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Bullmoose passes muster, maybe

Here it is, another fall season that has zipped by in a flash. It seems like just yesterday when we made out first foray to Bullmoose Camp over Labor Day weekend.

Last weekend was the traditional trip to the shack two weekends before the opener to take care of the final chores for the big event. This time around, we had gotten so much stuff done earlier in the year that the work weekend ended up involving very little work at all. Hey, that's always a bonus.

This year also marked a new chapter in camp history. Three generations of nimrods came to the shack, two for the very first time.

Wack and I headed up early Saturday morning and took care of a few chores. We were pleased after opening the front door (after we cut the lock off wit a newly purchased bolt cutter, but that's another story) - evidence of the resident mouse population was very light; we only had to sweep a few calling cards off the kitchen counter and stove top. In addition, the roof had leaked very little - even after the near-continuous rain the area experienced in the previous two weeks.

It appears as if we may have a handle on the ever-present roof leaking situation that we've been battling for more than seven years. Oh, yeah, then we can finish up that fancy paneling and roof job that's been on hold for ages. Bullmoose Lodge, baby, here we come.

A couple hours later that morning we were joined by Two Deer, his Dad (Ol' Mossy Horns) and Two Deer's oldest son (Spike). Wow, three generations at the old shack at the same time. Very cool indeed.

Ol' Mossy Horns said he wanted to make the trip so when he heard us talking about the shack he'd have a point of reference. Didn't know how to take his opening comments when entering the luxurious shack, though.

"So this is it .... huh."

Hey, we'll take it as a compliment.

Walking into the parlor, Ol' Mossy Horns further surveyed the scene. He quickly spotted the fly strips that were hanging at strategic locations throughout the room and which, of course, couldn't hold even one more fly. Bullmoose Camp has been known to harbor a cluster fly or two on occasion.

"Geez," said Ol' Mossy Horns. "I thought there was only one fly strip, but they're all over place ... and they're all full. Have they been there since last deer season?"

The reply was quick. "Oh, no, we just hung 'em up a couple weeks ago."

I thought I saw Ol' Mossy Horns roll his eyes, but couldn't be sure.

Hey, Two Deer. Bet I know what you'll be getting in your Christmas stocking this year.

Two Deer had brought along a new gas stove/oven since the original was on the blink. After setting up the new one and having a bit of lunch, Ol' Mossy Horns said he wanted to look over our hunting setup and check out the stands on the property. It was an impressive and enjoyable trip. Ol' Mossy Horns made the tour and personally crawled into each stand.

The last stop on the tour was the new permanent stand in which the Hack sits each year.

As they approached the stand location, Ol' Mossy Horns made an observation. "Things are starting to fall into place now," he said. "Two Deer's new stand is about as far away from the shack as you can get," he said with a twinkle in his eye. "I didn't see much as far as fresh sign around that stand. Now, the closer we get to your stand, which is right by the shack, we see the most deer sign on the property. Now I understand ..."

Never mind, Ol' Mossy Horns, never mind.

As they were looking over the stand, the Hack glanced behind the location. There, in all his glory, was Spike, heeding the call of nature. The group had walked a couple of miles that afternoon and passed many locations where the deed could have been done with no impact.

The Hack was beginning to think there might be some kind of conspiracy going on. Just last season, another first-time visitor to the camp used the area directly under the Hack's favorite stand as an outhouse.

Watching Spike zip up, Ol' Mossy Horns just chuckled and said, "Let's get back to the shack. I have a proposition for you."

Well, to get to the point as quickly as possible, Ol' Mossy Horns proposed a gentleman's wager concerning the Vikings game the next day. He chose the game, came up with the rules, held the money and informed the rest of us as to the winner.

Guess who won?

Yet another important lesson learned at Bullmoose Camp. You don't get to be known as Ol' Mossy Horns for nothing.