Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
It has occured to me that I haven't hunted in a couple of days. We've had more guests and guests come first. Besides it is better to sit and visit by the fire than sit by yourself freezing your tush in a deer stand.
It has been said that a deer camp hunts best on a full stomach. At least our camp does. Most Wisconsin camps are not known as appropriate venues for anyone watching their waistline very closely. Of course all of this caloric input is easily rationalized by plenty of fresh air, walking, deer dragging, butchering and so forth. I thought you readers might be interested in the ridiculous menu from the extended weekend. Naturally, wild fish and game figured chiefly in our diet. Here's a taste (pun intended) from field to table. Cheers!
As I type this post the fellas have been gone for amost three hours. The machine shed, the butchering tools and the house are spotless. And the dang place is so quiet as to be spooky. Just a moment ago the girls starting barking over a visitation from 'the haints'.
Two hunters were dragging their dead deer back to their truck. Another hunter approached pulling his along too.
The last week of September I arrowed a really nice fat doe and three days ago my pal Braumeister did the same. That's two deer in the freezer already and there's not even any snow flying. Things seem to be hitting their stride at the old deer camp this year.
The major ruckus of the big deer camp extravaganza is now behind. The last shot of camp was a snapshot miss by yours truly. There’s a big buck somewhere that is yucking it up over my poor marksmanship. Oh well.
My pal Braumeister, the blonde Lab and I are up at the farm bow hunting and hanging-out. It’s been raining steadily so the gardens are a sucking morass and the potatoes unharvested. Between torrential bouts of monsoons we did get the firewood stacked. Since I still cannot hunt and Brau still hasn’t gotten a deer we dined on grilled pork steaks from the local butcher.
Before some of you get your hopes up I have no immediate plans to checkout of this earthly realm anytime soon. I do have a bucket list of sorts that I've been working on. It isn't clearly defined so it changes frequently and both increases and shrinks with time. But like I said I've made some progress.
Let it be known that nobody has ever returned from deer camp, a South Dakota pheasant hunt or fish camp hungry. While the cast of characters may vary - one thing is certain - we're going to stack-up the deer, clobber the pheasants and limit-out on fish.
My earliest memory of fishing was getting up in the dark with my dad and picking-up grandpa and driving all the way to Port Washington to sit along the break wall with cane poles to catch perch. Sometimes the fishing was good. Sometimes not so good. Whether or not it was good or not so good a stop was made at Smith Brothers for smoked chubs for grandma.
I have a suspicion that the Tosa Food Pantry is going to be the beneficiary of some surplus garden produce this week. It has been a busy harvest so far.
This past weekend a bunch of us got together for an organized bike ride. Have I told you lately how well that new hip is working-out? Getting back in the saddle was - in a manner of speaking - just like remembering how to ride a bike.
With all the rancor, finger-pointing, name-calling, pontificating and just plain bad-vibes permeating Wisconsin's atmosphere lately sometimes the best medicine is seeking refuge in a turkey blind or the garden. Better yet - a boat. My pal Sid and I hit the bay yesterday seeking walleye.
As I've been getting back in my groove my buddy Braumeister and I have gotten back to shooting arrows once a week.
It was early Monday morning when Braumeister and I rolled-up to The Refuge to fetch our pheasants from the freezer. This was the close to a singularly memorable pheasant hunt for the usual gang.
Braumeister, Smokey Joe and I spent a quality weekend bow hunting - last weekend. We saw a pile of deer but nothing close enough to kill with a well-placed arrow.
Whoever wishes to hunt, I know where there is a deer. But don't count on me to ride it down with you. I no longer have the desire. The work it takes has made me very tired, and I am now farther behind in the chase than anyone else.
The ring-neck pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is the state bird of South Dakota.
For a spell I was concerned that the day job and some other projects had put a serious crimp on fall hunting opportunities.
It was recently that a coterie of deer camp, pheasant hunting and fishing buddies reconvened for some quality male-bonding time in the north woods.
Lawyer has been up here turkey hunting since last Wednesday afternoon. One of a succession of hunters turning their hand at gracing their Thanksgiving table with a wild bird.
Remember what I told you yesterday about the deer I shot that had an ear tag? Seems that lots of people are interested in the deceased deer that we affectionately refer to as Number 24. Especially how she got here.
NewGuy is in his stand in the swamp and glances over his shoulder. There is a deer at twenty paces giving him the evil eye.
Many, many years ago when my wife and I were first courting I had occasion to attend her nephew's confirmation at a local Lutheran Church.
If you are traveling west-bound on I-90 toward South Dakota - if you take a right turn at Sioux Falls and head north to Brookings at about the 540 mile mark your stomach will probably begin to growl.
Girlfriend and I hit the road before sun-up today and are making our way to the mecca of ringnecks.
More rain this morning - precisely at shooting time. But not as cold.
Things were looking rather grim this morning. Gray skies, 40 degrees and rain.
The boys and I are safely ensconced in deer camp. Lawyer, Sid, Mennonite and Braumeister. Girlfriend is the only person of the female persuasion around.
Last weekend some Tosa curling buddies and I went on a short road trip to represent the Waukesha Curling Club at a Men's Bonspiel in Pardeeville, WI.
Last weekend I set out on an annual summer pilgrimage - my 16th consecutive one - riding the Scenic Shore 150 on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Wisconsin. This is a two-day bike trek from Mequon to Sturgeon Bay that raises funds for blood related cancer research and patient services.
There is an old saying about a bad day of fishing being better than a good day at work. I'm not so sure about that since I happen to love both.
For details on the winning submission go to the bottom of the post-
This post comes to you remotely from somewhere in the Republic of Texas where I have been enjoying a brief vacation followed-on by day-job business.
The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters held their annual Conservation Lobby Day in Madison on Wednesday.
Rain today. Nothing moving - not even the chickadees or woodpeckers. An altogether appropriate day to cut-up deer.
Back at it. Out in the stands before sun-up. Cold - 28 degrees and so still you can hear a pin drop.
Up at 4:30 AM. We scarf coffee, oatmeal and donuts. We head-out in the dark to settle into our stands long before sunrise.
I arrived last night around 11 PM. Stoked the wood burner and unwound with a book and the Cowboy Junkies playing softly in the background.
Last weekend I had an opportunity to participate in some outstanding upland bird hunting.