Skip to content

An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 10-28-2015

by Mark Walters

Marquette County Deer Hunt

Hello friends,

This week I am writing to you about a camping and deer-hunting trip that I took with my 14-year-old daughter, Selina Walters. Selina would be participating in Wisconsin’s Youth Deer Hunt, which is generally held the second weekend in October and open for 10-15 year-olds.

Friday, October 9th
High 70, low 45

As any parent that is or has, raised a hunter that is in high school knows, hunting trips and school functions require plenty of give and take.

This afternoon I picked Selina up after cross country practice, with a plan of taking her home where she could take a quick shower and than we would hit the road with the hopes of arriving at the property we would be hunting on in Marquette County before dark.

Selina is not one to complain but I could tell she had something on her mind. When she told me that there was a team meal and she was going to miss it, I made an executive decision to drive her to it and we could leave three hours later then my plan.

So this is one of those perfect setups, the landowner purchased a pup from me and has read this column for years. The property is a soybean field surrounded by marsh, forest and a cornfield and there is about a half-acre food plot on it.

On a scouting trip earlier in the week I was shown two box stands that we could hunt and told of some very nice bucks in the area.

I had hoped that Selina might harvest a buck and a doe and because of the warm forecast, I bought all of my gear for butchering and had two large coolers stocked with ice.

I found our home for the weekend in the dark and my 9-foot enclosed trailer would be our cabin on wheels. It was so warm when we were getting ready for bed that it felt like a summer camping trip.

Saturday, October 10th
High 73, low 51

I have been looking forward to this day for quite a while and my freezer has a need for some quality, red meat in it. When night became day there were literally hundreds, if not thousands of Canada geese, sandhill cranes and wood ducks singing and flying by us as we sat in our box stand 16-feet off the ground. They had spent the night on a marsh no more then 80-yards away. The birds had no idea we were in the stand and many of them flew within 20-feet of us.

So, here comes a deer, I can see a small rack, so can Selina. It is a forkhorn and the closest it gets is 130-yards but it is broadside. Selina decides to hold out for a larger buck.

One hour later we see a deer in the marsh about 60-yards away. It is a spiker and also gets a free pass, had either been a doe, it would have been red meat for our freezer.

We go back to camp and take the perfect snooze, I cook burgers for lunch and the Badgers get beat by Iowa.

For our evening hunt we watch the food plot, two deer are spotted, one is a large buck, it is on the neighbors land and gets a free pass.

Sunday, October 11th
High 86, low 53

We are in a box stand overlooking the food plot an hour before daylight. I wake up Selina when it is light enough to see a deer. Once again we view a truly incredible show put on by cranes, geese and ducks. One of the cranes has a broken leg; I bet that makes life difficult. No deer are spotted.

So, we decide to stay for the afternoon hunt. The landowner had given me a call and advised goose and turkey hunting options. I did not go with that advice because I did not want to take the chance of scaring the deer away. On our hunt, four turkey walked within 20-feet of us, lots of geese (like hundreds) flew directly overhead and we did not see a deer.

Selina and I try very hard! In Canada, I won the big northern bet for the group and Selina won the walleye bet Bear and deer hunting since the Canada trip have not been so successful.

We always have fun! Sunset