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No deer, but fun at camp anyway

The time has come and gone once again. Deer hunting: one of my favorite times of the year. All the colors, fresh air and wildlife never cease to amaze me.

This year was a bit different than usual though. The first weekend I was unable to go hunting. On Saturday, I had district interviews for the Rotary Exchange program in Duluth. (I applied to be a foreign exchange student.) It obviously irked me slightly that they would schedule the interviews on that day. I mean really, we live in Minnesota!

To make it even better, I was sick. I didn't get the chance to go up to deer camp and hunt on Sunday after the interviews. I was coughing, hacking and had a fever of 104. There was no way I was going hunting. My brother shot a deer on Sunday morning, which made me extremely happy for him. More deer meat for me.

The second weekend, I made the trip up to Rainbow Resort on Friday after school to go to deer camp. We were missing two people. Dahlen and Zach were unable to come, making it very odd.

I drove up with my friend Montana; we had a great time. We were a bit worried about missing the highway 35 turnoff, and about 10 seconds after we passed the turnoff, we noted that we should start looking for it. You know, we didn't want to miss it.

It's strange. Everything past the turnoff looked so familiar even though both of us had never seen any of it. We finally realized that we missed it and started to look at the map. After Montana got us out of the surprisingly steep ditch, we headed back toward where we were supposed to be.

Once we arrived, we had a great time. Montana and I got there before everybody else so we had the cabin to ourselves. Of course we played Buck Fever Challenge (only the best and stupidest game on the planet). The usual cribbage game, sauna, delicious food and goofiness took place when everybody else arrived. We stayed up until midnight playing games, and I would just like everybody to know that I won the cribbage game.

The next day we went out into the woods expecting that we weren't going to see barely any deer. Turns out seeing barely any deer was a big understatement. Absolutely nothing. Maybe some squirrels here and there and boy, is it hard not to shoot the living daylights out of them. As you can tell, they are extremely annoying.

We stayed out the rest of the day expecting that nothing would come along. We all got together for about an hour and ate lunch by our cars. Just sitting there with everybody was great. After awhile, everybody except my dad and I decided to go back to the cabin. My dad and I went back out to hunt.

I spent most of my time out on Dylan's old stand contemplating whether or not I should blow the brains out of some squirrels. I could have brought it home to the rest of them. You know, that was our plan all along -- just shoot tons of bunnies and squirrels and tell everybody we shot as many "deer" as we were permitted.

Turns out, I didn't even need to bring home a squirrel. One was already conveniently placed on the deck of our cabin thanks to Jay. He found it on the side of the road and decided to bring it back. I was overwhelmed with joy. I mean, come on! It's a dead squirrel!

Since there was no chance of us going hunting the next day, we stayed up late again playing games. Scott was remarkably proud of me. You see, I'm super talented and can play dominos while I'm asleep. I didn't even realize I was playing -- I don't seem to recall this happening.

I learned something this weekend. Hunting isn't just about shooting that four million point buck. It's about being in the outdoors; getting some fresh air. It's about being with your friends and family and having an absolutely fantastic time. Getting that four million point buck is just an added bonus.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a sophomore at Detroit Lakes High School.