2/20/20 New year and new experiences await. Sitting in Texas at our winter home in Spring Branch I am trying to plan maple syrup season from 1352 away. Dan, Mark and Rock will be the on-site captains coordinating actual activities. I have access into the camp organized when we are ready to roll. Mark Jim Rock and Dan will work on getting the trees tapped. The camp is totally ready for tapping with everything required but the drills on site. Equipment is are ready to roll. Now we just wait and see what the weather does.
11/27 Neighbor Dan Carlson went out to the camp with his grandchildren and cut a Christmas tree. Exactly why those were planted to share with others.
11/13 2019 was a fabulous year at the camp. Again it provided more opportunity and fulfillment than we could have ever imagined before buying it. It entertained, and help to educate hundreds of people throughout the year. What a blessing! With us now living in Texas for the winter months things are going to be pretty quite there. A trapper will be in and out trapping beaver and perhaps some friend checking on thing on their snowmobiles (while running the trails). To all that have helped make this possible thank you. See you in 2020!
11/9 -11/12 Anther GREAT DEER CAMP! We ended the year at 6 for 7. Scoring was Mark-2, Jim 1, Matt 1, Nolan 1 and Ron 1. Lot of firsts, new stories, and deer shot in new locations. Absolutely beautiful in the woods with the seasons first snowfall. All deer processed, camp totally cleaned and prepped for maple syrup season com March.
11/7-8 Some of the guys started arriving from out state. Played lot of cribbage and told lot of stories. Did the stand selection for tomorrow's opener.
11/1 Camp is all ready. Now we stay out of the woods until season.
10/26-27 It is that time when I convert the small ranger to a TANK. Yes the tracks and doors are on ready for the worse winter can through at it. always put them on before deer season so just ion case we get a Halloween Blizzard ( 1991) we are prepared. Anyway it is ready for maple syrup season regardless,
10/25 All the deer stands are set for opener. Mark and I finished the job yesterday. Camp is ready!! One of our stands we could not set up this year because of high water has limited the access. So instead we put it at a new location on the corner of Turkey Trial, Beaver View and Holly Hill. Called it 4 point, the location should be a good one.
10/24 Today was our annual fall breakfast at the camp with 7. Long trail ride and numerous hands of cribbage occurred. On the ride saw several new buck scrapes on the trails. Morning deer sightings all the time.
10/22 Spent morning cleaning fridge and freezer. Changed camera chips. Seeing more and bigger bucks. Still all nocturnal but that will change come rut.
10/16 -10/19 Minnesota opened a youth rifle deer season for kids starting at 10 years old. Well we have our first grandson of the group (Marks grandson) is now a deer hunter at age 10. So we opened a mini camp just for him. Complete with the cribbage games and top notch meals. After almost 2 full days of sitting in a stand with his dad Roy, finally a nice doe stepped out about 145 yards west of SPL. He dropped it. Nolan finally got on the camp score board and he was one happy and proud young man. This is what the Hungry Beaver Sugar Camp is all about. He will never forget that day! Also one evening we have bear ribeyes and they were awesome. We also had bear in our scrambled eggs the next morning. Again, it was very good.
10/15 Replaced entire floor system in Orchard Stand along with the ripped east side curtain. Trimmed door height so it is silent when opening. Jim and Johnny cam and did some target shooting at the gun range. Also repaired Buford ( our life size fake deer) as his legs were starting to break. Checked chips. Lot of buck activity around Buck and Orchard stand this week, however deer activity around all. Saw one coyote ay Orchard. Turkeys are everywhere.
10/14 Rock and his cousin Geoff and wife Carol came and spent several hours riding trails and shooting guns, IT was a beautiful fall day with great colors. Saw the est side canvas at Orchard stand needed replacing so went back to camp and removed. I will try to replace by Wednesday afternoon. Got Stinky Stand set up for Nolan for youth rifle deer season. It is one of the two largest stands than can accommodate 2 hunters so put in another stool. heater gas and seat cushions. Will do the same in Orchard Stand on Wednesday so they can pick a location to hunt. Nolan is 10 and this will be his first time deer hunting. Awesome!!!!
10/13 I picked the rest of the apples and made 3.5 gallons of Apple Cinnamon Syrup. Saw 4 deer by SPL
10/12 Craigs wedding so nothing done at camp today.
10/10 After being gone a week hunting in Manitoba for ducks and geese back at the camp I picked almost all the remaining apples before the forecasted snow storm on the way.
10/2 After a couple days of sitting in various stands. this morning I went to SPL form Fall Turkey hunting. After about 10 minutes 2 appeared on the field about 250 yds out. I watched them walk all the way into about 35 yds. and then picked out the biggest Tom. Quick season but lot of fun! The camp and land pays off again!! Pictures below detail the hunt!
9/28-29 The cameras are showing a lot of deer running around. About a 50-50 mix of bucks and does. Lot of 4-6 pointers. Sat in the turkey stand a while but saw nothing. Also planted another 20 small white pine and spruce west of the camp in the plantation for future concealment of the camp.
9/27. Trying to get everything ready for 2020 syrup season I added a new door to the west side of the cook building. This is primarily to prevent the ice buildup on the steps making them much safer. It will however get the wind from howling in on the cold days also. Also shot a skunk today in the field. One less thing to run into in the dark deer hunting.
