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Fishin report for Lake Iwanttobethere..


Bobby Bass

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Bobby Bass

SNOW IN THE forecast according to Sunshine Ray, his coworker Stormy Clearweather agrees. Overcast sky this morning and the deck is wet but it did not get as cold as forecasted overnight. The forecast is calling for snow north of here tomorrow and a mix here with just rain down south. Not going to be more than forty degrees for a high anywhere. I took a ride to the Resort yesterday and did some work, no lack of it there as putting the Resort to sleep seems to involve as much work as opening it in the spring. The docks are in and the row boats are turned over on the shore. Vic's boat was hauled to the pole bar and the motor winterized. The old boat that we have been using to water the garden with was emptied and brought into the pole barn to, if we get around to it we will work on it over the winter.

A big Pine fell during the wind storm and Chuck feeling creative took the chain saw to the trunk and made us some chairs to sit around the new fire ring that we are going to have just off the Clubhouse. The chairs all have backs and with a couple of more to be made I am sure they will get used some this fall. Today here at the cabin I am planning on spending time in the kitchen, going to get the big kettle out and make some spaghetti sauce to can. Have a lots of tomatoes to process and peppers to. Carrots are still in the ground and I borrowed a bale of hay from over at Chuck's to cover the carrots up with. Chuck's horses won't mind as they didn't say a thing to me as I walked away with the hay. Of course it might have been they were busy with the apples I tossed on the ground in their direction.

Grand kids are over as last night was movie night and sleep over. This morning I woke to kids coming into my room and stealing my wool socks from my dresser drawer. When the youngest asked me for help getting a pair of socks I finally had to ask why. She told me they were going skating and now I had to get out of bed. I didn't think it was supposed to get that cold last night. I got dressed to the sound of kids whooping and hollering and made my way out of the bedroom to find them in the front hall. The wife had waxed the floor yesterday and the kids wearing my wool socks were skating across it. Duncan ran across the tile and he was sliding as much as the kids were, my next stop was the kitchen where I asked the wife why would she waxed the tile floor. I just got a raised eyebrow and we moved on to another topic.

Yesterday I did take the Ranger back to the apple orchard and filled up a couple of boxes with apples. Some were brought back home here and a box was dropped off at the mother in laws house. Vic has a box and he and Marv are talking about doing some baking today. Apple Crisp and pies and Marv says he has a apple tart that is to die for. I ignored the "To Die" comment and told him I will wait and see. Elmer eyed the apples and asked if I could get some more as he was thinking maybe a little cider could be made and perhaps doctored some so it has a little kick to it. Marv picked up on the idea and the two of them heading to the bait shop to discuss recipes in private. Them two are like a couple of kids when it comes to doctoring things to drink.

SO the day should be spent cooking and doing small jobs around the cabin, never ending list of things that need to get done this time of year. Puddle Humper needs to get unpacked and I did change the lower unit oil yesterday so if or I should say when it gets cold that is done. Rods need to get hung up and drags on reels loosen. Kids will be gone by mid afternoon so if it is not raining perhaps Bud and Duncan and I will take a little walk down the back trail. Leaves are falling here at the Lake and some where there has to be some grouse flying, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,318,930}

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Bobby Bass

SITTIN AT THE desk here in the den at the cabin watching the wind blow the tree branches and some sun peeking out through the clouds as snow falls, must be fall. Inside taking a break to warm up my hands that are not used to being cold. Does not take long for wet metal this time of year to rob the heat from your hands and something's just can't be done with gloves on. Am working on emptying the Puddle Humper which has been on my to do list but I have been holding out for that one last surprise day of decent weather that has not happen. Been raining or as of yesterday snowing some for every day the past week. Fireplace has a fire in it and yesterday I turned the furnace on, getting cold enough at night that the furnace is running a couple of cycles. Like a lot of people I hate hearing the furnace run and I try and delay turning it on as long as I can.

Sunday was spent at the Resort and we were not watching football but were actually working. Picnic tables were stacked and the sound of a weed wacker could be heard but not very far. As you know at the Lake here we have an ordnance against running gas power small engines on the weekend but that is only in effect during the summer. No one would confuse yesterday as being a summer day. So Hammering Hank and Skinny went around with the wackers and took down the tall grass around the cabins and outbuildings. I was thinking of mowing with the tractor but everything is so wet it I would not have done much but left tracks on the beaten down grass. Pretty good pile of sticks and branches were gathered in the area of the new fire ring, we didn't lite it on fire mostly because everything was all wet and no one really wanted to sit in the lite rain to watch the fire.

Marv and Vic along with Elmer had the Club House to work on and they were busy cleaning and snacking on Apple Crisp that Marv had baked. On my trips inside to warm up I was somewhat partial to the tarts that Marv made, not quite good enough to die for but they were pretty good. Wood shop is pretty much ready for winter, tools are put away and some of them are sitting in the Tahoe which reminds me I need to take them out and put them in the shop here. Pole Barn is ready for winter to as Chuck has been out there for a few days rearranging things and the tractor with the bucket on it is parked just inside the doors waiting on the first big snowfall. Windows have been washed but don't let any of our wife's know that we do windows. Flower pots emptied and stored in the pole barn. Deck furniture is stacked up against the wall but we did not put it away, we are still hoping that there will be some sunny days to be spent sitting out on the deck.

Fall is acting just like spring did this year, overcast sky, cool temperatures and to much rain for my liking. Dogs are the only ones who seem to like this kind of weather Bud, Barney and Duncan all came to the Resort with me and spent the afternoon patrolling the grounds. Barney checked out the shoreline and Bud was up in the pole barn with Chuck. Duncan and Echo, Chuck's wonder dog ran the grounds looking into every nook and cranny for something to chase. I could pretty much tell where they were by the barking and the chattering of red squirrels they were chasing up trees and the getting chewed out by. Hands have warmed up and I guess I better get back outside and keep working. Everyday there is less light to work with and it will not be that long and the snow showers that are falling will turn into real snow and it will be sticking and staying till spring. From Lake Iwanttobethere, stay warm {1,323,907}

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Bobby Bass

LUNCH TIME FINDS me at the Lodge today, I just finished a bowl of chili hoping it would clear my head. Yesterday I spent most of the day going in and out of the cabin making trips from the shop to the basement carrying in liquids that would freeze if I left them out too much longer. A summer of doing odd jobs and not bring paint cans and spray cans and liquid fertilizer along with tools back to where they came from kept me busy most of the afternoon. Of course it was not all spent bring stuff back into the cabin as I was sidetracked along the way. Rain barrels needed to be emptied and a few trips to the garden to harvest some more tomatoes. I have several tomato plants bagged with fifty gallon plastic bags over them with a brick to hold the bags so the wind won't blow them off. The bags act as little greenhouses and when I spy a orange ripening tomato I go and remove it. The kids say the bags look like I have a bunch of ghosts in the garden and with the big moon the past few nights they do kind of look like they are moving in the darkness. The rain was no longer falling instead there were little snow showers, nothing to stick on the ground but just enough to make everything cold to the touch.

I told the wife when I left this morning I think I am coming down with a cold, she nodded her head at me and said "I suppose you want me to bake a few apple pies then" I just said "If it is not to much trouble" and went out the door. You see I have this theory that apple pies keep colds away and there is merit to an apple a day keeps the doctor away. In my case apple pies seem to do the trick and I have even given some thought to going on an apple pie diet. My wife says it will never work but I also say that someday I am going to do it, how will anyone know unless someone tries it. The wife does not argue with me about it just reminds me about the watermelon diet and how well that didn't go.

The Lodge is nice and cozy, not the word a grown man would use in conversation much but when a guy says it the meaning is a little different. Saying the Lodge is cozy is saying that it is not so warm that you can't be comfortable sitting at a round table with your coat still on. Your hands are warm and the smell of cigars and Wild Turkey is in the air but just a whiff not over powering. If you sit back in your chair you can hear spoons rattling around the sides of chili bowls, several conversations that mix and blend with each other to become just a low hum of voices spiked with some laughter. Some light spills through windows where the heavy drapes have been pulled back and soft yellow light in the corner tells you where the popcorn machine is at. No sooner do you see the popcorn machine and you can smell buttered popcorn that you didn't notice before.

Different sounds come and go and it takes a little while but then you notice you hear kitchen sounds each time the swinging door opens and closes to the kitchen. You feel a little draft and turning you catch the main door closing as a couple of members come in that way. There boots dragging across the wood floor of the Lodge add to the back ground noise as they walk over to the bar and slid a hip across the well-worn wood stools and put elbows on the bar top while blowing some warm breath on to their hands and wringing their fingers. You hear the slurp of air through a straw as the last few drops of a soda are sucked up and the sight of the ceiling fan slowly chasing itself in circles above your head. Then of course there is always the flickering flame of fire in the fireplace, never the same and the occasional crackle of an ember trying to make an escape. As I write this I think I might have taken a tad to much cough syrup, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,326,955}

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Bobby Bass

JUST A TEASE of sunlight here at Lake Iwanttobethere otherwise there is nothing but endless gray clouds moving across the sky heading out over the lake. Still leaves in the trees and they are moving in the breeze with the occasional gust knocking some loose from the branches to dart and float to the ground below. No rain so that is a good thing, the deck is dry for the first time in at least a week. I did notice some ice on the deck table though as it got cold enough to freeze last night. Mid afternoon now finds the ice melted and a small pool of water in its place. A check of the copper water basin for the birds shows it to froze last night.

That time of the year when weather takes over the conversations, Farmers are about done and more of them can be seen in town now. Sitting at the Dew Drop Inn or the Sunshine Cafe the Middle of the Block cafe seems to draw a lot of the farmers as the tourists don't want to have to park too far away from where they are getting lunch. Leather boots and heavy green or brown jackets are the norm for going to town and a baseball cap advertising some kind of tractor is usually perched on top of their heads. Boat landing below the Lodge is empty which is kind of strange for this time of the year. Of course we have been about ten degrees below normal for the month and everyday seems to have some rain falling. Duck hunters have enjoyed the weather but they are a different breed, I think a lot of them grew up being pitchers or kickers and they like being alone.

Still some leaves on trees but we did not get the big Leafer invasion this year. I am guessing it was the bad weather and the leaves were still green on the trees when the advance Leafer scouts came to our area. I know the apple tree at the cabin is still a healthy green and full of leaves. Matter of fact there are even a few apples on it. I thought I had picked them all but picking apples in drizzle is hard to do. One tends to get a shower of water in the face every time you pull an apple loose with the picker. My problem the last few days is trying to keep my hands warm, every time I put on a dry pair of gloves it takes but a few minutes for me to get them wet. I was down to a new pair of gloves yesterday when without thinking I went out to the old work trailer to take a tire out of it and reached right into a puddle of water. Back to the cabin to put the glove on the drying rack and I searched for a dry right hand one to replace the wet one with. Wife spotted me and told me I am dressing like the grand kids and she is going to sew my gloves together with a string so I don't lose them and I keep the same pair together.

With water freezing I did go out and pick the last of the tomatoes but I left four plants as an experiment. I double bagged them and tucked some hay around the bottoms. I want to see how long it takes before the cold finally gets to them. Still have tatters to dig up and radishes and carrots are buried under some hay still growing I hope. I think the grand kids will be put to work this weekend and we will dig tatters and clean up the big garden. It might even be dry enough to mow for the last time and I can put mowers away and bring the snow blower to the front of the garage. Still have to buy me some snow shovels but I am waiting for Big Earl to have his annual fall sale and then I will buy two or three of them. Just heard Mark the mailman beep his horn, means I have mail so I best get down and find out what new bill came here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,330,657}

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Bobby Bass

LOOKING FOR AN excuse to get away from the cabin yesterday I told the wife I was going to bring some tomatoes to the Resort. I put about two dozen of the un ripen tomatoes in a small box and no sooner did I get to the door and Duncan was waiting to get out. "Guess Duncan is coming with" I shouted over my shoulder as we headed to the Tahoe. Duncan acting like my private security ran to the Tahoe and made a circle around it. I chuckle every time I see him do it and I tell people I have him trained to inspected the Tahoe and make sure there is air in all four tires. Actually I don't know why he does it, I think he is just showing off that by the time I get to the truck he can run circles around it, show off.

