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Bobby Bass

Deer Camp 5

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Bobby Bass

Made by way down the trail from the Hotel in the cool darkness of the morning. The damp ground quiet under my feet as I tried to move along the trail with out making a noise. Moving just quick enough to cover ground but trying hard not to warm up bundled up in all my clothes. The Hotel thermometer read 33 when I stepped out on to the porch. After a few quiet words exchanged with my friends we all walked across the clear cut and took our own separate trails to our stands. Soon the dim light of the Hotel was left behind and with a shift in the wind the smoke from the stove could no longer be smelled. I paused from time to time, taking time to adjust my pack and look around me. The walk out to the stand always takes longer then the trip back. I arrived at the stand and climbing up, secured my pack and settled in. After a few minutes the coat was zipped back under my chin and my cuffs on my coat pulled down onto my gloves.

With my head resting against the tree I tried just to move my eyes as I looked out over my little area of heaven. Having been in the tree now several times over the last week I was pretty comfortable with the shadows as I knew now what they were. As on cue the area around me started to go from black to gray. No sunrise this morning with the cloud cover. A half hour later and it was as light as it was going to be. I had the right combination of clothes on today and I was as comfortable as a newborn in a fleece blanket. Nothing moving at all, not even a pesky squirrel to break up the quiet. I shifted a little and rested my arms in my lap. The first snow flake fell and landed on my glove. Then another and another. They say no two snow flakes are alike, with the flakes on my glove I started to compare them side to side, yup they were different. Raising my eyes I scanned the area. Looking slowly I swept the ditch ahead of me. The swamp off to my right then back down the trail towards the Hotel. Nothing, I looked at more flakes that had fallen next to the first ones.

I woke up, must have doze off. Snow now covered the ground around my stand. Falling heavy it now covered the bare trees and brush with a blanket of white. Actually I could see farther now and I could make out trees in the cedar swamp. The snow falling in the ditch met the water and melted. The trail and grass now were white. I had a little layer of snow across my pants and jacket. My pack to was covered in white fluffy snow. I moved just a little and under the blanket of snow I flex my arms and back. In mid stretch I saw her. Easing out from the cedar swamp her head up high she was slowly walking down the trail coming to the ditch. Her tail flicking back and forth she would stop and look behind her then move forward a few more steps before putting her head to the ground and her nose rubbing from side to side.

Trying to relax I settled back into the tree, Easing the rife in her direction I turned to face her and waited. It was quiet, I could hear her when she picked up her hooves and set them back down, at least I think I could hear them. Something else to a bumping sound. Took me a little while to realize it was my heart in my chest, felt good. She was moving slow and I was starting to have a hard time staying still, maybe I was even getting a little impatient with her. Some thing was behind her in the swamp, following her but staying out of sight. She was a nice big doe but I wanted to see what was behind her. Could it be the Ghost that I had seen on opening? Might I get a second chance here? The doe stopped, finding something on the trail for breakfast she was chewing. Still rasing her head from time to time to look around her. She had her head up and was looking around when she stopped, her head pointed in my direction. She was staring her ears flicking in my direction her nose testing the wind. I froze, not daring to move I watched her watch me. The snow continue to fall and I felt pretty good that she could not really make me out, could she?

Locked eye to eye we looked at each other. Me trying not to move and be discovered and her seeing something that didn't look quite right but not knowing what I was. Like a pitcher trying her pick off move she put her head down but then snapped it up again. Having seen this move before I had not moved. She again stared in my direction.

She went back to eating and slowly took a few more steps down the trail. She was in range and I could raise the rifle anytime now and have a good shot. Straight out from me she offer a broad side shot and I watched as she walked by. I wanted to see what was behind her. I waited.

Nothing. The doe moved pass me and down the ditch. I let her pass and focused on the edge of the swamp. Looking for any kind of movement. Something horizontal in a vertical world. Something new now, the sound of my stomach rumbling and a no matter how much snow I licked from my lips I needed to get a drink and eat. I stood up in the stand and my butt barked at me along with my back that had been part of the tree for the past few hours. I shook the snow from my coat and pants and climbed down. Pulling back my glove and checking my watch I could see it was almost noon. Guess somehow I had the entire morning pass by. I headed back to the Hotel following the same trail the doe had taken. Perhaps a hundred yards from my stand from the ditch side a second set of tracks appeared next to the does. Twice as large and deeper, The Ghost had appeared. Together the two sets of tracks followed the trail and then turning off the trail had gone back into the brush.

The doe had been a distraction a decoy. The Ghost didn't get as big as he is walking down trails with his girlfriend. Closing the door of the Hotel I shook off snow and put the gun in the rack. Fresh baked bread was cooling on the cutting block and the smell of baked ham in the oven met me. A few minutes later elbows secure on the edge of the table and a sandwich in my hands I told Elmer of the doe. " Are we having fun " he asked. With my mouth full I just nodded yes and smiled.. From Lake Iwanttobethere

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snoozebutton

Another great post Bobby, I always look forwrd to reading them.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Thank for the update and photo Dave and Diane! Cliff
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      I was out on Vermilion fishing today again. Big bay still has about the same amount of ice but the ice is a lot softer now! Small patches of 4" to 6" deep slush pockets on it. Pike bay seemed solid when we went out but when we returned almost the entire bay had about 6" of very soft slushy ice on top! That will be my last trip out this winter. Talked to one Native that I saw checking a  net that he had  out under the ice in Pike Bay. He had caught around 15 walleyes and a pike today and 8 or so walleyes yesterday. Tough way to catch fish! Cliff
    • dgdg
        Well the Pike River Dam is finally running at full throttle.  For those of you who aren't up here to see it for yourself, you can see it here: https://www.everettbaylodge.com/lake-vermilion-ice-out-2018-the-dam-is-running/
    • Horseshoe_Don
      measured ice this morning.   It has not changed in the last 48 hours.    Just the shorelines have melted.   The quality of ice has gone down though.   Still Driving my wheeler on shoe.    Still 20-28 inches out there away from current.    The bay by winter access is the thickest at 30 inches.   Don
    • Tom Sawyer
      Thanks for your efforts!!! Let me know if you need any free city garbage bags; I'm involved with the City of St. Cloud Green Team. You can place them at the Munsinger Garden greenhouse, or any trail access points for easy Park Dept. pickup.
    • JeremyCampbell
      Going to get the kids out on the river today with gloves and garbage bags for Earth day.Plenty of garbage around the local community spots that can be removed.Im sure there will be more but it's something to do and it will look a little prettier out there.
    • Borch
      Wow!  Didn't realize it was that bad up there.  That's going take a long time to get turned around.
    • kelly-p
      To give you a idea of what it is like here this is how my dock has sat since last August. The river is at lake level here.  Almost no Spring flow from melting snow. Just a trickle here and there. I've burnt any grass off for 200 feet around my house, farm buildings and farm equipment so there is a little protection in case a big fire gets going. The grass has been burnt off between the highway and the airport to give Waskish a little protection in case a fire gets going south of town. Westwind cleaned their channel last fall so they should be OK for boats. Total acreage of URL and LRL is 272,000 acres so it would ONLY take 177,261,312, 000 gallons of water to raise the lake level 2 feet.
    • Horseshoe_Don
      you can get to horseshoe by boat but not far enough to get any fish yet.   This may change in the next few days.   I plan on ice fishing on shoe today.   Should be able to land a nice amount of slabs.   Don
    • pikeandchester
      Drove by Elysian on my way home this afternoon. Shoreline didn’t appear to be pulling away, view from the highway for what it’s worth.