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Tag Archives: Hunting camp

Getting Ready for Deer Season/ Making a List and Checking It Twice

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Like most avid hunters, we’ve been using this time before deer season begins to set up feeder pens and feeders, figure out game cameras (not as easy as one might think) and basically just start getting things ready to roll before opening day.

For the first time ever, we are working on OUR VERY OWN hunting ranch and there’s sooo much to do. We’ve brought our camper out here so it’s acting as our home base for the time being. There is a small cinder block building on the property that had been a hunting cabin in years gone by. It’s going to require much loving care before I’m ready to call it my home away from home, however. The mice love it, though. They’ve set up shop and have called every flat surface their own personal potty spot. Like I said, much work to do.

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One of the problems we’ve experienced as we make the 7 hour journey back and forth from our home in South Texas to our ranch in the Hill Country is remembering what supplies we need to bring and what’s still at the ranch. What non-perishable foods have we left up there, what tools, what clothing?

For the most part, most hunters, whether on a lease or at their own place, are in a position that allows them to leave some provisions in place between trips during the hunting season and during the weeks preceding. However, the problem that we’ve had is that we can’t remember what’s been left at the ranch and what needs to go. How many cans of Ranch Style Beans does a hungry hunter need? Or saws? Or shovels?

Do we have foil at the ranch? We better pick some up.

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I’ve come up with an idea that certainly helps.

Before we leave from the ranch, I snap pictures of the inside of the pantry, the fridge, the tool shed, the linen box. That helps us to remember whether we need to bring garlic powder, flour, sugar, Ranch Style beans, clean bedding and towels, etc. It provides an instant view of what’s still out at the ranch and what we need to bring.

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I’ve even left a few personal items that would get me through in a pinch; hair brush,  toiletries,  lotion, undies, t-shirts, boot socks (to be worn with snake boots), mirror, tweezers for cactus thorns and ticks, and some work pants and jeans in the closet.

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While on our next trip, I’m going to snap pictures of our emergency (and non-emergency) basket.  It includes band-aids of all shapes and sizes, iodine, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, pain relievers, allergy meds, heat pads, etc.

This tip goes a long way toward helping us make our list and pack for our trip to the ranch.

It’s going to take us a while to finish up the aluminum foil, though!

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in camping, Hunting, Hunting property

 

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Opening Weekend… With Bacon

This is OPENING WEEKEND of deer season and, needless to say, we’ll be out at the hunting camp. It’s surprising how much I’m looking forward to it, the cooking, planning, packing, and the trip to the camp. My deerslayer seems like a different person at this time of year, happier, more kid-like. He likes to plan, too. But he really likes BEING out at the hunting camp with the family. He grew up with several generations of deerslayers pulling campers into a circle around a great campfire like covered wagons in an old western. When the deerslayer and I met and had been dating for a while, I was invited to participate in this ritual. I have to admit that I hated it. It was totally foreign to me…. and wayyyyyyy too rustic. I moped and was sucked dry by mosquitoes. I was not willing to be seen in clothing that would keep me warm enough to enjoy the experience and keep the bugs at bay. My sinuses exploded and I was a virtual sneezing, dripping mess. Flexibility was not my middle name. Looking back, I’m surprised he was willing to marry me.
Over the years, my attitude has changed. Hunting is such a huge part of who my deerslayer is that I had to make some changes in the way I looked at the hunting experience. I realized that I had to put up a good front so that our future deerslayers would grow up to be exactly that. It would break my deerslayer’s heart if his daughters were as wimpy as their mom! After a few hits and misses I discovered that it’s all in the planning. For example, if an allergy sufferer heads out unprepared (­no meds, no tissues) all is lost regarding a positive experience. Bringing plenty of books, magazines, games, journals, yummy snacks (and wine) and well-planned meals can ensure a great hunting experience even for the “hunting challenged”. I made sure that my girls were appropriately clothed and snacked. It seemed to work. I discovered that there were foods that could be prepared ahead that would provide a wonderful, home-cooked environment. I’ve already mentioned in my last entry that Bean Soup and Fresh Cornbread will make any deerslayer’s wife the “belle of the ball” if you will. I learned how to percolate coffee with the best of ’em. (If any of you would like a tutorial, just hollar!) A steaming pot of coffee and real cream can’t be beat. Cream is much more do-able now that Land-o-Lakes has come out with “Mini-Moos”; individual serving sizes of half-and-half that don’t have to be refrigerated. Another trick that I have learned is to cook thick-cut, maple bacon ahead of time and toss it in the skillet at the camp to heat and crisp it up. Talk about wonderful smells wafting from the tiny kitchenette of the camper! The veritible Chanel #5 of hunting camp.

Camp Bacon

I always prepare my bacon on a cooling rack set over a foil-lined cookie sheet. I can usually cook as many as 10 slices at a time. I put the cookie sheet in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for approximately 20-30 minutes depending on the oven and the thickness of the bacon. The bacon doesn’t even have to be flipped over. Sometimes, though, I lay strips of foil over the ends of the bacon to prevent them from cooking too quickly. After I’ve cooked up several batches of bacon and left them to drain on paper towels, I place them in gallon-sized plastic zip bags and refrigerate until the trip. When I’m ready to prepare the bacon, I simply heat a skillet and warm the bacon. The camp smells great and everyone is happy! Don’t forget that Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches are easy and wonderful, too.

As the years went by, I discovered that my deerslayer genuinely appreciated my effort, no matter how pathetic it seemed. I also discovered that it really didn’t matter if I was freshly coiffed, my attitude was what made the difference.
I also discovered that a person’s threshold for pain and grossness increases with each child one bears. Now, I will sit around the campfire wrapped in a tablecloth or quilt, or dirty tarp with a scarf encircling my entire head except for a small opening for a sip of wine periodically. I know that my deerslayer loves me no matter what. Perhaps even a little bit more if I’m not quite as concerned about my appearance and can laugh at the often-told stories and jokes since I’m comfortable and warm in front of the fire. Don’t get me wrong! I’m very excited about some awesome new “hunting” boots that my deerslayer bought for me. When I told him that they were going to be “my new hunting boots” he knew better than to laugh, but he smirked pretty visibly. These new boots are damned cute and I do, in fact, look like I just stepped out of an Eddie Bauer catalog. I may have to dedicate an entire entry to them!

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Hunting, Recipes

 

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