Tents and TVs
The Arkansas deer camp, it should be mentioned, is a tent camp only, located on 1,000 acres of leased river-bottom lands, flooded hardwoods, and some thick, thick swamps. No electricity. No water. Television? Yep!
"We have a Slingbox at the camp," says the camp's owner, a Slingbox being an electronic, wireless device that allows you to watch television just about anywhere on a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or a television.
"That way, we can watch college football at night," says the camp owner. "Especially when the Razorbacks are on!"
For juice, the camp uses car batteries tapped with AC power adapters for the Slingbox, and they also use this set-up to recharge cells and tablets.
But not all high tech is welcomed here. The camp owner notes that, in years past, a couple of hunters in the group arrived with their decked-out camper trailers. Other hunters gave them so much grief, the trailers were never seen again.
"From the start of bow season on, it's wall tents and cots, sleeping bags and heaters when it starts to get chilly," the camp owner says. "Coolers for food. Haul our own water."
What about, well, ah, facilities?
"We have an old chair with a hole cut in the bottom and a toilet seat duct taped to it. Works fine."
Talk about "roughing it."
Hunting Tip: Good Glass
Large forest fires swept through parts of the Ochoco National Forest several years ago, home to the Oregon deer hunting camp, and really opened up the landscape. Where 100-yard shots or less were the norm, hunters now take deer at 300 yards; deer can be spotted a half mile away, too.
So quality glass—binoculars, spotting scopes, and rifle scopes—suddenly became a needed item.
"I spent the money, got really top binoculars and a high magnification scope," says one camp member. "Good glass has really improved our chances of bringing home venison."
Deer Drag, A Family Event
One of the toughest parts of the deer hunt can be actually getting your deer out of the woods, especially if it's far from a road and in difficult terrain. But at the Oregon mule deer camp, a deer down is actually a family bonding experience.
"As soon as someone shoots a deer, everybody goes to that spot to help to get it out," says one deer camp member. "That's really one of the special times for me, all of us being together, celebrating our family members' deer, the excitement on everyone's face. It really means a lot to me to be part of that."
Go to 2013 Deer Camp