Author Topic: First hunting camp experience  (Read 249 times)

SeabeeCook

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First hunting camp experience
« on: October 08, 2017, 08:13:38 PM »
After over 45 years as a cook, chef and food service manager, I've taken a seasonal job as the cook for an outfitter in Bridger-Teton National Forest, near Alpine, Wyo. It's been a great job - in fact more than a job! It's a rewarding venture that I hope to repeat in the coming years.


I enjoy interacting with the guides and hunters. And after cooking for thousands during my full-time career (US Navy, hospitals and state prisons), cooking for 20 to 25 is a refreshing change. Plus I don't have to worry about vegetarian, vegan or gluten free diets!

My day begins at 3 a.m., when I walk into my kitchen -- a converted 40-foot trailer -- light two lanterns, put coffee on, light the griddle and oven, stoke the fire in the dining tent and set out lunch fixin's. To make breakfast easier, I prep everything the afternoon prior. That means my baking (biscuits, cinnamon rolls, challah bread for French toast, etc.) is done, sausage or bacon panned, coffee ready to go and eggs set out. I light off the generator at 3:30 a.m. to wake up the guides and hunters. Breakfast begins at 4 a.m. (or earlier when I'm ready).

After dishes and cleanup, it's off to bed for a two-hour nap. I have to discipline myself to get up by 9:30 or 10 a.m. Otherwise, I'll sleep all morning. Since there are only three or four in camp (myself, my wife, the camp manager's wife and the camp jack/wrangler) at that time, I usually have free access to the shower. Leftovers or a sandwich normally make up my lunch around noon.


Baking, breakfast prep and dinner prep begin in early afternoon. I make a prep list for both meals and any lunch prep so I don't forget anything. I usually lump baking together. That way I save steps by weighing out the ingredients for two or three products at the same time. I do have to time proofing and oven time carefully so the bread doesn't over-proof. I bake all the bread except sandwich breads.


The rest of the afternoon is spent preparing dinner, which is served at 8 p.m. Sometimes dinner is served as early as 7 p.m., but the hunters often change out of wet clothing and enjoy a beer around the campfire. I fall into bed around 9:30 p.m. for five hours of sleep before starting over.

Linkback: http://www.royaltine.com/forum/general-camp-cooks-forum/43/first-hunting-camp-experience/2838/



MTTrapper

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Re: First hunting camp experience
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 08:38:06 AM »
Steven. Congrats! Youíve now entered the world of camp cooks.  :)

That looks like a really decent set up. Iíve never cooked for 20-25 in a hunting camp before. Do the guides take the hunters out on horseback or trucks?

Trapper

SeabeeCook

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Re: First hunting camp experience
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 07:19:08 AM »
Thanks, Trapper. They head out each morning on horseback, usually directly from the camp. For some destinations later in the season, the guides will load the horses on the trailer and transport them to the trailhead.


MTTrapper

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Re: First hunting camp experience
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 11:13:05 AM »
Wow. That's got to be the tidiest and most well lit hunting corrals in the world.

The places I've worked used Coleman lanterns and headlamps for light and the group was covered in manure.

SeabeeCook

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Re: First hunting camp experience
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 12:29:08 PM »
The wrangler used his headlamp to get the horses until I turned the generator on at 3:30 a.m. I would look outside the dining tent at 3 and would see a one-eyed monster floating around the corral! The wrangler and guides had plenty of light at 3:30!

SeabeeCook

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Re: First hunting camp experience
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 12:31:10 PM »
The covered in manure part rings true. We had a lot of rain and snow in the first several week of the season. It was a quagmire in there, but not as bad -- I am told -- as last year.


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