by Mark Walters
No Time Like Now
This week’s column is supposed to be about climbing in bear dens, sedating bears, weighing bears, and other research. Unfortunately, the medication was freezing that was going to guarantee that mama bear did not wake up while Mr. Biologist was doing research, so we had to delay that column for two weeks.
I quite possibly have the most public service in a two week period of my life happening in the month of March, so combined with the delayed bear research not much fieldwork this week.
No matter what, I still need at least one photo. I drive down to the Petenwell dam on the Wisconsin River. I am on an adrenalin rush because I just finished my taxes. My plan is to take pictures of bald eagles with my extremely worn out $80.00 camera. I meet Roger Leitner, who has been set up since sunup with twice as much money worth of cameras as my truck is worth.
Roger is the real deal when it comes to photography, I foolishly let him see my camera, the lens is stuck, I put it back in my pocket fully extended.
Roger shows me his photo album on a machine that I do not even know what it is. My brain kicks in. In the end, I have three awesome photos emailed to my house. Ya me!
Here is my column; tomorrow I head to Green Bay where I will sleep in my truck Ya me! Along with five other diehard KAMO members (Kids And Mentors Outdoors) we are giving a seminar on how to start KAMO Chapters. This experience is a big deal and is being hosted by our good friends, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. As of yesterday, 62 people from throughout northeast Wisconsin had RSVP’d to come and listen to us.
In a perfect world, a few months down the road there will be 1-5 more KAMO chapters in this part of the state because of the efforts by a great many “VOLUNTEERS”.
The following day will be spent at St James Lutheran Church in Necedah. My daughter Selina is accolating and volunteering for the annual corned beef and cabbage dinner.
That night, my good buddy from Chimo Lodge, Peter Hagedorn (75 and still going strong) will be arriving at my house and we will have a nice visit and corned beef and cabbage for dinner. Pete will be coming from the Milwaukee Sport Show. I worked that show with Pete for 25 years and then KAMO was born.
The next day, I am heading north to work on a deer, yarding story. The day I get home I am speaking to Necedah high schooler’s for their career day about journalism and living an absolutely insane way of life and yes my friends no one you know lives off the seat of their pants on this type of a shoe string budget like I do.
One day your in a bear den and the next your in a classroom or an igloo or sleeping in a canoe.
Next weekend, I will be heading to Mellen for the bear story, the last time I did that was in the mid ‘90s and it was with the same group of people that worked the politics and field work to reintroduce elk into Wisconsin.
On March 22nd, KAMO will have it 7th State members and Board of Directors meetings at Stevens Point. We currently have six chapters throughout Wisconsin and I am incredibly proud to be working with some of the best and brightest people Wisconsin has to offer when it comes to volunteering and introducing kids into the outdoors in any way from hooks and bullets, to goose banding or whatever the mentor and young outdoors person want to do.
This organization (www.kamokids.org) was started in this column and it just proves what the power of the pen can do. Until I arrive home on March 22nd with all that I just mentioned, I cannot shut my mind down. I am the President of KAMO and its BOD and there is much to be done to accomplish our goals.
If you see me seemingly flustered or walking around in circles tell to me go home and get some sleep. Meanwhile my new buddy Roger Leitner can take pictures for me, my daughter can help with the cutting of firewood, and by the time I can rest, it may have reached 50 degrees.
Thanks for reading! Sunset
P.S. I just remembered. On March 26th-28th I am heading down to the Mackenzie Environmental Education Center with the Necedah 7th graders. I am teaching a camping class with some fishing, I really had forgot about that.
THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Hiawatha National Bank