Camouflage became more than a fashion statement during the weekend as the firearms hunting season for white-tailed deer kicked off Saturday.
Across Indiana, hunters took to the bushes and trees hoping to bring home a prize buck — or at least something to cook.
Hunters took their deer to check-in stations across Jackson County, but at some stations, numbers were down compared to previous years.
Turnout Saturday was definitely lower than in previous years, Ken Everage, archery manager at Bassmasters Sports Headquarters in Seymour, said. In 2011, opening day brought 149 hunters in for check-in; this year, he said he had seen just 54 hunters by 3 p.m. Saturday.
There are a number of factors that could have caused such a wide fluctuation in opening day turnout this year, Everage said.
This is the first year hunters were able to check-in their deer and turkey via the phone or online with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ electronic game check-in system.
“I didn’t think it would make much of a difference, but maybe it has,” Everage said.
Sherri Fritz at Freetown Grocery said the lower numbers at traditional check-in stations could affect business.
“They won’t be coming in the store,” she said, which means hunters won’t be making impulse purchases.
“I’m thinking a lot of people will do that,” she said of using the electronic check-in system.
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