By John Marvin Hanson
The outhouse is always cold, the porcupines are always a problem, and the vehicles are always getting stuck in the mud, but there’s nowhere else these men would rather be. Meet the Jolly Boys—five men from northern Wisconsin who built a deer hunting shack on county forest lands in 1955 and established a tradition that has now lasted more than six decades. Hunting Camp 52, affectionately known as Blue Heaven, is a place where every trail, rock, and ravine has its own nickname; every kill is recorded by hand on a window shade; every hunter happily croons along during evening songfests; and the poker games last late into the night.
In this hunting buddy memoir from Wisconsin Historical Society Press, author John Marvin Hanson—the son of one of the original Jolly Boys—recounts the humorous antics, the memorable hunts, and the profound camaraderie that has developed over almost sixty seasons at Blue Heaven. Hanson also includes more than twenty recipes for gourmet comfort foods prepared each year at camp, from pickled venison hearts and Kathy’s pâté to Norwegian meatballs and the treasured recipe for Reali Spaghetti.