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Knives Illustrated - - News - STORY AND PHOTO BY JOSHUA SWANAGON

Deer camp is a very se­ri­ous thing.

Some­times. It’s that time of year when friends and fam­ily get to­gether to re­turn to our roots, spend some quiet time with na­ture, fill our freezer and sit around camp swap­ping lies about the one that got away. This is a time of re­flec­tion, prepa­ra­tion and shenani­gans.

If you have ever spent any time in a deer camp, then you know the types of haz­ards that can be present when your friends and fam­ily are in­volved. I re­mem­ber one year that one of our cousins brought a huge blow-up mat­tress. It was queen size and about two and half feet tall. It’s not that the rest of us—who were sleep­ing on cots—were jeal­ous, just op­por­tunis­tic.

One night, we waited un­til he went to the bath­room, and we let most of the air out of his mat­tress. When he came back, he couldn’t be­lieve that it had gone down so much. But, un­flinch­ingly, he re­filled it.

Shortly af­ter, he went back into the bath­room to get him­self cleaned up for the night, and we de­flated his mat­tress again. He seemed a lit­tle more per­turbed this time around, and started look­ing for the prob­lem. When noth­ing stood out as an is­sue that could cause such calamity, he filled it back up again. Ul­ti­mately, for the fi­nal straw, we waited un­til he went out­side for a few min­utes, and we re­leased the air one more time. Upon en­ter­ing the lodge, he lost it. He tore the bed­ding off, got a bowl of wa­ter with dish soap in it and rubbed it all over the bed, fran­ti­cally look­ing for bub­bles. His brother, who was sleep­ing in the cot next to him, fi­nally said, “Do you get the feel­ing they’re mess­ing with you?” It was at that point that the en­tire lodge erupted in laugh­ter.

“THIS IS A TIME OF RE­FLEC­TION, PREPA­RA­TION AND SHENANI­GANS.”

You might be ask­ing what this story has to do with knives. The an­swer is: noth­ing. It is just an anec­dote to help you re­live some of your best deer camps and get you ready and ex­cited for this year’s big hunt.

But it also has a moral. When some­thing like this hap­pens to you in deer camp, be­fore you get ex­cited and start fran­ti­cally look­ing for the cause, first look to those around you. You just might be the cheap en­ter­tain­ment for the rest of camp.

Stay sharp and keep it real. KI

The White Fang from TOPS Knives has as­sisted in pro­cess­ing a few deer in camp.

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