The ride to the Resort is uneventful, we drive a little quicker then a grouse hunters crawl but not much. Lot of leaves down and you can see the lake from the road, not something you can do in the summer when the leaves are on the trees and the ditches are filled with waist high green grass. I kind of expect to see a deer but each turn I come around it is quiet. A lot of pontoons under blue tarps in yards and I even saw a couple of Ice Shanties in driveways. I make the turn at Elsie place and see she has the flock of pink flamingoes in her yard. I didn't stop and count but it sure looks like all two hundred and twenty-three of them are there. For a donation you can have the flock placed in a friend or someone you want to get back at yard. Then you have to hope for someone else to rent the plastic birds out or you have to pay the favor to someone else to get them out of your yard. With Chuck's wedding just three weeks away I was thinking maybe I will have the flamingos moved to his yard in time for the ceremony.

I arrive at the Resort to find two large boxes of green tomatoes sitting outside the green door. I just get out of the Tahoe and Vic steps out to exchange HIYA's with me. Seems the wife had called a head about the tomatoes and Vic thought she said I was coming to get tomatoes not bring them. The Resort garden was picked by Vic and Marv and we have all kinds of green tomatoes and Vic was looking for a place to get rid of the excess. Only so much relish you can can and he still had a few crates full of ripe tomatoes for salsa and sauce. Needing a place to get rid of the tomatoes Duncan and I headed for the Lodge. The sun was setting or it should have been if we could see it as we drove along the lake heading to the Lodge. I was watching the left side of the dirt road and Duncan had the right.

I saw a rabbit that Duncan missed and I was giving him a hard time about it, you know bad mouthing him as being a hunting dog and he just looked at me and bumped his head against my shoulder. We continued down the road and I lower the windows some as the heater was on and it was plenty warm. I heard a quiet rumbling sound and took my foot off the gas pedal and listened hard. With the problems I have gone through with the Tahoe I am pretty keen to listening to it. Tapping the gas the rumble does not change till I glance at Duncan and see him head hanging out the window and the rumble is coming from him. He is rock steady in the passenger seat staring back where we had come. I stop the Tahoe and put it in reverse and slowly back up. As I back up his head swings forward and when it is even with the truck I stop and look where he is looking. I don't see anything till I hear the little whine and then I look up and there sits two grouse in a popple tree looking back down at us. For some reason they choose then to take off and fly away back into the brush. Duncan stands up and turns to me and bumps his head against my shoulder. He then sits back down and looks forward, I spend the rest of the drive to the Lodge telling him, "Ok, so you found a couple of birds in a tree, big deal" from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,334,088}

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Bobby Bass

WOULD BE A nice day if there as no wind coming off the lake. Been busy here at the cabin as this morning I cleaned carpets and the ceiling fans are all on drying them. Yesterday I brought the two boxes of green tomatoes to the Lodge and Gus put them to good use. Vinnie was put to work slicing the tomatoes up and Gus made up a mix with some flour and spices and soon the first platter of fried green tomatoes hit the bar. Surprising how many guys like the fried tomatoes especially when they are free and no wife's are involved. Seems a lot of the guys have to barter with their wives to fry up tomatoes, kind of like me and my wife when it comes to making potato pancakes. I know I could learn to do it myself but where is the give and take the ying and the yang of getting your spouse to do something for you.

Now that the carpets are done I need to bring the cleaner back to the Lodge but I have it out on the deck drying after I rinsed it off with the garden hose. With the wind that is blowing it should not take long. Some sunshine is what is making forty-five degrees feel much warmer then what it is. I was even out in the garden for a few minutes just wearing my tee shirt fixing the plastic bags on the tomato plants. The wind is trying its best to blow the bags off and take them away. It got cool quick standing in the wind so I headed to the greenhouse to check on the peppers that are still growing inside. A calm eighty in there and it is about time the greenhouse got some sunshine so it can make some heat. I water the peppers and plucked a few small cherry tomatoes from the one plant that still has any on it.

Now I am planning the rest of my afternoon or at least part of it till I get distracted by something. Cleaner has to go back and with all this sunshine I am thinking I might take Duncan for a little walk where we saw those two grouse yesterday. I know there is a trail close by to where we spotted the birds and the way bird hunting has been this fall it is better to start where you know there are birds then go wondering and looking. Will have to be in the woods before four as after that the hunters come up from the city after work. Kind of like to be on a decent trail before they show up. Most guys are pretty good about seeing a truck at a trail and passing it but there are always a few guys on ATV's that have to drive around your truck and run down your trail. Every once in awhile I have actually had guys ride up on me say hi, how ya doing and go around me and head down the trail. If I am coming back it is no big deal but when I am still hunting it I end up scratching my hair and mumbling a few words under my breath. Depending on the day I might give up on the trail but sometimes I just go ahead and keep hunting and when I knock down a bird they drove by it is kind of satisfying especially when I show them when they come back out.

I do have a fishing rod down at the dock, big old daredevil hanging from it and from time to time I will walk down to the dock and fling a few casts out into Lake Iwanttobethere, don't really expect to catch anything but I know for sure I won't catch anything if I don't try. I would put a sucker out but Elmer does not have any in his bucket, I already looked. From a fall Friday have a good weekend, as for me. I'll be here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,337,648}

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Bobby Bass

ANOTHER DAY OF sunshine, I think I may be spoiled! Of course as I write this it all could change in a few hours. I woke in the middle of the night to hear some rain hitting the windows and rolled right back over and went back to sleep thinking well at least it is not snow. This morning there is water on the deck but there is also sunshine and some wind and already the bass thermometer hanging on the cabin wall is higher then what Sunshine Ray had forecasted. Tomorrow is going to be a banner day with a forecasted high of fifty, the way fall has been here this year it will be time for a bbq and time to get the old Hamms cooler out.

Duncan and I did get a walk in yesterday afternoon, I could drag a story out and tell you how we took a walk down a color filled autumn trail of blended brown grass and fallen colorful leaves but in short we walked and didn't see anything but a nice sunset. We are however started to jell as a hunting team, Duncan is getting the hang of staying a little closer and he does a little more inspecting of good looking areas. I think hunting with Buddy has been rubbing off on him. I should get him in the woods more then what I do but this has been a weird fall in a lot of ways. Long cold wet spring, a very short summer and into what has been a cool and wet fall. September was warmer then usual and that just added to the confusion. This winter is going to be an interesting one to forecast I think. The grand kids last night are now working on me to build a snow slide in the yard. Seems they were talking to their uncle who was telling of the times when he had a slide and how he could get up more speed and make it to the hill and down onto the lake. The six year old climbed into my lap last night and gave me her pout face and ask if she could have a slide like Uncle did, now I am thinking about building one.

Today's plan is to dig up the rest of the tatters and try and get the garden tilled, with the help of all the little people as I refer to the grand kids I might get it done. I really want to get all the cornstalks pulled out and vines and clear the garden, if I can con the grand kids into making it a contest I might get that done this afternoon. Grand ma has promised to bring them to a carnival so I only have them till late afternoon. But even as I write this the blue sky is being replaced by some gray clouds and that forecasted rain might be on its way. No sooner do I type that then a bright ray of sunshine pours through the window........

Ok I'm back, had to leave there as Duncan came back into the den and was acting all squirrely. The wife had let him outside and he was back scratching at the back door to get back in, He was let back into the cabin by one of the grand kids and made a beeline to me at the desk and was rasing a commotion head butting my leg and trying to get my attention. I like to call this "Doing the Lassie." You remember on the TV show Lassie every time someone fell into the well or a wagon tipped over on them Lassie would come back to the farm house to get help. All the dogs seem to do it when they want me for something. I tried to ignore him as I had this thought I wanted to type but he was bothering me so much I had to get up from the desk and follow him.

He took me to the gun cabinet and he stared at me and I stared at him. He gave up and went to the back door to be let out, I open the door and he stood in it holding it open for me. Ok I get it. I followed him out the door on to the deck and he was already standing on the grass waiting for me. I followed him onto the grass and now he was headed for the back trail, I tagged along and caught up to him where he was standing on the edge of the grass to the woods. He sat and looked at me and then looked back down the trail. I am thinking this is a pretty good hint he wants to go for a walk and I said that to him. With that he walked on to the trail and a grouse thundered out from the scrub brush and about hit me trying to get away. The look on Duncan's face looks a lot like the one I have been getting for years from Buddy, it is the "I am trying to show you something" look.

Well Duncan has my attention now and I look around the woods debating if I should go back and get the twenty gage but Duncan is already on his way back to the cabin. He sits on the deck watching me as I walk across the grass, for some reason I get the feeling he is being patient with me. I open the door and he walks in the cabin ahead of me. He goes in the living room and lays down on the floor next to Bud and he makes a few dog noises at Bud and the two of them are now looking at me. I return to the desk and here I am telling you how my dog just schooled me. I guess this kind of thing only happens at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,340,818}

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Bobby Bass

DAY AND NIGHT is what today is compared to yesterday, temperature wise. An almost balmy fifty degrees out yesterday afternoon and today the red needle on the bass thermometer is having a hard time getting past thirty-five. Overcast sky and a forecast calling for some snow showers but it is just a tad to warm for that. I am figuring maybe some sleet will fall or hard rain as the granddaughter calls it. I spent yesterday afternoon not wasting any of the sunshine as I had the garden tractor out and I mowed the yard for the last time. I mulched up leaves with extreme prejudice as I mowed and then raised the deck and mowed again turning the leaves into powder in my wake. Elmer had bought a few suckers and I borrowed one from him, each time I took a pass close to the lake I kept an eye on my bobber. I didn't really have to as Barney was on duty and he was sitting on the edge of the dock making sure nothing took the bobber under without him seeing it.

I also had a fire in the fire pit blazing away, I had my picker on the tractor and as I found branches or sticks big enough to pick up I did. I would then toss them in the fire as I went by. Normally this would have been a grand kid job but none were available for work. They were all at yet another Halloween get together. With Halloween being on a Thursday this year and it of course being a school night this weekend and next is when the get togethers are being held. I know I am going to have to make a trip down and see Big Earl at the General Store as I am just about out of Halloween candy that the wife so foolishly bought last week. I mean really how can one expect to put a bag of Kit Kat's in a clear jar on the counter and not have them get eaten?

The thought had passed my mind about taking Duncan on a little bird hunting walk but it was Sunday and the trails are pretty busy with hunters already out. I hear there is going to be a warm day later this week so we will get out then. Duncan sat on the deck along with Buddy and watched me doing my NASCAR driving in the yard. They looked content just getting up and moving to stay in the sunshine. Chuck came over to borrow the old snowmobile trailer, needed it to haul some hay. He usually buys hay in rounds for the horses but he was looking to get about fifty bales so he can use them as outdoor chairs for the wedding that is in just fifteen days. I have not used the old trailer in quite awhile so we had to put air in the tires and make sure the lights worked, which they didn't. Chuck took it to his place to work on the lights and asked when I needed it back, told him to just park it over there, I know where to find it. I then went back in to the cabin and found the To Do List and checked off, Get rid of old snowmobile trailer.

Tomorrow I have to go into town and visit Burt's and Bart's Barbershop, time for a haircut. My hat does not fit on my head so rather then buying a bigger hat I'll just get my hair shorten up some. Wife also told me I need to get it done for the wedding so I look presentable. Guess that means she wants me to look good standing next to her for them pictures that everyone has to take with their phones and never look at again. Speaking of looking good I was reading the Sunday paper the Lake Iwanttobethere Times and there was a story in there about how apples may be the perfect fruit. Of course the wife pointed out to me that just last month the story was that bananas were the perfect fruit. Anyway the story went on to say that three apples a day can do wonders for your health and weight. I pointed out to the wife that the story confirmed what I had been saying that a diet of apples and a beverage of your choice is all one needs. I also pointed out that three large apples would make for two very nice slices of pie. Here is a picture of our Lake Iwanttobethere apples compared to city apples and of course the beverage of choice, from Lake Iwanttobethere

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Bobby Bass

WE GOT A REAL freeze last night as this morning I woke up to frost on the windshield and a white deck. I knew it was coming there is only so long that Lake Iwanttobethere can keep us warm. Yesterday with the threat of snow that didn't fall I finally put the cover on the Puddle Humper and patted her on the side and told her to sleep tight till Spring. Batteries were carried inside and the last few odds and ends were put in storage. Work trailer was parked next to the greenhouse and a tarp spread over it. Ground around the new shed was picked up and anything that was not good enough to save was added to the fire pit fire. Had another fire going as there seems to be no end of sticks and branches on the ground along with leaves that insist on returning to my yard no matter how many times I blow them over to Elmers.

