The Viking Sportsmen group in Alexandria is hosting three seminars this year designed to get more people engaged in the community on topics of hunting and fishing.
The first of those came on Jan. 31 when Dean Krebs spoke on big-game hunting in the west. Minnesota Fishing Hall of Famer LeRoy Ras then gave a presentation on May 2 centered around how he goes after walleyes.
Those are some big shoes to step into, but I'll try to do that when I host a whitetail seminar on Sept. 5 in Alexandria just in time for the bow-hunting opener in Minnesota on Sept. 15. The seminar starts at 7 p.m. that Wednesday and will take place at the Bemo Building on the northeast portion of the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
My plan for that night is to share how I have changed a lot of my hunting tactics in recent years to get a lot more encounters with big bucks. I'd love it if this turned into an information sharing session where we can learn a little bit from each other.
I first sat in a deer stand with my dad when I was about 5 years old, and I have loved whitetails ever since. It wasn't until after college almost 10 years ago, though, that I became so addicted to learning everything I possibly could about them. That's when I took up bow hunting and watched how whitetails go through their natural movements.
Being in the woods so much more has been incredibly beneficial. I progressed like many hunters do—by screwing up and learning from it.
I do not own any of the land I hunt, so I cannot alter the landscape. That means no food plots are planted. I can't really modify much of anything in the woods, which means I have had to dive into figuring out how bucks move naturally.
Four years ago, I started hunting a new property that completely altered the way I think about hunting whitetails. It's good land that has the potential to hold some nice deer, but it's also difficult land to hunt due to access.
It's hill country, and the way deer use land with any topography is different than the flatter terrain I was used to hunting growing up. It's been a chess match trying to get into the right areas to encounter mature bucks without spooking them. Anyone who loves that challenge knows how rewarding it is then when things come together.
At the seminar on Sept. 5, I'll talk about how my level of aggressiveness changes throughout the year from summer scouting through late season. I'll go over hunting bedding and what other terrain features I'm looking for when it comes to stand locations. I'll discuss specific examples of what I'm seeing on maps that should relate to similar terrain features that others are hunting.
Hopefully, we can learn some things from each other to help improve our hunting.
At minimum, this is a chance to talk about whitetails with bow season less than two weeks away. That's reason enough to get me excited.
Whitetail seminar with Eric Morken
When: Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.
Where: Bemo Building on the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria