It all started in early summer. I’m not really certain what stirred up my longing to return to my home state of Wisconsin this fall. Perhaps this desire stemmed from my uncertainty of where I would retire to next year after a 20-year career in the US Army as a communications Officer. Perhaps it had just been a while since I’d tasted squeaky-fresh cheese curds.
Whatever the reason, my 13-year-old son, Michael, and I were headed North from Kansas in early September with the minivan loaded to the gills with treestands, trail cameras, and ratchet straps by the dozens. I was determined to scout and set up stands on a family farm that I had hunted very little during brief holiday visits previously. I had seen enough during these weekend visits over the years to realize there was potential for some superior buck quality in the area.
After a weekend of hard work, sweat and sawdust, Michael and I had installed and trimmed the shooting lanes of six new stand sites in promising areas. But, I had no previous hunting experience at these particular stand locations and I lacked concrete scouting data to tell me if they would actually be productive stands. All I had to go on were good theories and map scouting. Hoping to solve this problem, I loaded the Badlands backpack with several bags of Extreme Hunting Solutions’ Big Buck Mineral Formula and trail cameras with large memory cards and fresh batteries. As I hung the treestands, Michael made mineral sites with this sweet-smelling lime green powder in front of the trees we’d selected to mount the trail cameras. It was a productive weekend. We returned to Kansas rich with Father-Son bonding time, sore muscles and high hopes for some pictures of “shooters” when we returned.
That return came over Columbus weekend. It was much too warm to realistically succeed in killing a quality buck, but the results from more “sweat equity” with the Badlands pack on my back to swap trail camera cards exceeded my hopes by identifying five “shooter” bucks frequenting the area. I had those pictures on the screen at work the next day while completing my Leave request to return during the third week in October. I was counting the days until my return to Packerland.
Be looking soon for Part 2 of this multi-part Blog to see how this story progresses… with a few twists along the way.