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An Active Three-Days in Wisconsin’ Outdoors

Hello friends,

I am literally all over the map with this week’s adventure! Sit back and take a couple of minutes off from your day and enjoy my column.

Wednesday, November 7th
High 45, Low 26

Ducks and deer were my quarry this week and with a go- for- it attitude I was pretty excited as I did some exploring for waterfowl in Monroe County, which is a short drive from my hunting camp.

I had heard good things about duck hunting on the Monroe County Flowage, which until today; I had never seen and did not even know how to find it.  When I did find the MCF, two thoughts entered my mind.  The water seemed a bit low and the wilderness environment was beautiful.  I was lost in my thoughts about the shallow water, when a flock of ducks flew overhead with a destination of the other end of the flowage.

I immediately unloaded my canoe, then loaded it with decoys, my gun, my dog, and began paddling toward “duck paradise”.  I soon realized that the MCF is very low, as my canoe was bottoming out in the muck, and forward momentum was difficult.   Almost a mile into my journey I realized there was no water and no ducks.  I tried paddling and could not, so I sat on the bow of my canoe and pushed with my feet all the way back to the truck.

No worries, I had some daylight left and a map.  I picked out another flowage and this one was a beauty.  I felt like a moose or bear would pop out any minute and I was jumping plenty of mallards as I explored “duck paradise”.

With just short of an hour of daylight left, I hid in some cattails and was ready for some serious dog training, as I was certain to down a limit.

At dark, not a single duck had flown over, and I paddled back to my truck, very excited for a night at camp, and a following day of bow hunting, followed by a Mississippi River duck hunt.

Thursday, November 8th
High 52, Low 34

I was 16-foot up in a white pine, armed with my trusty compound bow long before sunrise.   Feeling quite confident that I would harvest a world-class trophy buck, I enjoyed what I call “forced relaxation”, which is the sport of bow hunting.

Three hours later, I was still in that tree, had not seen a deer, and had no cares, as I was going to get in my truck and head to Ferryville on the Mississippi River where I was going to put a hurting on the northern flight of migrating ducks.

Kind of bad luck happened when I reached the boat landing at Ferryville and listened to a couple of duck hunting guides and their clients discuss their mornings hunt.

Comments like, “nothing out there” and “I can’t believe how bad it is” did not dent my day as I am the best, and I was gonna put a smackn’ on the ducks, sleep on an island, and do the same thing the next morning.  I used my 16-foot boat and trailed my canoe for three-miles.  Next, I made an open-air bed on an island, and then went exploring by canoe with “Fire”.  My first observation was that there were a lot of hunters.  My second observation was that there were no ducks in the air.  I set up on the point of a very small island and truly enjoyed myself even though there were very few ducks in the area.

Just before quitting time, a beautiful drake widgeon flew over and I sent him to heaven with a blast from my 12-gauge.  Fire received an A for effort but got hung up in a decoy on the swim out and retrieved my trophy on her second try (I am going to have pups with her, I need a quality, male golden retriever—get a hold of me).

The paddle back to camp was a classic.  Thousands of ducks, that know better then to fly during shooting hours, bombarded me as they landed very close to me on the one-mile journey.

Back at camp, I realized I forgot a pan for my cheesy broccoli soup, and emptied my pup’s stainless steel dog bowl, and cooked my dinner.

The following morning, I was on the water long before sunrise and watched every duck fly away before the sun kissed the eastern horizon.  Fall for this outdoor writer is constant motion, both physically and in thought.

I now know why Santa Claus takes long winter nap!  Sunset