Deer hunting offers entertaining stories

Published 6:12pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

We are already into the deer hunting season and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources predicted a good hunt for Minnesota hunters. The mild winter that we experienced last year really helped the survival rate. As far as northern Minnesota I can definitely say that I have seen more deer this year than in past years. The deer numbers were not only good but they were very healthy looking.

Although I am not a deer hunter I actually find myself getting excited about the season. Maybe it is the fact that I have friends that hunt and I always enjoy hearing stories about their latest escapades. Just like a fishing trip; deer stories can be both entertaining and downright funny at times.

One such story involved a couple of guys that I once worked with at Wilsons & Co. It seems that they had gone to the Little Falls area to do a little bow hunting for the weekend and the night before they had celebrated just a little too much. One of them evidently decided to keep on celebrating the next day and that morning as they were perched in their deer stands the other one heard a loud thump and went to check it out. It seems that the other fellow had reached his limit and had passed out ultimately falling out of his deer stand and ended up resting peacefully on the ground. You’ve heard the saying “don’t try this at home.” This is just an example of something you should not do while hunting. Whether fishing or hunting the two sports do not mix well with alcohol.

Over the years I have had many strange things happen while fishing that had nothing to do with alcohol. I always figure that I need all the edge that I can get when I’m trying to outsmart a fish. One of those times that comes to mind is when I got a No. 5 countdown Rapala embedded in my hand. I was hoisting a fish out of the water when it spit the lure out and it came flying towards my face; I reacted by putting my hand out — ouch! Although the barb was sticking out I couldn’t get ahold of it to back it out. I then tried to cut the end off with a pliers but couldn’t get it close enough. My final option was to get a good hold on it and rip it out. This was the least appealing to me but I was alone in the boat and felt that it was my only choice. It didn’t feel very good at the time but it did get the job done.

It’s funny how you can get all kinds of advice about how to do something when it’s too late. I have never had that happen since then, probably because the pain of that experience still seems fresh in my mind.

There are always things that can happen to you in the outdoors so making sure to exercise caution while hunting on land or on the water can make for a safe and happy ending.

While we are talking hunting and the outdoors experience in general the Minnesota DNR issued the following news release for those who may be looking for a little winter adventure.

 

Itasca State Park offers winter lodging

Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and snowmobiling opportunities will be right outside the door when people reserve a winter getaway — at a reduced rate — at Itasca State Park in Park Rapids. The Douglas Lodge six-plex (Itasca Suites) is located within the park and priced at an off-peak rate of $99 per night, Nov. 1 through May 19.

Each suite has its own bathroom with a shower and tub; log furniture complete with bedding and linens; a kitchenette with pots and pans, a microwave, a refrigerator, and a dishwasher; and amenities such as a color TV, Internet access and a phone. Most of the suites accommodate four adults or a family of up to six, and adjacent units can connect though an interior door. Two units are fully accessible, including the showers, and sleep two. Interior and exterior photos can be viewed online.

Established in 1891, Itasca State Park is Minnesota’s oldest state park and one of its busiest. More than 500,000 people visited the 30,553-acre park in 2010. Year-round attractions include the headwaters of the Mississippi River, the towering pines of Preacher’s Grove and a scenic Wilderness Drive. Interpretive nature programs are offered year-round. Winter recreation opportunities include more than 25 miles of cross-country ski trails (including classic and skate skiing) and more than 30 miles of snowmobile trails, along with ice fishing and snowshoeing. Snowshoe rental is available for $6 per day. For reservations, visit www.mndnr.gov/reservations or call toll-free 866-857-2757.

For a list of upcoming programs and special events or to take a virtual tour of the park online, visit DNR website.

Until next time, take a little time to enjoy the outdoors experience and the world of nature that surrounds us.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.

 

Dick Herfindahl’s column appears in the Tribune every Sunday.