Pickarooning at the Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

The fall of the year may be the best time to be in the woods, especially when you can carry a shotgun and bring home supper. But there’s usually three or four weekends in the spring that are nearly as good.
We spent the weekend at the shack, riding wheelers, putting up trail cameras and gathering firewood. The weather was perfect and we didn’t see a mosquito until late Sunday afternoon.
Steve and Bev brought out their new Arctic Cat two-up wheeler and we broke it in right.
The funny thing was I had been out visiting Tom Wetzel at his shack earlier in the week and had rode his wheeler which was identical to what Steve bought. If you haven’t driven a wheeler with power steering, you are missing out. What a difference.
A the shack we brought along the snippers and the chainsaw to open up the roads that had trees across them. Luckily nothing big had fallen and we made quick work of each blockage.
After going through a trail in an area that was logged over the winter, Steve tried to pry out a stick that was wrapped around the rear axle.
This usually isn’t a big deal unless you take out the rubber boot that protects the moving parts. So, back to the dealer for repairs after the first day out riding. Such is the fun of ATVs.
We had a true shack meal Saturday night with Steve, Bev, Megan, Mary, Evan, Nella and myself dining on steak, beans, rolls and cream corn. Certainly nothing fancy but it sure was a great topper on the day.
Megan and I stayed up playing cribbage but she kept whipping me and recorded two skunks along the way. I finally had to give in to save face.
Joined by her dog Millie on Sunday, it was Megan and I finishing up the firewood gathering and putting up a couple trail cameras.
“This is kind of like shopping,” Megan said as we cruised around looking for firewood.
We found several trailer loads and used a new tool that was a back saver when it came to pulling the logs to the road. Officially it’s called a pickaroon and looks too simple to do much.
One good swing and the tooth on the end is buried in the wood. The handle has a sticky section on the end with plenty of grip. Instead of lifting with your back, the pickaroon does the work for you. Amazing tool.
With the wood back at the shack we took a lunch break and then changed over to the trail camera beat.
I had picked up a salt block and some feed blocks at Ely Flower and Seed. This would be what the camera would be aimed at to see what kind of animals are hanging out in the woods these days. I don’t like putting out feed blocks that have molasses and corn in them this early, however. Usually it’s the bears that seem to devour them in no time.
I’m hoping the salt block will work just as well since I haven’t been buying them recently.
Megan and I searched high and low for just the right stump to set a 50 lb. salt block on. But we were striking out left and right.
“How about we put it by the lifeguard stand?” she suggested slyly.
Since this is the stand Megan likes to sit in the most, I could see why she wanted it there.
Being a good dad, I gave in and we headed to the lifeguard to find a good stump. Sure enough we found a spot to put the block and the camera with the stand in the background. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if any animals come over to lick it up.
Megan had to head back into town for a birthday party in the afternoon and she took Millie with her.
Back at the shack I fired up the sauna stove and went about cleaning up and packing things up for the trip home.
There was just enough time for the sauna to hit 210 degrees when it was time to hop in. Usually I’m a 190 guy but 210 felt great. Must’ve been all that pickarooning.