Hunting Holiday Begins
Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener Kicks Off
DULUTH, Minn.- In a couple days the folks at Chalstrom’s will have their hands full with trophies like these, as Northlanders go out for their own holiday: the Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener.
The walls of Chalstrom’s back room are a small forest, the heads of different trophy animals jutting out of the walls.
Despite what all the trophies may suggest, hunting is no free for all. It has to be coordinated and careful, because hunters and deer aren’t the only ones in the woods.
“Be sure of your surroundings and where other people might be,” said Martha Mindchak, Assistant Area Wildlife Manager with Minnesota DNR. “Look up and make sure you can see people sitting up in stands, but if you’re in a stand be aware of people walking through the woods and trails. Even if you’re on private land.”
“It’s just good advice for everyone just to be safe and to keep everyone safe out there.”
Another safety tip: wear bright orange. It allows other hunters to easily spot you.
At Chalstrom’s Bait and Tackle, hunters prepare to start hunting bright and early in the morning, and come back with their prizes as night falls.
“It usually takes a while for them, they gotta go find their deer and get them gutted and tag them, and take them out of the woods,” said Chalstrom’s owner, John Chalstrom. “After that they either go hang them up and let them chill or they drop them off at a processor like myself.”
Those deer sure keep Chalstrom’s busy during the three-week long season.
“The rifle season, definitely that’s our busy time, and that’s, out of our 3 weeks we’ll probably end up with over 200 animals that we’ll take in for processing.”
Sitting perched up in a tree, rifle at the ready, waiting for that perfect buck to stride in, may seem tranquil and therapeutic.
Not always the case.
“There’s like a lot of hunting camps where you have the same groups together, guys getting together that sometimes can be a little more rowdy than peaceful,” Chalstrom said. “And then other times you get the people that just go and hunt on their own in the public lands, and they’ll get a deer stand set up, and it can be pretty nice and quiet out there.”
Whether it’s a great time with your buddies, or your little escape, this season is like Christmas for hunters. They flood Chalstrom’s–renewing licenses and stocking up on gear like Christmas gifts.
But what is Christmas, but getting together with people you care about. Sharing and making memories. And that’s what deer season is for many… they’re just trying to bag a buck at the same time.
“For many people this is like a family reunion. This is a yearly thing to get together with people that you maybe only get together with once a year at deer camp, and to tell stories and to catch up.”
“It’s a lot more than just going out to bag a deer; it’s the whole hunting experience.”