Muddy, challenging hunt

Nate Moll is 22, goes to collage at UW-Madison and may be a geologist when he graduates in a year and a half but like his brother Ryan he wants to fly jets for the Air National Guard.

Nate is currently a crew chief, working on F-16s at Truax Field and my guess is that Nate will fly jets some day.

This week’s column is about a 100-percent go-for-it trip that Nate and I recently went on that was physical, dangerous and loaded with mud. We hunted deer with a muzzleloader and hoped to shoot some ducks while camping and traveling by canoe.

Saturday, Dec. 2

High 39, Low 25

It is still dark out, Nate came from Madison, I came from Necedah and we met at a boat landing on the Wisconsin River in Columbia County. Our plan is to paddle in the dark to a secret location where there would be lots of ducks.

Our canoes are extremely loaded with camping and hunting gear, and on our way to paradise we became extremely stuck in mud. It required one hour for each of us as we became very stuck in the mud while pushing our rigs to where we were going to camp.

Unloading our canoes and carrying our gear about 40 yards to shore was very physical due to the mud and we actually made a cattail sidewalk that helped a lot. By the way, duck hunting was ruled out as we only saw three in the first hour of daylight.

“The biggest part of this adventure would be canoeing up an extremely remote creek which is that way because of the mud and a swamp.

Before we left camp Nate and I secured a bet that was for ducks, a buck and a doe – five dollars each for the ducks and buck, two bucks for the doe!

Altogether our trip up the creek was 50 minutes and we were each in our own canoe. The next part of our adventure was to have each of us scout for deer on opposite sides of the creek and I would be putting up a portable stand if I found a spot that I liked.

I might add that this entire hunt took place in chest waders and it was tough to walk and visibility was very poor.

Fast forward, it is 3:25 p.m. and I have doe urine out and I am using a can and grunt call. I am watching about five acres of swamp and I get a text from my buddy Dave BeBeau out of Glidden, who is also deer hunting.

I just started to reply when I spotted a deer coming my way. I put the phone down, the buck hung up 70 yards away and was looking at me and would not come any closer.

It was my lucky day when he looked backwards, gave me a shoulder shot and now I had me a beautiful six-pointer. Later that night Nate and I drank some beer by an awesome campfire and as we admired my trophy I proclaimed the tree that it was hanging in the Trophy Tree.

Sunday, Dec. 3

High 53, Low 24

Though it was warm today, it was cold last night and Nate and I were both paddling canoes at 5:10 this morning. I wanted a doe and Nate wanted a sevenpointer and a doe.

At 10:30 a.m. I had not seen a deer and began the paddle back to camp for lunch. Nate decided to hunt all day. I got lucky and jumped a flock of mallards and sent one to heaven which made Nate very happy as I was now winning in the duck bet as well.

After a big fat lunch and an awesome nap, I headed upstream with a trophy doe on my mind. I had just climbed into my tree when I heard Nate’s muzzleloader bark and was I ever happy. It turned out Nate was taking a snooze himself on the forest floor, woke up and saw a doe sneaking through the woods.

Nate was not meant to harvest a deer today but he sure had fun sitting by the Trophy Tree tonight and listening to my stories of how I made the shot on the buck and now the duck!

Nate and I paddled up the creek in the dark and the following morning in an incredible lightning and thunderstorm. I never saw a deer other than the buck I harvested and neither of us wanted this trip to end.

It was dangerous, dirty, exhausting and a total challenge!


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