COMMENTS BY KIM: Deer seasons past
We are in the midst of another North Dakota deer gun season, a time for both making new memories and reminiscing about past hunts.
I had a chance to visit with a hunting party in the Garrison area just moments before the noon opener on November 6th. It was a terrific group of hunters, young and old, that were very enthusiastic about the upcoming hunt. Among them was a young soon-to-be-hunter along for the experience. Great stuff!
Her excitement was quite obvious. It reminded me of my first deer hunt as a young teenager and how pumped up I was to do it. I remember walking several miles of rugged badlands terrain and seeing things I’d never seen before, probably never knew existed.
There were deer of course, plenty of them, but I saw mountain lion tracks and had a coyote come up a trail and sit down a few feet in front of me. There were fascinating geological features and new plants and trees, even different bugs. These are things you never forget, and it was only the first afternoon of the hunt.
The sunset on the day of my first deer opener was absolutely beautiful, stunning! That was followed by getting together with my father and all the other guys that made the annual trek to the badlands for mule deer. Somebody brought elk steaks for our first meal and they were sensational. I know because I ate three of them. To this day I can’t say if it was deer hunting or deer camp that deserved top billing, and that’s really what makes deer hunting such a special time of year.
There’s friends and family to enjoy, to mess with, to hunt with and remember forever. I have a virtually endless list of memories from hunts in the past. Others do to. I know it is true that many things have changed about deer hunting since I first pulled a rifle sling over my shoulder and tightened my boots, but the basic tradition remains. I hope that never changes.