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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 12-10-2014

by Mark Walters

The Red Brush Gang 2014

Hello friends,

There are probably thirty of us that in one way or another are either part of the Canada or Red Brush Gang. In June each year we travel to Canada and fish on Shultz Lake. Each November we construct a 26×38 foot pole barn that we take down on the last day of deer season. We hunt deer and have an absolute blast every night.

Most of our deer hunting is done on huge tracts of very wild land in The Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and adjoining state properties in northern Juneau County.

Deer camp is like a heroin addiction, once you have been there, it is very difficult to live without it!

Saturday, November 22nd
High 35, low 33

This mornings low was 47 degrees warmer then when I put 16-year-old, Jamie Bistodeau, and 13-year-old, Selina Walters, in their deer stands last year.

Altogether 16 of us slept at camp last night and each one of us had one goal and that was to see a buck and at dark have it hanging on our deer pole. We were literally hunting in about a 15 square mile area, so it is not like we meet for lunch other then the girls and I.

We do text and have radios and as of 4:00 p.m. this afternoon The Red Brush Gang had zero deer down and way more wolf experiences then whitetail deer (I am a complete non believer in the states estimates for wolf numbers).

Today was my definition of bowhunting with a rifle, especially from 4:00 p.m. until the end of shooting. Thankfully everyone stayed in their trees and Jeff Moll harvested a 7-point buck and Trent Schuster put the lights out on a 8-pointer.

The buck was chasing a doe and the doe was so love struck that she hung out with the buck for ten minutes after he had gone to “Deer Heaven” where winters are easy and there is some space between wolf packs, where whitetail deer can possibly relax while living their lives

At dark, we met at the Catholic Church in Necedah for their annual hunters dinner. I have not missed this incredible meal in 43-years and like sitting in a tree on the Saturday before Thanksgiving it is a part of who I am. If I am lucky, I could see making it 60 years or more in a row before nature takes its course and I have to hang up my rifle.

This year Jeff Moll’s 20-year-old son, Ross, traveled the farthest to make it to camp. Ross took a job and left the day after we hunted ducks on the Mississippi River and headed to Kentucky. Ross bought a dually Dodge pickup and a camper to go with it and builds/repairs train bridges.

One of Jeff’s other boys, 18-year-old Nate Moll had to miss deer camp altogether as he was in basic training for the Air National Guard. Nate left for basic training the day after the duck hunt as well.

Yesterday, when Tim Rittmeyer and Riley Schuster were checking out “new country” they followed very fresh bear tracks in the snow.

Thursday night when we had our “Thursday Night Party” the temp got to minus 10 and it did not bother a one of us as we were at deer camp.

On Sunday out of 16-hunters we only saw two deer. Between Jamie, Selina and myself we only saw one deer after two days of hard hunting and that was a doe that Selina had an easy shot on. Selina saw orange in the background and naturally let the doe walk.

We are The Red Brush Gang! We work hard and play hard! Sunset

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