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.