It is that time of year again. Time for the annual Thanksgiving deer hunting trip. A week in an old army tent in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Been doing this since before I got married. How else would I be able to do it over Thanksgiving? Told her before we got hitched it was part of the package. I think she's glad to be rid of me, but she doesn't let on.
My dad and uncle have been doing this trip since time began. I still hear the story about the year they set the tent up and decided to go hunting instead of cut firewood. They figured they had a good sleeping bag*. My uncle said he had all his clothes on inside the sleeping back and still was so cold he couldn't sleep. The next morning the soda was frozen solid and the pickup wouldn't start. He had to walk a few miles to a local rancher and get a ride to town to buy a new battery. The temperature was more than 20 below zero that night. That was 1985 and was the first year they used the old army surplus tent. We've always gotten firewood first thing ever since. This year we are bringing some wood from home. Sure to be dry that way.
My first trip out there was 1987. I was too young to hunt, but I caught a few trout from some beaver dams. Only time I've had trout that was fit to eat.
We were discussing the other day that we should have kept a diary of all the trips out there. We can remember all kinds of things** but can't really remember what year they were. Lots of things have changed. We don't go to the same place that we used to. They logged the area around Nemo and the hunting was never the same, so we moved to Whitetail Peak, and after several years we stopped seeing very many deer there so we moved again. There have been three or four forest fires in the new area, including the Jasper fire.
Anyway, you all enjoy your turkey. We will enjoy ours, if we come across one***.
* more commonly called a "fart sack"
** Like the year we forgot the tent poles.
*** Cut the breast meat of a young wild turkey up, and saute it in butter. Good stuff.