Holiday Card


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Steve Opat's 2009 Holiday Card/year in review

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Holiday Card

  1. 1. ~Western North Carolina~<br /> Seasons Greetings:<br />from my homes to yours!!<br /> From Steve-O (Opat)<br />2009 was very good to me and I am hoping you have been blessed by it as well!! It has taken me all across the United States and through some spectacular regions of natural beauty. Rather than attempt to fit it all into one card that you can hang on your refrigerator and throw away in a few weeks, I decided to put together this little PowerPoint for you. This will take you with me as I look back on the year that was…enjoy!!<br />
  2. 2. ~Yellowstone River, ND~<br />I started this show at the end of last year, 2008. This was a winter camping trip with me and my hunting sidekick Matt Wetterling. We stayed warm in our canvas tent with the woodstove blaring at all times. We even scrounged up some coal from the local power plant to give the stove a little extra kick. Night time temps would drop to minus 25 and as the blizzard passed we experienced minus 50 wind-chills… <br />Featuring :<br />Matt “the HUMAN HAND GRENADE” Wetterling.<br />….But we hunted and played right through every bit of it and were successful in filling our doe tags. More importantly we had a trip that we will never forget. This was the first installment of what we call “El Deer Camp” in western North Dakota. <br />
  3. 3. ~Eastern North Dakota~<br />*not pictured:* <br />Wayne Miller<br />Brent Miller<br />Nate Miller<br />‘Steve-O’<br />‘Bailey’<br />‘Riley’<br />My favorite past time: Pheasant Hunting with the guys and the dogs… <br />I’m next to my friend Ashley’s dog Riley. It’s a mutt pound puppy but man can she hunt! Brent and Nate are with trusty old Bailey. As a crew, we are lights-out and there’s nobody better to choose to hunt with than them!! This was a late season hunt on some land in eastern North Dakota. Its never about success with this crew, its always about the dogs, the hunt, and most importantly the camaraderie!<br />
  4. 4. The first week of January had me traveling to Western North Carolina to take my first ever Travel Nursing Assignment. I started off rather lonesome, not knowing anybody down there. It ended up being an extremely fun 7 months that introduced me to friends and work experiences that I will NEVER FORGET!!<br />~North<br /> Carolina~<br />
  5. 5. ~The Appalachians~ are pretty spectacular. I did tons of hiking while living in Asheville. I hiked Mount Mitchell a few times. The most rewarding hike was a 25 mile overnight trip on what they call “the most rugged trail in the East.” The trek took me atop the 6 tallest peaks east of the Mississippi. I took Kat’s dog “Marley” with me for company. As much as I did it just for fun, I also utilized the excursion as a way to train for my fall plans to go elk hunting in the Rocky Mtns. <br />‘Marley’<br />
  6. 6. Appalachian Mornings….<br />~Western North Carolina~<br />
  7. 7. ~Red Wing, MN~<br />Midway through my time in Asheville, I made the trip home to spend a couple weeks with my family. We had been growing closer and closer since Kristin and Travis’ wedding and even more since the arrival of Miss Kylie. I had really started to miss them as I was 1200 miles away…<br />
  8. 8. Turkey hunting and trout fishing with my brother, prairie fires and helping dad with the brush fires…<br />MIKEOPAT<br />…All things I thought I would have to miss this year but got done while I was home!!<br />‘dad’<br />~South Eastern Minnesota~<br />
  9. 9. That little girls loves to fly with Uncle Stevie!!!<br />One last stop to play with monkey before I headed back to North Carolina…<br />monkey<br />Me and the WiiMii that my brother created.<br />~Kristin’s house, Red Wing, MN.~ <br />
  10. 10. The T.W.N. girls (the girl college friends) at Tiff’s wedding…<br />engaged<br />Labby’s!! My favorite bar. Did you know they have fishbowls??<br />Free beer and Margaritas at Tiff’s wedding…<br />Tiff: Bride<br />Brent Miller,<br />Tyler Johnson<br />Steve Opat…<br />We college buds haven’t missed a Minnesota Twins home-opener in 4 seasons!!<br />Last Home Opener in the Metrodome.<br />
  11. 11. Happy Easter! From the Opat family…<br />
  12. 12. One day Dad decided Kylie needed a swing…and my imagination took off!!<br />GERBIE<br />~Chatfield, MN.~<br />
  13. 13. Three years ago we started a tradition of going to Lake Michigan for salmon fishing. The excuse we used to go this year was Tyler’s Bachelor party. The trip also included brewery tours, hanging with the locals at the bowling alley, and a TWINS game (and all that entails)!!!<br />The Groom: <br /> Tyler Johnson<br />Groomsman: Ushers: Groomsman: Best Man:<br /> Joe Marcella Steve Opat Nate Miller Brent Miller Zach Johnson<br />~Lake Michigan~<br />Marey Carey: S.L’s, B.F.T’s, T.A. and 4C.F.<br />
  14. 14. LUKE CRUZE: NoDak Whitetail<br />Blake Riewer:<br />S.Dakota Antelope<br />Matt Wetterling: WYO Antleope<br />S.Dakota Antelope<br />My NODAK MULE DEER<br />El Deer Camp 2009<br />…The professor of paunch….<br />NoDak Doe. 3rd animal with new bow.<br />Taylor Cavanaugh: Pope & Young NoDak Mule Deer.<br />
