Posted on

Outdoorsman’s Journal,

Outdoorsman’s Journal, Outdoorsman’s Journal,

An Outdoorsman’s Journal,

By Mark Walters

Mississippi, and life so far

Hello friends, This week, I, Selina, will write to you, instead of my Dad, to fill you in on the rest of our trip in Mississippi, and my time at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, so far.

I wish I could tell you we had some incredibly exciting hunts, where we saw all kinds of hogs and big deer. Unfortunately, though, if I were to tell you that, I would be lying.

As my Dad stated in last week’s article, there was extreme flooding last year, where we were in Mississippi, which caused almost all hogs to either be shot or moved to areas that weren’t flooded. This meant no hogs.

On the other hand, the deer in our area were a mystery; when we first arrived at our spot, we were amazed by all the sign there. There were scrapes, tracks and buck rubs all over the place. I was extremely excited to begin hunting, as I have never hunted somewhere with so much sign before.

Apparently, though, all this sign did not mean much, considering we hunted close to 40 hours each and between the three of us, only saw two bucks. I was the lucky one and saw both, but couldn’t get a shot at either, because neither were the legal size.

My Dad and Uncle Tommy saw nothing but birds and squirrels. Although it was not ideal, none of us let it get us down, as we all know it happens, we were trying our hardest and there really wasn’t much else we could have done, as we sat from dawn till dusk.

Despite slow hunting, I still had a great time on the trip and learned a lot while I was down there. It was great to see my Uncle Tommy and Aunt Laurie, who live in Louisiana, as I rare- ly get to see them and they are both always a riot.

My favorite part of this trip was just seeing the different type of ecosystem there and how different the habitat is there, compared to Wisconsin. Since I started college, learning more about how important habitat is and the science behind wildlife ecology, I have started to pick up on a lot more things during hunting/fishing trips and am a lot more interested in them.

As many of you know, I just finished my first semester at UW-Stevens Point and am currently on winter break. My time at Point so far has been great and I couldn’t ask to be at a better college for me. My major is wildlife ecology and management, so I spend most of my time within the College of Natural Resources.

The professors and staff there are all very supportive, and seem like they really do care about the students’ success and they get hands-on experience while in school, rather than shipping them off with only classroom knowledge after they graduate.

Even though I have only been there for one semester, I feel like I have already learned so much and grown as a person in many ways.

I often get asked if the transition was hard or if I struggled my first semester, and although it wasn’t easy, I can honestly say I am incredibly happy and love where I am in my life right now, and where I am headed.

I have high hopes of being a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service someday. I know that is a very competitive field to get into, but know I have a great support system behind me, and know that if I continue to push myself and work hard, it is very attainable!