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Bobby Bass

Deer Camp pt2

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SNAP! The sound of another mouse trap going off. You lay in your bunk listening to the sound of snores coming from your old buddies. It's dark outside and you can make out the moon through the window at the far end of the hotel. Been trying to sleep all night but hard to do with the snap of a mouse trap from time to time. It has gotten better as the traps going off have been fewer. The first hour after lights off was like a war zone. Traps popping and who ever was the closest had to retrieve the trap and reset it. The old stove cherry red and the cabin way to warm to sleep in. Now several hours later the stove looks cold but no one has gotten up to toss a log in. A few snores and soft conversations between bunks finally disappeared. The " Good night John boy" routine was done.

Laying in the bunk and checking the watch you see it is but a half hour before the alarm is set to go off. What the heck, you roll out of the sleeping bag and stocking feet touch the cold floor of the shack. Feeling around with your toes you find your boots and pull them on. Trying to be quiet you make your way to the door and standing out on the porch drink in a deep breath of woods and the first day of hunting season. You sense movement behind you and one of your buddies is standing in the door behind you. A soft quiet " Morning" is spoken and he walks past you to the outhouse. As if a signal has been released the rest of you bunk mates stir and a lamp is lit. It's dim glow showing shadows of your friends stretching and pulling sweatshirts on. The "Clank" of the fire box is heard and wood is added. Another light is lite and now everyone is up whether they wanted to be or not.

Breakfast is made and some eat and some don't. The deep thick rich smell of a coffee pot with to many grounds fills the shack. Even if you don't drink it you love the smell mixed in with the sizzle of bacon in the cast iron frying pan. Those who have the farest walk dress light and carrying their gear head out into the darkness. We leave in pairs, walking slow and quiet like. In a few minutes the Hotel is empty and we are all on our way to our stands. I arrival at mine in just a few minutes. Putting on my heavy coat I climb into my old stand and sit back. Testing my rests and looking at my shooting lanes I secure my gear and sit back to enjoy the sunrise just a few minutes away. False dawn lights up around me and with each passing minute I can start to make out trees and bushes. I stare long and hard at a black shape and with the brightening light see it is only a thick brush pile. The sun peeks above the ridge and I look at it for awhile before I need to look away. Off to the East I hear a gunshot then another.. Maybe I think... I hear the rustle of leaves and look down to see a squirrel bouncing and then stopping to look around. I watch as it makes it's way past me to disappear behind a Birch tree.

The sun climbs higher and I unzip my coat a little, I pour some hot cider into the thermos cup and I sip and watch the woods around me. My stand is just off a main trail that we call the freeway. Putting the cup back on the thermos I am in mid screw when I see movement coming down the freeway. I stop and watch as the doe and two fawns from last night at the feeder work there way in my direction. Sitting still I watch as they slowly move down the trail. Tails flicking back and forth the fawns acting like the kids they are and the doe having her hooves full so to speak. The three of them move on down the trail and make the turn to disappear out of sight. I sit back and let my heart slow down some.

I spent most of the morning watching, waiting and listening and even though I did hear a few more shots and some were quite a distance away it I didn't see anything else go down the freeway. At noon I climbed down and made my way back to the Hotel. Coming out the trail I see a deer hanging from the beam. A four pointer. A few of the guys were inside and the stew pot was steaming on the stove. I scooped out a bowl and with some rolls from the oven I sit down at the round table and listened to the story of the four pointer. Not a bad start to deer season, and there is still this afternoon. From Lake Iwanttobethere

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Bobby bass,

Another nice read!

This reminds me of a hotel I had heard about from my Grandfather. It was located out in the vast woodenness, north east of Hinckley, east of Askove. You could only get to it by horse draw wagon. My grandfather heard about it from my great grandfather. It would have been in operation in the twenties, thirties and forties.

You would ride wagon with your guns and bag out to hotel on the day before opener. No electrify or running water. For hunting you would walk out front door of hotel and go out to your spot. They also would haul your deer back on a horse drawn wagon for you. In the end, it burnt down to the ground.

My grandfather and I had tried to walk to site on many of grouse trips, but never could make it into state land that far. I figure it was a wives tail, but my Grandpa has never lied to me before.

I live the tail of the “deer hunters hotel” in your stories.


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