I've never really done much of what I'm going to talk about today, but I do have a hunter friend who is constantly "rolling the dice," so to speak. I'm talking about Jerry Hnetynka. I would guess that he has been applying for various hunting licenses for the past 45 years. Like South Dakota, most states have a lottery system for their big game hunting tags. When one is unsuccessful at drawing a particular tag, he/she receives a preference point that may tilt the odds ever so slightly in their favor for future draws.
The most important thing going on in my life right now relates to my wife Betsy's latest fall. She broke her femur just below the screws and hardware that are part of a hip replacement. It will be nurse Roger and therapy for a few months. I can write about grizzly bears and crocodiles, but falls take out more hunters than anything else, not to mention spouses.
Those of us who ever took a general psychology class probably remember Ivan Pavlov's dog. Through classical conditioning, the dog was taught to involuntarily salivate at the sound of a tuning fork. Did you know that this same conditioning takes place in our great Northwest? When a rifle shot is fired, old Ursa Horribilis — the grizzly bear — has learned that game is probably down, and that an easy buffet might be readily available for the taking.
After hearing about my "Revenant" deer last week, or the deer that came to life, got up and ran away, you might be wondering if Jerry and I returned to that abandoned farm house for a second go round. We didn't. On the morning of Jan. 11th, I had a cataract removed from my left eye. On Tuesday the 12th, I returned to the doctor for a post-operative checkup. She instructed me to lay low for the rest of the week. With the season ending on Friday the 15th, my muzzleloader season was over.
Two weeks ago, I alluded to my Antlerless Muzzleloader Deer tag that was good through Jan. 15. A Mitchell area reader inquired about the possibility of a buck that had already shed its antlers being shot. It's a very good question.
Some big South Dakota deer were taken this past season. To date, the highest scoring deer was Austin Earley's Brookings County whitetail that officially measured 241-0/8 inches. It is a new state record for a non-typical whitetail taken by an archer.
I recently jumped into a situation where a new year's resolution goes hand in hand with a new year's destination. In the past I've written about me being too impetuous. I get some wild idea in my head and I move forward without much thought. Such was the case last fall. One of my favorite hunting adventure writers is Russel Annabel. I had been reading about an
On the morning of Sept. 15th, Doug Koupal, John Uecker and I drove to Devils Lake, N.D. The six-plus hour trip up Highway 281 was just under 400 miles from Wagner. It was the first time there for all of us, and because of their full schedules, we had different fishing guides hired for Wednesday and Thursday. I have heard that Devils Lake, all 25,000 square miles of it, might arguably offer the best all-around fishing in North America. We found that appraisal to be accurate.
In spite of our worldly problems, picky eaters annoy me. In last week's column, I mentioned hosting some out-of-town guests. These guests were thoughtful enough to present us with a gift—a jar of pickled eggs. Betsy, my beloved wife of 50 years, won't eat them. I can't figure this out. She likes eggs. She likes hard-boiled eggs. She likes pickled cucumbers, but she won't even try the eggs. What's the problem? Yes, it's more pickled eggs for me, but it still bugs me.
I was seated in the rear of my old Sea Nymph while Tom, a son-in-law, fished the side and grandson Sam fished the bow. We were over a weed bed that was 13 feet down. Half night crawlers were suspended by my two slip-bobber rigs when both bobbers dove under at the same time. I was having a heck of a good time! Regular column readers know we own a second home in Mount Horeb, Wis., where two of our daughters and their families reside. Readers often ask how I spend my Wisconsin time.