Three generations of Blackduck family gathering for this year's deer season
The area forests and fields will be filled with blaze orange Saturday morning as Minnesota's firearms deer hunting season begins and among the parties heading to their favorite stands will be the Adams family of rural Blackduck.
This year's group will be headed by the patriarch, Carl Adams Sr., and will include daughter Cherry, sons Chip, Chance and Carl Jr., and three grandchildren.
"Deer hunting is a family tradition," Carl Jr. said. "And I don't think our situation is too unusual. It's probably the norm rather than the exception in the Blackduck area."
The Adams clan has gathered for the deer hunting season since the first offspring left the nest and Saturday all but son Chad, who lives in Tuscon, Ariz., will return. Most of them do not have to travel far as they continue to reside in the Blackduck area. Chip, however, will make the road trip from the Washington, D.C. area, a journey he takes every year.
New this year will be Cherry's 10-year-old daughter Kialee. Her 13-year-old son, Wyatt, had his initiation last year while Carl Jr.'s son Logan, who just turned 13, shot his first deer, a young doe, last fall.
"Chip always makes it back for deer hunting and Chad comes every two or three years," Carl Jr. said. "Even if Chad can't make it to Blackduck the family always goes on a hunting trip together somewhere each year."
Last fall the family headed to Colorado and returned with two elk and four mule deer.
The family's love of hunting is no accident. The hours spent in the deer woods can be traced to the leader of the group.
"I probably steered the kids toward hunting," Carl Sr. said. "I hunted all my life and when they were big enough to go I took them with me.
"I made the stand large enough (to accommodate) me and a kid and I tried to put it in a place where we would see deer," Carl Sr. continued. "The biggest lesson I wanted them to learn was how to act safely. You never have a second chance with a loaded rifle."
Carl Sr. is happy to be hunting with his sons and daughter and sharing the woods with the third-generation hunters is especially satisfying.
"I think that's pretty cool," he said. "When I head out Saturday I'll be wondering how the kids will do and I'll be anxious to see what they got."
Before any of them take off for the stand, however, it is tradition for the group to gather at the kitchen table for breakfast.
"Dad will have it ready," Carl Jr. said. "The Minnesota deer season is more about coming back and getting together. It's a reunion as much as it is a hunt."
The hunters spend much of opening day in stands but as the week progresses sitting in a tree is replaced with walking slowly through the woods.
"We also like moving to different areas," Carl Jr. said. "Opening weekend the woods are crowded but during the middle of the week you can find areas without hunters. We like to work those areas and during the season we'll put in plenty of miles in areas that we've never been before."
At some time during the first 10 days of the deer hunting season the family will celebrate Thanksgiving.
"We aren't together during the Thanksgiving holiday," Carl Jr. said, "Chip usually gets here the Friday before opener and leaves on the second Sunday and as long as we are all home during the deer season, we decided that would be the best time to have our Thanksgiving.
"I look forward to having everybody together each year for the deer season," Carl Jr. continued. "Chip has been calling me for quite a while to tell me just how excited he is. The deer season has become a family affair. Getting together is as important as the hunt."