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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – A Bit of Deer Camp History

Hello friends,

I am about to write to you about five hunts that I took part in for whitetail deer with my bow and arrow, while staying at my hunting camp in the northern part of Juneau County. The local deer population does not appreciate me, so after each hunt I will write a short story of a past memory from a place where I have stayed for 41 falls in a row.

Saturday, November 10th – High 53, low 33

I would have let an arrow fly at any deer but a fawn today, no deer came by my stand.

Story 1. I used to drive an ‘81 Chevy pickup and I used to live at this camp from September until well into winter.

I had a problem with mice getting into the exhaust of that pickup and making nests. One night, I put a five-gallon bucket underneath the exhaust pipe with three inch’s of water in it. On the inside edge I spread peanut butter. The mice would have to reach just a bit too far to get the peanut butter and would fall in the bucket.

While sitting by my campfire, I watched 18 mice fall in the bucket and fail in their swimming lessons.

Sunday, November 11th – High 61, low 30

I was high up in a white pine long before sunrise and watched storm clouds blow in but no whitetail deer below me.

Story 2. Back in the winter of ‘90-‘91, I decided I was going to hike the Appalachian Trail the next spring. Until my backpack came in the mail, I carried a 7-foot, 80-pound oak log through the woods on my shoulders, in the dark, for six miles every night to build endurance and strength.

My afternoon hunt was a challenge, it was literally pouring out but I had to hunt, as it’s my job. No deer did I see!

Story 3. Ben was my golden retriever at the time, and he was also my partner on the Appalachian Trail. Ben carried 22 pounds in a pack on that trip! To prepare Ben for the AT, I used a pair of Harley Davidson motorcycle bags and put a gallon jug of frozen water on each side. Ben was one of the best friends that I ever had.

Monday, November 12th – High 30, low 21

I was in another white pine long before daylight and my trail camera would show a nice buck had walked by the previous evening. It was windy, 30 degrees colder then the day before and swans were migrating south in frenzy as they rode the north wind.

Story 4. Back in the mid ‘90’s; I was living on two hundred bucks a week as a syndicated outdoor adventures writer. As usual, I was doing a 4-month stint at camp and was about to have me a little extra cash.

I watched with joy as my golden retriever Pearl gave birth right in the shack to 7 beautiful pups. I was also thinking a little extra cash to be perfectly honest. Joy became not so much Joy when the last pup born came out with a large patch of black fur on its side. I am thinking some mongrel messed up my paycheck.

The next morning I drove to a payphone in Babcock and called the folks at the American Kennel Club “AKC” and told them my story. I was informed that since I had observed the breeding, the litter would be registered, and the golden with the black patch was truly a golden, and the black patch would eventually be gold. I really needed that cash.

Wednesday, November 14th – High 47, low 24

My schedule is so full this time of the year and it peaks out the week before deer gun season. I call it constant motion.

Story 5. I had planned on being home for 36-hours this week but seeing no deer in 4 bow hunts made me think I better try again, just 40-hours before going to camp for the regular deer gun season, I discovered Fire was coming into heat.

This outdoor writer found out what a huge network of friends he has, as by six o’clock that night he had five studs to choose from, and hopefully pups, come late January (still too early to tell)

O’yeah the bowhunt. I lost my cell phone, which took some serious after dark tracking to find and you guessed it. I did not see a deer!

Be Fun! Sunset

THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Cedar Country Cooperative.