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What's Up Outdoors: Oh the memories

So it has begun, the Minnesota Deer Opener is finally here and for me and many others it means many hours in the deer stand watching and waiting.

But the deer opener is so much more than that. Deer camp is also a time for families and friends to get together. Just as others get together for Christmas and exchange gifts, we sit around the campfire and exchange stories of the day’s hunt and eat all the extra Halloween candy. We sit in the woods and pray for that big buck to come out, but also think of the hunts of years’ past with the loved ones that are no longer with us.

So yes, basically deer hunting technically is just a season but in reality it’s not even close. It is a tradition in which hunting spots, orange clothes and guns are handed down through the generations. It is the one week of the year where school kids all over Minnesota mysteriously get sick and their parents call into the teachers for them.

In the old days it was all about food, now some hunt for the venison, some for trophies and there is nothing wrong with either. As with any sport these days you can be as simple or high-tech as you want to be but if you spend enough time in the woods you know there is a lot to do with luck — whether you have been on the good side of luck and had a great deer come out and present itself, make the perfect shot and watch it fall; or if you’ve been on the bad side and have a monster sneak by while you were looking the other way and just catch him out of the corner of your eye.

I have been hunting in the Park Rapids area for 30 years now and still hunt with some of the same crew. We have been through the good years and the bad years. We have lost some of the great hunters who brought us in the woods with our Daisy BB guns and we now get to be there when the next generation gets their first deer or gets buck fever (back to the whole luck thing).

So I guess what I’m saying is you can get a lot of different things from deer camp, possibly a trophy of a lifetime or the chance to spend the next year being reminded of the one that got away. But you will leave with memories nonetheless.

JAMIE DIETMAN, Hook Set Media, may be reached at 218-820-7757.