Walking into the cabin its 34 degrees inside and out and the boots stay on your feet whilst the groceries for all the brothers gets stacked just about everywhere. Setting up the bar we have to evict a red squirrel. Three loops and four broom flicks later that red tail is lucky he's not a whitetail. Scanning the canned vittles I look for one jar of homemade raspberry jam that goes home with me and won't be shared. Once I lay hands on it I nest it inside my Duluth pack. That guys wife never forgets. After I secure my jar of deliciousness I tend the woodstove as others pullback curtains, sweep back a years' worth of dust and spider webs. Rifles get set in the gun rack. Everybody rigs there sleeping bunk. We're moving in as one dead mouse gets tossed out. I always think why bother setting one trap for one mouse when there's probably a passel of them everywhere but it's the only trap line we have for about a week so I go with it every year. One other heat source is the cook stove, its being lit and the blue gas emitting from the metal top from last year's Crisco coating makes me leave the room. It's an old tradition that one day will kill us all but so far it has helped keep the rust at bay. I think it warns every deer for about two miles downwind as it warms up as well. Outside several of us check the woodpile which doesn't need another stick for perhaps ten years but axes sound like horse hoofs clopping as four of us create a kindling pile second to none. Back inside the indoor thermometer says it's warmed to sixty one degrees. Maybe an hour later with the door being opened and closed more times than any one can imagine it's now a balmy 68 above inside and the last dormant guest to arrive is the flies. In minutes their buzzing about so we get to go on our first hunt of the camp. We swat a few. Smash a few against the window panes. Newspapers swat. Fingers flick em to the floor. Just when we think there can't be another, a new batch of warmed up winged pests stir to life using everything for a landing strip. One hit the cribbage table, whack that fly is no more. The ones that hit the wood stove hiss for a second and they become roasted toasted flies. By three in the afternoon, its 71 degrees inside, and finally we have taken the place over, no more rodents, no more flies, just six guys deer hunting. The trout whisperer

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