Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System

Went to Wisconsin

TOGIE

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I promised a write-up, so a write up you all will get. Aptly named as the culminating chapter to my previous thread titled Going to Wisconsin.

This hunt began with a family reunion on my wife's side of the family that occurred in southern Wisconsin, summer of 2022. My wife's mom grew up on a dairy farm out there and her sisters husband still own's a farm that he now leases to what would be his nephew. It is this man's (my mother in law's brother) second youngest son who I will call the big time hunter in the family out there. They all hunt, of course, but he's the one who is "into" it. Everyone else primarily does the traditional Thanksgiving week rifle hunt. An affair that is more about the culture of an annual hunt than really being concerned with the hunting itself. Of course, they all get deer every year, but more in the sense that it is the tradition for everyone to get a deer every year, they care less about getting the deer, and care more about the fact that they simply go hunt every year.

This man's son, who would be my cousin in law, my wife's cousin, is into it. He's the midwest version of most of us avid western hunters. We constantly are thinking about hunting, thinking about spots, thinking about tactics and strategies, where to go, where to apply, networking with other hunters who think like us, and just generally never shut the #*^@#* up about hunting. He's more like me, but a tried and true Wisconsinite who lives and breathes his whitetail lifestyle.

We hit it off at the reunion. It didn't take long for the "you should really come out here one of these fall's for a hunt" to come out of his mouth. I kept that in the back of my mind, knowing I would love to, but would have to a figure out a fall that would fit with own hunting, and not the least, personal life plans and commitments.

I started texting this summer about the possibility and he said come on out. I told him I would be planning on archery. Primarily because it would work with my schedule more and primarily, he's the only guy who is "into" it; he is the only one in the family who does archery and so of all the properties available to us, either in the family or that he's secured permission on, it would be just us. I wouldn't be inserting myself into the big family affair that occurs the week of Thanksgiving. It didn't feel my place (not that they wouldn't have me with open arms, it is the midwest after all) but as is the nature of most people, you don't want to upset other's systems and dynamics.

This would be my first time truly archery hunting. I felt it best to cut my teeth on archery hunting this way. It sure is an easier start than the wild world of western spot and stalk archery, but as will be obvious, it still isn't easy.
 
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So after the wonderful State of Wisconsin literally throwing tags at my face without me even asking for them for pennies on the dollar, I struck out for Wisconsin on Halloween, hoping to arrive with the rut starting to swing into action.

My wife, baby, MIL, and FIL would be flying out the next morning. Remember, this is the midwest and my plans to come out hunting quickly morphed into another mini family reunion where my location would be yet another epicenter of famly gathering to visit with the broken-off-from-the-family Coloradans and meet the new member of my little family.

13.5ish hour drive. Rounding it to 15 hours with bathroom breaks and meals.

I love being on the road and getting to have an excuse to gorge on fast food.


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Runza in Kearney. Fastfood krautburgers, excellent regular burgers, and hot hot hot crunchy salty fries. Love this place.
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Got myself some Halloween candy along the route to try and feel a little festive.
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The setting sun. When you left the house before the sun was up and you find yourself on the road as the sun is setting is not something I experience much. I feel for you passionate western hunters that live east of the Mississippi.

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Made it Cedar Rapids and I was hungry. Noticed a sign that is plenty familiar in Colorado and I had to stop. Raising Canes. I staple from hungover Saturday's in college.
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I arrived around 10:30 pm to my MIL's sister and her husbands house. The warm midwestern welcome was palpable and in all ways wonderful. I had two very miserable nights sleep before leaving and I was beyond running on fumes. A truly warm welcome was remarkably nice.

I was made aware of the body wash I was supposed to use for my morning shower.
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I then quickly hit the sack with only plans for an evening hunt after getting meeting up with my cousin in law and getting acquainted with the properties. I accidentally slept for 10 hours. It's been years, literal years, like probably more than 5 years, since I slept that long and it was amazing.
 
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I meandered out of my room and was greeted with a place setting for me at the counter and a hot cup of coffee. I then sat there sipping coffee and chatting with my extended in laws while eggs were made, toast was toasted, jars of homemade jam were popped, and my coffee was topped off without ever going empty. Again, the midwest vibes are beyond palpable.

I then quickly got to taking my scentless shower. Now, as much as I think it's coo coo, like i said, I'm not here to mess with people's dynamic's and systems or especially have an argument with anyone about how I believe a deer or elk that's gonna smell ya, is gonna smell ya no matter what you do or don't do to prevent it. But I digress. I took my scentless shower and met up with my cousin in law.

He showed me the property across the street that he has permission on and we set up another tree stand. I would never end up sitting in this one. I sat in the other one already set up on this property.


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After causing a ruckus on this property our plan was to go hunt the family farm for the evening. My first midwest whitetail sit was about to begin. I'd take a couple shots with a practice broadhead when we got to the property to make sure the bow stayed true in transit.

