2017 Journal #5: I'm Moving! (And How it Will Affect my Hunting)

By Alex Comstock

The last couple of weeks have been quite the whirlwind. I recently accepted a new job, which will move me back to Northeastern Minnesota, and I'll be living in the same area that I grew up. Yeah, things happen quick. I never saw this coming so soon, but it will be a great opportunity. I'm excited for this new venture in my life, and couldn't be more thankful.  

This is going to drastically affect my deer hunting in a number of ways. First of all, obviously my North Dakota hunting is going to change quite a bit. I'm not going to be done hunting North Dakota (not sure I ever will be), I'll just be traveling out here as much as I can during the season. It'll only be a four hour drive for me from where I'll be living in Minnesota, so if the weather is right, I can even slip out to North Dakota for a weekend if need be. 

North Dakota

Before I move though, I've got a few hunts lined up to hopefully fill my tag before leaving. This weekend, I'll be moving some stuff back to Minnesota, and then before starting my new job, and moving permanently on the 15th, I'll have three days to get it done. Between Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday (days I'll be able to hunt next week), I think I have a decent chance of getting it done. The logic behind my reasoning is that there is going to be a big cold front moving through on Monday, which will see temps drop from near 70 on Saturday, to a high in the 40's on Monday. The last cold front of this caliber got Kobe on his feet in daylight, and I'm hoping this one will do the same. 

The last major cold front got Kobe up on his feet with plenty of daylight left.

The last major cold front got Kobe up on his feet with plenty of daylight left.

With the thousands of pictures I have of Kobe, I'm confident I can get him within bow range before it's all said and done. 

With the thousands of pictures I have of Kobe, I'm confident I can get him within bow range before it's all said and done. 

I'm going to be fairly aggressive next week in my pursuit of Kobe. If I do bust him, odds are I won't be back to hunt until at least the last week of October. With that said, if I don't tag out next week, I'm going to try and get back to North Dakota and hunt a number of times. My goal would be a couple of weekends during the rut, and then if that doesn't pan out, I'll make a trip or two to hunt the late season. Things are happening fast, but I'm still confident that I can get it done. 

Minnesota

With all of that said, there's going to be new hunting opportunities for me in Minnesota. What I do have going in my favor is that I'm moving back to where I grew up. It's where I learned to hunt, and I won't be going in completely blind. What's unique about northern Minnesota is that I'll be hunting two very different types of area there. 

Where I'll be living, there's a city hunt which I'm a part of. I started hunting this city hunt in high school, and have continued to stay a part of it each year after moving away in case I ever moved back. So I'm now happy that I made that decision. I've spent a few days hunting in the city here and there over the last few years, but nothing extensive. It's a night and day difference from any other hunting I do. I'll be hunting close to houses, schools, etc. and it's just much different than anything else. The last year (2013) I spent a lot of time hunting the city, I was able to put down still my biggest buck to date, so there's hope I can replicate that. 

In 2013 (the last time I spent extensive time hunting the city hunt), I was able to shoot this buck in December.

In 2013 (the last time I spent extensive time hunting the city hunt), I was able to shoot this buck in December.

The other aspect of hunting I'll be giving a shot at is true northern big woods public land hunting. I'm talking chunks of public land that are thousands of acres, and dense forests that stretch for miles upon miles. The challenge here is going to be steep. There's no doubt about that. My goal this year is to locate a few pieces of public land, figure out how much hunting pressure they have, and see if I can find any good bucks. I'd assume most of the information I learn this year pertaining to my big woods hunting will be used for next year more so than this season. 

One thing that I'm going to note is the Minnesota gun season. It runs for two weeks in early November, during the prime time of the rut, and unlike North Dakota, everything gets hit HARD. With that said, I doubt I'll be spending much time hunting the big woods in November. The nice thing about having the city hunt, is that it's bowhunting only, so I won't have to worry about gun hunting pressure there. 

Conclusion

Overall, this is quickly turning into quite an interesting season for me. I didn't plan for this, and I'm going to be forced to adapt on the fly, but at the end of the day, it's going to be fun. I'm going to miss the quality of hunting, and lack of pressure in North Dakota, but I will always have an area to hunt out of state now. When it comes to Minnesota, there's a lot of potential, but it's going to be much different. I'll be sure to keep you updated through the journal and hopefully I can still fill a few tags this year.