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The year of the Pepsi bath

The year was 1993 and an old chum and I were fishing on an expanse of frozen tundra thats long been known by the locals simply as The Pike Hole. The January morning was cold enough to freeze water from the ol camp pump before it ever made the sink and a steady wind kicked up swirls of snow around the five gallon buckets on which we perched our frozen buttocks. Half the flags on our tip-ups waived in the breeze but we were too cold to care. One of those days when youd sooner run em over with the Ski-Doo than pick them up at the days end. Then, with an unexpected burst of energy, my chum decided to check the tip-up closest to him. But before he ever made it to the teetering ice-bound contraption, he plunged to his waist through a thin spot then floundered half-in, half-out of the water like a seal in a snowsuit. I laughed, got to my feet, then abruptly fell in as well. Lucky for us there was a second layer of ice that kept said sinking fisherpeople from a full body wash. Unlucky for us, there was a two-foot pocket of water in between that quickly filled our Sorels. D%&N I bellowed, the smile erased by the ice I had planted my face into. Sore, hypothermic and trodden, we made our way to my pickup, barely able to muster the strength to lift the door handles. Fifteen minutes later the cab began to warm from the hair-dryer like air pouring from the vents. We began to relax as the feeling returned to our extremities. Then it happened. An explosion like a shotgun blast rocked the truck. I sat in stunned silence - afraid for my very life. I reached up to check for injuries and felt a tacky, molasses-like substance on my cheek and forehead. Was it blood? Nope, worse. Id been slimed. The frozen Pepsi laying on the front seat had exploded in the cabs heat like a percussion grenade, showering me and the inside of my two-week-old pickup with black, sticky goo and tiny pieces of aluminum shrapnel. But I hadnt gotten the worst of it. I turned slowly to face my old-time fishing buddy, troubled by the scene I may encounter. My fears were confirmed. He was bruised, a bit bloody, and bathed in Pepsi . Just what I needed to cap this perfect day, he said through swollen lips. A freaking Pepsi bath. I laughed until I nearly wet my pants. Come to think of it, they were already wet. Ive gotten a little smarter since then. Not a lot, but a little. I now have a shanty in which to stay warm as opposed to sitting for hours in the elements. And I bring liquor in the nothing-less-than 60 proof variety as opposed to Pepsi. That way, anything thats left over I can use later as anti-freeze in the pump at camp. Deer take up in 07
I spoke to DEC Biologist Ed Reed and he said early projections show the deer take up slightly this season in the northern zone. It looks like the the harvest will be about 5 percent higher than last year, Reed said. That could be a reflection of either a higher harvest, or a larger number of successful hunters reporting their take, Reed pointed out. But, judging from area meat lockers, Id say thats pretty accurate. Reed said that while some monster bucks were reported, the trend this season seemed to be more smaller, yearling bucks being taken. That could have been because of the health of the deer herd, or because hunters were taking the first buck they saw, he said.

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