Shop Where You Fish (or hunt, or go relax at the lake, or…)

In the October 2009 Field & Stream, you’ll see a fun cover story titled “Welcome to Deer Camp.”  One of the “Camp Philosophy” sidebars caught my eye; its title was “Support the Locals.”  Although that particular deer camp was in Upper Michigan, the basic idea would sure work around here.  Check it out:

“A few days before they arrive, members of Stevens Camp fax a list to Sune’s market, a local grocery.  The goods are bagged and ready to go when they get there.  The tab generally runs around $1,000.  ‘It might cost a little more than bringing groceries from home,’ says camp member Rodney Driggett. ‘But if you support the locals, they appreciate it.’  That spirit extends to philanthropy.  The camp donates a few bucks to local charities, such as the local volunteer fire department and the Drummond Island Sportsman’s Club.  ‘Folks take care of us now,’ says Chuck Decker.  ‘Keep an eye on the cabin. Pull us out of the mud.  And you should see what Sune’s does with our groceries.  Our T-bones look like porterhouses.’”

What a great camp philosophy!  (And not just for deer camp, by the way.)

In Northwest Wisconsin, most of the smallest grocery stores have computers and fax machines.  (How do you think they order their stuff?)  If not, we do have mail delivery out here in the woods.  Ask about pre-orders next time you’re up here.

And if you don’t always get around to planning that far ahead, consider leaving for the hunting shack—or, as the case may be, your cabin at the lake—a half-hour earlier.  Shop where you play.

By the way, that $1,000 grocery tab for those guys hunting the UP?  Your mileage may vary.  That was for six or eight hungry hunters staying the entire week.  It may have also including a few cases of “refreshments.”  Those are available in Northern Wisconsin, too—at most grocery stores, and even one or two hardware stores.  Plus, we do have a few taverns and liquor stores that would appreciate your business.

And if you prefer wines from the top shelf, you might be pleasantly surprised at the selection you’ll find at certain liquor stores—and even grocery and hardware stores.  For decades, these stores have been catering to the vacationers, weekenders, and, yes, locals who do have more sophisticated palates.  If you know your Beaujolais from your Boone’s Farm, don’t despair.

As for fresh venison, however, you’re on your own.  So good luck, good fishing, and bon appetit!

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