By Dylan Brown
"You can always decide when to start your day, but can never decide when to end it," Mike Kinghorn said, as he checked in with dispatch at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
Kinghorn is a conservation officer, also known as a "game warden," with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. He's one of two officers for Box Elder County, and the opening general rifle deer hunting day might be his busiest day of the year.
DWR expected more than 60,000 hunters, plus family and friends to partake in this season's opening day.
Mark Hadley, DWR spokesman, said checkpoints around the state were reporting low numbers of deer through Saturday afternoon. He attributed this to the sunny skies and the fairly cool temperatures.
"We check thousands of people (for permits) every year," said Kinghorn, as he bounced up Willard Peak Road in the early morning light. "It surprises me how many say this is their first time being checked."
The first hunter he came across was Richie Orton, from Brigham City, who was driving down in a yellow all-terrain vehicle with a rifle propped up on the passenger side. Kinghorn checked to make sure the chamber was empty and then checked to make sure Orton had the correct tags for the Willard Peak area.
Orton was friendly and talked about looking for the great grandaddy of a buck he took from the same area three years back. More....