Saturday, October 17, 2015

Legends of Fall

Not a whole lot to say here, two weeks worth of running this camera on a field edge scrape captured (pun intended, Cuddeback Capture) some excellent pictures.  Needless to say I am excited to hunt the rut at my parents and know exactly where I need to be to find these boys.

Freaky

Pushing 150 I'd say


Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Experince

A friend recently asked me what a 'dream' hunt would consist of.  I mentioned someday I would love to head west and hunt my cousin's ranch in Wyoming for whitetail or mule deer.  When I stop to really think about it, I truly only care to head to SW Wisconsin and hunt the farm I grew up on.  It has everything I want in terms of scenery, habitat and the animals who roam about it.

It's the place where I learned to hunt small and large game, learned about trapping and how to care for the land.  I never really realized it when I was growing up but my Dad was and is a true conservationist.  For example, I am now aware of the benefits CRP grassland can bring a property.  CRP is not only beautiful to look at from my treestand, it provides a comfortable sanctuary for our wildlife. America is losing CRP grassland.  Can you blame landowners for taking land out of CRP? No, not when you can make a pretty penny opening a field for a farmer to plant corn.

It's the place where my brother and I have woken up many a Thanksgiving morning to take in the crisp air and tread lightly on crunchy leaves on the way to our ground perch (NEVER shot a deer with a gun from a treestand yet). It's the place where I learned hunting strategies and was able to test them against nature.  It's the place I hope to take my son to do the same things I was lucky enough to do.  Some Saturday we will take to the woods and enjoy the fall colors while chasing squirrel, and no matter how much his Dad cares about his big bucks being spooked, on this Saturday he will not care because he knows his son has waited for this day for a over a year. Maybe someday I'll take my grandson or granddaughter out for a morning deer sit, lean up against a tree waiting for a familiar scene to unfold before their grandpa's eyes.  After a successful morning, we'll drive into the check station and some old fella I recognize will tell my grandkid how great a job he or she did.  I can't wait for these moments and I hope many of them occur on the farm I was born and raised on.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Daydreaming in July

I recently bought the new Cuddeback camera, and per usual I am not disappointed with it.  I was going to go with another brand but you just cant beat the quarter sec trigger speed...when the camera goes off, I want a deer centered in the picture and more times than not that is what I get. I was also excited because this camera has time lapse mode and I had just the place in mind for it.  I've been daydreaming of a few monarch's feeding during an orange sunset.  I haven't quite gotten such a picture, but I know if I leave the camera out there long enough, I will get one.  For now I will keep daydreaming of the boys of summer.
Probably some good ones, too far away and not enough growth to confirm
Sometimes the dreams turn into reality. Photo of my Dad's 2014 buck


While searching through my parents camera chip for random pictures worthy of keeping, I found the above picture.  It pretty much sums up gun hunting.  I'll let your mind wander from here...


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Suns out Cameras out

A recent trip back to SW Wisconsin included me bumming in the woods and trout fishing. My Dad and I managed to move a ladder stand to a hopeful location, while my brother promised rain would stop and trout would bite. It was true, the trout did bite.  We sat around the house for an hour or so eating breakfast and sipping warm drinks waiting for the hard mist to subside, Luke (without reading a weather update) was convinced it would end soon.  It did end, but I'm not sure how he predicted it, I suppose when you spend enough time fishing like he does you just kind of have a dog's sense of weather patterns. So we finally made it out and had a great day with our Dad.



Fishing was fun but I was extremely excited for trail camera season.  Although it's very early, I just had to get a few Cuddeback's out.  By late June mature bucks' racks will be exploding so I will definitely need to do battery checks in a few weeks before leaving them all summer.
Entry to a ravine head leading to a field...prime trail camera location for year round pictures



Friday, April 24, 2015

"All over the country, we're learning to put an "I" in conservation."

Clay Schoenfeld wrote those words in his 1979 book titled "Down Wisconsin Sideroads."  I am extremely thankful for those generations who took initiative and put themselves in the middle of the conservation forefront.  You might be wondering what putting the "I" in conservation looks like. Well, I don't believe there is an easy answer to that.  One thing is for certain, you have to take personal action and see it through to the end.  For example, land management is a long process which should parallel the lifetime of land ownership.  However, not all of us own a piece of dirt so this isn't possible for everyone.  Just because you don't own land doesn't mean you can't have an impact on conservation. I personally do not own property but have recently joined a conservation committee related to deer management in my county.  It is a special feeling to be a part of a committee founded by and based on the principals of Aldo Leopold's land ethic.  Small committee's and even local grassroots movements can have major impacts on conservation.

 Schoenfeld begins a chapter by saying, "You don't have to be a world-famous ecologist writer to contribute to conservation.  I want to chronicle here the contributions of people who have made major dents in the sweep of environmental degradation: a forest ranger and his wife, a hermit, a small-town postman, a minor state bureaucrat, a housewife outdoorsperson, and a very young representative of a new generation." --I hope to be the latter

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Weekend in God's country

God created all country, but I believe Southwest Wisconsin's canvas received a little more attention from the maker.  While wandering through a trout stream with my brother on Saturday afternoon, we both agreed Richland County is a sportsman's paradise.  See evidence below...
A few familiar faces survived the winter
After covering several hundred acres of land in search of sheds, it was time to snatch a trout rod and head to the stream where I learned how to fish (although an unfamiliar section).

I told my brother I would be happy if I only fished trout streams the rest of my life.  He replied "nah, you'd get sick of only trout fishing."  While it's possible I was exaggerating, I certainly wouldn't be disappointed if all outings yielded nine landings like Saturday did.

Focused stroke, firm fish and fun times
Views that make a man rich

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Don't find them all


My Dad was out bumming in the woods last weekend and stumbled upon this nice shed.  It was a beautiful day so I couldn't blame him for wanting to get out a little.  However, I told him not to find them all.  I am leaving tomorrow afternoon for a much needed weekend in the outdoors.  Shed hunting and trout fishing are on the itinerary.  More sheds to come hopefully.