Punisher Camp 2K18
The 2k18 Punisher Camp is here and gone, and with it another weekend of good times, new friends and memories. This year started the same as last year, I arrived at the hotel late on Friday night to a warm welcome from friends from the previous year and was introduced to the new members joining this years camp. Refreshments were had and teams were made. This year there was more on the line as a trophy was there to go to the top groups guide. So we split up and planned how we would come out on top for our guide.
As I only get to see most of these guys once per year sleep would wait, I had to catchup with everyone I could. Before long the time to get out in the blind was here. Everyone was camoed and waiting, loading into trucks. A quick stop at Timmys and we were off.
Getting to the blind in the morning I realized I had only hunted with 2 of the guys before. In a group of 7 thats not many but made it more memorable as I was able to meet some pretty passionate hunters. The other thing I found funny was that out of the 30 guys from around Ontario and New York at camp, which I drove 6 hours to get to, I was in a layout blind beside 2 guys who live within 45 minutes of me and I have never hunted with them back home.
The morning went well, flock after flock came off the river, and flew by. Knowing the other teams were setup in the direction these birds were setup we made sure every flock that came in received the attention it deserved. There is no feeling like hearing the whistling drumming of geese wings as a flock of 30 birds is flying overhead. After Saturday mornings hunt team Sheldon came out on top.
Of course there was still more work to be done, we had to clean up the decoys, have a quick lunch cooked by Chris Evans, then get ready to scout for Sunday. Some chose to go scout while others went and had an afternoon nap. Our friend from America thought it would be good to go get his boat and take some of us out on the river, and what a boat it was.
With the Saturday night festivities wrapping up Sunday morning came to fast, what started in 2k17 as something I was unsure about 2k18 was a weekend I wanted to continue experiencing, I hadnt managed to catchup with everyone, and meeting all the new people it was a whirlwind.
On sunday I was fortunate enough to win the hunting lottery and experience an open water hunt aboard the Behemoth. It was a new experience, something I have never seen back home and worthwhile. While we didnt see many birds Sunday morning we had a lot of laughs, and the birds we did get were top notch, who would have thought my Punisher Weekend luck would continue when we saw a Brant Goose.
After the morning hunt we all headed back to the hotel to say our goodbyes, driving down the 401 is never a fun experience and seeing a couple guys pulled over with a blown trailer wheel we felt bad, so stopped to help and realized it was actually one of the other groups of hunters. It was odd having 15 guys at the side of the road with a trailer that had its tire blow, fender rip off, the ball came loose and return times were delayed, and yet no one there was upset, we were all happy to be talking to our likeminded friends, who were starting to become more like family.. a brotherhood..
Its all surreal now as I take my 6 hour drive home and think back to all the new experiences, new friends, and wonder how many of them I will be lucky enough to hunt with in the future. Its also quite amazing to see the amount of new friends I had on facebook from only 1 year ago, what will 2k19 bring?
Thank you to Damien Pittman, Punisher Waterfowl for putting on the best hunting weekend in all of Ontario, chosing the Daylight savings time weekend gives me that 1 extra hour to talk to everyone I came to see.
Peter Heathfield and steel shot guide services, again top notch, your hospitality and knowledge ensured we all had a great experience, Sheldon, Chris, Lance and Babyface-Brendan were all amazing guides,
Jordan, the boat was an experience I will never forget,
And to all the other members of the Punisher Brotherhood Local.. see you next year.