By: Bears Butt

Every hunting camp I have ever been involved with have some sort of ritual or right of passage, in the case of new comers.  Ours is no different.  I first learned about hunting camp traditions when I was about 13 years old.  I was allowed to go and camp with the hunters and actually got to go out in the mountains with my parents on an actual deer hunt.  I remember that hunt as if it was yesterday.

Two buck deer came running straight at us and mom and dad both were blazing away with their rifles trying their best to put both of them down.  Only one actually got hit and killed, and again that memory is with me to this day.  Fun stuff right there.  I was hooked before that, but for sure, that event solidified my desire to hunt big game.

Back to the tradition of our hunting camp.  Usually the night before the opening day, while sitting around the camp fire talking about past hunts and tomorrows plans, someone will bring up the “big buck contest”.  This is a contest where everyone hunting will put a dollar or five or ten or whatever into the pot.  When the hunt is over, the hunter that tags the largest buck in the camp wins all the money in the pot.  Pretty simple and it adds to the “should I shoot that small of a buck right now, or hold out for a bigger one” question that almost always runs through the hunters mind before they pull the trigger.

Well, currently our muzzleloader deer camp has added another bit of a twist to the age old big buck contest.  Ours goes like this:

Every hunter that wants to play in the contest puts in $5.  This has to be done before the hunt actually begins, so just as in the past, must take place no later than first light of the first day of the hunts opening.  The biggest buck will win the pot (all the money).  The biggest buck is determined by the total number of points over one inch in length, plus the distance at the widest point across the antlers.  So, by Western count, if a person bagged a 4 point muley, with eye guards longer than one inch, they would have a total point count of 10.  (Four points on each side of the rack, plus the two eye guards).  That 10 is then added to the distance across the antlers for the total.  So if the rack measured 15 7/8 inches across, outside of antler to outside of the other antler the total would be 25 7/8 points.  In my camp that would be a tough one to beat most years.

Most of us are meat hunters and bag two point bucks usually and our total counts are usually less than  15 inches.  We don’t care.  We are out for a good time and maybe even get to take a buck home for the table.

So far, our contest sounds pretty much like your camp contest doesn’t it?  Well, here comes our twist on things.

We have what we call “The Boobin Baby Board”!  A picture of a baby who is crying very hard and has a saying above his head the reads “WHAAAA!!!!….I..Well I….I guess I shoulda…If he’d just held still longer.  He was out of range…I CAN’T BELIEVE I MISSED!!!!  WHAAAAA!!!!!!”

So what is the purpose of this Boobin Baby Board?  The picture is pinned to a very stout board and on the board is also placed a clean piece of cardboard  that measures about 12 inches wide and maybe 20 inches long.

Another rule is now in effect:  If you shoot during the hunting time and you do not bring a deer back to camp, you owe the pot $1 more to stay in the contest.  It does not matter if you shoot at a can, target, coyote, deer, squirrel or whatever, if you shoot and do not bring a deer back to camp you owe the dollar…AND in addition to that, your name is written on the Boobin Baby Board for all to see.  Take a look at this picture from the 2009 muzzleload deer hunt, can you count the number of missed shots during that 5 day hunt?

We have added another fine little picture that is pinned to the tree with the pot of money and you can see from the picture just how cute it is and why we have chosen to use it.

One final rule for our contest.  We pre-determine when we are going to break camp and go back home.  In order to claim the pot of money, you have to be back at camp before noon on the day we plan on breaking camp, or the money goes into next years pot.  We have never had the money go into next years pot and I doubt it will ever happen.

Oh ya!  There is one more little item I almost forgot.  It is a tradition that the hunter that bags a buck, any buck and brings it to camp deserves a little toast in his or her honor.  We have a little bit of a surprise, in the way of a sip of some of the most horrid whiskey made.  It is store bought, so you know it is sage, but boy howdy does it make you shudder as it goes down…we call that “grimacing”!  This is what the Front and Back labels look like:

So, there you have the story of the traditions that occur in the camp of the Willow Creek Free Trappers!

Bears Butt

Written on June 27th, 2011 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man

Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.