An Outdoorsmans Journal – 12-4-2013

by Mark Walters

Deer Camp with Selina

Hello friends,

This week I am writing to you about a very busy weekend spent in the great outdoors with my 12-year-old daughter Selina.

Friday, November 15th
High 42, low 18F

There was just enough daylight for Selina and I to spend and hour in our bow stands, at our food plot, when I picked her from Necedah Middle School today. It was a no deer experience, so we headed home, put some wood in the woodstove, took off our hunting clothes, and headed to a local farm where we loaded my truck and trailer with as many bales of straw on it as both would hold. I am getting back in the cattle business this week and there is lots to do to get ready.

On our way home we stopped at a local restaurant for dinner and Selina had no cares that she still had her face paint on.

Saturday, November 16th
High 44, low 34

Today was a big day for Selina and myself. We started the morning digging potatoes (I put in 300 hills of Yukons and Pontiacs) and ended our day at hunting camp.

Selina has no trapping experience so I thought I would put out a dozen, dog proof raccoon traps on the way to camp and told Selina she could have half of the money if we had any fur the next day.

The coolest thing about trapping is reading sign and the non-stop adventure of the experience. We did not have enough daylight to light the woodstoves at camp so I just lit a propane light and then we headed out to the woods with Selina’s ladder stand and my portable and climbing sticks. I should also write that it was raining, in fact it rained all weekend and I never heard a complaint from Selina.

Our bow hunt was short, wet, and sweet. Much of the camo face paint washed off from us and I had an interesting observation. I was using some very old canned venison and canned salmon for coon bait. The canned food must have been inedible because the outside layer of skin was completely peeled off from my hands.

We made it to camp, just after dark. I have loved every minute of this experience. I have spent at least two years of my life on this piece of property (probably more) and I can honestly say this column would not exist if I had not camped here when I first started writing, and was existing on $25.00 to 90.00 bucks a week. By staying here for 120 days, I could keep my expenses down and there was plenty to write about. I hand wrote my column, went into Tomah, and had my photos developed at a 1-hour photo shop, stuffed envelopes, hit the post office, and would go back to camp.

Tonight, by the light of propane lanterns I cooked pork steak and freshly dug potatoes on the woodstove. I had to use the woodstove because I had forgot to bring my propane cookstove (I found the stove, after dinner was served, hidden under my bunk)

While I was cooking, Selina listened to country music and danced in her bunk, in fact she was dancing so eratically that she hit her head on the upper bunk and immediately had a big bump on her noggin, which caused a lot of laughter.

During our evening there was numerous thunder and lightning storms as well to add to the aviance of the night.

Sunday, November 17th 
High 37, low 28

First, we checked traps and there was not a raccoon in them. Then, Selina and I went into the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and went for a five-mile walk, scouting for our opening weekend of deer gun season. Selina is 12 and wants to be in her own tree this year, so she will be about 100-yards away from me yet in sight.

We ended the day in our bowstands and did not see a deer, and as it has been all fall it was extremely windy.

We drove home in a very comfortable fatigue, I cooked a fine meal, and we ended our weekend by the woodstove watching a movie and enjoying life!

Live every day as if it is your last! Sunset

THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Downing Tractor Parts