by Anna Mitterling, Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC
Opening Day was a good day in my books. Spent Saturday night at Deer Camp, eating food, drinking hard cider, and playing Mario Party on the Wii. Woke up nice and early, and sat out in a deer blind with my roommate from college, and my best friend, Hannah. Hannah’s dad hunted while she was growing up, but a fight with cancer has left her dad unable to go out this fall. Wanting to honor her dad, as well as experience a taste of what her dad loves, Hannah wanted to come sit out with me in my blind. Honored and totally thrilled, I took Hannah with me to sit Opening Morning.
While we can’t say the success of that hunt was defined by taking a deer out, we had an incredible morning. We watched the sunrise, does graze, squirrels run to and fro, and chickadees flutter about. We whispered a little and took a few selfies. I think this blind may be ruined… but memories were made, and Hannah is more interested than ever to learn to hunt, with a bow I might add.
We need to sit back and remember why we do what we do. I was able to catch the last bit of Southern Mecosta Whitetail Management Association’s Buck Pole (more about that next week), and spent some time talking with Harold about his cooperative. Getting a big buck is great. Learning about managing a deer herd is fun and rewarding. But what makes the tradition of hunting as long standing as it is, centers around relationships. Harold chocked up a little talking about taking his grand kids hunting, and all of the friends he has made working with the cooperative.
Deer come and go, and while there will always be the first deer, the biggest deer, the largest set of antlers, what sticks with us are the people we enjoy those moments with. That being said; time to wrap this up. I need to pay attention to what’s going on outside my stand…. Happy Hunting!