Nothing beats sipping a hot cup of joe, while wearing your favorite boots, donning your favorite color and being with your best friend on a crisp Minnesota morning. And while local hipsters will be reminded of pumpkin spiced lattes and their favorite hoodie from Urban Outfitters, a scene like this also excites a different breed of Minnesotan: the hunter. For a few fleeting weeks blaze orange and camo will once again be the trending clothing options. Men and women alike will begin talking about their bow or their gun the way they talk about their spouse. And many first time hunters will experience the thrill of their first hunt. November is a magical time for Minnesotans for a multitude of reasons, but to forget hunting as a major reason for that magic, no one would dare.
In a January 28 article, the Associated Press reported hunters harvested over 184,000 deer in 2012. This number is actually down over recent years, with almost 225,000 deer harvested in 2003. DNR officials prepared for this decrease by permitting hunters to take only antlered deer, allowing the deer population to recover from the larger yields of previous years. This made the hunt a bit more challenging over the past few seasons.
Each hunter finds his niche for hunting. Some choose to sit either on the ground or in a tree stand, while others choose to be on their feet moving, hoping to find the deer. Most hunters opt for a firearm, either a rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader, but some choose a bigger challenge by hunting with a bow and arrow.
It’s fun to find your niche — but when doing so, consider certain variables when hunting: what does my environment look like? Can I be concealed or will I be easily heard or seen? What direction is the wind going to blow? How far of a shot can I take? All these factors, plus a million more, play a factor when determining your success this November.
For those new to the sport wanting to give hunting a try, it’s not too late to sign up for a learners class online. You can go here for more information. If you do get into a class this year, be sure to treat it like every other class — pay attention and learn as much as you can. When handling firearms, heed your instructors words and understand these tools are not toys.
Turning now to those who already know what I’m saying, those skilled hunters who already know the trials and the triumphs hunting brings. Those who know that “a bad day hunting is better than a good day at the office.” To those who love the color blaze and have been to the range more than church in recent weeks. Have fun. Be smart and be safe. Always remember the ten rules of gun safety from when you were the one taking the learner’s course.
Hipsters, you can keep your lattes and knit hoodies, the hunters are back in force, and camo never looked so good.
Photos via: Google and Tyler King