9/26 Big day at the camp. Rock, Mark and Jim & Carol Pokowski can and help mark the 400 taps for the Spring 2020 syrup run. We also got all the equipment down and arranged for tapping and boiling since I will most not likely be to camp for the first couple weeks. Everything is set with the two primary tarps in place to keep snow out of the cook area.
9/24 another day at the camp. tarped up some wood piles, moved more wood and sprayed the black locust trees again. Picked more apples and changed chips. Lot more deer starting to show up with numerous bucks.
9/22 Maple syrup work nevers ends. Today replaced the stove pipe in the large cooker. Only get two years out it due to the extreme heat it has to take. Also reloaded the cooking area with about 2 cords of wood for the first round of cooking next spring.
9/21 Days don't get much better than this. Anna's family up and we spent all afternoon playing at the camp with the grandchildren. 4 wheeling, picking apples and chasing butterflies. Awesome day.
9-19 Guys and I spent the morning working on 2020 Maple syrup season prepping the cookers etc. In the early evening, Laurie, and the Dahls, and I did a 3 hour cocktail cruise telling stories on the trails, enjoying the weather and fall colors.
9-18 What a great day. Spent the morning pheasant hunting and balance of day and night at camp playing. Sighted in deer rifles, shot trap, checked the game cameras, and running the trails. It was like a mini deer camp without the alarm clock at 4:30 AM. Apples are ready and everyone went home with some. Wonderful having all the guys retired being able to take full advantage of the land and camp.
9-16 Today was the annual tractor cleaning day with all the mowing done for the year at the camp. Brought it home, power washed it for 45 minutes. Regreased. It is all ready to roll!
9/13-14 Couple great days at the camp. Serviced all fluids in the tractor and 4 polaris's. Also finished all the trail mowing for 2019. About 1/3 of the apples are ready. However only 10-15% of the crop size versus the last 2 years.
9/12 Today I spent 5 hours preparing the camp for the upcoming hunting seasons. It was scrubbed from top to bottom, vacumed, dusted, everything cleaned.
9/8 I pulled all cameras and replaced batteries as it is getting time to be serious about trail pictures. Picked some apples. Took Ranger Crew in for a complete service work. All fluids tune up etc.
9/7 Back at the camo today after a 9 day trip to Texas. Everything was great. Apples are now ready and more will become rip every week through mid October.
9/1 He has it. Bear down! Within 1.5 hours, the cavalry arrived! Jim, Rock, Mark and Craig all went and assist. It was an estimated 350 lb sow. For some it was over an hour drive! Within 4 hours it was in the fridge cooling. That's what I call friends!
9/1 After being in the stand for 12 hours, a big bear walked into the bait station. Boom goes the dynamite. At this writing they waiting for an hour before tracking it. Picture of it below taken just before shooting it.
8/25 Roy continues to set bait out for bear hunting. He is seeing many many bears. Getting about 90 pictures a day set to his phone. Picked another batch of Zestars today and a few State Fair Apples.
8/23 Another great day at the camp with our friends from Chicago, Corey and Beth shooting, trail riding and eating the first of this seasons apple crop.
8/22 3 hours fo trail mowing today along with some more mowing the heavy filed for deer hunting.
8/21 Went to camp and cleaned up a couple trees across maple valley. Hazens are almost ready, black berries all over. Made
a new step for the side door. Bears are hitting the baits twice a day and Roy is super pumped!
8/19 Six years ago today we poured the concrete in the pole barn. I will always remember that because it is not only my birthday but also the day after Dad passed way. The colors are already changing on the north side of twin lake. They are always the first.
8/17. Anna and Andrew brought up some friends for the weekend. Of course no weekend is complete without running the trails at the camp. This year are the fewest bugs I ever recall in the woods. I don't know why but sure glad. Black berries are almost ready.
8/16 Mark Roy and Nolan finally got the bear bait station stock. Now we wait for them to come into it. Roy starts hunting 9/1. Nolan got to shoot his first high powered rifle at the range. and I fixed the brush hog on the tractor.
8/5 - 8/10 Great week at the Camp. My son Geoff and his family ( home from the service USAF) and in-laws were home and we played a lot at the camp. Lot of trail rides and shooting.
8/3 Helped Roy get ready for bear hunting. He starts september 1. Decided on the place to hunt and where the bait station is going to be set up. Also checked camera chips. Check out the right horn on this buck. Must have been damaged at one point.
8/1 Went to camp to replace the NW curtain on Oak Tree Stand. Worked perfect and new one installed. Saw 3 big toms in Field 1 and 2 big toms in field 2 on the way to the stand. All were in the alfalfa.
7/31 The cool night time temps have really dropped the bug level down in the woods. today my cousin and buddy and I blew through some gunpowder at the range. Shotguns, rifles, and pistols. Great time and lots of laughs.
7/30 Well it finally happened. I saw a big bear today. Infact saw him twice. He was in field 1, ran across into triangle pines, and then walked out the other side and right down Reagans Run's. Also mowed the gun range, and I sprayed the apple orchard for the last time this year. Guessing our crop will be 15% of the past 2 years which were both record years. Trees just need a rest. Good wildlife day, saw 5 turkeys, a deer and the bear.