Author Topic: First hunting camp experience  (Read 35 times)


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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.


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