Lake Iwanttobethere

You may live in Gods country, but his cabin is at Lake Iwanttobethere

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Snowbanks

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 14, 2017 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

21 IN THE Boat here at Hidden Bay but 30 in the green house. I have added a sensor out there to keep track this winter. When it gets warm in there I can move that heated free air into my cabin but it has been weeks since the sun has shined enough to make it worth turning on the blowers. Lake Iwanttobethere gives us long falls, early springs and decent summers. However in the winter she can be nasty. Yesterday we had a few flakes of snow and by noon we had six inches of snow, by two in the afternoon when I needed to go to town we had nine inches of med heavy snow on the ground which is to much for the wife and her bad shoulder to move. A call was made to my son Dug who showed up with gas and a spark plug, He was prepared to take out the snow blower bought last year because he knew his ma had not winterized it.

 

I got at call a little while later that the new blower works a lot better then the old twenty-two year old one that we had replaced. He also asked me if I had the morning paper which I told him now that I think of it Duncan had not brought it in this morning. Dug then told me that he found it in the snow and the new blower does a fine job of making confetti out of rolled up newspapers. Told the wife who just shook her head and I just said it is no big deal, it is mulch now. Snow is just what we need, town is white and we have snow banks. Hill in front of the Lodge now has enough snow for the Ice House Fling and we are still making ice. As we drove by the ski hill the snow cannons were not running and I think Mike is finally getting some sleep.

 

Lake Iwanttobethere does not have a transit system, heck we don't even have a single bus but we do have Old McDonnell and his hay wagon. Two weeks before Christmas Old McDonnell will bring his hay wagon into town and for a donation he will let you ride as he goes from one end of Main Street to the other from four till eight PM. You can tell those who have taken advantage of the wagon by the straw sticking in their clothes when they are shopping in the stores or drinking cocoa in the dinners.

 

We are done Christmas shopping, I think. The tree has a lot of packages under it and the wife will never stop buying stocking stuffers but I don't tend to count them because some of them will be mine. I have been hinting maybe she should visit Marv at the Smoke Shop as I have talked with Marv about a few stocking stuffers in there that I would like it try. Came into the Lodge today to do some mail and to pick my name for the Lodge gift exchange, I got Big Earl's son Junior, I don't have a clue what to get him. That is what it makes it so fun, you get to learn about a Lodge member here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Shopping

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 11, 2017 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

WE ARE MAKING ice here on Hidden Bay at Lake Iwanttobethere. A week ago we had a thunderstorm and it was in the low forties, we are done I think with temptures like that for awhile. Been busy Christmas shopping most of the week, with four kids a couple of son in laws and eight grand kids I forgot how many presents needed to be bought and then having to find the right presents for the right kid. Add on neighbors and friends and Lodge buddies, I have lost count. Good thing the wife is taking care of her side of the family. I am also on a first name basis with Niel the UPS guy now as I have been ordering some stuff online. I will admit I am a cheapskate for eleven months out of the year but come December The wallet gets open up and aired out.

 

With the weather dipping into the low teens at night and barely making it to the low twenties during the day and no sunshine to speak of ice is forming on the big lake. The other afternoon Hammering Hank and Skinny fired the test log down the hill and out onto the ice. It broke through about twenty yards out but the next day it made it almost fifty. Not thick enough for shanties yet but if we keep this weather Christmas may be possible launch date for the Ice House Fling.

 

The market out on the highway is just about out of trees which is good and bad, Good that he will have sold all of his trees and bad that he could have sold more. Lots of people from the big city buying as the prices there are almost double of what the market is charging. We were all at the Resort the other night and trees were brought up we do have a lot of room here and we just may do some clear cutting and put in a tree farm. We may not be able to reap the rewards but it will add value to the place.

 

We also have been getting a little snow now every night, not much in town but there is over a foot on the ground at the Resort. The snowshoes hares are a little more relaxed now that they don't stick out so bad. All the eating places are offering free coffee and cocoa in town, not many empty seats to be seen through the painted Christmas scene windows that my daughter has been doing the past few weeks. Mike has been running his snow cannons at the ski hill and has a few runs open for the snoowboarders and the rabbit hill for the young kids. The runs are open after school for a few hours for them.

General Store is busy, toyland and toolland always have someone poking around in boxes looking for something special for someone special. Big Earl is really almost out of lights and mouse traps. I mean really out nothing hiding in the warehouse. Snow shovels are moving along with ice melt and I saw the school bus has the plow on, I guess even the school board has given in that winter is here. Can you believe we are down to counting days instead of weeks here to Christmas at Lake Iwanttobethere

 

Blue sky, a good tailwind and a safe trip Colonel Powell, we will miss you and your stories at the Lodge. I will look for you in the clouds when I am fishing..

