Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

There’s a new dog in our lives. We’ve still got Morgan, our 14 year-old Yorkie, and Megan’s golden retrievers, Millie and Maverick. The new pup on the block is Hank, a black lab owned by Evan and Nella.
Being a puppy Hank kind of gets the run of the house, at least as much as Morgan will let him. Get too close to her at times and Hank will get a snarl and a good barking.
But puppies are resilient and Hank finds another toy or something else to gnaw on. He’s a big fan of Kleenex so the garbage can in the bathroom is now stored on top of a table.
Evan and I took Hank and the goldens out to the shack a couple weekends ago. All around our shack trees were harvested over the winter. It’s been 20 years since we bought Camp Cholesterol and we always knew this day would come.
The tall Norway pines that surround the shack itself are still there, swishing in the wind and waving at the sky. From outside that area, most of the trees were taken with the branches and tops left behind as nutrients for the future forest.
Our project has been to pick up the branches that were in the driveway and along our trails so we can ingress and egress safely. At first we tossed the branches off to the side but on that day Evan and I loaded them into a trailer and hauled them away.
The dogs thought this was great fun. Any stick or branch that didn’t make it in the trailer was fair game for them to grab onto and try to keep the other two dogs from taking it. Apparently they didn’t know there were plenty of sticks to go around.
We worked for a couple of hours, took a break to cook some venison polish on the grill and then went for a walk. There’s a trail that weaves through the pines along the edge of a tamarack swamp before opening up to a grassy swale that has a creek running through it.
Part of the trail was missing and we had to cut our way through another section but we made it through and stopped to look at the end of the ridge. That was until Hank made a beeline for the water and Evan took off after him.
I paused to admire the view where the logging equipment hadn’t been to and then followed the dogs and Evan back into the harvested area.
This will all take some getting used to. Several deer stands will need new locations. Things change, even out at the shack.