George Little: Deer cabin feels like home

November 23, 2012 at 07:23 AM

The Ruttin’ Buck Lodge and Resort is my favorite thing about deer hunting, all in one place.

For the two weekends of the shotgun deer season, there is no better place to be. The cabin doors open wide to friendships that pick up right where they left off last December.
The meals are tasty times two, and fat- and calorie-free. They surely must be, judging from the guilt-free quantities consumed. Everybody is glad to be there. Nobody wishes they were somewhere else. Nobody gripes about their day.

Deer cabins are filled with optimism. The Ruttin’ Buck Lodge and Resort sits on the sunny side of the street. Even though it resembles the last six, Jeff’s new plan for the big deer drive will yield huge dividends. Kendal will bring his guitar, a new song, and have the nerve to play it in front of a tough audience. He’s got more sand than I do.

The “Booner” that cavorted on that hillside across the crik all afternoon will surely come into gun range tomorrow. If he doesn’t, maybe he will the next day. The possibility always exists.

Standing out on the deck at night, when the Orion is high and bright in the southeastern sky, it’s the night sky hunters in this neck of the woods have seen for a thousand years. It’s a link in the chain that connects all of us over time. Once in a while, someone finds an arrowhead that reminds us how real that connection really is.

It’s been said that the greatest thing about hunting the wild country is that there’s no place to hang a clock. At the Ruttin’ Buck Lodge and Resort, there might still be one on the back wall. If there is, the batteries probably haven’t been changed since 2002. It doesn’t matter. When there’s daylight, it’s time to hunt. When it’s dark, it’s time to go back to the cabin and share the news of the day. As long as you’re not trying to sleep in the loft where young pranksters trot out time-worn practical jokes they think are new, life at the cabin is toned down and pretty simple.

The Ruttin’ Buck Lodge and Resort is a place where success is celebrated without reservation. Each hunter’s success belongs to the group. Those are shining times for everyone. There may be some good-natured ribbing for shots missed or not taken, but in the end, nobody keeps score.

At the Ruttin’ Buck Lodge and Resort, the beverages are cold, the fire is warm, and the stories don’t have be true as long as there is a grain of truth in there somewhere. If you don’t go away from a place like that feeling good about hunting, and more importantly feeling good about your fellow hunters, then throw your gun in the crik and call it quits.

Because as they say, “The train has left the station without you.”

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