An Outdoorsman's Journal

                                                                                             Back Country Turkey Hunt

Hello friends,

When it comes to turkey hunting my favorite way to do it is to take a kid and help them to potentially harvest a bird. My second favorite method is to go camping and make an adventure out of the hunt.

This week I strapped on my backpack and went on a three-day turkey hunt and camping trip into some of the most remote country that you will find in west central Wisconsin with a goal of immersing myself in nature, testing myself and seeing how our friends in the wild handled another Wisconsin winter.

Sunday, April 28th

High 47, low 21

The theme of this week’s adventure should be high water and how it affects both man and beast. So my plan was to strap on my Camp Trails external frame backpack and hike into the Meadow Valley Wildlife area and exist.

For foot apparel I would wear hip boots, I had multiple layers of clothes but no extras. I would use a small backpackers tent, a sleeping bag, bedroll, and perhaps the trip saver was that I also had some plastic tarp along to make sure that my tent did not allow any moisture inside as it was predicted to rain most of the trip.

For food, I have been getting away from cooking on many of my trips and I had Ritz crackers, tuna, cheese spread, nutrition drinks, and crab as well as Greek salad. All I need is a knife and a spoon, no stove, pans, fuel, cooking or dishes to wash.

The Meadow Valley Wildlife Area along with other public lands covers 200-square miles, and I am addicted to this place.

So I started out about talking about high water and here is what I observed today, for the next three days and have for the last couple of years. Dry marshes are flooded, low lands in forests that did not have water have water, and when traveling through the bush it seems more like you are in the flooded timber country of Arkansas than Wisconsin.

Today when I was driving here I came to where a section of gravel road was washed out and if I had not been observant I would have wrecked my truck. I also came to where a bridge that I have driven over hundreds of times over the last 48-years was completely washed out.

The bridge washout out was also created by beaver as since fur prices have dropped so much there is an over abundance of beaver and they are daming up every culvert and bridge that mankind will allow them to.

I hiked in one mile with my pack and a 12-gauge, hunted turkey til close to dark and then went back to camp and really looked forward to sleeping on the forest floor.

Monday, April 29th

High 45, low 34

So I am camped a mile from the road. My plan is to get up at 5:00 a.m. and explore the forest for the entire day and return about dark. At exactly 4:59 it started raining and today I explored paradise while wearing rain gear and steadily feeling my body chill down.

I covered about two square miles and would hike 700-yards and set out my foldable “junk” jake and hen decoys. I saw more and more deer sign than I have seen in a remote forest in years. I also added new area to my bear hunting menu. I was about five miles from where I generally run baits and what I found today is that as long as I am willing to hike in with bait for a good 3/4’s of a mile should be phenominal bear country.

Actually both nights in my tent that is no larger than a coffin I put my Berretta A400 right in the tent in case a black, furry creature decided it wanted to eat me.

The big story besides high water which is actually a rising of the water table and the cool bear country is that I never came close to seeing or hearing a turkey. I was dedicated with a capital D and I know why there were no birds in the particular area that I was working and I believe there is simply too much water.

On the last day I hunted my way out, hunted in a drier forest, and then I went home and hunted in a very cold rain. Besides all of my other observations what I really noticed was that the night I got home I was beyond tired. No pain, just stupid exhausted.

No cares here, my wilderness escape was just perfect! Sunset