Among other things, The Farm isa deer camp. Steeped in rich tradition, the decendents of Olai and Juel Olson still hunt the land that Elmer and his brothers first set foot on in the early 1900's. The Farm perpetuates the heritage of deer hunting within the family. Once a necessity, hunting is now recreational. I am fortunate to remember many deer hunting memories over the past 60 years. In those early years, you "walked and stalked"; there were no deer stands and you would meet at the "CC Road" for lunch and trade stories of the day. Kenny, Allen, Paul Bentele, Jack Clemons, Mike Rosol, my dad and my older brother, Denny, would all be there. Grandpa Elmer, in his late 70's, was no longer going in the woods. But the spirit of the hunt still moved him as he propped his old Ensign rifle over the half-open barn door and "hunted" the pasture while the others were in the woods. I recall one morning when he watched a deer walk through this pasture the barn overlooked. It was a long shot and he didn't want to wound the deer, so he waited for my uncle Kenny to return. My Grandfather pointed out the likely trail the deer took and Kenny followed that trail. Kenny and his brother, Allen, were skilled trackers and hunters and they demonstrated that year after year. It wasn't long before Kenny returned to The Farm dragging the deer behind him. He had snuck up on it and shot it in its bed.
My mom, Myrna, was never a hunter, and she married "Don", a neighbor from Togo. Don embraced the warm family spirit of the Olsons and hunting soon became one of his passions. He passed that enthusiasm on to his four sons and a deer camp was born. The camp and that spirit lives on today as new generations of hunters enter the fold.
This camp has developed its own traditions and highlights. In 2007, "The Farm Deer Camp" hostedGovernor Tim Pawlenty and crew. In 2013, Doug Smith, Outdoor writer for the Minneapolis Tribune, spent Opening Day with us and wrote a feature article on the camp for the paper. See: http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/231947601.html
Each year we alternate hosting dinners with Marc Sterle, Jan Rizzio, and John and Kevin McHale and their camp members. We also share a traveling trophy with them, given annually to the camp member that harvests the "biggest buck" for the season. Within our own camp we have "The Denny", which annually goes to the camp member who shoots the biggest deer. ("The Denny" was named in memory of the utimate deer camp member, my brother Denny, who left us in 2005). On Saturday evenings of the last weekend of season, we alternate dinners with my uncle Rodney Persson and his sons and crew.
Yes, there are deer stories--plenty of them. All deer camps have them. The pictures, below, document some of these memorable times and will save the reader from the endless stories. Those stories are best told at camp, amongst the hunters and over one's favorite beverage. Stop by during the season for a visit. In the meantime, please enjoy the photos, below.
Key: Don -- camp patriarch (married Elmer's youngest daughter, Myrna); Don's sons: Denny (died 2005), Darrold, Dale, Dave; Grandsons: Dustin and Taylor. Other Camp members: Orlyn, Adoph's (Elmer's brother) son, Orlyn's son, Jon, and Orlyn's grandson, Cole; Dave Simonson ("Simo") (friend), Ryan Johnson (Darrold's nephew) and Ben Winter (Shana's husband).
Written by Darrold Persson (Updated December 2015)
1 - 20 of 49 Records
Don shot both this nice buck and the doe
it was running with in 1958.
My favorite deer story involved
this young buck, my brother, Denny,
a ball pean hammer and a wild "ride" (1976)
Charity, Denny's daughter sits atop a load of deer (1977)
Dave clowning with Dale in a mask (1981)
Darrold with Dustin and Amber (1983)
Back left, Denny, Dale Front left, Don, Dave, Darrold (1985)
Darrold with Amber and Shana (1986)
Don (with Ol' Grey Nose) and Dave (1987)
Don, Dustin and Darrold (1990)
Don, Dave and Darrold (1994)
Denny and Don (1996)
Denny and Don (1997)
Back: Dale, Denny, Dustin and Dave Front: Randy, Darrold and Don (1997)
Debi's son, Matt, Don and Darrold (2001)
Denny and Darrold (1998)
Bearville Boys: Kevin McHale, Marc Sterle and Paul McHale (2001)