Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hootie and the 10 Pointer

Well, after having nothing to report from this weeks deer hunting I decided to tell the story of Hootie's big buck. Hootie is a regular visitor to my blog, often e-mails me, and after seeing my last weeks post about my lack of luck, he decided to send me a picture of his first deer from last year. Talk about unfair, Hootie is 12 years old whereas I have hunted for almost 38 years and haven't even come close to a trophy like this!

Hootie is the son of a very good friend from Eleva, Big Dave (he is featured in one of my earlier post holding a walleye). He lives up on Mockingbird Hill, north of town and has one of the most spectacular views in Wisconsin. His family once lived in Colorado Springs but longing to get back to his roots in Eleva he bought some land that his late father dreamed of and built a Colorado mountain type home. Hootie and Big Dave hunt Dave's brother's farm just a few miles from their home. The country around Eleva is quite hilly and has ravines and valleys which are surrounded by wood lots of oak, maple, aspen, birch, ash, black walnut, and basswoods. Big Dave has a stand on a side ridge that they call Pikes Peak and overlooks a valley and the next ridge. This was Hootie's first year to deer hunt and Big Dave wanted him to get started right. As they sat in the stand overlooking the valley Big Dave reminded Hootie that he was not allowed to shoot across the valley which was about 200 yards away. A doe came out across the valley and Hootie wanted to take it right away but Big Dave reminded him of their agreement. Is wasn't long before this big buck came out across the valley as well. Hootie could see it was a big one so he asked dad again if he could take it. Big Dave realized that this was no ordinary buck and if they did not take a shot it might get away. He looked at Hootie and said, OK you can shoot however wait for me and I will back you up. This was just what he wanted to hear and before Big Dave could even get his scope on the deer Hootie pulled the trigger. Trying to get the deer in his scope he saw the deer drop in his tracks. Hootie had nailed the buck with his .243 rifle at better than 200 yards, a shot many veterans would have a hard time making. As you see he is pretty proud of that deer and deserves to have that big smile on his face. I wonder what he will do for an encore!

As stated my last weekend hunting was uneventful. I sat in a number of stands on Friday night and Saturday with the woods being pretty silent. The one thing that was making noise are the Tundra Swans migrating through. Also known as Whistling Swans they make a haunting whistle as they migrate to their wintering grounds on the Atlantic Ocean bays and estuaries such as Chesapeake Bay. Sitting in my tree stand I can hear them coming from a long distance as they fly in flocks of 10 to 50 swans and are usually quite high. Over the 2 weekends I must have counted at least 60 flocks going by. They are heading for the Mississippi river backwaters where they rest from their long journey from the Arctic Ocean area of Alaska. It is an interesting migration as they stay in areas resting until the freezing water forces them to their next major resting place. One of the more famous stopping places is close to my home town in the city of Alma Wisconsin as well as in the Weaver Bottoms, downriver from Alma. If you are interested in more information check out this site as the town has taken advantage of this wonder of nature.

This week we expect temperatures in the low teens. Ice fishing cannot be far behind. Thanks Hootie for providing a story for a rather uneventful deer hunting season. I am blessed to have so many friends both young and old.

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