An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 12-12-2012

One Day in the Life of The Red Brush Gang

by Mark Walters

Hello friends,

Saturday, November 24th was the last day that The Red Brush Gang hunted deer together, and later in the day, had their final “social experience” of the year, that day is what this week’s column is about.

Saturday, November 24th
High 41, low 24

After opening weekend of the deer gun season, all hunting by the Red Brush Gang is by deer drives and those drives include 5-20 hunters, depending on who is in camp.

Today, there were about 20 of us in camp, with about a dozen kids (10-24) and the remainder being old timers.

Our deer drives sometimes cover a square mile and other times we only beat the bush for a hundred acres.

Hip boots are a requirement, skipping any thick cover is not an option and our main goal is always to get young kids deer.

Our first drive of the day covered about a square mile and was our biggest of the day.

Back, a few years ago, when the 16-24 year-olds had no clue what direction was north and frequently fell while walking through the marsh, these drives were a lesson in frustration for the old timers, safety was always a concern and most deer kicked up were missed if they were even shot at.

Today, we were a deer-killing machine. Our first drive had a few survivors for next year, but 16-year-old Nate Moll put the lights out on a beautiful 8-point buck and an adult doe was also added to one of my comrade’s freezers.

Drive two is just a continuation of drive one, covers maybe 200 acres of brush and marsh and usually results in deer on the pole. On this drive I picked out the standers and placed them as my daughter, Selina, followed directly behind me.

Between Selina and I, we carry one gun which I carry until we get on stand. After dropping my nephew Trent Schuster off last, I followed a dike that I have been hunting since long before Carter (he was a dandy) was president. Selina and I were just about where we were going to cover our section of the drive when a buck jumped up from his bed out in the marsh and tried to make his escape.

Selina never saw the five-pointer, I put a 165-grain bullet into him and thus The Red Brush Gang now had three deer for the pole today.

When the drive began, deer were being kicked up almost immediately and I have to tell you, in this dense brush hitting a running deer is a challenge.

My old buddy Todd Cibulka “aka” The Spinal Tapper, just about put out the lights on a single horned spiker. When Todd’s bullet did not connect, Trent Shusters did, which made four deer for the pole and our first three buck day ever while driving deer.

Our next drive would be the last of the year and everyone was hoping to get Selina and my nephew Dylan Walters a shot at their first deer.

We were fighting the sun as it was pushing towards the western horizon so this drive was set up quick and would have deadly results once again.

My stepson Travis would be Selina’s mentor which meant he would coach Selina and hold the shooting stick should a deer that would be running, come by her.

Selina has been hunting whitetail deer for two seasons now and though she never complains, deer just do not seem to come by her or safety concerns keep her from pulling the trigger.

Today, the drivers kicked up what for this group is a monster buck, a 9 pointer with excellent mass, and it was headed in Selina’s direction. Travis did his job and Selina did hers.

The rifle that Selina was using did it’s job as well but a shell that just went click did not and the big buck went by 14-year-old Grant Moll who did everything that was required of him and put the down.

Grants buck gave us five deer for the pole, we were two miles from the trucks and it was long after dark before we made it to the road.

As you might imagine the war creed of “Buck Brothers” was hollered throughout a long night back at camp and no one wanted deer season to end!

Bury me at deer camp!  Sunset

THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Hiawatha National Bank