A view from Minnesota’s deer hunting season

For a picture of a crisp, quiet deer hunting season opener, you can do no better than Sam Cook of the Duluth News Tribune joining some Northern Community Radio friends of mine – Randy McCarty and John Latimar – in the woods outside Grand Rapids.

This passage seems to capture Cook’s unique ability to capture the savage beauty of hunting in northern Minnesota:

If you had to choose a place to sit in the woods and not see deer on a Minnesota opener, you could hardly find a more beautiful spot than among these pines. Mike Latimer, a forester, had planted them in 1960. Now almost 55 years old, most of them were a foot or more in diameter and reached 60 feet into the gray sky. Beneath them seedling pines were taking hold along with balsam firs about the size of Christmas trees.

Snowmelt fell in drops and lumpy dollops. Snow on the ground began to melt, revealing a cushion of pine needles. A raven cleared its throat. A bluejay called. A crow seemed to complain about the lack of deer entrails to scavenge.

But for those of you who don’t hunt, perhaps my Sunday column offers the counterpoint. The powerful touchstone of northern Minnesota’s deer hunting season can leave a modern fella feeling out of the loop. All you really need is a good cover story.

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