Lots of laughs on the Willow

With this job that I have created comes hundreds of friends that spend time with me on my outdoor excursions.

One age group that I have a blast with is the 18-25-year-olds and in my case there are probably 40 that together.

This past week I received a call from 24-year-old Joey Gillis, who this past May graduated from UW-Stevens Point with a business degree. Joey is part of our annual Mississippi River duck hunt and this past April called me up and asked if we could do some serious hunting and camping together this fall.

musky and camping on Oneida County’s Willow Flowage, which in case you are not aware of, is as close to a Canadian getaway experience as you will get just north of Highway 8.

Topping off our crew would be Curt Noreen who is a senior at UW-SP, and hopes to be receiving and water management specialist.

Friday, Aug. 2

High 77, Low 53

The last time that I camped on the Willow I was with Selina, who was 10 at the time, and my golden retrievers, Ice and Fire. We camped two miles by boat from a public landing and spent the weekend canoeing, cooking over did either of us know that Ice had Anaplasmosis and would pass away a month later.

Today, I met Joey and Noreen at Stevens Point and we hauled my 16-foot MirroCraft and Gillis’s 16-foot jon boat that would be pushed by a mud motor. Joey still had his platform on the boat for shooting carp “good casting deck.”

We made it to the same campsite, which is the one that Selina and I used back in 2011, rounded (which in my case was a cot and enjoying cold beer and talking hunting and trapping.

This fall, Joey and I are going on a 10-day trapping, duck and bow-hunting trip and I was really excited about that adventure.

One of our guys got a lot more sleep then the rest of us last night, musky. He upped the ante from the weekend to 10 dollars against me because Joey has a lifelong desire to beat me at something.

Most of our day was spent drifting and casting bays and shorelines for musky and northern pike. I had not seen either of my compadres for quite some time and had Suicks, Top Raiders and a Johnson Silver Minnow.

and was told to approach slow and quite. Curt had seen a good- something but it was probably a stump or a weed.

On my second cast, I caught a 21-inch northern pike – yeah me. A few minutes later I caught a 24-incher. It was nothing to write home about but I was on the board.

- age and then went in for the treat prepared by my good buddies.

Any duck in the air is in trouble guys. Today, they were really excited to cook marinated duck breasts that were put on toothpicks with cream cheese and jalapeno peppers, and wrapped in bacon. I was just about as excited to eat this meal as I was to take Joey’s I in for a shocker when I took my

One of the jalapeno peppers was incredibly hot and without hesitation there was nasty stuff coming My pals felt really bad for me and I also think that they thought I was being a wimp.

not a wimp when this same effect happened to both Noreen and Joey (not a pretty picture). The vast majority of this meal was incredible and I highly suggest it for any waterfowl hunter.

end the day, laughed a lot, did not come close to seeing a musky and until well into the following day.

On Sunday, we gave it our best shot to catch a musky. Curt caught a couple of small northern pike and Gillis is still living in his fantasy world of beating me in some form of a bet. I really enjoyed it when he handed me the 10-dollar bill.

Thanks Joey!


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