Daughter was having a hard time getting the fire started so I walked over and hit the small flame with the leaf blower. Of course as I was doing it I told her that I never want to catch her doing it. The little six inch flames soon was a roaring fire and you had to take a step back from the heat. With a real fire going we started to dump leaves into it and it may just be me but it seem like leaves in the yard were now blowing away. Duncan was helping as he was bring sticks to the fire and dropping them at the edge. I actually saw a few that I knew I had hauled to the fire pit yesterday. I told the daughter that I think Duncan is just culling his stick stash that he has hidden somewhere.

I ended the tomato plants in the double plastic bag experiment, with the cold weather coming I pulled the bags and surprisingly the tomatoes in the center of the plants were just fine and turning yellow. Only the tomatoes that were on the outside and close to the bags showed any sign of freezing. I brought in a box of tomatoes and put them on the kitchen table and the wife just gave me that look and asked me "What am I suppose to do with those?" I pointed to my ear that was covered by my cap and feinted like I could not hear her and was back out the door. I still have spuds to dig up I didn't get them all on Sunday and my radishes and carrots under the hay are doing fine, I checked. Maybe this afternoon I will go dig spuds for awhile. Not a great year for spuds, planting so late I missed a month of growing time and for every decent size tatter I dig up there are four little stew size ones that go in the box.

The two apple trees I planted last summer are doing fine, about ten feet tall now and I pulled the cage away from them yesterday and the daughter and I cleaned up around them and gave them a fresh cover of mulch for the winter. Big cages went back on to keep the deer away and I did the same with the two fruit trees the wife planted. They didn't seem to do anything but grow green leaves and take up space. A lot of geese around for this time of the year, they must be finding food somewhere to eat. Duncan no longer tries to chase them but sits at a respectable distance away from them. Since I have been working in the yard near dusk this last week I have also noticed a lot of crows, not just five or ten but upwards of sixty. I must be in the flight path of the crows on the way to their roosting tree. I have a big blue spruce and the crows seem to be using it as a rally point before continuing onward. Never had that problem when the eagle use to sit there. Almost time for me to head down for my haircut, Seems that since Bart has come back to join up with his brother Burt at the barbershop they are now taking appointments for haircuts. Even though their chairs are side by side Bart having worked in the big city declared that his chair is a "Salon" chair and he does beer er I mean beard trimming. Burt not to be out done is referring to his chair as the "Saloon" chair. Needless to say I did not make the appointment, the wife did. My wife was just in the room to reminding me that I have a salon appointment and better get going, a salon, who would have thought, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,348,620}

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Bobby Bass

I ARRIVED On time for my appointment for my haircut at Burt and Bart's Barber Shop slash Salon. Has been a few months since I had my ears lowered and right away I noticed a few things were different in the shop. First off there were customers sitting on the side of the room where Burt's chair is but there was no one waiting to get in Bart's salon chair. I was to find out that was because I had an appointment and the salon chair was reserved for only me. I didn't even have time to finish my HIYA's with Reed the Realtor and the guys and turn the first page on the latest outdoor magazine when Bart stepped out from the back room and waved his barber's cape like a matador and directed me with a flourish to his salon chair. I went to walk to his chair and he told me to leave the magazine, he has his own.

I sat down on the leather chair and it was warm to the touch, I was surprised and said so. Bart told me that his chair is heated and then glanced at his brother Burt and gave a little grin. I sat back in the chair and I must admit it felt pretty good, that is when Bart hit a switch and the chair started to move a little and I realized it was massaging my lower back. Bart swirled the cape around me and dusted my neck with a little baby powder before pinning the cape around my neck. I caught his eye and he just said "It keeps the neck from being chapped" and again glanced in Burt's direction. Bart then patted me on the shoulder and said he would be right back.

I closed my eyes and leaned back in the heated vibrating barber chair and thought this ain't so bad. A moment later and I felt a hand on my shoulder again and open my eyes to see Denise, Bart's wife holding a glass of white wine for me. I took the glass and looked at Denise with what I am sure was a questioning look. Denise just said " I am here to do your nails" and before I could protest she said it was included in the salon haircut. She pulled up a pink studded and rhinestone decorated rolling table and matching stool and dunked the fingers of my right hand into a green slimy liquid. I didn't say anything but just nodded my head yes like it was something I do everyday. What I was really doing is thinking that I am better off not doing anything as Denise is the sister of Doris who is the president of the local Ladies Auxiliary and you already know the reputation that Doris has in town.

With my fingers soaking I took a sip of the white wine, it was terrible and I was looking for somewhere to spit it, unfortunately the barber chair is not like the dentist chair where I can spit in that handy little sink. Denise patting me on my knee said she would be right back and got up and walked back to the back room, no sooner was she gone then Burt took the wine glass from me and replaced it with another. Denise came back and sat down and gave me a chilling smile or maybe I just imagined that and took my fingers out of the slime bath. Not thinking I took a sip from the wine glass and it went down smooth till it started to burn a little. I looked at Burt who was mouthing the word GIN to me.

Well a few more glasses of the gin and I was not remembering to much about the haircut, I arrived back at the cabin later that afternoon as Reed was kind enough to give me a ride home. The wife checked my fingers and neatly trimmed nails and gave them her stamp of approval. I am thinking no way will they last till the wedding or the weekend for that matter. As a matter of fact I have two weeks to get my hair to grow and my beard to fill back in. Getting a haircut in a vibrating chair is not such a good idea nor is trimming your beard, especially if you have a tad to much gin in ya, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,351,222}

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Bobby Bass

I WAS STANDING under the eve out of the dripping rain wondering to myself when had Lake Iwanttobethere moved to Portland Oregon. Today finds the lake waters being dimpled with falling rain and we are very lucky that it is forty-seven out not twenty-seven. If all the rain that has been dripping the past several days fell as snow we would be buried till spring. I took my time under the eves as the dogs were out doing their thing, I had a rather warm mug of hot apple cider in one hand and my other was tucked away in my red Woolrich plaid coat pocket. My cold which I was hoping was just going to be a mild little nuances has returned and brought along with it sneezes and a cough and I can feel all my joints and just a general soreness like what one feels like after a five day canoe trip that is all paddling and no fishing.

Today is Halloween and the rain is certainly going to put a damper on things. We don't get many kids at the cabin as it is and now with the rain even less kids will brave the elements to make the walk up the long drive. In town I am sure kids will work the streets where the houses are all close together and they can just cut across the lawns from one front door to another. Little different out here in the country. Normally Old McDonnell would hitch up his hay wagon and take kids around to his neighbors but in a conversation I had with Elmer this morning he said McDonnell told him if it was raining it was not worth getting the horses all worked up and wet over. Trees are losing leaves and as I stood and watched a little chill ran up by back and I switched hands holding the hot cider. I was watching leaves in the big Maple tree as they were just falling off the branches like divers off a ten meter diving platform. Some just soaking wet would fall right off doing a cannonball while others had a little degree of difficulty as they did tumbling three sixties to the wet ground below.

This past Tuesday night was Lodge meeting night and I missed it as I was a little under the weather. Not a real big turn out I heard as no real business was planned or discussed and after the reading of the last minutes the meeting was closed and members went back to watching the hockey game on TV. Next Lodge meeting won't be till December and that will be on New Year's Eve, I don't expect much business will be held on that night either. There is a good thing about all of this ran is that I have a full jar of Kit Kat's and if no kids show up to get any, well I just can't let them go to waste. I also have two full bags of apples that were dropped off at the cabin by a Lodge member who heard that I was apple poor this year. I can see a few apple pies in my future and I am sure I have mentioned the healing properties of apple pies when one has a cold.

Dogs were done with doing their thing and one by one they climbed up the stairs of the deck stood in front of me to shake their coats of water and waited for me to open the door to the cabin. Duncan was the last one and he didn't even bother to shake. Instead he came around to my side and sat down next to me and leaned into the side of my leg and joined me in watching the weather. He sat and looked up at me and licked his lips I knew what he wanted and I bent over to show him the hot cider and he sniffed it and looked at me "Ok" I said out loud and I stuck a finger into the cider and put it down so he could lick it. Duncan tasted the cider and kind of shook his head some "What, to much cinnamon " I asked him. I stood back up and took a sip of the cider and Duncan and I both watched the rain fall, yup just lucky it is not snow here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,353,126}

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Bobby Bass

HALLOWEEN HERE AT the lake was uneventful at least it was for me. The only kids that came to the door were the grand kids who were out in a bunch and they came in a car. They first hit Chuck's and then came through the brush to sneak up on me but Duncan heard them coming and I was already outside the door waiting for them. They put a pretty good dent in my jar of Kit Kats before heading to Elmer's cabin. Wearing headlamps the beams of light splattered across the tree tops and grass along the trail to the cabin. I heard some screams and saw the lights scatter and I figured that Elmer had open the door in his funeral suit. Elmer has but one suit, his funeral suit and he wears it but one time a year, Halloween. He does it to make sure it still fits him and when you are used to seeing Elmer wearing bibs and a battered baseball cap on his head the sight of him in a suit may be a tad scary. I am guessing with the falling rain he more them likely was also wearing his top coat but I am also willing to bet he was still just wearing his bedroom slippers. Elmer's idea of makeup is to drip a few drops of ketsup on his face and do his zombie impression. Come to think of it his funeral suit does kind of look like what a zombie would wear.

The first day of November finds me with brisk winds and the sound of the wind chimes banging. Overcast sky and for awhile there the sun was shinning but that is gone now. Some waves on the lake and I don't see anyone fishing, I would have been surprised if I had. Lot of leaves came down in the past few days and I am thinking I might have to get the garden tractor out and mow them up. Warm weather in store for us as it is forecasted to be in the forties most of the week and dry. Looks like I will be able to get some more things checked off the to do list here at the cabin. If I am really lucky it will dry out and I will be able to till the gardens here and at the Resort. I talked with Vic on the phone this morning and he reported no one came to trick or treat. He also wanted to know what he should do with the two bags of Kit Kat's that I suggested he should buy for treats. I just told him to put them in a cabinet and I will find something to do with them.

Movie night tonight and all the grand kids will be over, adults are going to an adult Halloween costume party in town but I volunteered to stay and watch kids. I used the kids and my cold as an excuse not to go to the party and have to face Lodge members asking me questions about my salon fingernails. Bad enough the # two grand daughter told me I have pretty fingers and she wanted to know if she could paint my nails to look like big pumpkins so they would match hers. I rolled my eyes at the wife and she just smiled back at me, I think she was enjoying the grand daughter's comments. I have some potatoes that are ready to get the dirt rubbed off of them and put in bags for storage. As soon as the wife heard I was going to do that she got me a pair of gloves and told me I better wear them, don't want to break a nail..

This afternoon I have plans to go up to the deer camp and check it out, going to bring both Duncan and Bud with. Have been meaning to get up there but none of my grouse trips have taken me in that direction. Chuck was up there a few weeks ago and said there was a tree leaning out over the road that may have to be chain sawed out, especially if Reed brings his RV I don't have time to do any cutting today but I will be able to check on the tree and the deer shack. Still a good excuse to get out for an hour and maybe see a bird here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,357,425}

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Bobby Bass

DON'T HAVE TO cut the tree down on the way into the deer shack, it fell on it's own. Had some loose plans for today and now they have changed. After the grand kids leave this afternoon Chuck and I will take the Dodge up to the deer camp and will fire up the chain saw and take care of the tree. For now we will just cut the trunk up and drag it off to the side of the road and then while we are at deer camp we will cut it up to stove length and stack it for next season. The tree I guess just decided it had enough and looks like it gave up in that little wind storm we had a few weeks ago. I drove up to it and parked, Bud and Duncan were let out and I half expected a bird or two to fly out when they went and inspected it, but nothing was there.