My wife, the baby, and her parents would be landing in Madison not long after I got up in the stand for the evening hunt.
 
Having never sat in a tree stand before it was nice that my first sit would actually be in a ladder stand. If there are gradations of tree stand hunting, it seems to me that this is the beginners stand.

Easy to get in to, cozy, a bar that swings down from behind you and lays across in front of you. Still, plenty high. Feeling especially so when on a slope and the ground falls away from you quickly in front of you with the opposite effect when looking behind you.

I made multiple texts to cousin in law throughout the summer to ensure that he had extra harnesses. I would go in no stand of any kind anywhere without one. Luckily, he's on top of it and operates the same way.

With an extra set of antlers to rattle with in hand, by about 3:20 pm I managed to be embarking on my first every midwest white tail stand sit.

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Being a born and raised Colorado kid, my dad being a born and raised Colorado kid, and my mom's side of the family all coming out of Wyoming I'm a western guy through and through. The midwest is a whole new world to me.

There are the obvious things related to hunting that stick out: "8-pointers and 6-pointers" instead of "4x4s" and "3x3s" and one that stuck out to me is the usage of female deer in a manner that only seems most relatable to mass noun usage, e.g. "couple of doe" or "i saw 5 or 6 doe runnin' across that field," whereas I would just use the plural form of of doe by throwing an "S" on the end: does. Euro mounts seem nonexistent out here. You either get a shoulder mount or a skull cap, there really seems to be no in between.

And of course, the naming of deer. All the big honorable deer in the house have a name and, as is obvious, these deer had a name well before they were ever shot. There were stories of how the hunter had a big stand off with the deer during archery and the deer got the slip on the hunter and the hunter returned victorious during rifle season when the deer made a mistake.

It's a new hunting culture out here, and I felt out of place and struggled to relate.

However, it was a new lense to look through and that was good. It felt strange to me, but let's be honest, I liked it.
 
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The setting sun. When you left the house before the sun was up and you find yourself on the road as the sun is setting is not something I experience much. I feel for you passionate western hunters that live east of the Mississippi.
This will literally be me Friday. Heading out somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 AM from Texas with my hunting partner to make it to the @Dsnow9 Residence by 6 PM to eat dinner with him and the fam.
 
We'll just call my cousin-in-law my cousin at this point, it's easier to type.

I asked him questions on tactics, when to grunt, when to rattle, and why. He had plenty of his own ideas and theories as to why, when, and why it works when it does, but he conceded he doesn't fully know if he's right all the time, always ending with "at least that's my theory, anyway."

I very quickly realized that just like how in western hunting with steep hiking, long miles, thermals, changing weather, long glassing sessions, and stalking opportunities you really need to have your gear dialed to be efficient and productive. It slapped me hard that you also really need to have your gear dialed to sit in a stand.

I was not dialed. My clothing was not suited to tree stand hunting and I ultimately just had to resort to wearing a horrendous amount of layers to remain comfortable. The obvious solution is a bulky set of overalls. A properly sized pack to haul up there with you, which I did not have. And many myriad random things that made me realize that I gotta think about this a little bit before hand and make some changes next time I come up.

It honestly felt like being a visitor to a foreign country. Constantly tripping over little things that make your journey difficult that to anyone else is just the obvious way to be and do things.
 
I sat in my ladder stand immediately enjoying the quiet. Eager to hear something slinking through the woods and hopefully coming under me. It only took me 30 minutes to get antsy and I decided to do some rattling.

I finish up rattling and get back to sitting. Just enjoying looking around.

The edge of the corn was the spot to be watching, it was the highway for deer through here, and very well set up for my left handed shooting. I really kept an eye on this, behind me to my right and equal glancing behind me to my left.

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Below me were some game trails that also held high likelihood of deer travel. This stand was in a common spot for deer to transition from one side of the property from the other. At the bottom of this hill was a bean field, cut long ago, that, in a direct line below me was also a common traveling corridor for deer. Directly perpendicularly down from me to the edge of the bean field was a scrape and a rub and a trail from that leading right up to my stand.

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Not 10 minutes since rattling I hear a twig snap and my own head whips down and to my left on the hillside falling down below in front me. A young 3x3 err, sorry, 6 pointer had oh so quietly snuck in and was standing barely 10 yards away from me and down to my left.

Holy shit that happened fast. And he snuck up on my like a ghost.

Like most of my hunting, I'm good with any legal animal. However, I honestly didn't want to shoot my buck in the first 40 minutes of the first 1st sit after a 15 hour drive. I truly wanted to experience some midwest whitetail hunting. I actually felt some pretty severe tension here, but I remembered I still had doe tags, 3 of them for crying out loud, 2 of them were free, the other one cost about as much as an application fee in Colorado. So, I would be able to keep hunting.

