An Outdoorsman‛s Journal
by Mark Walters
Good Friends, Helping One Another Hello friends: This week’s column is a bit different than normal, but once again shows you that there are a lot of good people out there.
Just over a year ago I received a very nice letter from Charles and Kathie Stelzner, who live in Howards Grove and read this column in The Plymouth Review.
I started communicating with the Stelzners, who have been walking this earth a solid seven decades and it was obvious that we were going to become friends. Even though we had never met, they sent my daughter Selina a very nice gift when she graduated from high school.
Last July I finally met Chuck when he asked me to come to Camp American Legion and take veterans fishing. Chuck and Kathie do their best to help Camp American Legion and I spent three days rooming with him, and with great pride I took vets fishing in my boat.
Rodney Bensley owns Rooster’s Run Pheasant Preserve near Fox Lake. Nine years ago, my then pup Fire had a breakdown when her mate Ice passed away from Lyme’s disease.
Fire was nine months old and the day Ice passed away she became very ill and went into a serious depression. Over the next 60 days I tried getting her out of it and wrote about our situation.
Rod reached out to me and said he thought he could help. Over the next three months I would bring Fire down to Rooster’s Run and we worked with Fire with live pheasant and chukar. Long story short, Rod Bensley really helped to pull Fire out of her funk.
Back in April of 2015, Rod invited Selina and I down to Rooster’s Run, where he let Selina participate in the youth turkey hunt on his property. On literally the last minute of the last day, a big tom came into our spread and Selina knocked its lights out.
For Selina’s high school graduation party, Rod drove all the way up from Fox Lake with the tail to her turkey on a woodcarved plaque with the date of the harvest. Rod also gave her the rights to harvest 10 pheasant at Rooster’s Run.
Back in October I was duck hunting with Selina and as usual her 12-gauge that I had purchased brand new failed to work even though I had it rebuilt three times.
When Chuck and Kathie Stelzner read that column, they called me up and told me to bring Selina over to Howards Grove and that they had a gift for her.
So, I made arrangement with Rod to do our pheasant hunt over the course of two days and first we went to the Stelzners for an excellent dinner and a very nice visit. At that time Chuck gave Selina his Remington 11-87 that is in mint condition.
That same day we drove over to Rooster’s Run to try it out. Rod hunted with us both days and we had Fire and her pup Ruby who, considering the low amount of upland bird hunting that they do, are both pretty good at it.
Rooster’s Run covers over 200 acres and is a real nice place to go for a walk with a gun in your hand. When Fire flushed the first rooster, Selina dropped it with her first shot. When Ruby flushed the next rooster, Selina dropped it with her first shot. By the time that we were done shooting for the day, Selina had dropped four pheasant with five shots.
That night we headed over to Burnett for supper and the next morning we sent six more pheasants to the frying pan.
This summer, Chuck and I will be back to Camp American Legion. Selina is back to UW-SP and sometime in the future I will be doing some form of dog training or taking a kid hunting to Rooster’s Run.
I have no desire to retire. Sunset