Colonel Powell was a retired United States air force Colonel that I was friends with for the past twenties years. He spent a lot of time up here and we spent time in a boat together chasing bass but also trading stories, he was a good story teller and I always tried to be a good listener. I hate losing fishing buddies but it seems to be happening a lot. He was 1021 months young.

an award

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 10, 2017 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (1)



Look what I got!


The International Association of Professional Fishermen in Sweden announcement on December 8, 2017 has named â Bobby Bass of the United States of America the prestigious RODFATHER Award. This allows Bobby to be the go to person worldwide for recommendations on all species of fish. Congrats to Bobby Bass. He commented hiya and said also â free Hamms at the Lodge

Deer Rich

Posted by Bobby Bass on December 2, 2017 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (1)

THIRTY ABOVE HERE on Hidden Bay well after the sun has set. Looks like winter here is going to be another strange one. I have gone from being venison poor to venison rich. Earlier in the week my neighbor Chuck was coming home from the Lodge and came up on sheriff Tim parked along the road with his lights flashing. As Chuck got out of his truck he heard a gun shot. Tim had just dispatched a young deer that had been clipped by a car or truck that had left the scene. Tim asked Chuck if he wanted the deer and Chuck of course said yes. The deer came home and Chuck hunged it in his garage. Next morning he came over and asked if I wanted to split it so the day after he quarter it and brought it over to the cabin. The wife and Chuck did the butchering and I have a meat slicer so they cut steaks and chops and a couple of modest roasts. I sat at the table and debone for jerky and a box of scrap to go to Pa's to make sausage. Also I kept some for stew meat. Normally we would just have Pa do the whole thing but it was not that big of a deer.

 

I gave my backstrap from my buck to Pa and I guess what goes around does come around as Chuck told me to keep the backstrap from the doe. I agreed but only if he comes over tomorrow and the wife cooks it up for us for lunch at half time of the football game, he has agreed. Been busy this week but I can't remember what I have been doing. Have most of my Christmas shopping done. The wife said she is not done but I don't remember or she will not tell me how she did on good Friday. The weather has been in the low forties all week which means no snow making at the ski hill and Lake Iwanttobethere is not making any ice. The Ice House fling is a sure thing that it will not be held on the second Saturday of December. We are hoping we will be able to do it before the end of the year though.

 

With the warm weather Big Earl has been having a run on Christmas lights, which is good as shovels and snow throwers are not moving at all. Lodge has been busy during the day, no one is plowing snow that we don't have and roofers are of course not roofing. Only one who is busy is the tree farmer out on the highway and he is running low already. Grouse hunters are getting birds as they have formed coveys again and the poor snowshoe hares are having a hard go. Being all white in a snow less woods makes them easy targets for those who are out hunting them. The winter trap league is already half over and guys are asking formaybe a second session if the weather holds out.

 

Last month I forgot to mention a few things that happen around the lake. On the twelfth the lake celebrated its twelfth year of being written about. I was reminded by an e-mail. Also I celebrated my 773rd monthly birthday. Which was originally a tongue in cheek comment about parents celebrating their kids eighteen monthly birthdays. I started to do it and now it is somewhat important to me as every month I celebrate means another month that I am still on the green side of the ground. Also Thanksgiving is my anniversary that I found out I had cancer, two years now and I am still fighting and my glass is still half full not half empty. I want to thank all of you hard core readers that are still reading my ramblings and keeping up with us here at the Lake. In the mouse war here at the cabin the cats have but one but the snap traps have six. I hope we are winning here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Turkey Day

Posted by Bobby Bass on November 27, 2017 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

THIRTY-EIGHT IN THE Puddle Humper under wraps here on Hidden Bay. Thanksgiving at the Lodge went over big and I over did it and paid for it on Black Friday by just lying on the couch and sleeping most of the day away. I arrived around eleven and the FELLOWS were out in the parking lot with their tail gating canopy deep frying turkeys. Skinny had the Lodges big grill under there to and Pa had dropped off three big burlap bags of late season sweet corn. I think he got them from his nephew who lives in Iowa and had come up for a visit. The BBQ corn will be a nice addition to the meal till they are gone. Football game was on at eleven-thirty, a good game and those who sat by the big screen TV did not give up their tables till the game was over. Food came out at half time and the cherry wood bar was cleared and turned into a long buffet table. Roasted turkey, deep fried turkey, Ham with all the fixings. The FELLOWS round table was a dessert table covered in pies and cakes, cookies and bars.

