Dog days and hunter's moon

August 16. 2014 9:53PM

There is this camp in a more or less sylvan glade along a more or less untraveled road. There are few of these left, by the way.

Just the other day, tuckered out after a long day, I was by there. Unlike other camps we frequent, none of our bunch has any ownership in this one. Instead, we rent the place for a couple of weeks in October and resort there for rest and relaxation and recreation, the latter including, if we feel like it, hunting.

How soon all this will change the scene, from one of summer solitude to a Hunter's Moon maelstrom of haphazard vehicles, dogs amok, coolers on the porch, faint sounds of gunfire, and the clank of cast-iron cookery from within, only slightly overpowering the sound of shuffling cards. This latter can involve cribbage or poker or even solitaire, depending on who's awake.

All of this, to one degree or another, is hunting camp. Not deer camp - a whole other and more focused subject - but hunting camp. The latter leaves a lot of room for loose ends. Hunting for what? Birds (aka "grouse," aka "partridge")? Rabbits (aka "varying hare")? Your boots? A snack? Your bunk at, say, 2 a.m. after a last round of red-eye poker?

There are some serious hunters in camp, and some not so. As in any good fairly unfocused camp, there is plenty of room for both. Want to get up at O-Dark-Hundred and sneak out to try to ventilate something that will turn into tenderloins in a Number Ten fry pan? Go to it. Want to sally forth at mid-day to try to get the jump on the bird you saw yesterday? Ditto. Sleep, read, swap stories, or do the prep for tonight's supper? More dittos.

Hunting Camp: Rest, relaxation and recreation, all lumped into one fine and indescribable thing, a mid-summer's dream.

Write to John Harrigan at Box 39, Colebrook NH 03576 or email him at

ColumnOutdoorsJohn Harrigan

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