all over the state and wildlife officers are telling us they are surprised at the number of more mature bucks that have been bagged. And we'll be live from deer camp tonight at ten and on Sportsbeat.