Everyone looks forward to the hunting season for different reasons. For some, it is all about the quest of game. Whether it is geese, ducks, roosters or big game, hunting season is focused on getting afield and participating in the hunt.
There is no question that chasing your quarry is the real nitty-gritty of hunting, but there are other aspects of the experience that are also pretty darn important. For many, one of the most enjoyable parts of the hunting season revolves around the social life and events that occur in hunting camp.
The look of a hunting camp can be quite unique among different hunters. Frequently, it is a cabin of one form or another, often relatively primitive with a generator and one source of heat. For others, it may be a motor home, a small travel trailer or a tent camper.
The type of accommodations a person is dealing with has a lot to do with the memories that become associated with the camp life experience. Weather changes and time of the year also play a role.
For many years, our hunting camp mansion was a tent camper that barely slept four people. It was a place that rattled when the wind blew and leaked when it rained. On cold and frosty nights, it offered some comfort but still required the use of a quality sleeping bag in order to stay warm enough to sleep.
And sleep was about all we did in the camper. The rest of the day was spent outside chasing ducks or geese, scouting or relaxing in whatever sunshine we could find.
Evenings were spent grilling or cooking our one big meal of the day. While this was taking place, the day’s events were discussed and relived. We also put considerable time into finalizing the plans for the next morning’s hunt.
Although roast duck on the grill was about as traditional as our meals ever got, some hunters view the food quite differently. Traditions get started for fancy steaks, spicy chili or other delicacies that never seem to go away once they get the approval of the group.
Camp life certainly isn’t without its list of chores. Hanging deer, cleaning game, cutting firewood and doing dishes are all part of the routine that needs to be done. The funny thing is, work at hunting camp never really feels much like work. It is just all part of the process we call hunting.
As I have aged, I have gone through the natural progression of a seasoned hunter. Although chasing game is still critically important to my desire to hunt, it isn’t as important as it once was. I now find that life at the cabin is an important part of the overall experience.
Lying in the goose blind, waiting for the sun to set takes on a new meaning when you start thinking about a cold beverage and brats on the grill. It isn’t that you want the day to end, it is just that you realize there is more to hunting than the hunt.
As Roger Lydeen, my long time hunting partner recently said after an unsuccessful day of scouting, “Hunting isn’t just about the hunt, it is about going hunting.” Those that enjoy camp life certainly understand the importance hunting camp plays in the process of “going hunting.”
Barrels Up Pro Staff