By Sarah Schrock
Seems like almost everyone I talk to in the past couple weeks has an animal story: bear and cougar sightings, deer and bear hunting stories, and turkeys everywhere. As for big game, once archery season opened, the tales (or tails) started. And now, everyone get ready, because open season is upon us.
Deer hunting in the Methow is fodder for at least a few weeks of social small talk. Unlike anywhere else perhaps, deer hunting stories in the Methow range from rugged, romantic epic accounts from the backcountry, to tomfoolery on the back porch.
In a landscape where our hooved neighbors regularly visit our back porches to finish off the last of our summer petunias, the opportunity for filling our freezers for winter can come a little easy. Now, I know part of the appeal of hunting is the actual time in the hills, away from civilization — the whole Jack London return to the wild thing. But, when the opportunity arises, as it does here ridiculously easily at times, it’s a little hard to forgo it for the real hunt.
A little dumb luck goes a long way and it’s a dangerous proposition for a buck that breaks a fence to gobble up the last morsels of kale in a community where almost everyone has a tag.
Take for example a friend of mine who lives up Beaver Creek, who shall remain anonymous, who serendipitously got his buck in flip flops while having his morning coffee on his back porch. The only hitch was he had to change out of his pajamas to track it. Or similarly, another friend who recently harvested his winter meat from a herd that broke in through the garden fence. In fact, these serendipitous harvests from the home front seem more successful than the epic stories of the kills in the hills. I frequently talk to hunters who leave empty-handed at the end of the week.
This year, with huge areas closed in Twisp River, solitude might be a bit harder to come by for visiting hunters who will have to squeeze into other campsites. Let’s hope they come, because they bring a small boom for Twisp as they fill their trucks with gas, buy beer and sundries in town, and some lady hunters peel off their camo and hit the boutiques.
Speaking of boutiques, I have been remiss in reporting the recent developments in the local fashion world (which if you know my wardrobe, is not surprising). First off, we have sadly said goodbye to Poppie Jo’s Galleria. This eclectic boutique has been a blessing over the years for local shopping. I could always count on finding a last-minute something for an evening event at a decent price. Be it a fun dress or skirt, a gift, an accessory to round out an outfit, or needed staples like great tights and undergarments (yes, you could buy underwear in Twisp, if you knew where to look). I will miss it, as well as Joanne’s friendly service-thank you for the many years of local shopping!
Hopefully, the closing of Poppie Jo’s will be a boon for the remaining boutiques in town: PIC/Trick Pony and the Thrifty Fox. PIC/Trick Pony, owned by Lena Estes, offers beautiful hand-picked clothing, gifts and jewelry, and is worth a visit. The Thrifty Fox opened its doors on Glover Street earlier this summer with an array of retro clothing and knickknacks. It is a treasure trove of discoveries from bygone eras, providing a much-needed window shopping experience to Twisp. So, with hordes of hunter orange in the hills, a little local shopping followed by the debut of “Little Shop of Horrors” sounds like a great October outing.