The Red Brush Gang/ dark to dark
An Outdoorsman’s Journal
Hello friends, On opening day of Wisconsin’s gun deer opener, there were 14 members of the Red Brush Gang in camp. By the time the nine-day season would end, our numbers would swell to 17. Each of us hunts rugged country that requires hip boots or chest waders and at least half of us walk over a mile to get to their stand.
Saturday, Nov. 23 High 36, Low 22
My daughter Selina Walters and myself, like many of the other Red Brush hunters, have a 17-mile drive before we begin our two-mile walk. This morning, just as I was parking our truck, a beautiful buck that did not have a care in the world strolled within 20 yards of where we would park.
Little did either of us know that after two days of dark-to-dark hunting that would be the only deer we would see.
Some of our gang walks out from our camp in the Meadow Valley Wildlife Area and most hunt in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Today would be the 48th year in a row that I watched the sun come up on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in this beautiful piece of forest and marsh.
As the season ran its course, this would be the year of the kids killing bucks. First Riley Schuster dropped an 8-pointer that was feeding on acorns.
At about 8 a.m., Derek Cibulka, who is almost 21, put a hurting on a 9-pointer that would end up winning our big buck contest. Derek and his dad Doug Cibulka started hiking about two miles in some very rough country five years ago and they have really been doing well. They hunt oak funnels in a large marsh and that is where the deer are for them.
Selina and I started our hike in this morning at 5 a.m. and returned to the truck tonight at 5:45. When we made it to the truck we could hear wolves howling where we hunt. Also a mile to our west, where the Moll gang –– Jeff, Nate and Ross –– hunts, wolves could be heard. Generally, listening to wolves howl is a cool thing to hear. It’s not so cool on the hike out when you