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An Outdoorsman’s Journal - Running hard

Running hard
Mark Walters sponsored by
Running hard
Mark Walters sponsored by

An Outdoorsman’s Journal

Hello friends, When I returned home from my elk hunt, I realized that with my busy season, which begins around April 1, and my recent nine-day adventure of hunting hard in the mountains of Montana, I was beat, tired and worn out. The other situation was that every aspect of my life was behind. What I am getting at is that I needed to sleep at home a few nights and this week’s column gives you an idea what that was like. As usual there is a ton to write so I will be brief.

On Nov. 2 I hosted a campfire event at my home for Necedah Outdoor Adventure Club (NOAC), which is an outdoor club dedicated to getting people of all ages outside. I am the president. We started this club in January, and it is impressive. Next on our docket is an iceskating rink at Old Mill Park in Necedah.

On Saturday, Nov. 4 there would be 19 of us, “The Red Brush Gang,” participating in a work weekend at our hunting camp in northern Juneau County. This weekend is a lot of work and even more fun. The old timers in the group had a rule with our kids and that was that you can come to camp work weekend when you are not in diapers anymore. These days the “kids” range from 19 to 36 and they are becoming the pillars of The Red Brush Gang. When the sun comes up on opening day of Wisconsin’s deer gun season, it will be the 52nd year in a row that I hunted here. No single event is more important to me than deer camp and that is why I do my best to ensure that it has a strong heartbeat.

Wednesday, Nov. 8

I took the pups duck hunting on the Meadow Valley Flowage, which is located in The Meadow Valley Wildlife Area. Much of my history has taken place here, from deer, duck and bear hunting, trapping wolf, cross country skiing and survival trips. Simply put, I am at peace when I am on the Meadow Valley Flowage. That evening I attended a meeting for the Meadow Valley Chapter of Kids and Mentors Outdoors (KAMO). This chapter, like the other five, has come to life since Covid kind of ended, and they have a lot to be proud of.

The following morning I was in my truck and headed to Durand for a 36-hour trip of bowhunting and, once again, working out of my canoe. I did not see a deer while hanging out in a tree but did have a very cool experience when I rounded a bend and was immersed with a doe and her two very large fawns that were swimming from one shore to another.

When I arrived home from that adventure I had just enough daylight to hunt in the food plot behind my house. I built this plot for my daughter Selina and my late girlfriend Michelle Chiaro. Michelle passed away on June 15, 2022, and I have not been capable of going back to the plot as it just chokes me up. I forced myself today and had a memorable experience with a doe that was being chased by an 8-pointer, that was being followed by a spiker. All three were exhausted, drooling and wheezing. I was just getting into Michelle’s stand and could only watch as each of them went within 10 yards of the oak tree I was in.

I also spent two days pheasant hunting and four more in Michelle’s stand and maybe, even more importantly, achieved some progress on getting my world ready for winter.

The time period that I just wrote about was 14 days. I am run down as the 8-pointer that ran underneath my tree.

It is a good kind of fatigue! Sunset