An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 1-6-2016
by Mark Walters
A Year in the Outdoors for Selina Walters
So that I may stay home the week between Christmas and New Years, I write a column about some of the highlights of the year that is just coming to an end. This year’s column, for the most part, is going to be about some of the many outdoor adventures that I went on with my 14-year-old daughter, Selina Walters.
Selina, her brothers, Travis and Joey Dushek, and I went on a winter camping and ice fishing trip on the Mississippi River near LaCrosse. We had planned on fishing near Ferryville but there was not good ice (discovery made upon arrival).
I made some phone calls and we headed to LaCrosse, where for the next two days we had great success on 27-34 inch northern pike.
Selina, Gary Howe and I are entered in Prairie du Chien’s annual fisheree, which attracts a lot of fishermen and women. We stayed with the Howes, had a blast and Selina took first and second place in the kids northern pike division with a couple of beautiful gators. This is not meant to be an insult but as big as this fisheree is, it would be wise for the folks in charge to boost the prizes for our future fishermen. Winning a fisheree when you are 14 is a really big deal for a kid.
Selina just told me yesterday that her favorite sport is turkey hunting. Each spring, I take Selina to a new spot for Wisconsin’s “Youth Turkey Hunt”. This year we were invited by my friend, Rod Bensley to hunt at his pheasant preserve near Beaver Dam. Rod worked it out so that Selina could hunt on a neighbor’s property as well and literally on the last minute of our two-day hunt, Selina harvested a beautiful gobbler.
Selina and I hunted turkey on our food plot and, as I mentioned, she loves this sport. The beauty about going from the early April hunt to May is that spring is in full strut, comfortable naps can be taken in the blind and life is good. Selina whacked her second gobbler of the year and that one was the biggest turkey that I have been a part of harvesting.
Later in May we headed over to Marsh Miller Lake and stayed at Birch Point Resort near Bloomer. Each spring Selina brings a friend, our good friend Paul Maire puts us up in one of his cabins and we catch bluegills. For Selina this is another can’t miss trip.
In a years time I go on about 40-trips. The two best are Canada to Shultz Lake (Chimo Lodge and Outposts) and deer camp. Selina has only missed one year of her entire life of doing a fly in and she loves heading north with family and friends. This year she won the big walleye bet for the week. We land on a Saturday and go home on a Saturday. We fish hard, laugh lots and stay up late.
Selina and I participated in two KAMO (Kids And Mentors Outdoors) camping trips.
The first one was on the Wisconsin River near Wisconsin Dells and we had a blast. The second was on the Petenwell Flowage. Fishing, tubing, bear baiting and lots of campfire time with a lot of good people, check out KAMO at www.kamokids.org.
For several years I have taken Selina and three of her friends on a four-day outing to an island on the Flambeau Flowage. We tube, swim, sometimes fish and do a whole bunch of nothing.
Other than moose or elk hunting which is just a trip. What wipes me out more than anything is bear baiting and then hunting. This July through mid October, Selina and I (who both had tags) put thousands of miles on my truck. Probably a couple hundred hours in the woods and though we had plenty of big bear coming to the baits, it was all after dark.
Acorns and way too many hunters in Zone C made it so that we went 32 hunts without seeing a bear while in a stand.
Our annual Mississippi River duck hunt, near Ferryville, while camping on an island. This trip is a classic that my father started back in the late 50’s and I have been doing for 44-years, Selina loves it.
Deer camp, The Red Brush Gang has so much fun that no one wants to leave. This fall Selina became independent. As long as she is carrying a compass, a daypack and hip boots, she does not need her dad.
There is more to tell but no more space, Happy New Year! Sunset
THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Cedar Country Cooperative