Just like the last several years, I recently took a young deer hunter to a farm for a camping and hunting trip just west of Junction City in Wood County during Wisconsin’s Youth Deer Hunt, which is held for kids up to the age of 15.
Friday, Oct. 4
High 67, low 45
Allie Schuster is 15, a sophomore at DeForest High School, the daughter of Shane and Sandy Schuster, and just happens to be my great niece. Until three years ago, Allie had no desire to become a deer hunter, but that changed when she spent a weekend visiting our deer camp with The Red Brush Gang.
The following fall I took Allie hunting to this same farm, which is very close to the the Meade Wildlife Area, and in the last minute of the last hunt, she made an excellent shot on a 7-point buck.
This farm was recently sold. The new owner supported getting our youth into the outdoors, and let me continue taking kids here. Today, when we pulled into the farm, it was basically empty, as the new owner does not live on the premises.
I had a plan of building a rain-proof camp, as heavy rains were forecast for the following day. At that time, I had a brainstorm, and sent the new owner a text asking if we could sleep in the horse barn. The owner’s reply was “you can, but you are welcome to sleep in the house.”
We chose the barn, but first, as daylight was fading, we went scouting and also put out two trail cameras.
Our scouting mission was very cool as we saw 11 deer, including two bucks, neither of which seemed very scared of us.
Because of the impending rain, I chose to hunt in a ground blind with Allie. The walk back to camp was very cool, and as usual, I used every minute to teach my young hunter as much as I could.
Saturday, Oct. 5
High 64, low 43
The horse barn was a great place to sleep for the first night. This morning we were in our blind, which is surrounded on three sides by forest, and one side by a pasture, long before daylight.
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Allie and I are always giving each other a hard time and playing practical jokes on each other. That is what we did for our four-hour hunt this morning.
At 10 a.m. we headed back to camp, and at that moment, the rain began, and the lake that is called the state of Wisconsin, just kept getting higher.
We hunted the last four hours of daylight, and I was really surprised that we did not see a deer.
Sunday, Oct. 6
High 73, low 48
The rain quit last night and we were in our blind by 5:40 a.m. The field that we are watching has an extremely active scrape in it, and that is where we have one of our cameras.
At 5:50 we had a crazy experience when an extremely large deer approached our blind in total darkness, looked in the window and grazed for at least 10 minutes. I had rubbed horse manure all over the blind and I think it worked as the perfect cover scent.
That was our only deer experience on that hunt, and when we got out of the blind, we checked our trail cameras and had a picture of a massive 12-point buck that was tending to his scrape. We went back to camp in high hopes of seeing that buck on that night’s final hunt.
Our final hunt was interesting, as we have to cross a creek, that was now flooded. I went over my knee boots in the dark this morning. Allie has Selina’s hip boots, so she was fine. The atmosphere in this part of the state could be described as water logged.
We gave this hunt our best shot and hunted till dark, but as crazy as it seems, never saw a deer in daylight all weekend, except when scouting the day before the hunt started.
Just before we finished our hunt, Allie told me that she really enjoyed this experience, and that she really wants to stick with deer hunting.
Maybe in November as a member of the Red Brush Gang, she will fill her tag.