Thankful Outdoors: Deer Camp Memories

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – It has been a busy week of getting ready for the nine-day gun season. The State of Wisconsin is covered in the army of orange for the next nine days! There is the line from Escanaba in Da Moonlight when Remnar Soady proclaims, “it’s like Christmas but with guns!”

After last year’s disappointing events of COVID breaking so many traditions of being in camp, I’m looking forward to bringing back the missed traditions.

When I was younger, my thoughts were all about getting a tag filled; I didn’t put a lot of thought into the traditions or memories. When you are young, you often take those memories and traditions for granted. Is it because when you are young, you believe that you are going to be around forever?

This season marks my 35th year of throwing on the blaze orange; I have covered a lot of different stands in those years, walked a lot of miles making deer drives. I have worn out plenty of boots in this time. Some of those stands that I have sat were one and done; others I have gone back to multiple times.

There are a few deer harvests that have remained with me over time. Most of the deer harvest that I recall are not even from when I filled my tags; they are memories of others.

Dad’s first shoulder mount deer with a rifle on the buck that was bedded right by his stand; remember all the neighbors stopping by to take a look at his buck. It was neat to see how supportive the neighborhood was.

Several of the deer that my kids have taken, those big smiles from them. Still waiting to see a buck smile from Bryce; maybe 2021 will be his year to get a buck. The most special deer harvest was the buck that Connor took last year up north. I will forever cherish that spot off Lake 19 road, where we go almost ¾ mile back to a little creek to hunt.

The time I backed the truck up onto the rack of a buck that Corey had shot and busted the horns up. I got so excited and forgot that a deer was laying on the back end of the truck; it sure would have been nice to have backup cameras then!

The buck I shot in that special place on Lake 19 road, and I dragged it out all by myself. I lost my tag (back when we had to put tags on deer), dragging it out, and had to backtrack to find it.

However, all these memories have surrounded me with the one thing I’m so thankful for; family. Would I have continued this tradition of gun hunting if it wasn’t for the family? If you are one of the younger readers of this column, I encourage you to find your way of cherishing these memories. For the readers that are a bit more seasoned, continue making those memories with your groups.

Best of luck to everyone this season; be safe. Remember your basic firearm safety training:

T = treat every firearm as if it were loaded

A = Always point your firearm in a safe direction

B = be aware of your target and beyond

K = Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until ready to shoot

Go ahead and share some of your favorite hunting traditions or memories by posting a comment; I look forward to reading about them!

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.