 

Another rush after the game was over and yet another around six or so. The dessert table never really ran out as people came with their best cookies and bars and pies and put them on the table for others to enjoy. By seven we were done and all the staff came out and enjoyed their turkey dinner, DOC came in from the kitchen where he had spent most of the day doing the carving and the FELLOWS put the deep fryers away and sat and ate. We sent everyone home with treats and leftovers but not till I got my second piece of Denise's banana cream pie, almost as good as the wife's apple pie but I would never tell her that under the fear she would stop making my apple pies.

 

Wife and both daughters went to the big city for Black Friday and actually came home early. Being small town gals they don't have the patience to be standing in a line just to get into a store. Don't get me wrong the wife still had to make a few trips to the Tahoe to bring in bags. Duncan even helped coming through the deck door backwards dragging a bag in his mouth. I offered to help him and he growled at me. Like I say he is the wife's dog and I am sure she is learning to speak lab and told Duncan not to let me see what was in the bag. After the bag was hauled to the bedroom Duncan came to me and put his paw on my lap and since I speak lab I knew he was telling me it was nothing personal, and we are still buds.

 

On the home front my youngest daughter came home with an early Christmas present. I was talking to the wife about a family present to replace our sixteen year old TV in the living room with something that we can plug our firestick into since we dropped cable again after they wanted to raise our rates forty-five bucks a month. We are back on the antenna and streaming. I was putting bread in the oven and the daughter came in the kitchen with a fifty-five inch TV that she decided to just go out and buy on her own. My mouth dropped as I was not expecting her to do that as I thought we had all agreed that we would all pitch in. What can I say I have one very special daughter. I have more to catch up on but my hands hurt and there is a hockey game coming on and I want to watch it on my new present here at Lake Iwanttobethere.

1 to 1

Posted by Bobby Bass on November 22, 2017 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

21 IN THE boat here on Hidden Bay, have already been to town and back with the wife. At the cabin the score is Cats 1 Humans 1 as we have a mouse problem. While I was gone at the Hotel the wife was taking a shower and the big tom cat who goes by the name of Big Boy brought her a dead mouse and placed it on her clothes that she had laid out for the day on her bed. She came out of the bathroom towel drying her hair and sat on the mouse. She says it was no big deal but since I speak lab the brown dog told me he had to come to her rescue as she had let out a scream. I get in the door and was told of the problem. I have no snap traps and a call to Big Earl who told me he was out till today, seems I am not the only one with a war going on. I did find some old glue traps and I put a couple under the kitchen sink. I have caught them there before and a few hours later I was rewarded with one. But you know that they say if there is one then there is two and if there is two you have a problem. I also found out that mice carry fleas, this could be where the cats and Duncan got fleas from..

 

So the wife needed to go down to Ma and Pa's for our turkey, Pa called and told her he had a discounted bird waiting for her, the turkey for some reason had but one leg. I didn't ask, we got 25% off. Pa came out with a white package for me and told me he had my backstap. I took the package from him and then asked him when was the last time he had a backstrap? he lifted his cap and ran his fingers through the few strands of hair he has left on his head and told me he didn't remember. I handed the package back to him and said enjoy. "Bobby I can't take this" but I refused to take it back. "Heck I am getting venison for the first time in a long time, I have to work my way up to backstraps" I told him. Pa thanked me and our next stop was the General Store.

 

Big Earl met us at the curb with four mouse snap traps and a little something else in the bag. We chatted for a few minutes till the wife broke in saying you two just spent two weeks together, what on earth could you have to talk about. We both looked at her and said well the last two weeks of course! With that we left and went home. I have to go down to the city for a late Drs. appointment this afternoon so I thought I would write a little while as the wife has started to do some baking. She called for the brown dog who climbed out from under my desk and went to her. She gave him an egg carton and told Duncan she wanted a dozen eggs and let him outside. I thought OK the three egg trick was good but a dozen? Five minutes later the back doorbell rings and the wife lets in Duncan gingerly balancing a dozen eggs in the cartoon. She trades him two dog biscuits for the eggs and Duncan heads to the living room and the fire to chow down. I was going to say something to the wife but I could see she was just waiting for me so I said nothing.

 

Now on Saturday when my granddaughter and son in law Matt hunted off my deer stand I was not done with their day. Since there is no chair in there they used a plank that they can rest diagonally from one wall to the other to sit on. After H the granddaughter glassed the area and the small fire in the coffee can heater went out and the old Stanley steel thermos was empty of hot chocolate she was ready to head back to camp. Matt unloaded the rifle and gave it to H and told her to hunt her way back to the Hotel. Matt carried the knapsack and heater and followed H. H hunted slow and took her time, she did not see a deer but later she told Matt she likes walking better then sitting in a stand. They stopped at the Hotel clearing and when they started up again a grouse thundered skyward right at their feet, startling both of them and a fitting end to their deer hunt, Matt brought the heater to the shed an H headed inside to make hot chocolate and warm up.

