Monday, September 17, 2007

Bird Season Opener at Camp Chicken

Small game season opened this weekend so we headed to camp Friday night with our shotguns to hunt the elusive partridge. It was raining really hard when we left the Soo but tapered off near Pickford. We got unloaded and shortly after we arrived Dan pulled in and then Cindy and Dave came in for dinner. R cooked pork chops and fried potatoes on the grill for us. Mary Sue and Tiny arrived shortly after dinner. It was raining and very cold outside so we all played Attack Uno until about 10:30 pm and hit our beds.

Saturday was cold but clear so we got an early start on our chores. We set up a corn feeder at R's feeding spot to get the deer coming in there. R and I changed the bow shack window and made it smaller so that it will be warmer for me this fall. After our chores were done, R and Dan went partridge hunting while Mary and Tiny and I went to town for corn, deer feed blocks and to get my small game license.

Since the governer lifted the fire ban, we were able to finally have a campfire after a three month absence. We kept it going all day and it was great. Camp is so much better with a fire.

I downloaded the pictures from my deercam, a digital camera that you mount on a tree that takes photos of whatever comes into the feeding station. No bucks yet but a few deer are coming in.

This is our "resident doe". She is kind of thin, but has been coming in to the Taj Mahal feeding station on a regular basis.

We aren't sure where this little fawn's mom is, but I'm sure she isn't far away.

About 3:00, R, Mary and Tiny took a nap and Dan and I went hunting. We didn't see anything or even flush up a bird. R woke up about 5:30 and cooked chicken breasts on the grill and we had a feast for dinner. Dan went to lay down right after dinner as he felt pretty tired. Mom and Dad stopped in just as I finished the dishes and brought maple sugar cookies. Yum, Yum. Dad says you can get diabetes just looking at them. She is making treats to send a box of goodies to Clifton in Iraq.

After dinner, R, Mary, Tiny and I went to look at deer. Mary had seen a wolf cross the road on her way up Friday night, just down the road towards the oat field. He must have spooked the deer because the oat field was totally empty. We saw many does and fawns in the other fields but few bucks. They will be getting more solitary now as they rub the velvet off their antlers and begin to establish their territories.

R, Mary and I played attack uno and went to bed early. It was too cold to sit outside by the fire.

Sunday, we were up at 7:00 am and had our coffee. Mary and Tiny left early to go to the Soo. R took some darker paint back to her shack and redid her camo job. Dan and I went hunting and scouted out a spot to put the "Cube", our small shack on the sled that we can tow around to different locations.

Dan left shortly after that and R and I packed up and headed into town about 2:30 pm. We were going to Janet's for Steph's birthday party as she turns 17 on Monday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A New BBQ grill for Camp Chicken!

Arlene, Mary Sue, Tiny and I went to Camp for the weekend. Arlene bought a new BBQ grill for camp as the old one is just worn out. We had thought to put it together when we arrived, but as we pulled into camp the rain came pouring down. So instead we stayed inside and cooked pork chops and fried potatoes for dinner. Dave was going to the car races at Kinross, so Cindy came up for dinner and a round of Attack Uno. We had a blast and played until 11 PM.

Saturday dawned clear and cold so Mary and R began to assemble the new grill. They thought it would take about and hour, it took three!!! I watched the fun and used Ronnie's wood splitter to split up some maple that Dan had cut 2 years ago after the big windstorm. The air turned "blue" several times as the girls struggled with about 20 pages of instruction and lots of small parts but they met the challenge and now camp has a great new grill.

We hauled the wood splitter back to where R's new hunting shack is to split up a bunch of wood that Dan had cut 2 years ago after the big wind storm. We worked until about 4 pm and quit for the day.

R cooked petite steaks and fried potatoes on the new grill for supper and man, was it good. About 6 pm we took a ride to go and look for deer.

Sunday, we finished splitting wood and packed up early to head home. It was a really nice weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Arlene's New Hunting Shack, Part Two

We spent a great Labor Day weekend at Camp Chicken! Our plan was to finish Arlene's hunting shack. We arrived late Friday night and had just finished dinner when Dan and Anthony came in. We had a nice visit and Dan, R and I talked "hunting" until late and turned in.

We were up early Saturday morning and Dan, R and I started cutting the holes for the shack windows. It is a tricky thing to do and luckily, Dan is pretty darn good with the skillsaw to cut them freehand. Once all five were cut, Dan and I cut the trim for the outside and attached it around the windows.

Arlene gave us the "boot" as she needed to do the inside frames herself. Dan cut down two big dead maples that were in her sight-line. Then he and I set out on our 4-wheelers to our hunting shack, "Sky-View" to repair the roof. R had bought a half package of shingles at the ReStore for two bucks and they almost covered our roof.

When we got back, she had actually finished the windows and started staining the shack. In the meantime, our good neighbor Ronnie Leach had dropped off his big wood splitter for us to use for the weekend.

Mary Sue and Tiny arrived at camp also. Tiny had been really sick with an infection on Friday and Mary wasn't sure they were coming. So it was nice to see them.

Arlene grilled supper for us and Mary, Dan, Anthony, R and I ate outside at the big picnic table. After dinner, we went for a ride to look at the deer, our favorite pastime in the late summer and fall. We went down to an oat field near the river and there were lots of deer there. We noticed that one had nice horns and our spotting scopes confirmed it was at least an 8-point. Turns out there were two large bucks in the field together, one a perfect 8-pt and the other a 9-pt. WOW! Biggest deer I've ever seen around here.

My sister Cindy caught up with us about dusk and came back to camp for a game of Attack Uno. Dan and Anthony had to go home so we sadly said goodbye to them.

Sunday morning, R went back to her shack to work on insulating the inside and Mary and I started to split wood. We split a bunch and Tiny watched from her favorite chair with my old camp shirt for a pillow. Mary and I went back to check on R and she was almost done insulating so we started building the shelf she wanted inside her shack. Mom walked back for a visit and to see the progress. Tiny decided that since we were all too busy to pay attention to her, that she would cuddle on Mom's lap.

We finished the shelf and by 4 pm quit for the day and loaded the trailer up to haul everything back to camp. Mom had brought treats for us and boy were they good. We all laid down for a nap before dinner and when Mary and I woke up it looked like rain coming so we worked like crazy to unload the trailer and get all the leftover wood and our tools piled in the old trailer we use for storage. We just finished when it started to really pour. R woke up as it started to rain and made dinner for us. Grilled pork chops and potatoes with garden tomatoes and cucumbers, Yum Yum.

The rain finally quit and we went out for a ride to look at the deer. No big bucks tonite, just spikehorns and one nice 4-pt. We called my sister Cindy and she came up for a game of Attack Uno.

Monday morning found an intruder in camp, a big skunk surprised Mary when she took Tiny out to go "potty" at 6:45 am. Yikes. I grabbed my gun but he hustled away. I made coffee and cinnamon rolls for breakfast and R went back to put the finishing touches on her shack. It really looks great!!!

Mary and I split wood all morning and then she and Tiny headed back to the Soo. I rode down to see Ronnie at his "camp" to see when he needed the splitter back. When I got back, R had cleaned up the trailer and loaded the car and was staining our steps. It was getting late so we headed home.

See you next weekend, Camp Chicken.