Campsites Belong To The Next Hunter
The last time I went deer hunting my hunting buddy and I arrived at our campsite which we’d scouted weeks earlier only to find it substantially destroyed. The log ring around the fire pit was pulled apart, there were car parts strewn around, glass bottles had been shot up on the perimeter of the camp. The forest itself was wild and wonderful. None of that nasty old growth dead zone stuff. This was a young and vibrant forest with a good mix of old and young trees and lots of low cover. That’s the kind of environment that supports lots of deer. It’s also apparently the sort of environment that encourages douchebag assholes to destroy a perfectly good campsite.
This campsite was car accessible and deep in the woods. That’s pretty rare around here. It was well shaded and shielded from the bulk of the wind. Steep hills covered with tree limbs and leaf cover meant predators approaching would be hard pressed to do so quietly. There are a LOT of bears and quite a number of moutain lions in the area so being able to get up in the middle of the night to pee without worrying much about the local fauna deciding to chow down on you is nice.
After a couple hours of cleanup work and gathering of firewood we finally got around to cranking up a fire, getting dinner ready and setting up the tents.
Once camp was set up we had a brilliant dinner of bratwurst and caramelized onions with shells-n-cheese and a salad of wild gathered greens and capers dressed with rice wine vinegar.
By the next morning camp was starting to get a little cluttered but we were at least keeping the trash localized and trying to maintain some level of sorting. The red tent acted as a supply depot and kept our gear dry and at least concealed from open view.
When you have a camp that’s clean and well maintained and you hunt with people who have some sort of ethics about treating our shared wilderness properly you’ll find the enjoyment goes right up. Hunting is a sport to be shared and the victory is shared just as well as the rout. Take your friends hunting and try to enjoy the time you have just being friends. Let the hunt be a background thing that you do while you’re there and you’ll be more relaxed and enjoy the hunt more. A relaxed hunter is just another critter in the forest and less likely to stink of anxiety. This is why we always see a buck when we don’t have a tag and why the best way to not see a bear is to not get a bear tag.
Below is a pic taken after a wild pig harvest a number of years ago. The camp was amazing. The guys were awesome people of good humor and open hearts. The pig was delicious and we harvested it as a group and everyone took home quite a lot of meat home. Only one pig was taken among four hunters and we all thought at the end that it was a successful hunt for each of us regardless of who took the shot. We all contributed to setting it up and we all had a great time together doing that. That’s yours truly in the center.