I got up to the shack pretty late in the afternoon and with the overcast sky it was an early sunset. Actually a pretty good time to find grouse working the trail and we walked in careful like. A few puddles of water which Bud walked around and Duncan walked through. Every dog I have ever had when they are young they just have to walk right through the center of the puddle. Come to think of it little kids and dogs are very much the same at that age. I walked down the center, between the two faint ruts and stayed out of the water. Normally I would drive right up to the clearing where we park but with the tree down I had to walk. When we got to the clearing I stopped and just looked for awhile. In the past I have seen birds catching some sun along the edge and from time to time have also walked up on deer, no sunshine so no birds or deer.

Almost all the leaves are down on the trees around the shack, the dark shack blends right in with the trunks of the trees around it. I walk around the shack checking windows and the shed looking for any sign of any visitors, both two legged and four legged. Looks like someone used the outhouse and forgot to close the door. On closer inspection I see why, someone had shot the door latch off. Guess they didn't see any birds so shooting the latch off was their next option. Bud and Duncan walked around the shack, noses down close to the ground. Bud stopped from time to time giving a few spots a closer sniff. A few of them he looked in my direction as to show me something or someone had been there. Duncan was just sniffing for the sake of sniffing and to show the old man that he was on the job.

The shack looked secure and the light was fading so I whistled up the dogs and we took a trail that makes a loop back to where the Tahoe was parked. I was still hoping to kick up a bird and as soon as we hit the trail Bud went into hunting mode and Duncan started to range from side to side. This part of the woods has birch and maples and the birch trees in the fading light stood out. Footsteps were quiet in the thick carpet of damp leaves and although this is not the best bird cover for some reason birds to come in here, just not yesterday. Back at the Tahoe I have to wipe Duncan's feet before I let him climb into the truck, Bud patiently waits his turn.

We make a detour to the Resort and find Vic just making some supper. He was having pancakes as pancakes can be for any meal. There is some batter left so I make a few more, not for me but for the dogs. I give Duncan and Bud both two big pancakes with instructions not to tell the wife. I chat with Vic for a few minutes before the dogs and I get back into the Tahoe and head home. Bud sits in the front seat still licking his lips and Duncan is in the back with his head out the window. Some things a guy has to keep a secret from his wife, like sharing pancakes with his dogs, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,360,586}

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Bobby Bass

PAY BACK MONDAY'S I hate days like today. Yesterday was almost the kind of day that the Lake Iwanttobethere Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Board advertises as a late fall day here at the lake. There was some sunshine, just a slight warm southern breeze and the temperature was in the low fifties. Maple trees were dropping leaves one by one from their branches and they were piling up under the trees undisturbed. Today it has been dripping rain off the eves since early morning. Everything is wet and it is about ten degrees cooler but it feels colder. As I sit in the den here at the keyboard I can hear the sound of water splattering off the rain barrel just outside my window. The barrel has been turned over for winter and the rain is hitting the bottom which is now the top and it sounds like a drum being practiced on.

Dogs were outside but just long enough to do their thing and now they are in the living room. Duncan was pestering me looking for attention so I took him back to the living room and put a grouse hunting dvd in the player for him to watch. Barney is sleeping on the couch, legs hanging over the edge with his head on a pillow, looks more like a student after a frat party then a dog. Bud is watching the dvd with Duncan, I can almost hear him thinking out loud, did that, did that, done that, been there. With the dogs busy I made a stop at the kitchen for the last piece of apple pie and found it missing and the pie pan in the sink. I then remembered that Elmer was over this morning talking with the wife, I bet he got my last piece of pie.

Yesterday afternoon Chuck and I got in the Dodge with both of our chain saws and a jug of bar oil and a full gas can. I made sure the tow chain was in the tool box along with the ax. Wife heard we were going to the shack and her eyes lit up a little, I should have know then that she was up to something. The day was too nice to sit back at the cabin and watch football but we had the game on the radio and with the windows open we put flame to cigars as soon as we were out of sight of the cabins. Deer camp is not a long ride and with the cigars half gone and the first quarter of the game over we arrived at the turn off and eased down the grassy road to the fallen tree. We did a walk around and decided as long as we have two chain saws we would just both start at an end and meet in the middle.

We worked on the tree and took a few water breaks, we are not as young as we used to be and the saws seem to be getting a little heavier. Tossing the branches back away from the road took the most effort and it of course reminded us of times we had spent together being stuck in the woods and not having a chain saw or tow chains to get us out. Of course a lot of those times were spent with two wheel drive pickup trucks or small cars that had no right being in the woods with not like the 4x4's that are common nowadays. With the tree trunk cut up and stacked between two birch trees along the edge of the road we put saws back in the truck and drove down the trail to the clearing. We got out and made a quick walk around and Chuck looked over the outhouse and the shot off latch. Coming back to the truck he just shook his head and we spent the drive back out thinking out loud what should be done to who ever shot the latch off. We finally just figured that someone really was in a hurry to use the outhouse and neither one of us was willing to go back and check, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,365,527}

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Bobby Bass

SPENT THE MORNING in town today, had a few errands to run and made some stops getting ready for deer season. Was at Ma and Pa's Grocery with my list of things we need for the weekend. Pa looked over my deli cut list and it will be ready by Friday afternoon for pickup and I secured space in the cooler to hang a deer or two I hope. Snow in the forecast for later this afternoon but not on this side of the lake, A couple of inches may fall on the other side which would be good for tracking except their season does not start for a few more weeks. Looks like just more rain for here, overcast sky and just a little breeze blowing so to warm for snow to stick. I am expecting that the ground will be just be wet by morning.

The other day when Chuck and I went to the shack and cut the tree up the wife stayed at home and I think I mentioned that she had a little twinkle in her eyes. Well when Chuck and I got back to the cabin she had been doing some tree trimming of her own. There is a section of split rail fence about thirty feet long that has several Lilac trees growing in and around it like a hedge. The wife took out the loppers and trimmed the entire hedge line down from about ten feet to waist high. I drove up to find a nice brush pile lying along the driveway and the wife was no where to be found. A note on the kitchen table told me I should just haul the whole mess out into the woods and dump it there. Of course after it dries then it will find it's way back to the burn pile.

My first thought when I saw the driveway covered in branches was to just dig the chipper out and just chip the whole mess up but after I ran the tiller through the garden and the lawn tractor across the leaves in the yard daylight was gone. By the time I got up yesterday the falling rain had everything wet and I didn't feel like getting wet so this afternoon Chuck came over with the tractor and a few passes with the bucket and the problem is out of sight and out of the yard. Back in town I did spend some time down at the General Store talking with Big Earl and Junior. They are both coming to the Hotel this weekend. The Hotel is what we refer to as deer camp and they are both already packed or so they say. I got sidetracked talking to a few of the guys leaning up against the counter back in sporting and I completely forgot to buy a couple of shovels which was the real reason I had stopped by. I did pick up a few bags of Kit Kat's that were in the clearance bin and of course a couple of bags of lemon drops to suck on in the stand.

I made a stop at the Lodge and checked in I actually had a reason to be there as Chuck is in need of tables for the wedding which is only one week away. I made sure that no one else had written their name on the clip board for the tables and a couple of dozen fold up chairs. I also made a small donation and the two hundred and twenty-three Pink Flamingoes will be moved to Chuck's yard on Monday, just in time for Tuesdays wedding. A well spent twenty dollars I am thinking and with any luck no one else will be in need of the flamingoes and they will winter over in Chuck's yard. I am sure his rooster will have a heart attack when he sees all them birds on his turf. I don't know what Lucky the duck will do but that will be Chuck's problem. So the deer season countdown begins, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,367,930}

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Bobby Bass

Getting ready for deer camp and I remembered a couple of stories I wrote awhile back about Deer Camp, Don't think I can write it any better now so here is a repost of Deer Camp part one to help you get in the mood, Bobby

Traffic picking up along Main Street here at Lake Iwanttobethere. Pickups and SUV's with orange clad drivers and passengers making stops and picking up forgotten items left at home on kitchen tables. The lucky ones have taken off from work a day early and are already settling in to deer camp. Wood to chop and mouse traps to empty. Stoves to clean and floors to be swept. Cupboards need stocking and rolls of tp stacked on the little shelf in the outhouse. The beam for hanging deer will need to be checked and rope coiled at the bottom. The wall of honor will be dusted and time spent looking over the collection of pictures stapled to it. A few more will be added from last year and with it some more stories for the deer shack or the Hotel as we call it.

The old school chalk board will be wiped clean and the menu for the first supper will be printed in nice block letters. The bar will be stocked and ashtrays wiped. At each new arrival another slot on the wall gun cabinet is filled. Bunks are claimed and sleeping bags rolled out. Favorite pillows are fluffed and tossed on top. Coolers are emptied and stacked just outside the door. A new propane tank is hooked up and the old one secured in the back of the pickup. A broken antenna wire is twisted together running out to the Pine and the crackle of static and Garage Logic makes background noise.

Each new arrival brings everyone to the door as they are greeted with handshakes and slaps on the back. Quick work is made of unloading and soon the Hotel is filled with laughter and insults. It does not take long to catch up. Chairs are pulled up to the big circle table and cigars are lit. A few more will arrive tomorrow and the circle will be complete. Some will stay for the weekend some will last a week. A vacation planned for the day after they left last year. Some will be there the entire deer season or will make the drive back and forth from home. The stew pot is started and placed on top of the old black cooking stove. It's aroma starts to fill the air of the hotel, mixed with cigar smoke and the sound of cards being shuffled. Plans are discussed and fingers pointed at the hand drawn map on the wall. Like generals we all stare at the map looking for something we might have never seen before.

The lamps are lit and windows cracked open. A little smoky and getting a tad warm inside. A few guys head to the porch and sitting in old chairs and testing the swing they drink strong coffee and pull on cigars till the ends grow red. Sun settles down into the trees and the woods around them grows suddenly quiet. They stop talking and are wrapped in there own thoughts of nights past. First one then another notices out past the feeder just at the edge of the clear cut a doe and two fawns are working there way towards the feeder. The doe has her head up and she is sniffing the breeze, the fawns are more intent on checking the feeder. Soon all three are in the trough feeding. The guys on the porch sit quietly, watching. Seeing fawns is good. About then a pair of headlights and the sound of an engine can be heard working it's way through the grassy trail to the Hotel. The last members of the party have arrived, twelve hours early.

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 {1,368,316}

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Bobby Bass

SOME SNOW ON the deck this morning but it is turning into a sunny day. Rather then make you wait I will post part two of Deer Camp before I go into town for my flu shot and my appointment with Doc Burriems nurse Mrs Stitch....

Part two

Saturday afternoon found me back in the stand by mid afternoon. After a bowl of stew and a short nap I was dressed and ready to spend time in the stand. I slowly worked my way back down the trail but was sidetracked. Along the freeway is a wide drainage ditch full of water. There are a few places where one can cross going across fallen trees. Not being young and fleet of foot anymore I wait till it freezes during hunting season before crossing it. With it being 50 out today there was no frozen water here. As I was going to take the trail around the ditch I spotted movement down the trail running along the ditch. Looking through my scope I could see something flashing in the sunlight from side to side. Thinking Chuck was messing with me my first thought was that it looked like it could be a sandwich bag on a branch. He has done this in the past to me. Just something to bother me on my stand seeing that movement from a few hundred yards away. Well I figured I would go down and remove the bag and return the favor to him on his stand tomorrow.

Walking down the trail I took my time. Walking slow and from time to time looking down the trail as I also looked from side to side and of course stopped to watch the trail behind me. I put the scope up from time to time but I still could not make out what was flashing. I took a break and leaning up against a tree watched as a grouse landed on the other side of the ditch and then another. Eating buds the two birds worked the tree. Cooled down I again started working my way down the trail. Traveling another 50 yards or so I took a peek down the trail and froze. The biggest, widest deer I have ever seen was standing on the other side of a dead Pine in the middle of the trail. It's tail wagging like a happy dog from side to side. I had no shot from this distance and my heart was cranking up as I watched through the scope. Suddenly the coat I was wearing was very hot and very heavy.