 

Chuck was just here brought me some snap traps, didn't know I had been to town already. He asked me if the wife got the eggs that she asked for. "Hmmm so you gave Duncan a dozen eggs" I asked "Yup tape them all up to so he would not drop any" Chuck said. Chuck then left and I just smiled at the wife, patted Duncan and told him he was such a good boy, maybe he should go find us another dozen eggs here at Lake Iwanttobethere

last day

Posted by Bobby Bass on November 21, 2017 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

TWENTY IN THE boat here on Hidden Bay. been a cold windy day with just a few minutes of sunshine in the afternoon. Lots going on so I will try to be brief and cover as much as I can. Came back from the Hotel early in the afternoon on Monday. Chuck and I decided to be the last ones at the Hotel so we could close it down. Sunday after the football game a few of the guys went to the stands for a few hours but no more deer found their way to the meat pole. The rest of the guys made quick work of hanging the shutters on the windows and taking the solar panel and battery in from the outhouse. Left overs were eaten and the fridge cleaned. What food that was left was sent home with who ever wanted it. The winter box was filled with crackers and cocoa and soup along with a box of twinkies. A twelve pack of bottled water was set in the sink, if someone stops in and has to stay there is enough food to make a few meals. Wood rack in the Hotel was filled as was the kindling box. Food box was put on top of the cabinet hopefully out of the reach of any winter varmint.

 

When guys came in from the stands they met Skinny who hauled in the rolling chairs and coffee can heaters, Chairs went to the shed along with the heaters but not till the charcoal was dumped in the potbelly stove. I should mention that two old darken coffee pots have been on the stove for the past two weeks, one with coffee and the other with apple cider. My granddaughter came up with Matt on Saturday and they sat on my swamp stand for a few hours. H got cold and they came back to the Hotel where H made hot chocolate for everyone then sat in front of the potbelly stove feeding it kindling one piece at a time. We have plenty of kindling so I didn't say anything, matter of fact I enjoyed watching the flames gobble up the wood. Matt joined us and we watched and did not say much as we all warmed up. Guys came in and H made hot chocolate for them, they said it was some of the best they ever had and asked her what she put in it, she smile at me and told them it is a secret. We did make it over to Maggies on Friday night and he did have prime rib, for the price we could not have done it at camp, maybe next year we will add it to the menu.

 

Every one said their good-byes but not until they made an entry in the book we keep on the table. Reed got his RV out to the black top without getting stuck, of course the mud was all froze so that helped. Chuck and I slept in late ate a sandwich for breakfast and packed our gear in the back of Chucks truck, checked to make sure shutters were secure, shed locked and the padlocked oiled. Wood was tarped tight and a roll of paper left in the outhouse. Rocking chairs were brought in and Chuck did his entry and I did mine. In sketchie hand writing I wrote

Great season here at the Hotel, got a deer as well as some of the other guys, ate well, made memories ( Cheyenne pepper in egg salad) want to thank all the guys who made my hunt possible, I know you guys went out of your way keeping an eye on me and tried to hide it, Thanks again to Skinny and especially to my neighbor and best friend for over forty years Chuck, Love ya bro

 

with that I closed the book and put the pen on top. Took out the WD-40 and gave the padlock a shot and rolled myself out to the porch for one last look around the place. Chuck closed the door put the lock on and cover it with the piece of rubber that is there just for that reason. Chuck sat on the railing and pulled out a couple of cigars and offered me one, I didn't say no, it was the first one I had at the Hotel this season. We sat and watched a few snow flakes fall and said nothing, we didn't have to. With cigars half done we got in the truck and headed home.

 

Today I spent a lot of time on the phone, Gus was forwarding my calls to me and Thanksgiving dinner at the Lodge has kind of sneaked up on us real quick. Had to confirm order and gifts from area business and during the middle of all of this Denise from the Women's Auxiliary wanted to know if we had the tree at the Lodge yet so they, the Auxiliary could come and decorate it. I made a call to Hammering Hank who told me he and Skinny were a half hour away from the Lodge with a ten foot tree. Called Gus back and told him to get the Christmas decorations out from the basement and the Ladies are on their way. I then called Denise and asked her if the tree was going to be done tonight, nothing like putting a little pressure on the Ladies.

