This time of year is one of anticipation. The traditional winter hunting seasons have come and gone. If you are a big game hunter who is crazy enough to seek deer, elk, or bear, you will have either a freezer full of meat with which to feed your family, or a host of excuses as to how the critters out-witted you. The bass boats are covered and safely stored and the trout streams of summer are blanked with snow. It is at this time of year that cabin fever can strike you. While some folks laugh and pretend it isn’t really a real disease, cabin fever is definitely very real and if untreated can even lead to madness and even death. If you don’t believe me ask the victims of Alferd Packer of Colorado.
Packer was so badly afflicted with cabin fever that he killed ate his cabin mates in the Colorado Rockies. At his sentencing hearing the judge allegedly observed that Packer had eaten 5 of Hinsdale County’s seven Democrats and sentenced Packer to death. Packer managed to escape and fled to Wyoming where he lived for several years under an assumed name. Eventually Packer was retried and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Yes indeed, I’d say cabin fever is very real.
Fortunately for you and I there are several cures for cabin fever. The most direct cure is to simply get out in the outdoors and engage in physical activity. Some outdoor addicts engage in the sport of ice fishing. I visited my buddy De Gerrard a couple weeks ago and he was showing me his extensive accumulation of ice fishing gear. First you need a snowmobile, then, of course a trailer and a four-wheel drive truck to tow it. Then, you need a sled to tow out onto the frozen lake behind your snowmobile. You fill the sled with your ice fishing tent (no floor) Ice auger for drilling thru the ice, and special Ice fishing rods Skimmers and other specialties. Heck some people have more invested in their ice fishing gear than they paid for their house.
Another (and hopefully much less expensive) solution to cabin fever is to focus your mind on pursuits that get your mind off the fact that you’ve been locked up indoors for several months.
Fly tying is a pretty good substitute, but after you’ve tied several hundred flies for the coming summer, even that begins to wear thin. The same holds true for reloading shells for your rifles, pistols, and shotguns. After you have several hundred rounds loaded spring should be just around the corner. Meanwhile you can attract the woodpile with your maul and split a couple cords of firewood. Once you’ve tried all the above, you’d better just give in and go outdoors. Otherwise your room mate might begin to look like dinner!
Until Next Week,