I managed to quietly grab my bow and attach my release, arrow was already preloaded, taking the utmost of care to move at glacial speeds. I was ready to draw. Only problem, standing behind brush. He only needed to walk several more feet forward while already broadside and i'd have a shot.

He was standing right here facing to the right:
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He stood for probably another 60 seconds. You could tell he was confused as there had definitely just been rattling up here, yet there were no sights or smells or sounds of deer anywhere.

It felt that he just stood there, contemplating the oddity. Finally, as if he shrugged his shoulders and said "huh, whatever" he flicked his tail a little and took a hard 90 degree turn left and sauntered down the hill side straight to the scrape. No shot opportunities presented.

He dug around a little, got up on his hind legs a little to tangle the brush above the scrape, and wandered off.

Boy that was cool. I was feeling good, first sit, first hour, first rattle, and a buck came right in. This should be a good few days of hunting!

I was feeling confident.
 
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Not two hours later I catch movement to my right. Two does have emerged in a clearing some 70-80 yards away headed in my direction. I figured there must be a buck in tow, but could not see one. I got real hopeful. They turned uphill into some brush and disappeared for about 5 minutes. I started to wander if they had turned around and wandered off.

Then, I catch antlers farther down along the edge of the corn, he walk a little further and I can tell he's a bigger buck than before, and he's headed right towards me and will walk right in front of the tree that marks the 20 yard shot area.

This is when I felt that twang of excitement that i've almost never felt as a hunter. The buck feverish feeling of nervousness and excitement that manifests as slight shaking and heavy breathing. I wasn't shaking, but you could feel the shakiness in my body. Holy crap I don't know if I've ever felt such a thing in my life while hunting, this was really getting exciting.

Once again, I glacially get my bow ready and I have enough between me and him to stand up and get ready, knowing exactly where to stop him and let loose an arrow. I'm then reminded as I stand and turn with my bow that the wind is ever so slighting hitting the back of my neck.

He makes it to what would about the 35 yard tree and stops dead in his tracks and just stands there, nearly totally hidden save for a slight view of antlers poking out from the close side of the tree. He stand there for another 30 seconds and semi slowly turns and walks away with a slight skip in his step.

Damn.

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Yeesh, I was starting to feel very confident. Such close call opportunities on the first sit. This would surely come together.

The rest of the sit proved uneventful, save for a beautiful Wisconsin sunset. Time to get back to the house and meet up with the rest of the family and squeeze that little boy of mine and my wife.

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This is when I felt that twang of excitement that i've almost never felt as a hunter. The buck feverish feeling of nervousness and excitement that manifests as slight shaking and heavy breathing. I wasn't shaking, but you could feel the shakiness in my body. Holy crap I don't know if I've ever felt such a thing in my life while hunting, this was really getting exciting.
That right there is why I almost exclusively archery hunt. I don't recall ever having that feeling when pulling a rifle trigger. And I still get that feeling after nearly 50 years of hunting with my bow. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
 
That right there is why I almost exclusively archery hunt. I don't recall ever having that feeling when pulling a rifle trigger. And I still get that feeling after nearly 50 years of hunting with my bow. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
Same here. When your heart is beating so loudly in your head that you can't hear anything else, it makes it hard to want to pick up a rifle!

The doe instead of does must be a Wisconsin thing. MN, ND, and IA people I know all say does!

Enjoying the story!
 
Nor’dern Wiscahnsin here, and it’s does for us.

Great read so far. Making me look forward to the weekend, more than usual.
 
I take it you like our ambush style of deer hunting? Makes the heart beat a little louder.

i sure do.

as i've been thinking about it today, i wonder if perhaps the same feeling has existed for me in my hunting in colorado and wyoming. maybe the difference is you just don't notice it because when you finally get yourself in position for a shot your most often just trying to calm yourself down from busting your ass up some hill or crawling through the grass and rocks after topping some hill. you've been so focused on the stalk the mind is just too preoccupied and the body already maxed out to notice the other and different heightened state of your mind and body as your moving into kill something.

who knows.

but it sure as hell is pronounced and has one hell of a noticeable effect when you've been sitting in absolute silence for several hours and all of the sudden you hear that branch snap that is unmistakably no squirrel dicking around.
 
i sure do.

as i've been thinking about it today, i wonder if perhaps the same feeling has existed for me in my hunting in colorado and wyoming. maybe the difference is you just don't notice it because when you finally get yourself in position for a shot your most often just trying to calm yourself down from busting your ass up some hill or crawling through the grass and rocks after topping some hill. you've been so focused on the stalk the mind is just too preoccupied and the body already maxed out to notice the other and different heightened state of your mind and body as your moving into kill something.

who knows.

but it sure as hell is pronounced and has one hell of a noticeable effect when you've been sitting in absolute silence for several hours and all of the sudden you hear that branch snap that is unmistakably no squirrel dicking around.
You have a way with wording feelings and this nails it exactly comparing the stalk hunt to the ambush hunt. Well done.
 
PEAX Trekking Poles

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