Muttering to myself I was cursing Chuck out for making me think he had pulled the plastic bag trick. I moved a few steps to the side of the trail and dropped my pack and took off the heavy coat. Lighter now I moved forward at a snails pace trying to make up ground with what I could now see was a huge swamp buck. Trouble was the buck was now on the move also. For every step I took he took two. Bending down at the waist I concentrated on looking at the trail ahead and quicken my pace. It took about five minutes or half a life time to reach the fallen Pine. The buck to my surprise was still on the trail walking away from me like he was taking a stroll in the park. All he gave me was a shot from behind and not anywhere close to a good one. From time to time he would lift his head up showing a massive rack with more tines then I could count, He would then drop his head and continue to walk, his nose dragging on the ground. I watched as he continue to open the distance between us. I made the decision to cross the tree and follow. I put my hand up on the trunk and a branch broke. It sounded like a paper bag exploding in a funeral home. The Buck and I locked eyes and with out a pause the buck turned and in one bound powered by hidden boosters cleared the ditch and was gone in another bound into the cedars.

I never had a chance. By the time I made it back to the hotel I had a great story to tell. I came out of the trail to the clearing and now there were three deer hanging from the beam. Chuck smoking a cigar and telling how he out waited a six pointer that was busy following three does. I put the rifle in the rack and went and sat out on the porch. Elmer asked me how it went and I told him, " Saw one but didn't have a shot" Elmer nodded and sat down on the porch next to me. " Was it a big one?" He asked, I just smiled and nodded.

All in all a good first day here at the Hotel. Sunday we sleep in late as we eat well Saturday night, cards, a few beers a lot of stories and lots of memories to relive. Stories of deer hunts and pictures of kids and grand kids to show off. Ribbing about old girl friends and good divorces. A lot of "Do you remember when" stories. The right side of the chalk board will have a to do list started. A new toilet seat for the outhouse is the first thing on the list. Some more mouse traps to, maybe some of the ones that catch more then one at a time.

A few guys only have the weekend to hunt and have to make the drive back. They will bring the three deer back to the local butcher that we all use. With luck we will have a couple more by tomorrow night. I have already decide to wait for a chance at that big buck. I would like to lock eyes with him again. If not there is still a lot of time, it is after all just the end to the first day.

Sunday morning arrived with just about everyone heading out to their stands. The extra hour of sleep with daylight savings time actually seem to make a difference. I put my colored push pin on the wall map at the edge of the swamp. This lets everyone know where I am hunting at. I spent the morning on the edge of the cedar swap, waiting to see if the buck would return. A clear sunny sky and windy. No frost and not a bad morning to be in the woods. I saw nothing. Other then a well worn trail heading back deeper into the cedars. When noon arrived I took a walk around the edge of the swamp and found another well worn trail, will have to go back to the map and do some studying. I came out about One into the clear cut by the Hotel. Mark's bright red mini-van was backed up to the porch. The same van that Mark received so much grief over last night was now the center of attention. Seems he didn't say anything last night but today everyone was scattered on the porch watching the football game on the van's TV Scattered around the guys were an assortment of battery powered hand tools, hammers and tape measures. Repairs were being made to the Hotel during commercials and time outs. Mark was now receiving compliments on how smart his wife was in buying the mini-van.

Well it looks like the guys will be watching football and next weekend most will be back at the Hotel. I am lucky enough to be able to come up during the week and I have a date with a certain buck. Might even bring the shotgun out to see if them grouse have any friends. Hope you had a good weekend From the Hotel at Lake Iwanttobethere where the fishing is always good, the birds fly slow and the deer grow big really big.. {1,372,587}

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Bobby Bass

Just two more days till opener and last night it was crisp and cold with just a sliver of a moon. Here is part three of deer camp to help you get to Saturday.

Part 3

Came back in from deer camp yesterday morning had to bring the three deer to Ma and Pa's so Pa can butcher them up for us and quick freeze them. Also we had a small problem at the Hotel early this morning at breakfast time. After the fire went out in the wood stove Billy, a friends nephew who was hunting as a guest this year did a no no. His bunk is close to the wood stove and his mouse traps were still active during the night. Instead of removing the mice and disposing of them outdoors he simply flicked them into the wood stove. This morning when the stove was lite and just about the time we were going to start frying bacon there was an aroma that was not to appealing coming from the wood stove. At first we thought we had just gotten some bad bacon but in passing Billy made mention of the mice. Billy was to drive in with the deer but was convinced that he should stay and clean out the wood stove, or else.

After a quick stop at home for a change of clothes and a much needed shower I headed back to deer camp. Picked up a few of them hanging air fresh trees to hang by my bunk, just in case. Deer camp is a lot like Fish camp, except there are no fish. Pretty much the same stories except for deer being involved. Of course every year if someone does not get lost then a story is brought up about when someone did. Now being lost is a badge of honor. In the old days there were no GPS or cell phones out in the woods. Now a days you really have to work to get lost. In the old days a few minutes into a nice thick cedar swamp a few wrong turns and yup, you were lost. It might take you a few minutes or a few hours to find your way out. Usually at the next tote road about a mile from Deer camp. Sometimes you would be found by the next hunting party over. You would then have to explain how you came out on there side of the swamp and would accept the ride back to your camp and the long looks over the noses of your hunting buddies as they claimed you and then pretended that you were just a Guest at the camp.

Cooking at deer camp is simpler as when you are starving you don't taste anything till you are half done cleaning your plate. Ash in your food is quickly dismissed as pepper. Left over coffee is strong enough to soak the chili pot in and clean just by rinsing. In deer camp there are those who can cook, those who think they can cook and those who can tell others how to cook. The last group are usually divorced. Our camp has a few cooks and we take turns. I am a supper cook, I don't do breakfast. I am not the dishwasher nor am I the potato peeler. Everyone has a place in the food chain. I used to be the dishwasher but was fired after it was discovered that I would simply place the last meals dishes in a mesh bag and toss them in the creek. The running water and minnows did a nice job I thought. Now I just cook, mainly because I can put everything on the table at the same time and it is all hot.

Trouble with an old deer camp like ours is we get sidetracked with old man conversations. Of course we talk about kids and grand kids and wife's if there names come up. But we get sidetracked with our bottles of pills that we have to bring up. Young camp, slabs of bacon and ham, Eggs by the dozens, gooey peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, candy bars and o the beer.. Now we compare bottles of blood pressure meds and eat shredded wheat. The wife's send up thin sliced meat and light mayo. We of course use a pound of the sliced meat and real mayo on one of our two sandwiches to eat at the stand. The night before heading to the deer camp is spent by a few of the Cooks to go grocery shopping. For those who cook on a regular basis this is no big deal. They know there way around a supermarket. Here they run into the deer camp cooks who don't touch a frying pan for 50 weeks out of the year. These are the guys who have one guy pushing the cart and two others working both sides of the aisle tossing stuff into the cart. These guys are tossing in bags of French fries ( no deep fryer at camp ) A turkey ( no pans at camp ) Eggs and the thick slab bacon. When they hit the chip isle they go into super bowl mode and get two of everything and dip! Later you will see these guys riding a four wheeler to your camp asking if they can borrow a cup of sugar and do you have any salt? And by the way do you have any idea how long you fry a turkey?

Deer Camp, it sure does have a good ring to it. Sounds almost as good as Fish Camp does in early May air is cool when you get up in the morning. Might have to wipe some frost off the wood chair on the porch as you sit with a steaming cup of what you were told was coffee. The smell of burning bacon and rubber eggs. Ducking as the first few "Test" pancakes are tossed over your head towards the deer feeder. They join the uneaten Test pancakes from the other morning. You watch as a chipmunk makes wide detour around them. Yup Deer Camp, glad I am back here.

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 {1,374,965}

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Bobby Bass

Part Four

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 its 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 laid 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 its 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 queue 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 at the watch under the cuff of my coat I saw it was already almost four. Kind of late to shoot a deer now I was thinking.

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 lowered 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 then 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 truck's 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. Too 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, but 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 a small deer herd exiting Chucks yard to cross my yard heading in the direction of Elmer's. 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...

So with that tomorrow is the start of deer season here at Lake Iwanttobethere. I am sure there will be a few new chapters to add to the Deer Camp story and may even be an adventure in there some where. Have a safe hunt and maybe I'll see you in the Lodge here at Lake Iwanttobethere

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Bobby Bass

SILENT SUNDAY AT deer camp finds me mid morning sitting in my stand listening to the quiet around me. The walk in was quiet as the wind that came up yesterday afternoon blew most of the leaves off the trail that I use to get down to the swamp stand. I drew the swamp stand in the straw vote Friday night. I have heard but two shots this morning and if I was a betting man I would bet they were both misses. Yesterday no one in our party even saw a deer but then it was a day of weather change. Started off with snow on the ground and the walk in was quiet till I hit the piles of leafs that were measured in feet not inches. Pretty hard to be quiet when wading through dried leaves that had somehow found their way to my trail. You would think my stand was in the mythical elephant graveyard for leaves.

As I said I drew the swamp stand which actually I like as it is a short walk from the Hotel and most of the time is protected from the weather. The stand is mine till Monday when who ever is still at deer camp can then trade or barter for other stands. We do it this way so everyone treats all the stands as their own and take's care of them. With the draw you never know which stand you will be in on come opening morning. Snow fell on Friday and depending on who was talking we got any where from one to two inches. The walk into the stands was quiet for most of the guys but like I said I had the leaves to deal with. Yesterday I sat on the stand for a good chuck of the day and watched the snow melt, I didn't see a deer. I saw but one grouse and two squirrels that sounded like bull moose coming through the leaves. To the North I heard gunshots just after sunrise and they sounded like someone was playing a pinball machine. I figured it was either a very lucky deer or a very bad shooter but that was the highlight of the morning.

By mid afternoon most of the snow was melted except for the stuff at the base of trees. The wind came up and the leaves came down. Lucky for me I had my back to the wind so it was not so bad but could have been better. The wind was blowing my scent right in to my shooting lanes but at least I was not getting beat up by the leaves. I managed to stay on the stand till dusk and the slow hunted my way back to the Hotel. I say slow hunted because I was so stiff that I could not walk any faster if I wanted to. I got to the camp and checked out the empty hanging pole, no deer it would seem.

I shook myself off at the door and entered into the Hotel and into the light. The open door let a square of light shine out onto the porch floor and disappeared as I closed the door and came in to catch the guys sitting at the big round table. Faces looked at me with raised eye brows and expectations and I looked back and shook my head from side to side in the universal nope, I didn't get a deer sign. A few shrugged shoulders, I heard someone say "I told you so" and I think I saw money exchange hands. Spoons in bowls made clinking sounds and several of the guys started speaking at the same time. I put the trusty 30-30 in the wall rack along with the other deer rifles in camp and made my way to my bunk. Took me a few minutes to get my gear put away and then I made my way to the stove wearing my special hotel slippers with antlers and lifted the lid on the big pot. Using a ladle I stirred the stew and watched as big chunks of steak came to the top. Looks like Big Earl had made his steak stew for supper and I was thinking this is going to hit the spot.

I filled a bowl with the steak stew and grabbed several warm rolls that were in the oven. I walked over to the big round table and a space opens up on the bench right across from the wood stove. Another custom here at deer camp is the spot in front of the wood stove is always given up to the last hunter who comes in from the outside. Being the last hunter I have the hot spot till I give it up but right then it felt pretty good to feel the heat on my back side. As I ate I listen in on several conversations going on at the same time around the table. Small talk about fishing and bird hunting, Big Earl was talking with Junior about some store business till Elmer reminded him about the rule of no shop talk allowed at deer camp. I used my last chunk of roll to get the last of the gravy from my bowl and smacked my lips in satisfaction. That is when Marv whisked away my stew bowl and with a flourish placed a slap of apple pie with a dollop of whip cream on top in front of me, got to love supper at deer camp.

