Saturday, March 19, 2011

Guy Weekend = Trip to Cabelas!

So the first weekend of Spring Break, my lovely bride and daughters headed up to Oklahoma to visit family for a few days with plans to return mid week.  I had to stay home because I was needed at work and couldn't be gone, so I had the whole weekend to myself, a real "guy weekend".  So what is a guy to do?  Well I had grand plans to take the kayak out and try to catch a few crappie.  I wouldn't be able to start fishing until Saturday afternoon since the family wasn't leaving until Noon, but that was my plan.  Well when the I had packed up my wife and kids in the car and watched them drive away the wind was HOWLING!  I hate kayaking in the wind so plan B was a trip to Cabelas!

I was giddy with excitement!  I needed to pick up some new diaphragm turkey calls for my Spring hunt that is coming up, I have been looking into getting a backpacking stove for future backpacking trips, and I always enjoy just looking at all the camo and gadgets on the market.  I thought to myself, "this must be what is like for my wife when she goes clothes shopping".  Before leaving I threw some deer steaks and a frozen block of ice that I believe contains a couple quail into the fridge to defrost for later and hit the road.

Another great aspect of this trip is that I am in no hurry.  Usually when I go to Cabelas, it is with the family and we are on the way somewhere else.  My wife and daughters have come into Cabelas before, but more often they just hangout in the SUV and wait for me.  The usual routine in this situation is for me receive cell calls while I am in the store from my daughters saying "Dad! Mom wants to know how much longer!"  Well today I am on my own time, so no pressure.

I am amazed how there always seems to be a constant stream of people coming in out of this store.  I like looking at the happy hunters and anglers leaving with their new prized possessions complete, with dreamy looks of anticipation on their face.  I enter the front doors and I think I hear a chorus of angels singing "ALLELUIA" or was that just in my head?  I immediately begin my search for turkey calls.  I was surprised that they really didn't have that many to choose from, but they have what I need.  I grabbed a three pack of H&S double reeds and checked off the item in my mental list.  I wandered to the camping section and found good news and bad news.  The compact camping stove (a MSR Pocket Rocket) that I had looked at last month, but didn't buy, is now $5 more!  The good news is the titanium cup/cooking combo that I needed to go with it with it is now $25 less!  Woo Whoo!

Now with my shopping objectives complete, I am free to wander.  One of my traditional activities when I go to Cabelas is to look at their trophy mounts.  They have two rooms completely dedicated to big game mounts.  My favorite is a wall of gigantic trophy whitetail deer.  Each one has framed document beneath it to tell the story of how the hunter bagged this deer and other interesting details relating to the hunt.  I haven't read them all mostly because it would take too long, but also because I want to savor this as something I do each time I visit the store, like taking one piece of candy from a dish and enjoying it over time instead of pigging out all at once.

Next I marvel at the full body mounts of the elk.  I have hunted for these monarchs of the mountains only once and I want to go back soon.  You really don't appreciate how big they are relative to a deer until you see both of them together as I have here.

While leaving the big game exhibit, I noticed a plaque on the railing that I hadn't looked at before.  It was a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt that stated (and I am paraphrasing here) that those people who are against hunting do not understand that reason big game animals continue to thrive is because and not despite the efforts of sportsman!  As I soaked in this quote, I was surprised that in the era of President Roosevelt there was any opposition to hunting.  I think conservation is more prevalent now than then, but I had always thought of our nation being mostly "pro hunting" until more recent times.  Reading this caused me also to remember that Roosevelt had enacted legislation to create numerous National Parks and had really been a conservationist well before his time.  

Well once I had my fill of looking at all the hunting and fishing gear, it was time to head home.  The rest of the weekend was relatively uneventful.  The weather didn't cooperate on Sunday for fishing either so I did the usual chores that were put off during hunting season.  Later I prepared to cook my quail for a nice evening meal.  I grabbed the bag that once held a huge hunk of ice, but was now defrosted.  It looked odd, huh, those aren't quail!  There in the bag were two small dove breasts.  Dang, I really need to start labeling all my bags.  I usually do, but I had been in a hurry the evening I had cleaned these particular doves (I had intended to put them with some other doves to make enough for a meal).  Well that won't be enough of a meal so I grabbed the deer back-strap steaks that were supposed to be for tomorrow and began the marinating process.  Nothing fancy, just Stubs pork marinade.  I like it because it is spicy, but has a sweetness to it as well.  I dug through the pantry for some sort of side dish and discovered a sweet potato to complete my meal.  

So as the sun set on my guy weekend, I savored deer steaks, dove, and sweet potatoes.  I miss my family when they are gone, but a guy has to make the most of his opportunities!


  1. I promise you--the feeling you get in Cabela's is EXACTLY how Nikki feels at the mall! Very enjoyable post Chris.

  2. Loved your blog! I smiled through the whole article. Great writing evokes emotion and yours definitely does!

  3. Thanks for the kind words. I am enjoying the creative outlet and it is a lot of fun to write a little and read other blogs!

  4. Okay, gotta say this post just cracked me up!!! You're truly a guys guy, Chris! And the visual you gave us of the girls calling from the parking lot at Cabelas made me laugh out loud.
    Last year we were in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a wedding and stayed a few days to enjoy the trappings that a city has to offer. One day we decided to go the Dallas Aquarium but weren't able to get in due to the looong lines, we were disappointed. Leaving to go home the next day, Tim wanted to stop at Cabelas (I had never been). Well, we ended up being there for two hours...watched them feed the fish, looked at all the different types of regions in North America, yadda yadda yadda. But I've just got to say we really did enjoy it! It was our version (country folk) of the Dallas Aquarium :-)!
    Fantastic blog!

  5. Howdy I am so glad I found your weblog, I really
    found you by mistake, while I was looking on Digg for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic
    post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked
    it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up
    the fantastic jo.

    My page ... turkey hunting rules