Enjoyable bow hunt, camping trip

I just returned last night from a camping and bow hunting trip on the Mississippi River backwaters near Prairie du Chien. I used my 18-foot War Eagle and my canoe for this getaway that featured weather more like early September.

Tuesday, Nov. 3 High 72, Low 44

I was fighting the sun clock as I launched my boat at a landing north of Prairie du Chien. I had to place a stand somewhere for the afternoon hunt, find an island to camp on that would not affect my hunting and build camp with just over four hours of daylight.

All of that was accomplished and I had two hours to sit in a tree which was on public land and about 30 yards from a scrape and 40 yards from a trail. To be perfectly honest, my preferred range is 15-30 yards but I did not have the daylight to find the perfect stand.

I also put out two trail cameras just before climbing 16 feet up a maple tree and loving the do nothing and enjoying the view of whitetail hunting with a bow and arrow.

I did not see a deer and did not care as I had two more days to fill a tag. I purchased a doe tag for Crawford County and because of an upcoming trip with my daughter I would rather harvest a doe on this adventure than a buck.

When I got back to my island, which was after a really cool boat ride, I grabbed a can of beer, my golden retriever (or Selina’s) Fire and sat in my boat and listened to the river. I constantly could hear beavers both swimming and slapping their tails on the water in warning when they realized I was in their world.

I also heard muskrats chewing on vegetation and nonstop fish surfacing.

The following day I did a lot of exploring and the beavers are doing lots of damage as in dropping too many trees which most are not consumed. The trees on the river islands are what keep the islands from eroding and it appears that the local trappers need to knock down the beaver population a bit on this stretch of river.

Wednesday, Nov. 4 High 69, Low 48

I was up long before the sun this morning and doing an-in-the-dark boat ride and then a hike to where I would hunt. I spent four hours in tree and did not see a deer, and made a decision to explore and find a new spot to hunt.

I chose a natural funnel of a forested corridor on the shoreline and near harvested corn and soybean fields. I placed my stand in the area of two very active scrapes and was really excited for my afternoon hunt.

My afternoon hunt had me listening to lots of wood ducks that were sitting on a slough 50 yards away. I actually planned on hunting ducks on this trip but never saw a single duck anywhere but this slough.

I spoke with many hunters who were hunting but not shooting as like bow hunting for deer. Warm weather in November shuts wildlife movement down to a minimum.

This afternoon, I sat in total comfort and watched a lot of squirrels and did not see a deer. My boat ride back to camp was after a long hike and was in the dark like last night. I drank a beer and listened to the river.

The following day, I was either hunting or breaking camp. I stuck it out until dark and am actually embarrassed to say that I never saw a deer on this trip.

When loaded on the trailer, a boat, canoe and gear amounts to a big load. Five miles north of Prairie du Chien I hit a gully washer of a storm that I drove in for over two hours and it was a challenge. A few times I realized I was not even driving on the road.

The good news is that I made it home and now I still have a buck tag!


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