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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 10-17-2012

Dane County Deer Hunt

Hello friends,

Wisconsin’s state wide Youth Deer Hunt, which is open to young hunters in the age group of 10-15 years, was held on October 6th and 7th.   I camped on some private land in Dane County with fellow KAMO mentor Vern Denzer, KAMO Kid, Jamie Bistodeau and my daughter Selina for a weekend of hunting and relaxing.

Saturday, October 6th
High 63, low 34

I met Al and Sandy Wildenberberg last May while staying at Birch Point Resort.  The Wildenbergs have a permanent campsite at Birch Point and lucky for me, read this column in The Lodi Enterprise.  I say lucky for me because, they recognized me and we spent a lot of time that weekend chatting and in the end I was given permission to hunt their long time family farm, which is located just east of Sauk City.

Fast forward almost five months and I am pulling my pop up camper and a truck loaded with gear on a set up camp and scouting mission with Selina, four days before the hunt.   Al showed us three different properties and when we headed home that night I was confident that Selina and Jamie would be putting their sights on a deer the following weekend.

This morning, the wind was blowing at what seemed like “gale force” as it did all night, which in turn made for some pretty interesting sleeping in the camper.

My friend Vern Denzer had come down from Ladysmith, where he had joined The Indianhead Chapter of KAMO ( when we started this project five years ago.  Vern was actually home as he was the last Denzer to leave the nearby township of Denzer.

Here is the scenario; Selina and I are watching a harvested soybean field that is along side of an alfalfa field with a large forest next to it.  Vern and Jamie are on the side of a bluff where Al Wildenberg and his family have harvested many deer over the years.

Everyone is confident, and as is almost always the case during most morning hunts with young hunters, both girls did some sleeping while the old timers watched and hoped that a whitetail deer would come into range, that would not happen on this hunt.

At 9:30, we called it quits until the afternoon hunt and it was interesting to watch as Jamie and Selina spent midday exploring the woods and fields, while Vern and I cooked and listened to the Badgers in their winning effort.

Strong winds are never a good omen for deer hunters; it tends to keep deer on their beds until day becomes night.

This afternoon, I listened to what was probably the real story of this hunt when a local landowner told us, that due to the drought, many of the deer had left the area to go down to lower ground for water.

Even though the wind let go during prime time, neither, Selina, Jamie or their mentors would see a deer or a turkey.

Sunday, October 7th
High 65, low 31

What do you do at night in a pop up camper with four people?  We cook, eat, and play the game of “Apples to Apples”, about 9:30 we go to bed well aware that the alarm is set for 4:30.

KAMO chapters throughout the state have members taking kids hunting this weekend.  I received word from my friend Mike Brown, out of the Coulee Chapter “LaCrosse”, that during his chapter’s hunt and camping experience,10-year-old Brandon Vue harvested a beautiful 7-point buck.

Mike Brown is the President of The Coulee Chapter and has been working his butt off with several other members to create our newest chapter, so it was really cool to hear of Brandon’s success.

As for our group, we hunted until dark today, no one filled a tag and it was a very tired crew that made it back to Juneau County tonight.

Sometimes, harvesting a deer is easy, sometimes it is not!  Sunset