It’s that time of year when you drive by a house and all you can see is orange. It isn’t leftover pumpkins or colorful leaves on the trees, but the blaze orange clothing of Minnesota deer hunters. Overalls, jackets, pants and hats are hanging throughout neighborhoods so no scent remains on this sacred clothing. I will never forget the one year Mike and I went hunting with our neighbor Gordy Poehls.
We, along with the other gazillion Minnesota hunters, had carefully planned and prepared for the deer hunting opener. We had washed our clothing in a special detergent, hung them out to dry, and sprayed no scent all over them. We drove over to Gordy’s house and he invited us in while he finished getting ready. Gordy was a fishing guide, a bachelor who lived in a little house with his black lab. Gordy liked to smoke and didn’t necessarily like to clean. That morning his house was filled with cigarette smoke and his dog wanted to give us a proper greeting. This involved jumping on us, licking us, and drooling on our "No Scent" clothing. Mike was very happy when Gordy was finally ready to leave and exited the house quickly. Mike was getting into our vehicle when Gordy said he may as well drive cuz his dog was coming with. Into Gordy’s dog fur covered Blazer we crawled with Gordy smoking a cigarette and the drooling Black Lab.
I would like to say the story ended happily with each of us getting a deer that day in spite of the unique smell. Whether or not the deer could smell us I’m not sure, but we didn’t even see a deer that day. We did have a good time with Gordy and an experience neither Mike nor I will ever forget.
Be careful in the woods as deer hunting opens on the Gunflint Trail tomorrow, and keep your eyes open for signs of orange in your neighborhood.