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Field Reports: Esko hunter the latest to take mature buck with antlers in velvet

Kaden Matteen of Esko displays the eight-point buck he took Nov. 11. The buck's antlers were still in velvet. Kelvin Matteen photo

After last week's Outdoors section reported on Mark Monacelli's 10-point buck in velvet, comes word that Kaden Matteen of Esko shot an eight-point buck on Nov. 11 that also was in full velvet. Matteen, 20, was hunting with his dad and brothers at a camp near Alborn. The buck weighed 190 pounds.

Bucks' antlers are normally in velvet during summer months, but the antlers harden as fall approaches. The anomaly that occurs when antlers remain in velvet is caused by a hormonal aberration in a buck affecting its testosterone level, biologists say.

Matteen said he had asked his dad why the buck's antlers were still in velvet, and the hunting party started doing some research. They learned about hormonal issues some deer have.

"I wasn't going to mount it," Matteen said, "but now that I know how special it is, I have to put it on the wall."

Seven deer presumed to have CWD

Preliminary tests show that seven deer harvested in southeastern Minnesota's disease management zone during the first firearms deer season may be infected with chronic wasting disease, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials said.

Once all sampling is completed and test results received, the DNR will follow its CWD response plan and determine next steps, which may include boundary changes to area 603 in southeastern Minnesota and additional deer hunting opportunities for the public or landowners.

Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager, said it isn't clear whether the additional positive tests indicate a westward expansion of the disease or individual deer movements, given that all the presumptive positive deer were adult males.

Bob's Bike Drive in progress

There's still plenty of time to donate to Bob Rogers' ninth annual Bike Drive. Rogers, an employee at Marine General Supply in Duluth, started his bike drive — providing bicycles for the children of families in need — to repay the kindness he and his siblings received as kids growing up in Superior.

Last year, Rogers spent $18,000 worth of donations on 350 bikes, he said. This year, he hopes to raise $19,000 or more for 400 bikes.

He orders the bikes direct from Huffy, completely assembled. Continental Ski and Bike in Duluth has donated 400 helmets to Rogers and his cause.

Over the past eight years, Rogers has donated 1,362 bikes. Rogers gives the bikes and helmets to the Salvation Army, which distributes them to families. All donations to the bike drive are tax-deductible, Rogers said.

To donate, drop by Marine General at 1501 London Road, and look for the "Bob's Bike Drive" jug at the front counter. Bob probably will be behind the counter.

Minnesota hunters reminded of carcass rules

The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters who harvest deer, elk, moose or caribou outside of Minnesota that whole carcasses cannot be brought into the state. The restriction is part of efforts to minimize the opportunity for chronic wasting disease to become established in Minnesota.

Only the following cervid parts may be brought into Minnesota:

• Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.

• Meat that is boned-out or that is cut and wrapped (either commercially or privately).

• Hides and teeth.

• Antlers or clean (no brain tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.

• Finished taxidermy mounts.