“Go West, young man, and grow up with the country,” said Horace Greeley, author of the book Hints Towards Reforms, in 1850 when talking about the economic reforms of the time.  The theme of many literary works of the mid 1800’s centered around achieving “Manifest Destiny.”

I know Mr. Greeley was not talking about heading west to hunt the combination of Mule Deer and Whitetail bucks with a stick and string, but that is what I will be doing in early October with Minnesota Sporting Journal contributor Tayler Michels.  My plan was to wait with this blog until closer to the trip, however, I couldn’t help myself.

It is “Manifest Destiny!”

In the past, I have used the quote, “Head West, young man,” in jest when communicating my case of mountain fever.  There is something special about the rugged terrain that gets my blood boiling every fall.

I actually thought John Wayne said it in some movie before I was born.  I was wrong.  I’d repeat the quote in my best Duke voice, which is horrible by the way, and look around for some laughs.  Rarely, would I get any.

I have always wanted to be a mountain man, and have often thought maybe I was Jeremiah Johnson in a prior life.  All kidding aside, hunting the western landscapes is a real treat.  I sometimes feel guilty about yearning to hunt the Badlands or Rockies as opposed to my beloved Minnesota, however, it is good to see variety occasionally.

I have a North Dakota either-buck bow tag burning a hole in my pants.  I know the hunt will be extremely difficult, both for rugged terrain and western strategy, however I know it is possible.  Minnesota Sporting Journal contributor Joshua Baklund had success this year arrowing a dandy muley in velvet.  Bret “TBone” Amundson will be heading out there later this fall in search of the same thing.

I can’t say it is “Manifest Destiny” that I score on this trip, however the animals are there.  Some thorough scouting has pinpointed a location housing numerous “shooters” this year.  The photos I keep seeing make it hard to go to work every day.

This is what we are hoping to find. How big will he be this year?

Again, this blog is probably premature.  I will keep you posted on further plans and success from the Minnesota Sporting Journal’s westward expansion!

Coming soon, the fall issue of the Minnesota Sporting Journal will be sure to have in-depth coverage and top-notch photography from all our westward trips.

By Matt Soberg

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