 

I will be at the Lodge most of thanksgiving doing meets and greets and then there is the fact that the football game is on before noon. I will graze as my wife calls it enjoying hot cloverleaf rolls, turkey and ham and all the fixing that always seem to find their way into the Lodge on that day. There is more but I will save it for the next time I write, have a good turkey day if you don't make it back to catch up on us here at Lake Iwanttobethere

Bobby's Buck

Posted by Bobby Bass on November 19, 2017 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

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Week two

Posted by Bobby Bass on November 16, 2017 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (1)

BUSY WEEK AT the Hotel I came home early, was not feeling well but have made some med adjustments and I feel better. The plan is after my Friday doctors visit I will stop off at Ma and Pa's and Amy's and pick up the last of our order for the last weekend of deer season. Tomorrow night, Friday we will caravan down to Maggies as we have heard through the grape vine that he will be serving prime rib instead of his usual spaghetti dinner feed. I did go back to the Hotel last weekend but pretty much hunted from the rocking chair on the porch. There is some good news as a buck shot by Barley and a doe shot by Chucks thirteen year old grandson were hanging on the meat pole late Sunday afternoon. Three deer shot at camp here is a big deal as we have been very deer poor here for several years. Everyone has seen deer too this season, another bright point to remember.

 

Tuesday afternoon found me in my swamp stand. over cast with some drizzle but forty-three out. Skinny loaded my wheelchair into the atv trailer and hauled me down the trail. Got me up the ramp and he put down the orange sleeping bag on the chair and I sat down and covered up. The wife's find is becoming very useful. I already had one coffee can heater in the stand but Skinny added a second and we lit them both. Told me he would be back at dusk or to call him if I needed anything. A few minutes later and the putt-putt of the atv was hard to hear as he headed back to the Hotel. I had borrowed Reed's rifle as my son in law had the 30-30. I worked the action a few times then set it down on a towel that I had on the shelf that runs around the stand. Heat was coming off the coffee can heaters and I took my gloves off and traded my stocking cap for a hat. Reached in my knapsack and got out the binoculars and started glassing the brush. Having snow has to let you see at least three times deeper into woods/brush.

 

About an hour later and I had my coat unzipped and snow was melting on the roof of the stand and dripping down on the leaves below. I was getting a little hungry but I had come prepared, I had a ham and cheese on a hoagie wrapped in tinfoil in my knapsack. I took it out and set it on top of the closest coffee can, when I could smell it I rotated it and then a few minutes later I did it again. When I figured it was hot enough I took it off the heat and put it on the shelf. Back to the knapsack for some chips and my hunting knife. Peeled back the tin foil and cut myself a nice two inch thick piece. Slipped the hot sandwich in my mouth added a few chips and sat back in my seat.

 

Now the sandwich could have been a little warmer, a little more toasted, the cheese melted a little more and maybe it could have used some more mircle whip but I will remember it because I had just cut the second chunk of sandwich and was putting it in my mouth and I looked down the trail to see a buck walking right to me. Time stopped, For some reason I kept chewing on the sandwich, I wiped my fingers off on my coat. Picked up Reed's rife, rested it on the handrail of the stand dropped the cross hair at the crook of the neck, took a breath and squeezed the trigger...

 

Deer crumbled where he stood, I watched through the scope for a few seconds and sat the rife back on the shelf and went back to my sandwich but my heart was trying to bang out of my chest. Reached for some chips and my hand was shaking I am sure I had a smile a mile wide. Been a long time since I harvested a deer and there will be a meal of backstraps in my future. You see here at camp who ever shoots a deer gets the backstrap, the rest of the deer is divided between everyone. This year everyone is going to get a nice portion of venison.

 

Put my hoagie back on the heat and called Skinny that I needed to come in and we need a sled. Finished my reheated hoagie and a little while later I could hear the putt-putt of the atv. Skinny appeared with the Johnson brothers holding their rifles sitting in the trailer facing different directions looking like a U N peace keeping unit. Skinny waved at me and we exchanged HIYA's and they made quick work of field dressing a nice little six point buck. They took the rife down and laid it along side the deer and took a picture for me. Put the coffee cans out loaded me up and we headed back to the Hotel. I now have my name on the white board.

 

Now I know I have been writing a lot about the meals here at camp. A good trade for lack of deer stories to pass on. This week Marv brought up a big pan of his grandmothers recipe from the old country lasagna Not to be out done Vic brought up a big pot of his grandmothers red sauce from the old country. Vic had the pot also loaded with meatballs ranging in size from golf balls to just under the size of baseball's. There was no leftovers and I didn't get any as I was home. Saturday morning Elmer made egg salad for the guys. Started off with a dozen hard-boiled eggs and under the watchful eye of DOC he sliced them up, put them in a bowl, added some diced onions and sweet pantry pickles and a healthy dash of Paprika for some color, folded in some miracle whip and set it out on the table. Several of the guys hollowed out hoagies and spooned in the egg salad added some lettuce and took them out for lunch.

 

Big Earl was the first back to camp looking for water, he got one out of the cooler and quickly drank it then went looking for Elmer. Seems there was a little mix up, Elmer busy talking with DOC had poured in Cayenne pepper instead of Paprika, same color but a little bit of a taste difference. An hour later Reed came in, took off his gear and headed for the fridge we all watched and waited. Reed stood up and just asked if there was any of that tasty egg salad left, go figure.