The sun has come out and is shinning on my little e reader that I have in the stand with me. I have loaded some books on it that I have been saving to read. It also has a note feature that lets me write. I figure I can sit in the stand and take notes of passing thoughts and then just edit them together to make stories from the deer camp. I don't know about you but I have solved a lot of the world's problem when sitting in my deer stand, trouble is I forget the solutions to the problems by the time I get back to camp. So far today I have come up with no answers but I was thinking about last night's slab of apple pie and thought I would just jot a few things about opener down. Today the sun is forecasted to come out and already I am getting a glare on the screen making it hard to see what I type. This is about as hi tech as we get, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,384,504}

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Bobby Bass

LUNCH TIME HERE at the Hotel and as I sit at the laptop I am still swaying from side to side. Last night after supper several of the guys had to go back to town as they work this morning. This means that stands were open for anyone left to use. I foolishly picked the stand up on the ridge and this morning after about twenty minutes I had second and third thoughts about my choice. It was not about the temperature, that was at best twenty degrees it was the wind. It was blowing steady and the stand was swaying from one side and then back to the other. It was more like I was out fishing in two feet of chop. OK it was about the temperature to, it was cold and I had my head hunkered down as deep as it could be into my coat and collar. No snow on the ground, that had all melted yesterday but when I left the Hotel the porch was covered in frost and the few puddles that held water yesterday were frozen solid this morning.

This deer camp is shaping up to be an odd one. On Sunday no one for the second day in a row saw a deer. This morning was more of the same and I didn't even hear a shot but with the wind blowing it would have had to been close. Normally we would still have a full camp on the first Monday but there is the wedding. I know I have mentioned it a few times but tomorrow is Chuck's wedding and guys will be taking off work tomorrow instead of today. Matter of fact I will be heading home myself after this afternoons hunt. Will be the first time anyone can remember that no one has been at deer camp everyday during opening week. Will have to start the warming up process all over again. Everyone knows that it takes a few days to really get the shack warm, The air might heat up but it takes a few days to get the walls warm and the furniture and the bunks up to room temperature. Sitting at the table here the chair actually feels warm for the first time this weekend.

Got my fingers crossed that this wind is going to die down before the outdoor ceremony tomorrow. Wedding is at three and Sunshine Ray is forecasting sunshine and no snow but he is not saying to much about the wind. Heck I am hoping the wind dies down this afternoon so I can sit in the stand. Elmer and Marv and Gus are here with me. Gus took the entire week off and Vinny and Honey are running the Lodge for the week. Of course we will check in but we have a strict policy about turning off cell phones and leaving them in the wicker basket on the shelf by the shack's door. So getting a hold of us is not that easy but we do sneak a peak at the phones maybe once in the evening.

Drapes are all pulled back here in the hotel and sunshine that is coming through the windows feels good. Not a cloud in the sky which is good for sunshine but I don't think the wind and all the sunshine is going to get any deer moving. This afternoon I am going to take the walk down to the swamp stand to get out of the wind and hopefully catch something sneaking out of the swamp. There will be wind down there but not like what is hitting us here at camp. I was out to the outhouse and when I came back the smoke coming out of the stove pipe was just clearing the top before being whipped away by the wind. Someday we are going to figure out a way to heat the outhouse because that is one place that never stays warm. Of course the glass top does give us some solar heating for the lucky guy who gets to go in there when the sun is shinning. But we also find that having a solar heated outhouse can make it smell a little ripe on the warmer days.

Well I think a little snooze in is the plans for this afternoon, I see the overstuffed chair is getting full sunlight and it looks pretty inviting. Marv and Elmer are playing cribbage and Gus is fiddling with a soup of some kind on top of the old wood stove. Don't think there will be a report tomorrow as with the wedding I will be busy. Being the best man I still have to come up with some kind of toast for the bride and groom. I am thinking that I should be able to come up with an idea while I sit on the stand this afternoon. I always seem to do my best thinking on a deer stand or on a boat seat. I have even gotten a few good ideas in the outhouse, getting rid of that metal toilet seat was one of them, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,389,166}

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Bobby Bass

JUST BACK IN from getting the mail at the end of the drive, forgot all about it yesterday. Sunshine Ray is forecasting a warmer day but the trip to the mailbox gave me the chills just now. A least twenty mile an hour winds out there and the red needle on the bass thermometer is just nudging thirty, a combination that makes it feel a lot colder then what it is. Yesterday was wedding day and I have to admit it was the first one that I have gone to outside in the month of November. The wedding was held outside on the grounds of what is now known as The Ranch. The Minster in his opening comments called it that as part of his audience watching the ceremonies were Chuck's horses and dogs took up the front row. Hay bales had been placed in a semi circle for guests to sit at under propane heat lamps. Chuck's dogs Echo and Tatter sat along side my dogs Bud, Barney and Duncan in the front row.

A partly cloudy cool afternoon and some wind had everyone wearing hats and mittens. Several orange hats were pulled down over ears and also some full blaze orange coats were being worn. The Minster was just getting ready to make his opening remarks when one of the nephews open the gate to the chicken coop and lead by Lucky the duck the chickens came out to mingle with the crowd. Echo the wonder dog was yelled at by Chuck to "Herd em up" and it took a few minutes for the dog to move the chickens back to the coop. With the coop secured we got back to the wedding and during the delay most of the guest had filled cups with coffee, hot cider or cocoa. The gathering now sitting and standing around the hay bales looked a little like the towns chorus at an outdoor practice.

With everyone now in place the music started and we waited for the bride but that was interrupted by a late arriving car. A couple of elderly ladies got out and made their way past the other parked cars and trucks along the road and looked confused as they came upon the tables of steaming hot dishes. I walked over and asked if I could help them and they told me they saw all the cars parked along the road and thought there was a rummage sale going on. I then told them it was a wedding and if they would like to take a seat there was a empty hay bale on the groom's side. They helped themselves to some cocoa and took a seat, I gave the Minster the OK sign and we went back to the ceremony.

The rest of the ceremony went off without a hitch, the Minster was brief as he had forgotten to bring gloves. When the couple was presented to the crowd there was some whooping and hollering and very little clapping, no one had anywhere to set their coffee cups. Propane heaters were moved closer to where the table and chairs were set up and more wood was added to the fire in the pit. Darkness fell and with it the wind died down some. Lines formed at the food tables and soon plates were filled with slabs of hot pork and beef. Baked potatoes wrapped in tin foil were a hot item as people were taking one for their plate and one to put in their pocket, they made great hand warmers. Hot dishes were scooped onto plates and eaten quickly before they got a chance too cool and the butter went untouched for the rolls, it was pretty much frozen to the plate.

Kids ate and then went to play hide and seek in the darkness. Parents went to find kids hiding between hay bales and dogs weaved in between guests collecting pats before moving on. For awhile the moon could be seen just above the tree tops lighting up the thin layer of snow that was on the ground. Solar Christmas lights that decorated the cabin and along the fence line started to come on and someone said Northern lights. Everyone stopped eating and shared the view and one of the horses nayed and the moment was over. Hot dish pans were emptied and desert was served, pies and cookies and smores made over the bonfire. People starting leaving and heading to their cars but first they stopped to wish the newlyweds good health and grabbed some hot coffee for the road.

Later this afternoon I will go over to Chuck's and help haul tables and chairs back to the Lodge. Chuck and his bride will be heading down to the big city for a brief honeymoon at one of them fancy hotels. I might make it to the deer camp Hotel in time to sit in a stand, if the forecast is right it should be about forty above before it gets dark tonight here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,397,083}

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Bobby Bass

HURRY, HURRY, HURRY I hate to hurry so yesterday I never did make it out to the deer stand. Got the tables and chairs from the wedding back to the Lodge and I got side tracked there. By the time I got out to the Hotel the sun was hanging pretty low in the sky and I just sat down on the old wood rocking chair on the porch and put my feet up on the railing and just relaxed for awhile. Elmer and Marv were inside and it was Elmer's night to cook so stew was on the menu. He was waiting inside for me when I drove up and when I didn't come inside he came out. I looked up from the chair and just said "I hate to hurry" Elmer nodded his head and closed the door, he is the one who taught me about hating the word Hurry.

I suppose if I wanted to I could go inside and grab my knapsack, everything I need is in it. The 30-30 rests in the gun rack just inside the door. If I hurry I might get thirty minutes on the stand before it is too dark to see but there is that word again, hurry. Dropping one foot on the weathered floor of the porch I use the other foot resting on the rail to push the rocker back and forth. There is no sound of creaking wood which is kind of a surprise to me as I rock. The porch got the afternoon sunshine and it feels warm, it is out of the way of the wind and my heavy coat I am sure is keeping any chill off me. The sun dips a little lower, I know this because I have the branches of a maple tree to watch its progress. As the afternoon slips away the sun sinks lower down the branches and is moving towards the thick trunk.

I reach into my big oversized pocket and feel a lump, I pull out a tin foiled wrapped potato and chuckle some to myself. I set the potato on the rail and reaching into my other pocket I come up with a matching tin foiled wrapped potato. I set it alongside the first one, guess I forgot to clean my pockets out after the wedding. Digging a little deeper I come up with two ginger snap cookies wrapped in a wedding napkin. I break one in half and put it in my mouth, not frozen but definitely hard it takes awhile to soften before I can chew it. With the sun going down the shadows are growing longer and reaching out towards the porch. I put my other foot down from the rail and sit up a little taller in the old rocking chair. Both feet on the floor I keep rocking as I munch on the second half of the cookie, the first one I fold back into the napkin and tuck it back away in an inside pocket of my heavy coat.

While I fiddle with the cookie the sun drops behind the Maple tree and darkens seems to double, maybe that is not the way to say it. Let's just say it got real dark real quick. A couple of crows go by, not saying anything but I can hear their wing beats they are so low. I quickly lose them against the back drop of dark branches. Just then a crack of light cuts the porch floor in two and I hear Marv behind me asking if I want some stew. I quietly say "That would hit the spot about right now" The crack of light grows wider and over my shoulder a steaming metal pie pan filled with stew and a couple of biscuits resting on the edge greet me. "Its hot" Marv tells me and hands me a spoon with his other hand. I take the pie pan and spoon and tell Marv thanks. As I turn back in the rocker the light disappears with the soft closing of the door and darkness greets me, night has arrived just like that.

I rest the hot pie pan on the arm of the rocker and scoop stew on to pieces of biscuit and then into my mouth. The sun is gone but the faint light from the moon has replaced it. I know I am making progress on the stew as the moonlight is shinning off the bottom of the pie pan, Elmer hates to do dishes but likes to use pie pans to serve his stew in. It reminds him of his fishing trips when if you didn't catch fish you just had beans to eat off the pans. I finished the stew and set my pan on the railing. Digging a little deeper in my pocket I find a cigar and some wood matches. The night was bright again as I dragged the match across the porch post and put flame to my cigar. I sat back in the rocker and blew a smoke ring that went up and circled the moon, I was in no hurry, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,403,773}

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Bobby Bass

A deer story

THE NIGHT HAD been warm at least warmer then it has been the past week. The puddles of water were not frozen this morning. From my vantage point I leaned against a maple tree and watched the swamp. Sun was already up high enough that it was in my eyes if I turned into it. Not much of a wind so far on this day, just enough to make the top of the swamp grass sway from side to side. I moved my eyes and not my head as I kept watch around me. The sound of an ATV could be heard and I cocked an ear in its direction. Did not sound like it was moving towards me so I blocked it out and focused back on the swamp again. I stood quietly, leaning against the tree watching and listening.

The sun felt good on my face this morning and as I leaned next to the tree I thought how this might be my favorite time of the year. No biting black flies and no skeeters to tend with. Leaves are down on the trees and if you avoided the piles you could move almost ninja like through the forest. Smell of the woods was deep in my nostrils and I faced the wind and I could smell wood smoke. As I watched I saw movement where the Maples thin out to a small clearing and the swamp begins. A hunter was walking down the trail there and as I watched he stopped and looked in my direction. I froze not knowing what to do. This time of the year you don't want to make any sudden movements. The hunter moved on and the wind carried the sound of a broken branch and the crunching of dry leaves.

I strain some to listen to the hunter as he moves away, I am thinking he did not see me but that worries me some. I decide that maybe I should take a walk in the other direction and watching where I step I move away from my resting place. I move along a trail that I have walked several times before. Come to think of it I have walked all of these trails and I already know where the hunter is heading. The trail I am on travels around the swamp and up into some pines, not my favorite place but it is away from the hunter. A red squirrel gives me just a glance as he runs across the forest floor trying to balance a pine cone almost as big as he is in his mouth. Here the ground is covered in pine needles, much quieter to walk in then the dry leaves of the maples.

