Let's face it, it's not easy out there being a man in today's world. Everyone wants you to play nice, sing songs and hold hands. But I'm a man, the only things my hands are for is building stuff and making fists. I'd much rather do things my own way. That's why I'm so glad to embrace the South Shore's new "Man Up" campaign.
I learned everything I know about the great outdoors from my dad. A manly man if there ever was one. He recently bought himself a piece of property for the sole purpose of hunting. He's worked hard to buy that land, so it seemed only natural for me to buy him a gift befitting such an accomplishment.
Sure, I could have gotten him a card or a nice bottle of wine, but Hallmark doesn't have anything that says "Congrats on being manly," so I bought him a tree stand from Cabela's instead. Hunting is fun, but it's even better perched 15 feet high above the ground in a tree. That's one of the things that makes Cabela's great. They have everything you could want when it comes to hunting, fishing and camping. It's like an amusement park for men.
And while deer season may be over, there's still plenty of setup to get ready for next year. We're already clearing our calendars and stocking up with supplies from Cabela's to make sure it's the best season ever. With any luck, I'm sure we'll be adding another 10-point buck to my old man's trophy mantle.
Thankfully in the meantime, you can fish all year round. This time of year is perfect for some ice fishing. Find yourself a good frozen lake or pond, make sure it's safe and pick a spot for your shanty. With a good auger, you can be through the ice in no time. Even if the fish aren't biting, you can't beat the experience.
Fishing in the freezing cold is an adventure in itself, but afterward I like to hit a few of the local breweries. Figure Eight Brewing is excellent if you want to relax and trade stories about the latest catch with your friends. But for my money, there's nothing like rocking out at The Devil's Trumpet Brewery. The atmosphere is electric and the craft beer is a perfect way to cap off a day of ice fishing.
Of course, you can't spend all winter outside, so I like to come home and cook up a good meal. My girlfriend usually does the grocery shopping, but I told her I had it covered this time around. She reminded me, "don't forget the salad." Salad? That's what my food eats! I need man food, so I headed on down to Yesteryear's Meats & Specialty Shoppe in DeMotte. When I'm looking for fine cuts of meat, there's no place better.
Yesteryear's has everything you need for the kitchen, but my personal favorite is their Italian beef. Once you've tasted their Italian beef, you won't want to get it anywhere else. I also picked up some of their stuffed pork chops, which are not like those tiny malnourished pieces of pork you find at the big box grocers. These are thick cut juicy chops, filled to the brim with tasty goodness. It's making me hungry just thinking about it.
Then I remembered that my girlfriend wanted a salad. So I got Bob at Yesteryear's to load me up with a pound of their taco pasta salad. Now that's more like it! Whether you're looking for something to grill (yeah, I'm still grilling in January) or a nice pot of chili to keep you warm, they've got it all.
It may not always be easy to be a man in this world, but if you're ready to Man Up Along The South Shore, you'll be growing hair on your chest in no time.
Contributing Editor: Jake Giles
Former Video Production Associate with the South Shore CVA.