Monday, November 22, 2004

Home Is The Hunter...

Well now, where do I begin?

Had a swell time communing with nature. Didn't see a buck. Squirrels? You betcha...the noisy buggars. Coyotes? Had 'em in spades....these also are damned annoying when they insist on encircling your blind and howling all day. Distant rifleshots from all points of the compass? Yes, had plenty of those as well. That must be why no deer penetrated in to where my blind was.

I did see the hugest darned black bear that I ever thought would be found in this part of the state. Of course he was in a cage at the party store down the highway from the national forest. The expression on the bear's face rather reminded me of Queen Victoria when she said "We are not amused." My brother and I are planning on springing him next year when we go back up there. We would have done it this year but we had neither bolt cutters nor a cage of our own to hop into once the bear was free. I can just imagine myself flinging the gate open for the bear and yelling "Be free" about a split second before it commenced mauling my head and shoulders in that cute way that only cuddly black bears can.

We stayed in a camper which was comfortable enough. It must have been a real panic when it first premiered at civic centers across America back in 1960. It DID have a toilet. But there is no running water in the middle of the wilderness so it was the old shovel and roll of toilet paper out in the rain. Of course there was no electricity either so we staggered around by the light of a coleman lantern until we got a fire started with our wet, soggy wood. With the exception of our having a fire at night and our sleeping in a camper instead of a muddy hole, it was kinda like a field problem. Ah, the good ol' days!

My brother brought up venison steak from a buck he dropped during bow season so we ate pretty well. He doused a griddle with extra virgin olive oil and sliced up a few potatos and a sweet onion and saute'ed those. Then he sliced up the steak and floured it, seasoned it and threw it in with the other stuff. After browning this stuff for a while he added a little beer and water to the mix and covered it. We set water to boil for coffee and dished out the chow which was promptly covered with Tobasco. Good stuff.

After supper, it was too dark to do anything but go to sleep so we policed up the AO, secured our stuff and went in out of the sporadic drizzle. The temperature had really dropped by then and here is where I mention that there is no heat in this camper. I deliberately chose to sleep in the little cubby hole above the table and seats at the front of the camper because it was a small, confined space and would stay warmer from my body heat. And I did stay warm all night....due to the exercise I was getting from climbing up and down during my 15 nocturnal potty trips. By morning, it felt like I had navigated the Darby Queen at Ft. Benning. My back has since filed a restraining order against me.

An hour before dawn we went out and brewed up coffee, choked down a few cigarettes and then trudged off to our blinds. Two hours after stand-to we are trudging back into camp. We fry up hash browns and corned beef hash, lube it with copious amounts of Tobasco and wash it down with liberal amounts of coffee. My intestines have since filed a restraining order against me.

This is a nutshell account of my weekend. Now you know why I love this stuff. All of you hunters and campers can relate. When I am a famous author, I'm gonna be doing that all the time. Hemingway eat your heart out!