Sunday, March 8, 2009
Inside Camp, and Such
There are 17 hunters on our deer camp list but we cannot accommodate them all at once. This is a good thing because seldom do more than 8 or 9 show up intending to stay over for the whole weekend. There are 7 bunk beds, very comfortable, and some set up cots if we need them. Because I have all my hunting equipment, guns, and gunsmithing stuff at camp, I have a semi-separate room with a cot in it. Because it is near home and I visit it nearly every day, winter access and security is not an issue here. It is walking distance for me.
It is heated by propane, a wall heater donated by a hunter when he renovated his home. The stove is propane, and I got that from my Mom's summer camp after she passed away. The fridge was donated by an upgrading cop, an inveterate hunter. The walls are covered with trophies and of course each has a story. There is a huge 4X10 foot table for eating that seats about ten. After dinner some of the hunters retire to the overstuffed chairs to converse and sip their favorite drink, others sit around the big table. The rest stand around the huge roaring fire that I light
Friday noon, in a huge stone fireplace right out front. This fire burns day and night until the weekend is over. The three weekend camps burn about two cords of wood that I gather over the summer.
When hunters start to arrive on Friday, they grab any bunk handy and stow their gear. Most gear up and get ready to hunt right away, hoping to tag and hang a deer early in the weekend. Others arrive and spend hours unpacking, organizing, parking ATV's, feeding the fire, or just letting the previous 11 months go.
There is a log book on the table. Any time a hunter heads out they are required by protocol to fill in blanks about where they will be, which stand, when they'll be back etc. Also there is a tab to fill in for any deer seen. This way we keep a talley from year to year on where the best spots are. I'll post a sample..
We organize meals before hand, deciding who will bring what. Mostly we eat wild game, mule deer, elk, moose, bear, whitetail, goose breast are fairly common. Three of ther rugular hunters are gourmet cooks, that is to say, they have taken courses from excellent restaurants and local chefs on how to cook, and make sauces. I grew up in Boston, and quite often was dined in first water 4/5 star restaurants. But I can tell you, some of the meals we have had rival the best 100 dollar a plate meals I have ever had. Word gets out. We've had the President of the New Hampshire Senate stop by for an evening, and once, the Attorney General of NH. Hunters neither, but good taste in wine and vittles they did have...
Not much for cards and games in this camp...we see each other seldom enough, that it takes several evenings of chat just to catch up on careers, family and personal stuff. It's all so cool.
Lunch and breakfast, on your own.