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Bobby Bass

Deer Camp- last day

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End of Deer Camp- not as bad as it sounds. Spent most of the day packing up things around the shack. Had a late breakfast and spent some time out on the porch with a cup of hot coffee and my feet up on the rail. Heard a few shots off in the distant but the day was pretty quiet. Elmer and Chuck were both up to, between the three of us we made quick work of closing the shack up. Securing the propane tank and making sure the wood stove was cleaned out and wood was hauled in to fill the box. Cupboards were emptied and the floors were swept. The drain on the sink was taken apart and the sign to that effect hung on the sink. The spare key was checked to be sure it was in it's hiding place. Ropes for the hanging beam were coiled and put away in there box.

Log book was signed and placed on the kitchen table. A few boxes of mice bait were laded out. Getting towards two in the afternoon and we all closed up the two trucks and grabbing our rifles we set off to end the season in our stands. I took my time and walked slowly out to the stand by the cedar swamp. For mid November it was warm. Almost 40 out. The sun filtered down between passing clouds and was already low in the sky. Making myself comfortable in my stand I settled in and scanned the area around me. A ground squirrel worked it's way across the forest floor. Making enough noise to sound like a deer it would have had me on the edge of my seat two weeks ago. Now it just got a passing glance as I continue to search the brush around me.

As on cue the two grouse flew in to land on the tree across the ditch from me. I watched them for a few minutes till they to went to the ground and soon walked away into the deeper brush out of eyesight. The sun settled deeper in to the tree tops and I had to adjust the collar of my coat to close up around my neck. I got a chill and had second thoughts about not bring the thermos out with me. Peeking under the cuff of my coat I saw it was already almost four. Kind of late to shoot a deer now.

It had been a good season, several deer were taken and everyone has meat in the freezer. Spent time with friends and the bragging wall at the Hotel will have some more memories added to it. Another peek at the watch told me it was 4:15 If I leave now I'll have enough light to make it to the clearing. I unload the gun and using the rope lower it to the forest floor. I just start to swing over the edge and here coming down the trail is the doe with her two frisky fawns. I think they are the same ones I saw coming into the feeder to check it out on the first night. Glad to see they made it through the season. I waited till they passed and then retrieve the rifle I worked my way back to the clear cut. Elmer and Chuck were waiting, as soon as they saw my blaze orange they started the engines. I put my gear in the truck and rubbed my hands in the warmth of the trucks vents.

Elmer makes one last check of the shack. He goes inside and makes sure the bars are across the windows and the shutters secure. To bad we have to lock it up like this but times have changed. The padlock is snapped on to the wood door and we are ready to return home. We will be back, not as a group though. Everyone has a key and some will come back to do some grouse hunting. Others will tend to the deer feeder if the winter gets bad. A few of the younger guys will bring their families up to cross country ski. They will check the mouse traps and write in the log that they were there and how they did. Others will read the log and add to it.

We make the ride back home following Chuck down the twisted trail to reach the dirt road then to the highway. We stop at a small resort / restaurant and have a late supper. Another tradition of ours. We chat and take our time finally getting home around eight or so. Chuck heads down his driveway and Elmer turns in to mine. He pulls to a stop in front of the garage and we step out just in time to watch eight deer exiting Chucks yard to cross my yard heading in the direction of Elmers. Elmer and I just look at each other and shake our heads. Yup a typical deer season here at Lake Iwanttobethere hope yours was a good one...

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