Monday, November 30, 2009
Deer camp is over for another year. This time we only had three days, but we crammed a lot into those few days. Of course the object isn't so much to shoot a deer as it is to hang out together at the cabin and revert to pioneer life and mountain man ways. If we had a drum, we'd have beat on it, but instead JT brought his guitar. We had some strangers though. When you broadcast an open invitation to your buddies to come join us at the camp, you don't always know who's going to show up. This time one friend brought along two of his friends. They were welcome of course. Always glad to have a few more hunters stay at the old cabin, but within a few hours it became clear they had come to actually hunt. We didn't have the heart to tell them there were no deer in the neighborhood, but by the end of the day Saturday they'd come to that conclusion on their own. The three of them came driving down the driveway in the monster four wheel drive Chevy with the dual exhaust, and piled out of the truck and declared in no uncertain terms, "there ain't no f....g deer within twenty miles of this camp!" Well I knew that, but I asked them if they'd had a good day? Had they seen some nice country? Had they enjoyed being out in the woods? My questions fell on deaf ears. Without pausing too long they announced they were going back home where they might at least "see a deer." It took less then an hour for them to pack up and shove off into the dark. We heard the dual exhausts rubble into the distance as they drove out the camp road. Inside the cabin the gas lights gave off a friendly glow and the old woodstove radiated heat. Too much heat really. Thousands of hibernating house flies had been tricked into thinking it was June and they had invaded the cabin. Flies were everywhere buzzing against the windows and the screens. Falling into our hair. One fell into the bowl of popcorn. Soon it was all out war. We sprayed and sprayed and the flies were dropping like....well...flies. It took two hours to kill, sweep and discard the plague of flies. As the evening drew on we four enjoyed playing cards and knocking back a few brews and stirring up noble hearty meals on the stove. We sang a few songs and read a few stories and later in the evening we began to recall other "deer camps" and days gone by, and past hunts and past meals and history making cribbage hands. By midnight we were all snugged into sleeping bags watching the woodfire flicker through the grate of the stove. Ben yawned and said in a loud voice, too bad those fellers took off. Yeah, we said, they missed the best part of deer camp.