I see movement ahead and I stop and freeze in my tracks. I see the wide end of a deer slipping into the swamp. Moving just my eyes I watch and wait and I have to make a decision, do I follow? Or do I wait. As slowly as I can I move my head and look around me, I don't hear anything other then the squirrel and I don't see anything. I decide to follow the deer and I slowly raise a leg to look where I put it before moving another. I got to admit my heart is beating a little faster, have not seen a deer for awhile and it takes me a few minutes to get to where I saw the deer. I look around before looking down and I see hoof prints that are deep in the soft ground. I don't hear the ATV and the hunter should be on the other side of the swamp so I think it is safe to move on and so I follow the prints into the swamp.

Not fifty feet into the swamp and I see an even lager set of prints walking over the set that I am following. Heart picks up a few beats as this sure looks like a lot bigger deer. I slow down and being cautious I try and see deeper into the swamp without being seen myself. I move slowly and stop several times. Then I see them, a big doe and an even bigger buck and I am busted! The doe in a single bound bounces into a brush pile and the buck looks at me and snorts, not once but twice. I count his rack and he has twelve points, eight more then me and I start to back off and leave gracefully. I walk back to the edge of the swamp and something is just not right. I put my head down to the ground and I can smell something but can't quite place it. I walk slow and follow my nose. I smell a hunter and I stop and look but see nothing but something round on the ground. I walk over slowly and sniff at it and it smells good so I lick it then pick it up and eat it. I think the hunter call it a cookie and then I see the napkin and if I could read it would say something about a wedding here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,409,010}

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Bobby Bass

A Deer Story" was not written by Bobby Bass, but by me Bucky a four point buck here at Lake Iwanttobethere.

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Now that you know that you may want to read the story again.. grin

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Bobby Bass

THE HOTEL IS at full capacity for the second weekend of deer season. Last night the last bunk had a knapsack dropped on it as the guys all gathered to give it another go. With no one scoring a deer all week there were no tags filled so we are all back together. Last week was not a typical opening week at camp as no one even saw a deer and we did have Chuck's wedding in the middle of it. The honeymoon is over so to speak as Chuck is here at the Hotel and has been getting ribbed by the other guys constantly. Nearly a full moon last night and temperatures stayed above forty so we took advantage of the nice evening and sat around the fire pit. Had a hockey game on the radio and I had to run a new antenna wire from the Hotel to a pine out back, Old one had somehow gotten broken yet again.

My turn to cook and I did a simple meal on the fire, cubed up a mess of home grown potatoes and added sliced up polish sausage and onions and fried it in the big oversized cast iron pan on the fire. Made two big batches and everyone got a belly full. After that guys sat in chairs gathered around the fire and pushed boot covered feet towards the heat of the fire. The cush of beer cans being open joined into the crackle and snap of pine being burned. Elmer took out his guitar and strummed some on it..... Actually Elmer can't play a lick but I just wanted to see if you thought we really had Beach Boy moments around the campfire.

Mostly we talked strategy about Saturdays deer hunt. With no deer moving we figured we were going to have to do something other then just sit in our stands and wait. Reed suggested maybe we should do a circle drive and a few more of the guys were warm to the idea. Our camp is a pretty old camp, not only is it the camp old but the guys hunting out of it are to. A circle drive for us means that we all head out to our stands and at the top of each hour we still hunt to the next stand over. Usually we do this when it is really cold so it gets you out of your stand and gets the blood pumping again. After some conversation it was decided it was worth a try for at least the morning hunt and stands were picked. Rest of the evening was spent trading stories and giving Chuck a hard time about getting married.

Friday morning I had spent time in the woods still hunting, I to had thought that just sitting in the stands was not working this year and had started the day off walking back towards the Swamp stand but changing my mind. The weather was warm and I was traveling light, not even packing a lunch. I was on my way back to the swamp stand when I had a feeling that I was being watched. After a while the feeling was just to much for me and I retraced my steps and skirted the swamp. I went through the stand of Maples trying to be quiet in the dry leaves and took the trail that goes back through a stand of pines. From time to time the stand of pines will hold grouse and I once shot a decent buck back there. I came across a trail where I could make out three sets of tracks one a lot bigger than the others. I took my gloves out of my pocket and found a stump to sit on for awhile and watched the trail but saw nothing.

I went back to the trail that meanders through the pines and walked slow and stopped often to look and listen. I ended up spending a lot more time out there then I thought I would and was beginning to wish I had packed a sandwich or something. I then remembered the wedding ginger cookie that I had put back in my pocket but when I dug for it I came up empty. Must have dropped it when I took my gloves out. I heard an atv running off to the North, figured it must be that group that hunts that way, wonder if they were having any more luck then we were. I got back to the Hotel just as Big Earl and Junior were arriving. We leaned against the side of the pickup and I talked about my walk here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,413,429}

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Bobby Bass

IT STARTED WITH just a few drops on the hood of the Tahoe, the rain that is. Guys were inside the Hotel just putting on coats and getting ready to hit the woods after the morning success. Elmer and Marv the two old coots had both scored does in the morning circle drive. I was the last one to hear about the deer as I was the farthest stand out when we came in from the woods at noon. We had reached our stands at seven and by eight everyone was ready to make a move. I peeked under my glove and when it got to eight on what I am told is an old fashion watch because it has hands on it I climbed down from my stand and slow hunted to the next stand which was about two hundred yards away. Reed was ahead of me and he was moving to his next stand which is almost three hundred yards on down the trail.

I took my time and crept along the trail looking for sign and movement. Back towards the Hotel I heard the single shot of a 30-30 and I waited for a follow up shot but none came. The 30-30 I knew was Elmer's as we both shoot the same kind of gun. I was just coming up to the stand when I heard two quick shots and a faint holler. I stood in place but didn't hear anything more. When the big hand on my watch hit nine I moved to the stand that Reed had just left, took me a little longer as it was a longer walk. When I got there I found a piece of a napkin and it just said DEER? I left it tucked away in the crook of the tree where the stand was nailed to. Chuck was behind me so I'll let him figure out what it was meant to mean.

When noon came I eased my way down from the Birch Point stand and still hunted my way down the trail that intersected with the trail back to the Hotel. It was nice and warm out and I was comfortable so I took my time and enjoyed myself. I had a good feeling about Elmer's single shot earlier. I was not so sure about the double shot a few minutes later. By twelve-forty five I was close enough to the Hotel that I could hear talking so I picked up the pace to find the guys standing outside around the fire pit. I exchanged HIYA's with the guys and was told that Elmer and Marv both had shot does. I looked around for the does and the old coots and Big Earl told me they had already loaded up the deer and Elmer and Marv were taking them down to Pa's to get them in the cooler. I think the guys were relieved that the camp had not been skunked and everyone would have at least a taste of venison for Thanksgiving.

Junior was there and he told the story since he helped drag the deer back to camp. Elmer was getting ready to climb down out of his stand when he spotted a doe sneaking across the trail about fifty yards down from his stand. As he told Junior he raised the old Winchester and put a round behind the ear and the doe went down. Elmer sat back down on his stand and waited for things to settle down. Well Marv showed up just a few minutes later as his idea of still hunting is just walking a tad slower then usual. He came up to the stand and asked Elmer what he was still doing in it. Elmer told he just shot a doe down the trail and was waiting on it. Marv asked where exactly and Elmer pointed down the trail. Marv followed where his finger was pointing and saw a doe looking back at him. Marv then said "Well your doe is standing back up" Before Elmer could raise his gun Marv shot his 308 twice and the doe was back down again. The two of them then had a discussion over who's doe it was and that is where Junior found the two of them when he moved to the stand expecting it to be empty a half hour later.

With the two old coots arguing about first shot last shot or who ever gets the tag on first Junior walked down the trail to find not one but two does laying almost side by side in the leaves. When he shouted his find out to Marv and Elmer Marv was the first to shout out that the big one had to be his. Then the two old guys acting like little kids slapped each other on the backs and went to tag their deer. Marv and Elmer teamed up to drag one doe back to camp and Junior dragged the second one. The deer were loaded in Elmer's truck and he and Marv headed to town. Junior stayed behind to tell the story of what had happen. Of course the thought of a picture did not enter Juniors train of thought but he agreed it would have been nice addition to the Hotel's bulletin board.

With the warm weather holding and now with two deer the group was not as serious as they were that morning. Lunch was made and we were already preparing ourselves for what will be the "True story" that the two guys will be telling us when they get back from town. I was looking forward to it as I figure the guys would have at least five or six hours to polish up a good yarn. When the first rain drop hit the Tahoe I was on the porch looking upwards. Several more fell and they were big enough to make splats on the steps of the porch that I could hear. Big Earl was the first out and he saw me looking skyward and as he looked up a big drop hit him on his forehead and he just said "Rain" He turned and walked back into the Hotel and I could hear his booming voice, "Raining out boys, who wants to play a little cards?" from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,415,658}

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Bobby Bass

Sunday

A few of the guys were stirring this morning when I got up, could not sleep anymore and I had a sore neck. Comes from sleeping on the hard bunk of the Hotel, that and I am not as young as I once was and I like my comforts. Having the little e-reader with me is giving me lots of time to jot down stories and I am getting behind on getting them posted. Normally I don't write anything on Silent Sundays but today I was at deer camp and I spent most of the day out in my swamp stand. Elmer and Marv returned to camp late last night, well at least for them. It was after dark when the lights of Elmer's truck were seen bouncing up and down through the trees. They both could have stayed in town and slept in their own beds but nope they had to come back to camp and share the story of their not one but two harvested deer. They also brought along a surprise, Vic came along for the ride, actually I think they had him along for doing the sound effects of their hunting story. It was still dripping outside and the card game had been going on for several hours. Guys were feeling pretty good about having a few deer harvested and it was a good excuse to finally break out the Wild Turkey. Elmer and Marv were welcomed back to deer camp and Vic was giving a big welcome to camp as he produced a couple of bottles of Wild Turkey and a bag of ice from the back of Elmer's truck. The old guys had no intention of hunting in the morning so they stayed up as one by one the rest of us went to bed.

There was a full moon but we didn't see it as the night sky was overcast. I was hoping to head to the stand in the light of the moon but instead I was greeted with fog. I was dressed warm and so I moved slowly down the trail to the swamp stand. I know I sometimes complain about the stand but I seem to find myself spending the most time in it. I settled in and made myself comfortable, I have spent so much time in the stand that the tree that serves as a backrest almost feels like it was carved out for me. Dawn came like someone was using a giant dimmer switch. Slowly but surely it was getting lighter out but with the fog it had that kind of blurred look. When I left the Hotel the thermometer was resting at forty and I think it might be a tad warmer here at the edge of the swamp. But it was damp and that has a way of working into you after awhile. I didn't think I was going to need them but I got out a couple of the little hand warmers and took them out of their bags. Hiding them so nothing could see the movement I shook them and they started to heat up. One in each coat pocket and another I tucked in the small of my back. I leaned back and felt the heat and the cool of the dampness went away.

I kept watch on the swamp trail and let my eyes wander around me, of course my mind wanders some as I feel the heat from the little disposable heat pads. I think back to the days of sitting in the stands with the old Jon-e-Handwarmers or when it was really cold having a coffee can with charcoal burning at your feet. Made me think about how deer hunting has changed. Some of the younger guys in camp come with their smart phones with apps for everything. I can't say to much about them as I am sitting in my stand with my electronic book reader. Of course back in the day I would sit here with a paperback and every time I would turn a page I would first stop and look around. Now I just hit a small button and a new page quietly flashes on the screen.

