Thousands head to Michigan's woodlands for opening day of firearms deer hunting season

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BROOKLYN, Michigan — Thousands of hunters converged Saturday on forests and fields for the opening day of Michigan's firearms deer season.

Some returned to a Brooklyn sporting goods store to display their successes on a buck pole, while others mused about the ones that got away.

Ty Liogghio, 18, of Clark Lake, brought in a 167-pound, six-point buck with a shot to the deer's leg. He ventured out early Saturday with his father and brother.

"I got really lucky," Liogghio told, adding that the deer "walked right under" him.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says some parts of the state may have fewer fawns and yearlings than usual because of last winter's bitter weather. Early snowfall may make for difficult hunting in parts of the Upper Peninsula.

Elsewhere, officials say conditions should be good for the two-week season. But the state has sold the lowest number of licenses in six years — just over 1 million, with higher fees a possible factor.

Things moved a little slowly at a MDNR check station in Muskegon County where only seven deer were brought in by hunters between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Last year, 20 deer were brought to the local hub during the opener, MDNR wildlife biologist Nik Kalejs told

"Sometimes, it comes in spurts," Kalejs said.

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