Hello Clam Lake!
As we head into this coming week we are experiencing some above normal temps and sun. What a welcome sight compared to 6 inches of snow on Halloween. Even though the deer hunters may not be happy with this turn of events we say “Thank-you Mother Nature!”
DEER SEASON – The 2023 deer rifle season will get underway this coming Saturday, the 18th and run through Sunday November 26th. For our village, this will be a busy time. Hunters will head north to get their various deer camps in order and settle in. This has traditionally been a time of male bonding but, over the years many ladies also enjoy the sport and will take to the woods to try to bag a big buck. There will be buck pools and plenty of socializing to be had at the various businesses in the area with blaze orange being the fashion statement of the week. We welcome all of the hunters and wish them a safe and successful season.
COMMUNITY CENTER UPDATE – The new Clam Lake Community Center is coming along nicely. The exterior siding is just about done and the inside is really beginning to take shape. Along with the painted walls, courtesy of Jack Wiener, the wainscoting has gone up along with the ceiling. With the light wood the interior is looking fresh and bright. We thank all those that have been working on this project so diligently. Thank you!
HUNTING SEASON BACK IN THE DAY – As we approach this year’s hunting season it brings to mind how hunting was many years ago. My family’s beginnings here in the area were all due to that most venerable of seasons. My grandfather and his group came from Chippewa Falls in the early 20’s and stayed on Camp Fire Island during deer season. This led them to want to own land of their own and have their own deer camp. In the area that was once part of the Leonard’s headquarters camp they bought land that came with a left over building from the logging company – perfect for a hunting shack. It was christened the “Dug Out” as part of it was in the ground and so it would remain for many years. In the early days my grandfather’s group would take the train to Glidden and be ferrried out via horse and wagon to be dropped off for their hunting expedition. Of course, this would later lead to coming up via automobile. The group of 8 members formed an association in 1927 that would be labeled the West Fork Hunting and Fishing Club. They held meetings of their Club and kept logs of these meetings over the years often giving each other Native American nicknames, such as “Big Chief” or “Wing Shot” as was the custom of the day. There were surprises to be had when arriving, such as the time they installed sky lights and found that a bear had broken through one and spent some “quality time” in the shack. What a mess! Almost a century later this Club, limited always to 8 members, still exists with my cousin, John Collins, being the fourth generation in my family to be a member. Although the orginal Dug Out is gone, the “new” cabin still retains the rustic charm of days gone by – foregoing electricity and running water. It is a simple structure which harkens back to the hunting cabins of yore. Over the years descendants of the Leinenkugels family have become members leading it to be referred to as the “Leinenkugels Camp”.When in reality, it will always be the West Fork Hunting and Fishing Club. Whatever it is known by, it has been the site of many happy days spent in the forest enjoying the hunt and camaderie which the season provides.
Until next week….
Pictured is the archway at the entrance to the West Fork Hunting and Fishing Club.