The level of anticipation was high with the excitement of another opening day just hours away. After a four and a half hour drive just to get up to camp now over, it was time to have a few cold beers and listen to the stories of old. The mice of camp, which have enjoyed the quiet and solitude of this uninhabited place for so many months, would now have to relinquish their quiet domain. Like a pre recorded public service announcement, once again the boys were telling those familiar hunting stories of old days and of big antlers, or the one that got away.
There was snow on the ground when we arrived this year. That had been something I haven’t seen in a very long time. The snow was also falling again the next morning as we all headed out into the deep woods of the Northeast Kingdom. In fact, it snowed for a few hours every day while we were at camp. We did not see the staggering totals of snow that were experienced in Western NY, but we saw the white stuff falling daily. All the ponds were already iced over and it has the look and feel that winter may have arrived for good this year.
There were days that we got up early to get out into the woods with eager anticipation, and days that just watching the snow fall from inside camp and enjoy the percolated coffee pot as it continued to make its magic brew were just as satisfying. William, a nice young man whom I’ve watched grow up was the newest guest of the camp crew this season and also got his first Vermont Buck this year.
This camp has had many stories of good fortune and success. These walls have heard the joy and laughter of campmates. It has also brought joy to many who are no longer here to enjoy those special times.
Yes, there is nothing like the feel of deer camp. Food that is not censored or modified for health reasons, a wood stove for heat that has to be fed every 3 hours, the outhouse, mice, bunks, gas lights and a generator for night time electricity. What more could you ask for? Good food, good times, and good people, but most of all good memories. That’s what camp is really supposed to be about.