by Mark Walters
Adventures on Wisconsin’s Youth Deer Hunt
This weeks column is about hunting whitetail deer in Wisconsin during this state’s recent Youth Deer Hunt, which was open for 10-15 year old hunters.
Friday, October 10th
High 57, low 30
Ben Gruber was a paramedic, down in Middleton, when he sent me an email back in 2009 and said he was interested in joining KAMO (Kids And Mentors Outdoors). Now Ben and his wife Angie and their one-year- old daughter Addy live on the farm that Angie grew up on near Marshfield.
Ben is now KAMO’s Vice President and brings a lot to the table when it comes to running an organization such as KAMO.
My daughter, Selina, and I were fortunate enough to have the Gruber’s let us camp and Selina hunt on their 130-acres of paradise. Tonight after the New Lisbon “Rockets” controlled the Necedah “Cardinals” in the Cardinals homecoming game, Selina and I arrived at a camp that we had built the night before and scouted the land with Ben.
The Gruber’s farm is made of forest and CRP fields and Ben had set us up in a two person ladder stand overlooking a beautiful creek in an the woods next to one of the fields. This weekend Selina would be using both her bow and her 30:06.
Selina and I watched a beautiful sunrise and really enjoyed ourselves as we always do on our outdoor experiences.
Meanwhile, along the Mississippi River near Desoto, 13-year-old Jackson Wemette who has been a very active KAMO Kid with the Coulee Chapter (LaCrosse) was hunting with his mentor Scott Kelly when a massive 11-point buck made the mistake of stepping in front of Jackson’s sites.
Last year Jackson harvested a 7-pointer and this year he put a tag on the big guy, I spoke with his mom Cindy who is busy raising four kids and she is just thrilled with what KAMO is doing for her son.
Selina and I did not see a deer until walking back to camp and then we saw three really girthy doe in a neighbor’s alfalfa field but we could only watch.
This afternoon we worked the wind and hunted a spot where, on opening day of bow season, Angie Gruber picked out a spot to hunt and harvested a beautiful 8-point buck with her first hunt of the bow season.
Our hunt resulted in no deer being seen but over in Juneau County Aaron Bigalke, who is the Vice President of the Meadow Valley Chapter of KAMO, was mentoring 13-year-old Connor Larson who harvested a beautiful doe.
As is always the case, Selina and I made the best out of every experience of which some result in bountiful harvests and some do not.
Sunday, October 12th
High 56, low 29
Selina and I were back on the creek bottom this morning and though we saw two deer that were out of range on the CRP field, our hunt was basically forced relaxation which we are both very good at.
During the middle of the day we took a healthy nap, listened to the Packers pull a trick out of their hat on the Dolphins (which took the charge out of my truck battery) and then relocated near the alfalfa field.
My buddy, Dwain Johnson, who is a member of the Baraboo River Chapter of KAMO was mentoring his granddaughter Audra near New Haven. These two have been trying hard for two years to get 11-year-old Audra her first deer.
This afternoon, persistence and good mentoring got the job done when Audra shot a beautiful 8-pointer
Back in Juneau County, Aaron Bigalke was hunting with his 13-year-old niece “Tess” when a 9-point buck stepped into range and will not be enjoying the rut thanks to some good shooting by Tess.
The stars were not lined up for Selina to come even close to a shot this weekend despite hunting a beautiful property and never giving up.
No cares here, the next adventure is never far away! Sunset
THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Cedar Country Cooperative