Hook and Bullet Club by Nick Wognum - Deer? Not yet

Camp Cholesterol was up and running in full swing by Friday night before deer season. From a quiet spot in the woods to a deck full of coolers, ATVs parked outside and wood smoke curling out of the chimney - we were back in business.
Our travellers came from the Twin Cities area, Bemidji and the North Dakota border to make their way to our neck of the woods. Pick up trucks were tucked between the pines and every bunk had a sleeping bag spread out for when the lights were turned off.
With supper percolating in the oven, a deck of cards appeared, a game of smear started and never really seemed to stop. There were a few bathroom breaks but when 21 was reached, the score was circled and the game started over.
I stopped by the Wilmunen Shack when I left town on Friday and visited for a bit. There were just three hunters when I was there. Casey was still unloading her vehicle, Pat Farha was telling stories and shackmaster Rob was taking it all in.
He and I talk sometimes about the work that goes into a deer camp. We share our woes and if need be help each other out. But we wouldn’t trade anything for that 16 days in November called deer season.
For some reason this year I was looking back and looking ahead. It’s our 18th year at Camp Cholesterol. Lord only knows how many more each of us has left.
We try to take some group photos each year to remind us of who was there. This is usually done at supper time just before we’re ready to dive in to a meal of Bill’s famous Eat More or Sara’s delicious homemade manicotti she sends out each opening weekend.
But those photos don’t tell the whole story, they’re just a glimpse in time. Maybe that’s why we tell stories of past hunts and past deer camps. We want to keep those memories fresh in our minds and fresh in our hearts.
When I see people during deer season they always ask, “Did you guys get any deer?” This year the answer is not yet, and we’re okay with that.
We’ve been seeing does and fawns each day, sometimes four or five. We can shoot a doe this year under the DNR’s “kill all the deer and maybe we’ll save the moose” plan. My camp tends to disagree with that plan.
I was shocked the Star Tribune ran a headline “Deer bringing death to Minnesota’s moose.” Even more shocked with the S-T admitted “We should have done better” when I pointed out this was inaccurate at best.
There’s a lot more to learn about brainworm and slugs found in moose and deer. An assistant professor at the U’s College of Veterinary Medicine was able to use crowdfunding to further research the problem. She easily raised the $6,000 needed and will now be able to move forward.
Here’s the best part, if she’s right there may be ways to save the moose without killing all the deer. Better yet, the professor’s name is…Tiffany Wolf.
Even I couldn’t make that up.