By Cole Karsky | November 25, 2022
As an adult, you get very few experiences where you truly get to feel like a kid again. For me, I was lucky enough to have that experience with hunting. I grew up in a family who loved to be on the water fishing, and hunting was just something I never had the chance to do growing up. It always interested me, and I can remember many Sunday mornings watching hunting shows on TV and taking it all in.
My First Bird | Grouse Hunting
When I was in college, I was invited to go grouse hunting with a friend, he said that he had an extra shotgun I could borrow. At that point, I never even had my hunter’s safety. So, in a modern world, I hopped online and enrolled in a class. I was able to complete that course online and find a range day the very next weekend to complete my in-person portion of the class. That next Sunday, I was ready to hit the trails. I knew nothing about grouse hunting, and I couldn’t have cared less about that fact. I was just so excited to get my first experience in the woods hunting game. My buddy explained to me the sound grouse made when they took off. I thought he was pulling my leg that the thump of those wings would make me jump. To this day, after countless times encountering birds, I get that jittery jumpy feeling with every flush.
We parked at the trail head and set off down the trail. We get to the first bend in the trail, maybe 100 yards away from the truck, and that first flush sent my heart racing. I didn’t even react to raise the gun, that thumping truly did startle me. Immediately there is the blast of the gun from my buddy, and he goes off the trail a few feet and picks up the camouflaged grouse he had shot. What an exhilarating experience. Looking back, I didn’t realize at the time, how lucky I was to have the first action of a bird encounter happen so fast. I was able to learn what to expect from a flushing grouse and prepare myself for the next encounter. When it was my turn to be ready to take the shot.
We walked down the trail quite a while before we came around a corner and up in the distance, out of gun range, we see a grouse in the middle of the trail. We slowly start to sneak up on it and it flushes just at the edge of shooting range. I watch it soar off into the woods and got a general idea of where it came down. I start off in that direction approaching the sport where I thought the bird would be, and it flushed straight away from me. Instincts then kicked in, instincts I never knew I even had. I raised my shotgun, flicked off the thumb safety, shouldered it, and fired. The grouse drops from the sky. My first bird. My first animal I have harvested while hunting. I took a picture with that bird and smiled just like I shot a Boone and Crockett buck. I was so proud of that moment, and that one experience set into motion a newfound passion for hunting that I have been growing the rest of my adult life.
Try More Styles of Hunting
Since that first grouse, I have wanted to try as many styles of hunting as I could. The one that has really stuck with me is archery hunting for deer. I had a friend of mine who I had grown up with, invited me to try archery hunting with him. I purchased my bow, a bow that I still use to this day, and practiced hard all summer long. My buddy invited me to hunt with him on his father in law’s land in Northern Wisconsin. What is tough about this part of the state, is the deer density is low and it is buck only. We settled on trying archery hunting for a couple reasons. Much of this land was some thicker woods where having a firearm isn’t as beneficial as it is in other areas. Secondly, this would be an out of state tag for me being from Minnesota. This land was only around 90 minutes form my home, so it would be easy to make multiple trips throughout the season. We met up a few times that summer scouting the land, hanging stands, setting up ground blinds, and trimming shooting lanes. We set trail cameras up and I was always anxious to receive that text with the updated pictures of deer. Buck or doe, I was just ecstatic that we were getting action on those cameras. I sat long and hunted hard that first season. I never did see a buck to even prepare to get a shot. I did see some does and even though I knew I couldn’t shoot them; my heart was racing the entire time they were in sight. It was exhilarating. Those were moments when I knew I had found a new passion.
Invest into Quality Hunting Gear
With sitting deep into the season, I realized I needed to invest into quality gear to make this passion more enjoyable. TideWe has been an amazing find for me. They offer very high-quality gear at an affordable price. Perfect for someone who is just getting into the sport, or even for a person who has been doing it their whole life. I started using their heated clothing to combat those cold, late season bow hunting sits in the snowy woods of Northern Wisconsin and have since found other accessories that make the whole hunting experience a positive one for me. A trio of those accessories are the See-Through Ground Blind, the Hunting Chair, and the Solar Powered Trail Cameras.
Setting up a spot to intercept the movement of the deer is a giant puzzle and these pieces help me solve that. The trail camera allows me to track the movement of the game to help pinpoint the spot I want to set my blind up in. The high-quality pictures allow me to get a very clean image of all the wildlife that walk-in front of it. The built-in solar battery is a huge bonus as well because I can leave that camera unattended for long periods of time and know that I will still be capturing images. The see-through blind allows me to have a full view of everything that is happening around me yet keeping me and my movements concealed. The blind chair is not only comfortable, but it is silent. I am able to swivel the chair and turn my body and adjust for a shot without the deer hearing me.
I still have very much to learn in the world of hunting, and many more species and styles I would like to do. One thing I do know for a fact, is if you have quality gear, you will have a quality experience. To put the time in to be successful, you need to be warm, dry, and comfortable. If you are just getting into the sport, or have been at it your whole life, look to TideWe to help make the hunt a positive experience for you and anyone you introduce to the sport. They might just help the next hunter spark a lifelong passion.