What's Up Outdoors: In the woods with a veteran
After a few great days in Camp Ripley for the Disabled American Veteran (DAV) deer hunt I find myself with a lot to think about. First and foremost is how much these veterans look forward to get together each year and share stories of the days hu...
After a few great days in Camp Ripley for the Disabled American Veteran (DAV) deer hunt I find myself with a lot to think about.
First and foremost is how much these veterans look forward to get together each year and share stories of the days hunt and catch up with others they haven't seen for a while.
Second is the whole reason the hunt takes place. Not because a lot of people want to have a place for these hunters to hunt and have a good time, but the main reason the hunt takes place. These hunters fought for our country and for us. They endured hardships that some talk about and some do not. I guess that is one of the big reason I like to help out on these events, just for the fact I can walk out my door and do what I want every day because of them. You also walk away with many stories told in the blind and at dinner, stories from a time long ago in another country and stories about the day, from the bullets that found their target to the one that got away.
I really have a hard time putting into words the comradery that is shown. But even though most of these veterans do not know each other and have fought different wars they all have a special bond. Something you can see from the minute you get there.
Although the hunt mainly is about having a good time, it is still hunting and the helpers, such as myself, try their hardest to get their hunter a deer or at least a chance at one. We got our blind set overlooking a ridge on the southwest corner of Camp Ripley that was a new area for the DAV hunt. The first morning went by without any sign of a deer, but we did hear a few shots in the distance. After lunch and a little nap we headed out with high hopes, as I told my hunter we had a good spot for the afternoon. About 20 minutes before sunset I spotted some movement in the brush. I put the binoculars up and there was a doe and fawn directly in front of us. He aimed for the doe and pulled the trigger on his crossbow. Although the bolt was on course a small birch tree shook as it passed by, the broadhead just grazing the tree sending it off course. To the whitetails of Camp Ripley, we will see you next year.
JAMIE DIETMAN, What's Up Outdoors, may be reached at 218-820-7757.