Maybe you’ve noticed lately that my mind seems to be focused more on deer and deer hunting this year than in years past. I guess there’s simply no disguising the fact that of all years I am really looking forward to the Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener this year. In my mind the countdown is already underway with only 9 more days to go until the firearms season officially gets started. This year…more than ever…I’m excited because I expect many positive, fun things to be happening in the deer woods during the hunting season.
I’ve been asked by a few folks why I’m thinking this year will be so much different. Some have speculated that perhaps I have the prospect of a big buck sighted and I am holding out hope of shooting it during the season. Could be. My neighbor just described a big buck he saw yesterday morning while driving the tractor near his farm. He stated it was one of the biggest-racked animals that he has ever seen. Now that’s always positive news to hear just days before the season begins.
I guess the truth is the older I get the more I appreciate the process of the hunt. I mean, let’s face it…this time of the year how can you be a serious sportsman and not get downright excited about the season we are in. So much of our lives is predictable…but not with hunting. When you go to work each day most people have a pretty good idea what they can expect to be doing. Not so with hunting. When you lace up your boots and head out into the cold, darkness…you are entering a world where just about everything is unpredictable. You don’t know if this will be the day you score on the trophy of a lifetime…or if you will eventually leave the woods feeling skunked having seen nothing at all.
I call it excited anticipation. The gradual build-up to the hunt where the crescendo hopefully occurs sometime mid-morning on the opener when you begin to ease the safety off on your chosen firearm. Let’s face it, when the thrill of hunting is gone you might as well stay at home and perform various household chores in preparation for winter. For the hunter, anticipation is the fuel that replenishes the soul and builds intrigue to continue on desiring to hunt another day. I can honestly say that there have been some years when deer hunting has not been a top priority in my fall plans…but certainly not this year.
Indeed, in just over a week’s time much of this rambling will begin to make much more sense to you. My goal is to take you on a deer hunting odyssey that further fosters your interest in the sport (if you’re a deer hunter) or at least peaks your curiosity about the social aspects of the hunt (even if you’re not a deer hunter).
So, Sportsman’s Blog readers…bear with me on this topic…indulge me for a bit longer as I continue to focus on deer-related topics. In fact, next week I plan to devote the entire week to deer-related features leading up to the big opening day. Deer hunting is such a great sport it truly deserves to be celebrated…and rightly so. A week from now hunters from all walks of life will be gathering up there gear and rushing off to the sporting goods store for a few more last-minute purchases. It’s a tradition that has occurred this way in many families for years…and I suspect, will continue to do so for quite a number of years still to come.
If you’re an upland bird hunter, varmint hunter or the like…I’ll be talking more about your respective sports very soon. But the time draws near for deer season…and the excitement I feel this year for the sport is very palpable, to say the least. I suspect this year’s opening day will not be the typical first day of the deer hunt…at least not for me. The raw excitement for the moment will undoubtedly make sure that does not occur. Stay tuned.
© 2006 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Without Prior Permission.