Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

Can it really be two weeks until deer season? Where did the fall go?
It seems like just yesterday we were in line for nearly three hours to get into the Hay Days swap meet.
Evan, Nella and I had driven down Thursday night and got up early to get in line. We were one mile away at 6:20 a.m. and there we sat. Both lanes of the country highway were filled with trucks and trailers, buses and campers, all with something to sell.
We had a 20 year-old snowmobile to sell along with a host of other items from clothing to snow tires.
Glenn Anderson and Mike Rhein from the Babbitt Snowmobile and ATV Club were there volunteering, getting swappers into spots for the weekend.
Our spot was a good one, close but not too close to the porta potties and near a gate so people saw us first when they came in.
Here’s a secret about the Hay Days swap meet: You want to be a swapper so you can find the best deals on Friday before the public comes in on Saturday and Sunday.
The snowmobile we hauled down was sold by noon on Friday. Turns out we could’ve sold about 10 of them. People were looking for good used sleds and they were ready to buy.
Our first purchase was a pop up shelter to get us out of the blistering sun. I walked three to four rows to find one.
That’s the thing about Hay Days, there’s just about anything you can imagine for sale in the swap meet.
Plus there’s the major manufacturers with huge areas showing off their latest products, plenty of dealers to buy clothing, helmets and other stuff.
We always make sure to pick up an official Hay Days shirt and over the years we’ve bought quite a few.
The weather was great and the turnout was fantastic. The line to get in Saturday morning was impressive. People were ready to return to Hay Days.
After that weekend it was an all out sprint to pull off the ATV Minnesota Ride and Rally event. Prospector was the host this year and we tore the roof off.
Friday’s VIP Ride was a big hit with agency folks and politicians followed by having the ATV Big Air Tour set up in downtown Babbitt.
This was a dream to have X Games riders come here and put on a show. We waited an extra year thanks to Covid but it was worth it. Derek and his crew put on a fantastic performance that entertained fans young and old.
On Saturday we had guided rides going in every direction and starting in multiple locations. Lunches were served in restaurants and sand pits. The riders loved it.
We got everyone together at the Miner’s Dry building for a big banquet Saturday night. There was beef and pork smoked on a massive grill, giveaways, an auction and just a great way to wrap everything up.
Events like Hay Days or Ride and Rally take a ton of volunteers but they can really provide a great experience for people.
Now it’s time to focus on getting Camp Cholesterol ready for the 2021 firearms deer season!