 

Baked ham and a big turkey breast with mashed potatoes and gravy for Saturday dinner, ham for omelets Sunday morning and clubhouse sandwiches of fresh cut turkey/ham and of course bacon. Sunday was clean out the fridge of leftovers as there was chili and turkey and Coney sauce. Reed shot a couple more grouse so we did make a pot of grouse and wild rice soup with dumplings. No one can figure how every time Reed goes out he comes back with a few grouse. I know that in his knapsack he has a long barrel .22 pistol and a box of them bb load shells. They are a real good load out to about fifteen yards and Reed just waits for them to come and land in his tree and pops a few.

 

So I am sitting in the den here at Hidden Bay, been watching the comeback win by the Wild, writing and trying to keep my eyes open. Being tired is a side effect of my new round of chemo therapy. But with a deer under my belt I can sleep with a smile on my face at the Hotel this weekend. A big thank you to Skinny who took the time to get me out to my stand giving up some of his hunting time. I will sit on the porch and root for the guys, another deer or two would always be welcomed here at Lake Iwanttobethere

2017 Deer Hunt

Posted by Bobby Bass on November 6, 2017 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

OPENER AT THE Hotel was busy, I know guys are posting their success but with not much of how it went down, I tend to add a lot of description to bring my readers right to camp with us. This may be a very long story as it covers several days. So we are going to write it in chapter form.

 

 

 

ARRIVAL

 

Chuck went to town and picked up our stuff from Ma and Pa’s and Amy’s Bakery. He then came to my place for me and the work trailer. Earlier in the week Chuck had brought over a bucket of firewood with his tractor. The Tenners were here and they stacked the wood in the 6x10 work trailer then added wood from my pile till they covered the bottom of the trailer two sticks high. Covered it with a tarp and tied it all down with a 100’ of the wife’s clothesline. With my gear bags, coolers and shotgun along with a big pot of stew that I had been cooking all day we were ready to head out. Gave the wife a kiss and Duncan wearing his bright, bright orange collar came to me and we shook a paw good-bye. It was just about then when a light rain started to fall.

 

 We drove to the Hotel with the wipers slapping away the rain and when we went past Old McDonnell’s place I made comment about all his cows in the field were sporting bright orange scarfs, not a big surprise because a few years back during deer season a guy shot one of his cows and said he thought it was a deer, he was not from around here. Made the turn into camp and saw tire tracks in the mud and snow, we were not the first ones to camp on this Friday afternoon. We did a little sliding but made it to the opening where the Hotel sits and where we park our trucks. Reed’s RV was already there parked up along the edge and out of the way.

 

 Reed came out to greet us as we pulled up along side the H/C ramp that the guys put in for me last year even if they still say it is just a loading ramp. The Johnson twins came out and we were unloaded and the trailer was unhooked and pushed back to the wood pile that is by the outhouse. We will wait on unloading and stacking it for now but everyone did grab a armload of wood to stack out on the porch floor. The trailer will serve double duty this year as the plan is to use it to haul deer back to town. Low to the ground it will be much easier to load and unload. Stew pot was put on the gas stove and let to simmer. Reed who had been washing dishes went back to it and Hop was mopping the floor while his brother was washing windows.

 

 Normally I would be the one to start the first fire in the potbelly stove but they already had a good one going. I must admit it was nice to walk into a warm Hotel then having to wait to get the chill out. Now the next thing I noticed was new stove pipe and what looked to be a slightly used Magic Heat Reclaimer that was pumping out the heat. I would later find out that Skinny who has a weakness for auctions picked up the exchanger for next to nothing and Hammering Hank was already planning on replacing the stove pipe. With Chucks help we cleaned out the cupboards and started putting food away. A cooler with ice was filled with our cold cuts and steaks and vegetables, butter, pickles and cheese all went into the cold cabinet. We got the idea watching how people in Alaska would hang a wood box on the outside of the cabin with a hole cut through the wall and a door inside to get to the stuff. We did not use it last year, it was to warm but with rain turning to snow and the thermometer of the running buck pegged at 32 I figured it was cold enough to use.

