Deer hunting in Michigan – what’s the big deal?
Tomorrow, November 15th, is Opening Day (always capitalized, because it's a Michigan holiday). A lot of people in Michigan (including me) get all geeked up about deer season. If you're not a deer hunter, you may have wondered, "what's the big deal?" I get it. It's not for everybody. Why would somebody buy a lot of expensive gear that they only use a couple of months out of the year? Why would anybody get up at 4AM when they could be in a warm bed, then walk into cold, dark woods or fields, sit there all day several days in a row and then - maybe not even have anything to show for it?
Hmmm, I'm actually sitting here thinking "why?" myself, right now.
Just kidding. When I was a kid living in Missouri, I loved going deer hunting. But I wasn't very good at it. And then jobs in big cities took me away from it. But when we moved to Michigan, I saw my chance to get back to it. And then I got my two daughters into bow-hunting. No zoo in the world is as good as the Michigan woods when there's a wild deer 20 yards away.
Now, when I was younger, it was all about shooting that "monster buck" for me. Here in Michigan, I had a lightbulb moment. I was sitting in a polebarn during bow season, with my hunting buddies, during a lunch break. The giant door was wide open. It was a sunny day with a huge blue sky. We started talking about deer we'd seen - but then we got into (like we always do) politics and sports and music and joking around. And I realized that day that I just wanted the conversation to keep going - that if I didn't get a deer, I'd already had a good day.
Tomorrow, I'll be out in a deer blind in Clinton County. And then I'll be in that same pole barn with those same friends. And we'll joke and give each other a hard time and solve all the world's problems.
And maybe one of us will actually shoot a deer.
The "Pure Michigan" people just produced a video that tries to explain some of this. I think they did a pretty good job. And the people in the video have some REALLY nice deer blinds. And they're Yoopers, so - bonus points. Check it out:
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