WOODS AND WATERS: Things changing at deer camp for the ‘aged’

By Ed Gilbert • Last Updated 2:24 pm on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The archery deer season is in full swing and I can help but notice how things are changing in out hunting camp.
I guess the most accurate reason for many changes is that most of us who established and built the hunting cabin and took care of things are either getting somewhat older or now choose to go hunting elsewhere.

Fortunately, the younger guys now do most of the repair on our home-built tree stands and even do a lot of the pre-season scouting for us. They’ll take over completely some day and I guess that’s as it should be. That will happen and I’ll wager that down the line their kids will take over for them as well.

Things began to change a few years ago when a television set and a high antenna suddenly appeared on the scene. But hey, those younger guys wanted to watch those Saturday football games, so that was OK. Then some new steps were built leading to the main door and new shingles appeared, as if by magic, on the roof.

We “older” guys no longer had to cut all the wood and split it up, either. We credited that to some gremlins that must have magically appeared during the week. And those strangers even stacked it up for us. Nice of them, eh?

Early on, I mentioned that some of the older members now chose to go elsewhere to hunt. Well, a couple of them now prefer to hunt down in Indiana and another goes out west to hunt each year. But somehow during each bow and rifle season, those characters suddenly show up to at least join the camp for a day or so.

Ah, but us “aged” characters do manage to get in the woods occasionally. Some of us even see deer and sometimes actually get one, although dragging it back to camp has become somewhat of an effort. Ah, but we shout and yell and soon a couple of the young guys are on the scene to laugh and assist us!

One thing hasn’t really changed. It seems there is nobody among the kids that likes to cook, wash dishes and clean the place up. Those chores rest with myself and several other of us ‘aged’ individuals. And of course we complain a little about it to the younger guys, but actually we enjoy it. We know that someday they will have to put up with it from their own youngsters in camp.

Of course the usual age-old jokes and pranks are pulled on the young ones, such as placing a nest of field mice in one of their boots at night, or lying about the huge buck, Old Big Foot, that we see sometimes.

But you know, once in a while a poker game happens (like every evening) and the youngsters are really sharp at cards. They manage to take most of us “aged” guys to the cleaners. Ah, but not me. They haven’t outfoxed me yet… “Yet,” I said!

But it seems that my fingers with the money fly faster than my brain quite often, so that’s just a matter of time.

Now, I’m very certain that many deer hunters who read this have already experienced some of these camp “growing pains” and if not I’ll bet they will some day. After all, it’s one of the growing pains of a deer camp and nothing goes on forever without change. Our camp changes are for the better, I think. I hope your hunting camp changes are good for you as well.

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