I punched the time clock and headed home with an urgency I hadn't felt since last year. I packed my duffel and loaded the truck. A quick shower and then lastly I let the dogs run about the yard and do their business before loading them in the truck. A quick kiss for the lady of the house and a goodbye for the kids and I was off.

I pulled out of town and headed north. As the sun headed toward the horizon, off to my left I watched great flocks of geese which resembled giant puzzle pieces searching for their mating piece they never find, flying over famed Horicon marsh. By the time I was going over the Butte de Morts bridge the sky to the west was reflecting its blazing pinks and reds off the surface of the lake only to be broken by the wakes of boats on their way to only they knew where. I enjoy this three and a half hour drive, it gives me time to unwind and let the pressure of the work week bleed off.

A pa'tridge man can get mighty cranky those final weeks before the season opens. His moods may swing as wildly as a weather vane on a riotous March day. It’s best to leave him alone when he's in his den wiping down his favorite shotgun lost in a daydream. Never mind to remind him of some chore he needs to do, as he is apt to behead you with some retort as sharp as the hooded executioner's axe.

When the season is upon him it will not matter how far he must go, but go he will to the "Place". His cure for his mental defect will not be found in some comfortably furnished office with diplomas on the wall, but in the woods with the smells of Hoppe's #9 and acrid gun smoke hanging in the air.

As I continue my way north the roads shrink as I shrug off the final vestiges of the rat race. From the interstates to the state highways, onto county roads and finally the gravel road to the cabin, which would be easy to miss if not for the bridge over Eagle river flowing onward to the Peshtigo. I pull into the driveway and back into "My" spot. The others are already here and laughter springs forth from the cabin. From the sounds coming from the cabin, I can tell that the mood of the membership, all three of us have improved from the previous weeks along with the weather.