by Mark Walters
A Wet Weekend for a Deer Hunt
This week I am writing to you about my experiences during Wisconsin’s “Youth Deer Hunt”. This hunt is for kids that range from 10-15 and, in my opinion, is a super bonus for young hunters as well as their mentors.
Friday, October 4th
High 74, low 48
Lots of rain was forecast for this weekend and that would eventually be the case as I picked up my daughter, Selina and Jamie Bistodeau at the end of the school day. Selina is 12, has harvested one deer, which was an adult doe that she shot last December with a muzzleloader.
Jamie Bistodeau is 15 and made an excellent shot on a doe three-years ago on a youth deer hunt hunt. Both of these girls are very active kids when it comes to playing in the outdoors and Jamie is one of the original KAMO kids and myself and other KAMO mentors have taken her on a great many experiences.
This week one of my main accomplishments is that I easily talked my 22-year-old stepson, Travis Dushek into mentoring and Travis would do his best to help Jamie put a tag on a deer.
So here is the scoop, we are camping on a farm near Stevens Point, I was here with my buddy Joey Gillis earlier in the week where we put up my pop up camper, double tarped it, and prepared our stands for the hunt.
Today, we arrived just in time for me to show Travis and Jamie their stand and then get back to camp where, as usual, we cooked a fine meal and laughed a lot. Jamie and Selina have been on so many trips together that they have a blast and when they are not laughing, they are reading. Tonight, the rains came and I was happy that we prepared a head of time for what would be a 36-hour deluge!
Saturday, October 5th
High 63, low 45
Selina and I, on our deer hunts, with a rifle have a history of not seeing many deer that has never bothered my daughter, which is a sign of a healthy mind.
This morning we were in a ground blind, it was very difficult to see as it was early, rainy, and there was some tall grass in front of us when Selina said “Dad, there’s a deer”. A lone deer was 80-yards away and potentially presenting Selina a shot. I told her to take it if it gave her a broadside shot. When the deer gave Selina the right shot she squeezed the trigger and instantly and painlessly harvested her first deer with a rifle. High fives and hugs were the order of the moment for a proud dad and his daughter.
Later, Travis and Jamie came to our stand and we dragged Selina’s nubby buck back to camp.
A little side story on that deer is that later in the day Selina told me that she was ashamed of herself for shooting a nubby buck, I told her that we would get at least 20-pounds of quality boneless meat out of that deer and that she had made an excellent shot on a lone and difficult to see whitetail deer.
This afternoon, we laughed a lot at camp, ate a good meal that Travis cooked (teach year kids to cook, they will cook for you when they are adults) and then we went hunting again.
Once again, rain was steady, Selina and I did not see a deer and Travis and Jamie had an experience with a trophy buck that they just could not get into range.
Our evening was spent in the camper, listening to a solid downpour and strong winds as they tried to huff and puff and blow our house down.
The girls read and talked, everyone talked and joked, and the most was made of poor weather conditions. The following morning we were in the woods long before sunrise, no one saw a deer but hey, the sun was shining.
Later, the girls and I break came while Travis skinned and butchered Selina’s “trophy”. Travis then cooked us homemade brats from a buck he had shot with a bow, and then taught himself how to make brats, this same week (teach your kids to butcher their own deer).
The youth hunts are a great idea; please take advantage of them, as you can see, the results are very positive in many ways.
Stay active! Sunset
THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Hiawatha National Bank