 

 The rest of the afternoon guys arrived and soon the gun rack on the wall was filled with a variety of what everyone thought was the perfect deer rife. Stew was eaten and a dent put into the hard rolls. The big map came out and guys looked it over like they had never seen it before, but truth be known anyone of them could have recreated it by memory. Around nine or so the round table was cleared and guys started to build their lunches for the first day on the stands. We had ham, thin sliced roast beef, chicken, turkey and of course thick bologna. Sweet pickles and big dill pickles, lettuce and tomato. American, Colby and Swiss cheese. Peanut butter and jelly and of course tuna for the Johnson twins. Hard rolls, Kaiser rolls, home made bread in wheat, rye and white. Sandwiches were put in zip lock bags or wrapped in tin foil or as with the older guys just cheese cloth. They all went into the cold box to be taken out come morning where bacon would be added because everyone knows bacon goes with everything. With the wood stove loaded with Maple and mouse traps set everyone headed to bed. The Heat Reclaimer was pointed at the bunk room door and everyone said they have never gone to bed in there when it was actually warm. I have a bunk in the main room and as long as the fire burns I stay warm.

 

 

 

FIRST LIGHT

 

 Saturday morning I never heard an alarm go off, I just rolled over when I heard Reed poking at the coals and adding wood to the fire. Heard the door open and watched as Big Earl came in, he had gone down and used the outhouse and stocked it with tp and reading material. I put my feet on the floor and we exchanged HIYA’s. "Bobby, did you get apples" he asked me and I told him yes. "Did you happen to leave them on the porch?" I thought about it and said "I may have, why" Big Earl held up two ripped paper bags but no apples. "By the tracks I would say we fed two or three deer last night and one of them walked right up the H/C ramp" Well I had to chuckle, not a big deal I bought three bags, the other one has to be around here somewhere. Everyone else got up and the morning conversation was about the stolen apples. We had pancakes, bacon, ham and eggs. Toast was made eight slices at a time under the broiler.

 

 Lunches were taken out and Mayo and bacon added to those that wanted it. Bag of apples was found and apples were written on the white board as the first thing we need more of. Walnuts, raisins and chocolate chips along with granola were mixed and put in bags. Bottle water or soda or in some cases bottles of juice were packed away. One by one guys exited and headed out to the stands. I stayed back along with Elmer, we were going to be the house mothers and I was still feeling under the weather, I think spending some time on the porch was going to have to be good enough for me. Beside them thieving deer might make a daylight raid on us.

 

 

 

STANDS

 

 Chuck, Hammering Hank, myself and Skinny have been in charge of building and maintaining our stands. We have a dozen of them and they are spread out from the Hotel like the spokes of a wheel. Trails have been cut along with shooting lanes The outer edge has a trail that connects all the stands together and Reed and Chuck who like to still hunt will use it. We also play tag where one hunter will bump a hunter out of his stand and then that hunter bumps the next and so on. We usually only do this late in the season to try and get deer moving for others to get a shot. The stands are all made of green treated wood with carpeted floors and rough sawed wood on the outside about three feet up, this hides movement inside the stands. Some of the guys will put in the cheap rolling chair so they can move quietly inside. They all have roofs and at least one sheet metal corner where a coffee can with charcoal can be placed to give off some heat. A shelf wraps around three sides so you have a place for your lunch or it can be used as a rifle rest. Last year they expanded my swamp stand making it bigger for me and putting in a ramp. They all have names but depending on luck the names may be changed. The stands are also used in the nightly poker games as guys will use them in their last hands or all in, if they win they can change stands and the rest go to a hat to be drawn and traded.

 

 

 

FIRST DEER

 

 About thirty minutes after Big Earl and Junior headed out I heard a rife shot, then a second shot echoed and I knew it was from the spoke that Reed likes to still hunt. Forty-five minutes later and Reed appears with a big grin on his face. He held up six fingers made his hands look like antlers over his head and came to the porch. He sat down in the rocker next to me and told me he was walking slow like to his stand and he spotted a buck down the trail just as it was crossing. Reed was just a few yards away from where his trail has a fork in it and he took the right fork and hustled down about fifty yards to where he thought the deer should be crossing. He sat down on a stump and waited and just when he thought the deer had already crossed the trail the deer emerged from the brush and on to the trail. He looked both ways like a kid crossing the street then just stood there for some reason and sniffed the ground. Reed took the safety off, fired and the deer flinched. With his rifle still on his shoulder he jacked in a second round and pulled the trigger. This time the deer just folded up and Reed dressed it and covered it with the orange plastic leaf bag that we all carry and headed back to camp to get the sled and see if anyone was around to help him drag it out. Elmer went to the white board and put Reeds name on it with the day and time.

 

 

 

SECOND DEER

 

 Was not shot at the Hotel but I got a call from my son in law who was hunting out of his late grandfathers stand, he had shot a nice doe and he thinks it will be one that he will not forget. He will have it processed down there but he wanted to call and have me tell the guys.

