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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 10-12-2016

“Call of the Wild” Duck Hunt and Camping Trip

by Mark Walters

Hello friends, 

This week’s column is all over the map but it’s good stuff so read on and enjoy your fall.

May of 93, I am mowing my father’s lawn with a push mower at our family home in Poynette.  I am wearing shorts and the mower kicks a rock the size of an egg out the back and it hits my lower leg and the injury still bothers me.

The following day I am at Marquette County’s Buffalo Lake in a bowfishing tournament. This tournament is held at Call of the Wild Campground and the present owner is in her first year.

Meta Peacock, as I would learn this past weekend, is one cool lady and runs an excellent campground.

As far as the carp fishing tournament, I used a canoe and kicked butt.

Friday, September 30th 
High 62, low 50

This weekend for the last 45 years has been the Mississippi River Duck Hunt for our group of 2-26.  Persistent rainfall has drowned out the island that we camp on and put the duck habitat underwater.

The weekend before you are reading about, my nephews Riley and Trent Schuster explored in the Marquette County area for a place with quality hunting and camping that would be suitable for our group.

Trent started a group facebook page and on the Tuesday before you are reading about, I hauled my boat and canoe over to Buffalo Lake and more importantly the Fox River to do some research as the guys had already thought of this area.

I was actually driving when I remembered the experience back in 93 and had Riley look up Call of the Wild, as my phone is not smart.

Next thing I know, I am at Call of the Wild and thanks to some friends at the Trading Post in Packwaukee (thanks Mary and Bob) we had us a plan.

So Friday comes and by dark there are 13 of us sitting around the campfire and by Saturday night there would be 17.

We stay up late and sit around the campfire and cook on it as well.  For the most part this group branches off from Riley and Trent and their high school buddies and my stepsons, Travis and Joey and the five pals they bought.

My daughter Selina is my hunting partner and when night became day most of our gang had very steady shooting on  “southern Wisconsin duck hunting opener”.

I have to admit that at the first hunt I let Selina do the shooting, after that I pretty much sucked at dropping waterfowl out of the sky with the main reason being that I did not get much shooting.

We have an annual duck contest that is point based and I came in close to last, perhaps last. Travis’s good buddy, Devin Wood won the money and bragging rights in a contest that everyone wants to win.

The habitat here is incredible and the constant view is seemingly of a remote area. The Lodge at Call of the Wild is unique and “old school Wisconsin style resort”

The folks that have permanent sites were impressed that we could stay up so late, get up so early and that we were not obnoxious in any way.

Over the course of the weekend we had two mechanical issues with our motors and one with a truck, just like finding this place, each dilemma was calmly handled.

Some of us stayed until Monday and that meant that we had four days in the marsh and three nights around the campfire, when you get home from a trip like this you are 100-percent exhausted but 1 million percent happy that you made the trip.

Hunt till you can’t!   Sunset