The Red Brush Gang/Dark to Dark
By Mark Walters 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 nineday 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 I, like many of the other Red Brush Hunters, have a 17-mile drive before we begin our twomile 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 was the 48th year in a row I watched the sun come up the Saturday before Thanksgiving, in this beautiful piece of forest and marsh.
As the season ran its course, this was the year of the kids killing bucks. First, Riley Schuster dropped an 8-pointer that was feeding on acorns.
At about 8, Derek Cibulka, who is almost 21, put a hurting on a 9-pointer that ended 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 done well. They hunt oak funnels in a large marsh and that is where the deer are for them.
Selina I started our hike in this morning at 5, and returned to the truck tonight at 5:45. When we made it to the truck, we could hear wolves howling where we hunt and also a mile to our west where the Moll Gang, Jeff, Nate and Ross, hunt. Generally, listening to wolves howl is a cool thing to hear, not so cool on the hike out when you know you will be back in the morning.
Sunday, Nov. 24 • High 37, Low 29
I have to say something to make some people think a little more. Back in the day when people drove on these remote, gravel roads where the ditches are filled with water, they slowed down or pulled over for approaching vehicles. This year, we had three incidents. The first was where two people parked on opposite sides of each other and left just enough room for someone to pass by, when one of them could have just pulled a head another 30 yards. In that case, mirrors had to touch mirrors.
A worse situation, is where people were flying down the road and over the center. This happened twice and it was not good.
Back to happy times! Often, we text and this morning, this group got an excellent text from Shane Schuster. Shane’s 15-year-old daughter, Allie, had made an excellent shot on an 8-point buck.
Four years ago, Allie really did not want anything to do with the outdoors. Allie, who is my niece, came to camp set-up weekend and had a blast. Allie decided to sit with her dad during the opening weekend.
The following year, I took Allie on the youth deer hunt and she made an excellent shot on a 7-point buck.
The last two-years, she sat with her dad, but they did not have any action. This year, Allie sat by herself and today, she shot her first Red Brush Buck. I know it may sound to some people like no big deal, but in our case, we get up early, work hard, wear hip boots, freeze our butts and generally do not see deer. This was a really big deal.
Add to the story that Allie was a little skittish about shooting a deer rifle, it was a huge deal. On my end, what I did when shooting with her, was have her shoot the heck out of a .22, have a common sense talk, including a punch to the shoulder about overthinking the kick of a deer rifle and holy moly, Allie Schuster is now a Red Brush Hunter!
Yes Allie, your favorite uncle still thinks you are a brat, but you did well! Sunset