Notes from the North Country

By: Lon and Lynn Emerick

Don’t try to buy gas, order a meal or find a motel room on November 15 in these environs.
It is a High Holy Day, the opening of the annual deer hunting season and an Upper Peninsula Holiday. All across the U.P., men and women are gathering their gear and checking it twice.
Lon celebrated his sixtieth deer-hunting season last year and, while a semiretired hunter, he still likes to visit deer camps and listen to the stories of red-coated nimrods.
This tale, from a few years ago, is our favorite and demonstrates how important is the annual pursuit of whitetail deer—more serious even than life.
The members of the Kernow Camp had hunted together for many happy years. They were all getting a bit long in the tooth, and most of them were nursing various ailments.
Instead of hunting alone, they decided to pair up so if someone had a problem, his partner could summon help.
Old Bernie Medlyn, who had been through some heart troubles, was paired with his good buddy, Harvey Treloar, and on opening day they went up to a new deer blind on the Salmon- Trout River.
It was almost dark when Harvey struggled back into camp, dragging a beautiful eight-point buck. All the old guys ran out of the cabin to admire Harvey’s deer. It was the best whitetail buck taken at Kernow Camp in many years, and Harvey basked in all the praise and awe. When the excitement had settled down, Alex Pentreath asked, “Say, Harvey, where’s Bernie?”
Harvey looked down at his deer and then up at the circle of his longtime hunting buddies. “Well, guys, Bernie got real sick after lunch…and he died,” Harvey said.
There was a collective, audible sigh of shock and disbelief.
“But Harvey,” Alex said incredulously, “you dragged this here buck back to camp and left Bernie in the woods?”
Harvey took off his blaze orange Stormy Kromer hat, looked down admiringly at his eight-point buck and replied, “No one’s going to steal Bernie.”
The men looked at each other, nodded in agreement and filed back into the camp to have a celebratory drink to Harvey’s successful hunt.
—Lon and Lynn Emerick

Editor’s Note: Comments are welcome by writing MM or e-mailing:

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