Monday, February 2, 2009

Tails from the Field...treasure hunting.

Ever since I can remember, my father has his annual week long hunt. He, my uncle BEAR, and his buddy Dave would either hunt North Dakota or Colorado. Alternating yearly, in ND they would camp at an hundred year-old farmstead and wake-up ten minutes from the tree stands.

I would only be able to come out on weekends, but would definitely make up for lost time. A thousand questions and go, go , go. Sometimes I don't know how they put up with it, but now that I'm a father I'm starting to understand. This particular memory, I was roughly seven. Most days were full of either hunting or shooting. Typically, a day at camp looked like this:
  • Morning deer hunt
  • Tracking...if not tracking, story telling
  • Pheasant hunt on way back to camp
  • Breakfast at camp
  • Shoot to see who does dishes
  • Hunt pheasant, grouse, and partridge all afternoon
  • Clean-up for evening hunt
  • Get in the tree-stands
  • Tracking
  • Story telling
  • Dinner, drinking, and sleep

They were really amazing. It was a rare occasion when we stayed at camp for the afternoon nap, but when they did, the door was wide open to all the outdoors had to offer. Hours of unadulterated exploring. The farmstead opened a kids mind to all sorts of possibilities. It looked a lot like "Little House on the Prairie", but I would make it "The Outlaw Josey Wales" with all the indians and outlaws. Anyways, leave a kid alone in a house long enough and he will find everything you have misplaced or hidden.

I'm sure I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but under an old bedspring was a loose board. I moved it and revealed a "treasure chest". Maybe it was an old tin cigar box, but either way it was full of treasures. Letters from WWII, a war medal, stamps, football cards, and even a few coins. I thought the letters were the coolest, but it made my dad a little uneasy. I read all of them before I went back to camp because I knew he would say it wasn't my property or business reading someone else's letters. My first question was "Dad, what is poontang". Apparently, it was some kind of "juice" this particular soldier missed terribly.

Now the crazy thing was the football cards were dated 1900-1910 and in great condition. Also, several stamps were worth a few bucks at the time. Everyone knew to keep them because "it's going to be worth something someday". The problem was they left them in the hands of me. I hid them in the house so well that for years when I would return after college, I would seach for my "treasures".

My parents sold the house and about everything in it some years ago. I guess its meant to be that way...treasures for someone else to find. BUT DAMN...those cards have to be worth something.


SimplyOutdoors said...

Poontang is a drink? That is not how it was describted to me.

But anyway....great blog. Glad Othmar pointed me this way.

Deer Passion said...

Great post! Reminds me of all the time my cuzns and I spent poking around abandoned farmsteads and all the "treasures" I drug back to my parents home.

Mel said...

Hi, very nice looking blog. I am glad that Othmar pointed it out to me. I would like to add your blog to my BlogBuddies list on my blog. I will take care of that soon. Appreciate it if you would consider adding mine.

By the way, many years ago I was in the cold unfinished basement of my parents home. I seen a loose brick from the foundation and moved it aside. I found a copy of a Ray Bergman book called "Trout" in a brown paper bag. Don't have any idea who put it there!

Rod McBellanic said...

Thanks for coming by all.

Seems like everyone has some treasure memory tucked away. Thanks for sharing Mel and Passion.