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Deer Camp

By Andrew Persson

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Andrew Persson 2010
Andrew Persson 2010

There’s a certain chill in the November air that lets Minnesotans know that firearm deer season is just around the corner. Every fall nearly half a million hunters hit the woods in search of the state’s most sought after game animal, and this year it will take place starting November 8.

Deer camp seems to be the same year after year; the same people, staying in the same cabin in the woods, eating that same camp chili and repeating stories from years past as if everyone is hearing them for the first time. But that’s what makes it magical, isn’t it?

Whitetail deer hunting is no longer just a sport to Minnesota hunters, it’s become a long-standing tradition and a reason to get away for a weekend to reconnect with both the outdoors and family members. “That might be the best part,” said Ross Reinhardt, a fourth year student at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, who hunts in Hackensack, MN every fall, “meeting up with 30 guys and being together on common ground. It’s fun, that is the only way to describe it.”

Depending on the camp, success can be defined many different ways. For Reinhardt’s camp, it is all about getting the younger generation of hunters involved, “There’s more of an emphasis on the success of the younger kids. Most of the adults want to shoot a big deer, but they are more looking for the kids to have success, to be engaged with the feeling of deer hunting,” said Reinhardt.

Other deer camps still rely on placing tags on deer to consider a weekend to be successful.

“[Shooting deer] used to definitely be the number one thing and I think it still is, but now that I’m gone for most of the year I love just being down there and hunting with my dad and uncle, but we still

Jacob Gray 2012
Jacob Gray 2012

like to shoot deer. It is very important,” said Jacob Gray, a senior at BSU who hunts near Northfield, MN.

It seems that no matter what happens in the deer woods, as long as there are stories to tell next season over the fire, everyone will return ready to share in the experience yet again.

“The first deer I ever shot is definitely my favorite memory,” said Reinhardt, who shot a five point buck back in 2005, “it’s that first adrenaline rush that gets you addicted and coming back every year.”

In less than a week, northern Minnesota will yet again be filled with hopeful hunters looking to get their hands on “the big one” as the orange army takes to the woods in one of the most highly anticipated parts of every fall.“Just being there is the number one thing, I would drop anything in the world to go down there without a doubt,” said Gray.

Good luck to all of the North Star State’s hunters in the upcoming weeks, and please have a safe and successful 2014 deer season.