  15. 15. After a week of antelope hunting in S.Dakota with the crew and a few days at El Deer camp in western N.Dakota, Matt Wetterling and I headed out for the hunt of a lifetime. Elk were the target in Idaho and Montana. We passed several opportunities at cows because the sound of a bugling bull really had our blood boiling. I can’t complain about not tagging an elk because, as you will see, the views and the experiences were priceless…<br /> Continental Divide Trail: <br /> Overlooking Idaho and Eagle mountain<br />
  16. 16. We came across a camp way up in the mountains along this lake. The campers let us take a couple casts which is how I landed this gorgeous Cutthroat Trout. They also took a couple pictures for us…<br />~Montana~<br />Matt Wetterling Steve Opat<br />
  17. 17. Matt and I spent 4 weeks sifting through lodgepole pine forests in search of Elk. I am still fascinated by these trees and how tall and straight they grow…<br />~Idaho/Montana~<br />
  18. 18. We only did this once!! But on a rainy & dreary day, this wayside rest-stop made a great camp!!! Hot water, warm hand dryers to dry our clothes, a table (baby changing station)…it was a little bit of heaven on that particular day!!<br />Natural hot springs fill this pool in Jackson, MT. It was a great place to eat, rest, get cleaned up, and forget the frustrations of elk hunting!!<br />
  19. 19. This storm heading over the ridge is one of my favorite snap-shots. That crest is the continental divide and the border between Idaho and Montana. With tags in both states, we spent plenty of time working along the divide in hopes of finding bugling bulls. <br />We are smiling because we just made $40 helping strangers change 2 flat tires on their truck!!<br />Western Montana<br />
  20. 20. 1st annual Bemidji MN trapping trip with Tyler Carrigan. “Quality not Quantity” was this years unplanned theme…<br /> Tyler and I have trapped on a small scale together since we were in school and scouts together as we were growing up in Chatfield. Its something I’ve always loved and finally set aside more time for!<br />Tyler Carrigan:<br /> ~Newlywed.<br />North-Central Minnesota<br />
  21. 21. InnovishealthCo-Workers. Fargo, ND<br />Halloween Partier Extraordinaires…<br />FARGO<br />Ha l l owe e n<br />Only on Halloween is it okay to go into a liquor store wearing Mexican wrestling masks and a trench coat. These guys were nice enough to pose for this shot. Cracks me up every time!!<br />
  22. 22. Through connections I made while deer hunting at El Deer Camp, I was invited to the Ozark region of Missouri for some whitetail hunting. It was an absolute blast!! I ended up shooting a buck on my last morning. It was NOT as big as I was hoping for and I admit there was ground-shrinkage involved. I am, however , very proud of this doe that I took with a traditional archery longbow. A true trophy for me!! Thanks to the Pearsons<br />and Mr. Rollins for the Invite!!<br /> Fried Taters Every Night!! And on this night we had 16oz. Porterhouse steaks cooked over the fire. And NEVER a shortage of beer or bullshit!!!!<br />Missouri Bowkills: 2009<br />
  23. 23. By this time in the year I had hunted all but about two weeks since early August. I knew I would be spending my winter in Tucson, AZ on my next travel nursing contract. There was still plenty I wanted to accomplish in what was my year to do it all!! In late November I headed out for my last installment of El Deer Camp. (if you can’t tell by now, its my favorite place to camp and hunt.) <br /> El Dean and Sandy Flynn are amazing hosts and always take good care of me and the crew. The goal for this trip: Relax and have fun. I wanted to shoot a nice Montana muley as soon as I could so I could kick back the rest of the trip. Also, my brother was coming out for the weekend. It was his first time out there and I wanted to treat him to a good time. I tagged a great buck the first morning and spent the rest of the trip scouting deerand cooking for my brother, <br />splitting wood for camp, and trapping critters!! <br /> …I accomplished all I set out to do and cant wait for next year!!<br />Western North Dakota Sunset<br />
  24. 24. The“BADLANDS”<br />North Dakota/Montana<br />Montana Mule Deer 2009<br />
  25. 25. Kylie loved to play this “hand Monster” game!!!<br />MuncleStuncle<br />Monkey<br />Dusheck Family Christmas: We had all but one cousin there and it was so nice to see everybody again. It had been too long…<br />Matchbox cars!<br />Betty: If I could figure out how to crop in angel wings, she would get them. My grandma passed away before I was born and Betty took it upon herself to adopt all the Dusheck cousins as her own. She is an amazing woman. A Saint.<br />
  26. 26. Merry Christmas from the Dushecks…<br />
  27. 27. One last hunt…<br />“The more people I meet… …the more I’ll miss that dog!!”<br />Gerbievan Mason Creek~Nov. 4th 1996- Nov. 18th 2009<br />Best Friends<br />…One last Hug<br />
  28. 28. Happy Holidays!!<br /> Hope you have enjoyed viewing this as much as I enjoyed compiling it. Thank you for being a part of my year!!<br />Keep in touch and may 2010 be a good year for you!<br />Love, <br /> Steve-O<br />My Land. Chatfield, MN<br />