Reporting Bill Hudson
BLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) — The photographs of deer hunts long gone are curled and faded. But the memories of those memorable hunts remain vivid and bright.
This is the special something that comes every year on the first Saturday of November.
Another Minnesota rifle deer season is fast approaching for hunters like Cody Andrews.
“That’s probably the best part of deer camp, the stories and camaraderie,” said Andrews.
Plain and simple, deer camp is as much a state of being as it is some place in the woods. And to each of the state’s 500,000 deer hunters, deer camp means something different.
“Just the family time and the good times; everybody gets together during rifle season,” Andrews said.
“It’s a family tradition,” said Dean Capra. Like so many others, Capra started hunting deer with his father Ted at the tender age of 14. He said there’s one special deer camp story that he never gets tired of telling.
“The deer went about 10 yards and I finally shot him. He fell right under my tree. I was so excited that I almost jumped out of the tree to go tell dad how happy I was. I got a buck already and I was only there an hour you know,” Capra said.
Once a male-dominated sport, a growing number of females are now picking up rifles and bows and joining their dads, uncles and brothers in pursuit of whitetails.
“I’m just one of the guys up there,” said Emily Malvin.
Malvin said that she’s the only girl at the family deer camp of 12 near Aurora. But she quickly earned their admiration and respect. At camp, Emily is now called “killer,” after bagging two bucks on her first morning out.
“We joke around and you never know what they’ll say at all. It’s just a fun time and I’m always laughing up there and having fun. There’s never a dull moment,” Malvin said.
So shell out for the new license and find those photographs of yesteryear. This just might be the season you’ll bag the big one, fueling deer camp stories for years to come.
“I have great memories of my first deer hunt and it’s been a tradition ever since,” Capra said.