Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

My son Evan and I took a ride last Sunday to check out a logging operation near our hunting shack.
After selling my sled at Hay Days I used Megan’s to make the trip. We hopped on the trails and were surprised by two things.
One, the trails are in really good condition for this early in the season. Despite some of the worst swamp conditions you can imagine, the local snowmobile clubs and the DNR have been able to now get groomers out after the swamps were packed.
Two, there was hardly anybody out on the trails. We didn’t meet a sled on the trail during our trip, other than two small groups stopped along the Taconite, including our friend Steve Groteboer out for a quick ride.
We pulled up near the shack to survey the changes. The logger had neatly stacked the trees in piles based on species, with some already cut to length.
We knew this change was coming but thought it wouldn’t happen until this fall. The new schedule caused a quick trip out during muzzleloader season to remove some trail cameras but that wasn’t a major inconvenience.
Evan stood at the top of the hill by the shack and surveyed the impact. I think he said it looked like a bomb went off. Since the logger is still in the middle of cutting, it’s hard to tell what the final product will look like.
This past deer season was our 20th at the shack and we’ve had logging on and off around us during those 20 years including last summer.
There’s always a clean-up operation after the logger is done, usually to pick up branches left on the trails we use.
This time the logging is much closer and I told Evan we’ll have plenty of fuel for a nice bonfire this spring before the snow is gone.
We took a walk through the area and then hopped back on our sleds for the ride home.
“Want to take a detour onto the lake?” I asked Evan.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to that,” he said.
We hopped off the trail and made our way to a small lake where riders had already been out and found slush from the heavy snowfalls we’ve had.
But there was no slush to be found as we carved our way around the lake, following the shoreline and zipping into and out of the bays.
Back at the landing we stopped to look out at the lake and the view across to the other side.
Kind of reminded me of the new views we’ll have at the shack next deer season. Going to have to crank up the rifle scopes for season 21.