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TuffEnuff (US)

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TuffEnuff (US)'s Profile > Stories > Let the Hunt Begin (MN Deer Hunt)

Let the Hunt Begin (MN Deer Hunt)

Posted Oct 29, 2007 by TuffEnuff (US)
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 Let the Hunt Begin Well, are you ready? The big game starts at first light this Saturday morning. I have a few thoughts and recollections regarding the whitetail firearms season. Here goes. First off, for me and most of my family, as well as countless Minnesotans, it's been a thing of tradition. Much like trapping, harvesting wild rice, small game and the lot, it's something that I grew up doing and something that I plan on enjoying as long as the good Lord will allow. My first deer antlers hang in my son's den. They were small, being only a 6" spike buck, but they were huge in my eyes, as a 12 year old hunter. Hmmm, let's see. That's been 46 years now and every time I view that little rack, it still has very special meaning. My grandpa, Frank Marsh, aka "Pa", made the first plaque for me. I imagine he was just as proud as I. You don't notice the little things as much when you're younger. I do now. My whitetail hunting started out with a bang, as I averaged a deer in each of the first four years of hunting. Then I hit a slump. I can't remember exactly how long it was but I believe it to be at a period of at least 10 years or more. I know. That almost sounds impossible but it's the truth. Back then, I didn't hunt as smart as I think I do today. I remember one opening day, after I had packed my hunting clothes in a large garbage bag full of pine boughs for two weeks. I saw over a dozen deer on that morning and almost had three of them run right over me. I squeezed off a shot without aiming, missing, and rolled out of the way, with the deer running right past me. I've been a firm believer of no scent, especially after that altercation. Now days, I try to play the wind as much as possible, keeping myself downwind, which I think is the best bet in being successful. Sure, there are times when you can do everything wrong and still come up with that big buck. It happens. Especially when they are in the rut. When it comes to deer hunting gadgets, like the "can call", I've probably bought most of them and I'll tell you what. A new product in my hands is probably my biggest downfall, as I almost always over-use them. Be the time I'm done with a day's hunt, I feel I've got just about every deer with any common sense scared right out of the area. But hey, that's just me. Over the last several years, I've found myself more-or-less trophy hunting. Meaning, if it doesn't have 8 points or better, I'm not shooting. It's kind of a fun way to hunt. I've had some deer walk right under my stand but, lucky for them, they didn't live up to my expectations. I'll do the same again this year, although taking a nice doe for processing isn't out of the question. It's the younger bucks that will get the pass. I've also refined my shooting etiquette, for the most part. A couple years ago, I passed on the largest buck of my life because it was too long of a shot and there wasn't any snow for tracking. Watching it slowly walking and feeding, broadside, I tried to rattle it in for a closer shot without any luck. It just walked away. Back then, I was using an open-sight 30-30. No scope. This year, I just might take that shot. Maybe. If all conditions are right. I do regret some of the long-distance shots that I've taken in the past, where I've wounded deer and wasn't able to locate them. That's a terrible feeling and one that I don't want to experience again. We have to give our game a little respect. No. A lot of respect. If not, stay out of the woods. Just my thoughts anyway. Seasons come and seasons go. Some are very good, with all filling their tags. Then again, some of the seasons are down-right tough. This year promises to be pretty darn good though, with a reported high deer count. Technically, I could take as many as five in my area but that's not going to happen. I don't know what I would do with that many deer. One of our better years up at the Little Bear cabin was in the early 90's, when we all filled out and some nice bucks were taken as well. It was a good group of guys, fondly known as "the Wolf Pack" (see pic). The group has withered down to only a handful now that stay at the cabin. I don't even hunt up there anymore but usually make a trip ot two to visit and have lunch. There's a lot of memories there. In preparation of the new season, I picked up a pair of "knee-boots", as the woods is pretty wet in a lot of places. You might want to keep that in mind, especially if you do a fair amount of walking. Also, there is supposed to be a pile of deer ticks out there. Let's hope the cooler weather puts a damper on them. Have a great hunt. Make it a safe one and please use some hunting etiquette. Also, if you see me and have a story to tell or a deer to take a photo of, be sure to flag me down. Good luck and have fun.
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