Some would choose Thanksgiving. Some would choose Christmas. Others might choose Halloween.

Others of my ilk would choose this Saturday, Minnesota deer hunting opener. The "real" holiday for nimrods.

Yes, all those "other" holidays are popular holidays that draw family and friends together. Those dates are clearly marked on the calendars that hang on our walls and reside on our cellphones.

The holiday of which I write this week is usually scrawled on a piece of crumpled paper and perhaps tacked to the garage wall. The day is not outlined in red on any calendar. But it very well exists up here in the north country and around the territory in which the white-tailed deer resides.

Only the ignorant will not notice the brandishing of blaze orange clothing and hats around these parts this week. You see it on the highways as trucks transport humans and machines into the countryside. You visit a cafe that literally glows blaze orange.

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Folks you rarely see any other time of the year are now seen standing in front of a counter purchasing their license and eagerly digging into their billfolds to find the current amount of funding needed to be legal. And, they seem actually happy to be spending money. Not true for most of the rest of the year.

That scene is repeated in almost every state where deer hunting is a "thing." Even with no guarantee that any venison will hit the freezer, hunters young and old eagerly look forward to this unofficial "holiday" each year.

In years past, the schools in my area of Minnesota actually excused students from attending class during the opening week of deer hunting. I think the reason for that may have been the result of a number of teachers wanting to participate in the sport as well.

My deer hunting crew has changed over the years. The "older" generation, of which I have now become a member, has mostly retired or has gone to that big hunting ground in the sky. But, their stories of the hunt still hover and linger above the noon campfire.

Stories echo around the fire of deer taken and deer missed and deer not seen. Stories of getting stuck in the mud, punching holes in truck oil pans and stories of guns that shot three feet off target.

Every year seems to produce a new story or two mainly because no two hunts are ever the same. Just like fingerprints, hunting experiences are all one of a kind each and every year.

One of the vestiges of our crew is the still visible tail pipe from a pickup that stands as a witness to the day one of our party with a low patience level decided to leave early and to take a new and shorter path out of our area. He drove off the used trail and ended up losing his entire exhaust system in a rock strewn bog.

We could still hear his vehicle as he roared back into town five miles away. The tailpipe still stands as a mute testament to what damage veering too far from the track can bring. I smile every time I pass by that memorial.

And so my hunting comrades will assemble again this Saturday morning before the sun comes up and lug our way to our waiting deer stands. Our hopes will be high but will be tempered with the thought that we might not actually see a deer this year. It is a bucks-only hunt in our area.

And then again, maybe we will!

Another story no doubt will be spun and left in the smoldering campfire ashes to be reignited again next year. The date really should be a holiday marked in red on our calendars.

See you next time. Okay?