A gang of blue jays suddenly appears harassing a crow. The crow is making a lot of noise no doubt calling for help but none of his buddies appear and he has to stay on the move as the blue jays chase him from branch to branch. I have always said that the blue jays are just thugs at my bird feeders, looks like it is the same here in the swamp. They move on and the swamp goes quiet again but not like it has been on previous times in the stand this past week. The place seems alive or maybe I have found my niche in it. I am now seeing a bird from time to time and a mouse on the ground kept my attention for a little while. I am planning on sitting till around two or so then I will head back to the hotel for lunch and to watch the football game. Some of the guys will be heading home after the game, their week of vacation is up. Right now I think I will put the e-reader away and lean back in my stand and just watch, I have a feeling about today. From Lake Iwanttobethere

This story is not yet done. I turned off the e-reader and set it down in my knapsack. I moved around some on my seat and made sure the 30-30 was in reach and I took the two heat packs from out of my pockets and put them in my gloves. I found a comfortable position to rest my head against the tree as my neck was still sore. I pressed back against the tree and I watched and I listened. I could hear the distant ten o'clock freight and I counted the times the loud horn was blown as it came up on crossings. Sometime after that I dozed off, like I said I didn't get to sleep very well last night.

I awoke with a noise in my ear and I knew what it was instantly, I was snoring. I hate when that happens. At the same time I also knew that I was sitting on the deer stand and I had fallen asleep. I was about to stretch and move some when I open my eyes and in mid yawn not ten yards away from me a small buck was looking straight at me. Light brown with a black nose with a white ring around it. Some darker hair above his eyes making it look like he had brows and they were pointed in my direction. The old guys say you should never look a deer in his eyes but I found myself locked with his. Neither one of us moved and I think I might have even been holding my breath. The longer I looked the more I started to see the deer. He was just a small four pointer, I could clearly make out his short horns between his ears and I was guessing that he didn't weigh more then hundred and thirty maybe a hundred and forty pounds tops.

Like being in a car accident the moment seem to stretch out, maybe just a few seconds but it felt longer. I finally took a breath and I thought the deer would leap away but it stood and starred at me and its tail flicked a few times. My mind re-engaged and I am thinking that the deer might be just as surprised at seeing me as I was at seeing him. My fingers were interlaced with each other in my gloves, I must have done that to keep them warm. I started thinking about how I was going to be able to unlace my fingers and grab the rifle. I was interrupted in my thoughts when I heard a loud snort and both the little buck and I turned our eyes to look. Coming out of the brush a much bigger buck appeared and now things sped up way to fast. The little buck shook his head once and turned on a dime and bounced away. I turn my head to look at the big buck straight on and I was counting points as I was reaching for my rifle.

No doubt was in the big buck's mind as he saw me and ran. All I saw was his white tail as he turned and charged back into the brush and just like that he was gone. I got my rifle up and pointed it in the direction of the big buck hoping he would show himself to me but all I heard was the sound of some branches snapping, the big buck was gone. I took a deep breath and lowered the rifle. I looked to where the little four pointer had been but he was long gone to. I stood up and smiled some and just looked around and shook my head and I said out loudly to no one "Now that was fun." I sat back down and let my heart slow down some, still happy that a couple of deer can get it beating fast. I then noticed that the wind was picking up and decided to end the day a little early. I grabbed the knapsack and climbed down out of the stand and walked over to where I had seen the little buck. Laying on the ground was a torn napkin and I picked it up and saw it was one of the napkins from Chucks wedding, I don't know why but I put it up to my nose and I swear I could smell ginger cookies, now how did that get here, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,418,198}

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Bobby Bass

CHANGE OF LOCATION the past few days as I came back home to the cabin on Monday. Neck is still bothering me some so I thought a few nights in my own bed might help. Monday was cool and sitting at home doing bills and reading e-mail's felt a lot better then sitting in the cold swamp stand. Bud and Barney greeted me like I had not been missed where Duncan just about knocked me over when I came in the door. All three of them spent time sniffing my clothes and hunting boots. A week's worth of e-mail's took me awhile to get through and then this morning I went down to the Lodge to catch up on mail there.

Deer hunting has been slow, the Fellows were sitting at the big round table and they had only one small doe to their name. Gary shot it and the others are still giving him grief about it. I asked how big and Steve said "How big, you should ask how small? Poor thing needed a divers weight belt to reach a hundred pounds!" I chuckled along with them and when asked how I did I told them about the buck and BIG buck and everyone just nodded their head around the table. When Gary started off with "I remember that year when....." I eased away from the table and headed back to my office. Gus was still at the Hotel and Vinnie and Honey had things under control at the Lodge. I signed a few orders and checked on the beer stock and I was out the door a little while later.

Next stop was the Resort and I parked close to the Club House door. I came in through the double doors and was greeted with some Chuck Berry banging out of the speakers in the main room. I found Vic in the kitchen cutting garden grown potatoes into French fries and he didn't have to ask me twice if I wanted any. It was close enough to lunch time that I took out a couple of half pound patties from the fridge and slapped them down on the grill, I sliced off two big circles of sweet onion and they were set off to the side. I just looked at Vic and he nodded his head and I sliced two of Marv's fresh Kaiser rolls and set them on the edge of the grill. Back to the fridge for some home made sweet pickles and some cheese. I sliced a couple of generous portions of cheese and went back to the grill to flip the patties. I turned when I heard Vic at the deep fryer dumping the fresh cut fries into the oil.

With the patties almost done I added the cheese and then found a lid. I took a glass that has water in it and dribbled some of it alongside each patty and then quickly covered it with the lid for a few seconds. The water turns to steam and with the lid on it quickly melts the cheese. I did the same to the second patty, with the lid removed I put the tops of the Kaiser roll on the burgers and let them finish cooking. Bottom of the buns were taken off the grill and put on plates, catsup, mustard and pickles are added and the onion is put on the grill for a few seconds. Vic pulls the fries out of the deep fryer and shakes them some before letting them rest in the basket. I drop the slightly fried onions on the buns and then top it off with the patty and Kaiser top. I carry the two plates with burgers to the first booth and Vic is right behind me having dumped the whole basket of fries on to a paper covered platter.

As Vic slides into the booth I draw a couple of Hamms from the bar and put one in front of Vic and the other one in front of me. I slid in the other side of the booth and decide to start with a French fry. The first one I pull from the pile is about seven inches long and as I hold it up it golden brown and stiff. No sag from an old fry, got to love making fries from your own home grown tatters. Vic and I much on the fries and I have to go back to the kitchen and get a knife to cut my burger in half. Vic eats and keeps looking out the window back where the empty garden sits. Sipping on my beer I asked what is he looking for and Vic tells me usually the big buck shows up about this time every day, from Lake Iwanttobethere {1,421,032}

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Bobby Bass

If you have been reading Lake Iwanttobethere for any length of time you know that a lot of the stories are based on real events and real people. Yesterday I received word that a reader who has been here from the start and who is a part of Lake Iwanttobethere had his dog Grace pass away.

Dan has had stories written about him as the manager of our local auto parts store and his dog Grace has had several stories written about her. She was a big lovable Saint Bernard that had a love of ice and a unattended drink with cubes in it would soon be missing the cubes if she was around. Grace was Dan's fishing partner and from the first time she was pulled out on the ice in a wood box covered in a blanket till she got big enough to pull the box on the ice she was always at Dan's side. She died from an aliment that big dogs sometimes get and she was gone before she could be helped.

As readers you all know I have a big soft spot for little kids and dogs and today I have a hole that Grace filled. Dan has sent me pictures of Grace as she has grown over the years and writing about her made her a small part mine. I am sharing some of Dan's pain today and I really am sorry for his loss and his family's loss.

Grace is gone but she will not be forgotten, here at Lake Iwanttobethere she will live on and she will continue to get in trouble with Mr. Wilson. You will still have to step over her when you go to the parts store and she will still be seen around town. When the ice covers the water of Lake Iwanttobethere Grace will be there ice fishing with Dan and looking for chucks of ice to chew on and kid's faces to lick. Dan said it best, she was not a dog, she was family.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • islandmn
      Try Duane's Marine in Virginia,MN. Great service, a Evinrude/ Johnson dealer, on the second generation.  
    • Muskies
      I posted some information on a May 5 on Rainy lake 2020 fishing .... basically no crossing the border.   Muskies HSOShow.com Family 'we have more fun' I Share On FishingMN  132 199 posts Location: Reef Point, Rainy Lake Author Posted May 5 Found this information and thought it would be good to share:   This from the CDN gov’t.  COVID-19 Notice: February 3, 2021 During the COVID-19 pandemic, unless exempted, foreign national boaters are not permitted to enter Canadian waters. Failure to comply with the current prohibition of entry for discretionary or optional reasons (leisure, pleasure fishing, sightseeing, etc.) may result in severe monetary penalties or criminal conviction and/or imprisonment. Visit Transit through Canadian waters for more information.   Opener on the Ontario side of rainy lake is May 15. Good fishing to everyone!
    • SkunkedAgain
      That's a good thought. I'll call but they went "online" only last year so he no longer has a shop. He talked with me about how he needed to cut his fixed costs in order to compete with all of the online parts suppliers selling out of their garages.   It's a shame though. That place was amazing. Lots of great, old motors on the walls. When I went there needing a new lower unit for my 1957 motor, he pulled out a box and said "which color?" The place was a timewarp of boat motors.
    • anchor man
      I'll be up there with a couple friends on the chain. Never have any confidence for walleyes on opener, so we'll go after whatever bites (with an emphasis on eyes). 😀  
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  On the lake, the focus is on the May 15, 2021 Fishing Opener for walleyes.  There is much optimism as fishing in the Rainy River this spring was excellent and reports of good fishing from the spring season on the lake was also good. The limit for walleyes and saugers during the open season is a combined limit of six fish, up to four of the six can be walleyes.  There is a slot limit in which all walleyes 19.5 - 28.0 inches must be released.  One can be kept over 28 inches.   Pike anglers are still catching fish in back bays. The pike season is open year-round on LOW and the Rainy River.     On the Rainy River...   Sturgeon anglers are enjoying catch and release through 5/15/21.  Closed 5/16/21 - 6/30/21.  Harvest season opens up again on 7/1/21 - 9/30/21. Good numbers of sturgeon have been running in the Rapid River near Clementson just east of Baudette this past week.  These fish are incredible to see up close, but are also very much protected and respected. Anglers looking to this weekend and the opener.  Typically, there is some good walleye fishing in the river early in the season, such as this weekend. Up at the NW Angle...  A few anglers fishing pike in back bays but most looking forward to the May 15th fishing opener.  The go to walleye spots come the opener will be shoreline and island structure and underwater points.  The technique, a jig and a minnow! With the Canada border still closed, there are many ways to get up to the Angle.  The LOW Passenger Service, charter boat shuttle service from the south end, is open and running.  If you have the right boat and expertise, boating across is an option.  And finally, Lake Country Air flying service, a float plane service out of Baudette and other locations.  
    • ozzie
      i will be up in the area but not sure i will hit the chain.  the history with me and opener on the chain has not been productive so this year I am finding a smaller shallow lake in the area and going to hit it for walleyes.  I have not asked my father in law what the temps were but he has hit south cross and clamshell a few times and when fish are caught they have been on the smaller side.  Good Luck to you!
    • ozzie
      If I snagged an anchor line I am pretty sure i would not ask the anchored angler to lift so I can get my jig back, but I am sure I would warn them that there is a hook now in there anchor line!  I am that way fishing around docks...if I get caught on a dock I will always butt up to it and carefully remove my hook so they do not stick themselves or have a little kid get stuck from it.  Amazingly I have had confrontations with people in this regard!  And it is not like i am pitching bass jigs as I am usually crappie fishing around docks so i am using light line, small hook and cork bobber so I am not hurting a dock if i accidentally cast into it.  Oh well...Good luck to all you Vermillion fisherman on opener and in the rest of the season!
    • CJH
      No one's been out on the chain?
    • Walleye Guy
      Twin City Outboard in Shakopee only works on old motors.  They do great work and the pricing is reasonable.
    • SkunkedAgain
      My 1960 Johnson Seahorse is on the fritz. I did an overhaul the over the winter rebuilding the carb, replacing dry fuel hoses, fixing two stripped bolts (helicoils) on the powerhead, etc... This spring she only wants to run on one cylinder. I am assuming that it's the coil or something similar but suck at the electrical side.    Great American Marine in Bloomington won't touch old motors anymore. Neither will Boat Motor Recyclers in Burnsville (1990 and up!).    Does anyone up near Vermilion still work on older motors? I'll take a recommendation for somewhere near the lake or in the Twin Cities. Any input is appreciated.
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