 

 

 

THIRD DEER

 

 Around ten or so it started to rain again, the red needle on the deer thermometer shows thirty-four degrees and with a little breeze it was cold and damp in no time. Earlier I had added more tatters, onions, celery and carrots to the stew, browned some stew meat and added it to the pot. By mid day guys started heading back to camp wearing their orange leaf bags trying to stay dry. Johnson twins each gobbled down a big bowl of stew and chunks of warm bread from the oven. They then went with Reed and brought his deer to camp where it was hung from the meat pole and the orange bag wrapped around it. Reed got pats on the back and he told his story to who ever would listen. More wood was put into the potbelly stove and the reclamier was paying for itself the very first day, wet coats were hanging from the ceiling and the hot air was drying them out nicely.

 

 Around three or so the rain turned back to snow and most of the guys headed back out into their stands. I was back on the porch with Elmer riding shotgun in the other rocker. I was buried in my gear with a bright orange sleeping bag on top of me. I don’t know where the wife found it but she figured I would use it. I was thinking to myself I should put some potatoes in the oven as tonight is steak night. Skinny is our grill master and I was about to go inside and Reed came out and said he put a dozen tatters in all ready, I told him he should add a few smaller ones, the boys will be hungry tonight.

 

 A few minutes later and Elmer and I looked at each other as an old faded blue pickup came down the road and slid to a stop before hitting the porch. I was surprised to see Vic behind the wheel and DOC sitting alongside of him. Before I could say anything Vic held up a white package and said "We brought our own steaks" DOC went inside with Elmer and Vic zipping up his orange parka and tugging his hat down on his ears took his place in the rocking chair. I told him about the thieving deer and the apples and he told me he caught his thief. I sat back and listen as Vic told me he was just settling into his easy chair with some nachos and cheese and looked up to see a buck sneaking into his garden. He got up and went to the hall closet where he had his deer rifle, jacked in a round, snuck out the front door, eased himself around the corner and squeezed off one shot, Deer fell sixty-six paces away. DOC heard the shot and the two of them went to the garden and the fallen deer. DOC dressed the deer and they used the tractor to get it out of the garden. He told me the story so nonchalantly I was having a hard time believing him. So I asked "Where is this deer now" Vic pointed at the tarp in the back of the truck and sure enough you could see antlers. I asked him why they brought it here and he said you guys are just as far away as town is and I knew you will be taking your deer to Pa’s and I didn’t know of the old truck would make it, asI have not driven it in years. Skinny and Hammering Hank came out of the woods a few minutes later. They backed the truck up to the meat pole and hug the deer. I followed everyone inside and looked at the white board, I then added Vic and my son in law to it with a little *

 

 

 

STEAK NIGHT

 

 Skinny pulled the grill out from the shed and filled it with charcoal, the only way to cook porterhouse as far as I was concern. Skinny started grilling steaks and everyone pitched in making a big salad, getting out ice cold beers and waiting for the bread warming in the oven alongside the baked potatoes. As the steaks came off the grill Reed and Vic got first pick. No one picked the small porterhouse that I had Pa cut for me and as it was I only finished half of it. I made announcement for guys to trim their meat off the bone with a knife. I wanted no one chewing on bones the reason being I will add the bone to the stew pot to make new stock and I guarantee tomorrow you will have the tastiest stew you have ever had for lunch.

 

 With belts loosen guys found chairs and refreshments were served. Talk was exchanged about deer sign or lack of sign. Big Earl passed on a small buck and junior for some reason missed a doe. I got grief for feeding the deer apples and was accused of baiting! Cards were brought out and a few cigars were lit, the guys with the cigars retreated to the porch to smokem and chat and watch the snow fall. I knew they were out there because of me and if I told them so they would just shrug it off as no big deal. Their wife’s don’t let them smoke inside at home why should there be any difference here. I really do have some pretty good friends. Vic and DOC found bunks and after a round of "Good night John Boy" the Hotel was quiet, just the humm of the fan and the occasional crackle of wood burning. I closed my eyes and was asleep, tomorrow is another day.

 

 

 

SUNDAY

 

 Woke up not feeling too good, pretty much did nothing for most of the day. Guys made breakfast and packed lunches. Couple of inches of fresh snow on the ground but no one saw anything moving. Guys came in a little later, ate lunch on the stands but when they came in the Hotel and smelled the new pot of stew everyone had seconds. Reed baked up the stuffed pork chops for supper but I was not there, was not feeling any better so Chuck took me home. By Monday morning the skeleton crew was at the Resort, Reed n Elmer were going to be the caretakers this year keeping the fire going and doing some minor jobs. The day was sunny so they took off the shutters to let the light in and hooked up the solar panels to feed our back up twelve volt batteries. Sunshine Ray is calling for it to go below zero by midweek. Looking to be a more average deer season. I plan on feeling better by Friday when I will be heading back to the Hotel. Just have to get use to these new meds and find something I can eat and keep down. Check back for more here at Lake Iwanttobethere

 


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