WHEN I SEE THE OLD FARMHOUSE, THE guilt hits so hard I actually stop in my tracks—as if freezing will somehow check the feeling. But it doesn’t, and I make my way to the cracked concrete slab that used to be the front porch.
This visit is long overdue. I’m here to prove the deer camp still has some life left, but it’s not pretty. The paint is peeling, the roof is sagging, and the bushes are as wild as an old man’s eyebrows. The aura of abandonment is so strong it’s almost eerie. The front door remains locked, shut tight against the years. Someone has smashed the window beside it. I consider the glass hanging from the sash, then swing a leg over the sill and duck inside.
THE NEIGHBORS STILL KNOW IT AS THE OLD
Hawkins place, though it’s been in the Krebs family for nearly 30 years. It was my dad’s hunting camp when I was a kid, an ancient farmhouse he fixed up with his own father and brothers. But lately Dad’s been threatening to raze the place, calling it an eyesore and a liability. His various plots involve letting his Amish buddy dismantle it for scrap or setting fire to it, thereby giving the volunteer firefighters in town something to do. The most recent plan—to let the neighbor level it with a dozer—is the dullest yet, and it means he’s serious.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
LIVING THE DREAM
After the author arrives in Maine’s fabled North Woods with a moose tag in his pocket, an adventure he’s been wanting to take his entire hunting life, reality sets in, and he learns a valuable lesson: Be careful what you wish for
Get the Drift
How to make an accurate windage call under pressure
An icebreaker outing in a pristine spot produces the rut hunt of a lifetime
A Local Haunt
The author finds a sense of place in an overlooked creek, close to home
A Hop and a Pump
Jump-shooting rabbits with classic upland guns is about as good a time as you can have in the outdoors
Welcome TO camp
Is there any place better than a good hunting camp? It has everything: great food, games and pranks, and of course, hunting. Shoot, we don’t even mind going to camp for grueling work days in the summer. Here, our contributors share their favorite stories, traditions, and lessons learned from camps they’ve shared. So come on in and join us. The door’s open.
Before you even claim a bunk, you need to eyeball the hardware your buddies have brought. In the process, you’ll see that the guns at deer camp are changing. What was walnut and blued steel may now be Kevlar and carbon fiber. The 10 rifles featured here aren’t your father’s deer guns. They’re today’s new camp classics
THE JOURNEY TO PIKE'S PEAK
Last summer, the author and three friends ventured off the grid to a remote fish camp in Canada. They hoped for great fishing, but what they experienced was truly something else
When early-season whitetails vanish from open feeding areas, follow this woods-edge ambush plan
A pup’s first year, from preseason training to fall’s big show
OMA’s K3 direct-drive turntable and custom Schröder tonearm
AN EMPTY LANDSCAPE
AFTER MORE THAN A MILLION YEARS ON EARTH, CARIBOU ARE UNDER THREAT OF GLOBAL EXTINCTION. THE PRECIPITOUS DECLINE OF THE ONCE MIGHTY HERDS IS A TRAGEDY THAT IS HARD TO WATCH — AND EVEN HARDER TO REVERSE.
Trump fires Homeland Security official
Krebs contradicted Donald on 2020 election
WHAT ARE VIRUSES?
A glimpse into virosphere—that mysterious cusp between life and non-life—will tell us they are part of us, within us, and wrote us into being