Thankful Outdoors: Hunting Traditions at Deer Camp

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – The 2021 gun deer season has been a disappointment in the harvest, at least for our camp. As of Friday morning, we only have two deer on the deer pole. The lack of deer seems to be a common message from each camp I have talked with throughout the week.

The season is still filled with highlights as memories continue to be made. I have watched my three boys hunt hard; they put some time in a tree this year. It has paid off for Jared as he had two does get pursued by the white buck. That big white buck chased a real nice doe right to his stand. Bryce learned a lesson about how sneaky deer can be as he had a buck sneak right into his tree but could not get a shot off before the buck bounded away. Connor has been sitting in his thinking spot as he has been waiting for deer to allow him to fill a tag.

I walked with all three boys this year on a few deer drives; I smiled as I watched them handle themselves safely walking in the woods, following along in a safe line as we walked through the woods. They did a great job of reading the compass.

As the week continued and I watched their efforts unfold, I couldn’t help but think why the heck couldn’t see this same effort from them in their younger years. It made me think about that phrase about how boys mature later than girls. Is this what happened here? My boys needed extra time to develop into hunters.

Did I push them too much when they were younger? Did I sit back and allow them to prove themselves this year be the change needed to spark their interest. Was I making things too easy for them, and they needed to figure out how to earn things independently?

It gives me hope that they will continue the hunting tradition for years to come. Not just to go and hunt because it’s something that Dad does, but something that they enjoy. Did they need that guidance and then allow them to break away into their state of independence?

In the last couple of years, I felt like I had failed future generations of hunting traditions, and the heritage would end after my time; watching the three boys this year has given me hope that they will carry on traditions.

Whatever the reason for the change this year, I was happy to see them enjoy themselves and share their time bonding as brothers. Will they be the future that keeps the Hopperdietzel deer camp traditions going with their cousins once my final season has come?

In closing, I hope you find a way to get into the outdoors, create your adventure and memories, but most importantly, find a way to “Celebrate the Experience.” Go check out for more content and share your “Celebrate the Experience” moment with us!

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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.