I have two pretty miserable stories that have altered my ways forever. One happened when I was young and just decided I wanted to try bow hunting. I'm from Appleton and gun hunt in the north woods. I wanted to find something closer to town to hunt. I started driving around since at that time I didn't have internet, DNR mapping of MFL lands, or other cool tools at my disposal that we have now. I came across a big swamp near Black Creek that looked to have deer all over it, (judging by fields and shining). So after asking for permission at a few farms and being turned down I come to this house with a sign that said "Buck and Duck" club. I went up and knocked and this older woman answered the door. Shorten it up a bit she allowed 25 guys to hunt 540 acres, any hunting they wanted as there were a few fields and marsh. The cost was I think $400 or $600 which was a lot of money for me at the time. But she had one opening and let me walk the property. I took a printed map from her and walked it. I WAS DONE! I jumped and saw a few deer on my walk and saw trails through the property that were like nothing I'd ever seen before. I came back and paid her later that week..... So I started hunting it. In a ladder stand I built. I ran into a few guys at the parking lot. There was another kid bout my age 21 22 ish.... He was cool to me. NO ONE else was. Very cold right from the start. In fact after I hunted my new ladder stand a few times I came out to find it was cut into pieces and in a pile under my tree. I thought I had zeroed in on someone elses "spot" and so I bought a very heavy but more mobile climber.... I ran into a few guys and found out that they were all either related or worked together. I was one of just a couple odd men out, and obviously not welcome.... There were a few times when I was hunting an area that a guy would walk past me and shoot a shotgun, YELL at me "Hows the hunting?", or break branches and talk to himself. One time I moved off of the farm lane to let a car pass me as I had a 4x4 truck and it was wet. I got stuck coming in. They were headed out..... Gave me the finger and laughed. I had to call someone to help me from Appleton. I continued to hunt there for maybe a month. I became very bummed about the whole thing as it was the best deer hunting I had ever dreamed of, but then worst deer hunting experience of my life. I decided to just leave. They won. So Now I am 42 years old and to any a-hole that was in the gruenwald duck and buck club around 1994 I can truly say that because of how I was treated out there, I will always take the high road, offering to hunt the other side of the road, move down to the next spot, or let you have your selection. Because I will never make hunting a bad experience for another individual like these guys did to me. I learned a valuable lesson about their greed, their fears, and just how bad it can be to be an outsider to some people. I will never be that guy.
The next story happened to me just a few years ago.... I stumbled across 40 acres of MFL land surrounded by private. This was not in amazing deer country but it was in a unit that I could get a doe permit that was close enough to my cabin where I could not shoot a doe. It was only my first year of bow hunting after having quit since the bad experience I had being younger. I met the land owner and he was very nice and even walked me around the property. He showed me where the other guy had a couple ladder stands on the swamp side of the property. Said he and his son mainly gun hunted it. I thanked him and decided My girlfriend and I would try to stay on the other side of the property.... We hunted it a few times and saw deer every time. One night my girlfriend did not hunt with me. I came out of the woods on a Sunday night and the land owners were not at the cabin any more (from Milwaukee). But there was another pickup parked next to me. I immediately figured it was the other guy who hunted there and figured he was still in the woods. I thought maybe he shot something and would like some help since it was well after dark. All of a suddon the door flies open on his truck and he jums out and gets right into my face! He says "How long you planning on f-ing up this land before you move on"? I backed up a step.... Still having my climber on back and bow in hand. I could smell alcohol on him.... I tried to get my stand off my back and replied by reminding him that not only was this public but I did speak to the owner and had blessings to hunt there... He came at me again and said he didn't give a rip, that he has hunted there for 12 years and it was his spot and I should move on. About that time I notice a buddy in the truck with him. Now I'm terrified. So I back down and call it good. I explain that I want no trouble and I was just trying to check out some close by spots and if this is the way he wants it I don't need trouble. SO I get packed in a hurry and leave and He Starts to follow me right on my a$$. SO instead of going to my cabin I drive into the next small town and go into the bar. He sits across from the bar for about 2 minutes. Then he left. I had a soda and left..... The next weekend I go back there to talk to the land owner. He was not there but his wife was home. I asked her if she would have the hubby call me. She obliged and asked if I would be hunting that evening. I then gave her a little of the story and said I didn't want trouble. SHe fished the whole story out of me and she was PI$$ED! Told me the husband would call me. SO that Sunday night I get a call. I answer. IT"S DUDE! He politely asks for me. he says (nice as could be) hey its Scott from the land on XXX. Um I think I may have over reacted the other night and I just wanted to say that after I thought about it I'd like to say I'm sorry and you are welcome to hunt there....I threw a few jabs and questions at him and turns out the land owners told HIS WIFE the whole story. SHE Kicked his but and told him if he treated people like this she wouldn't let him hunt. So he down played it all to me but I began punching him with questions like "How would you feel if somebody did this to our son or daughter while they hunted one night"? And How do you think I felt when I saw you buddy in the truck and realized I was in the middle of NOWHERE with 2 drunk a-holes? He kissed my but for about 20 minutes on the phone when I finally called it even....I went back there for another hunt one day...That day the neighbor on the private land next to me saw me getting into a tree, rode his 4 wheeler over to the property line (about 100 yds away from me), lit a cigarette and yelled to me "Are ya seeing any deer"? I got down and that was the last time I ever hunted something like a 40 acre parcel.
I now stay away from fences, private, and people. I hunt for the strategy, the nature, the peace, and the serenity. No animal is worth turning into that kind of a person to me. I do this with my son. I try to show him sportsmanship, courtesy, and respect. We have had a deer cart and climber stolen off of my truck while parked on a highway. It was brand new. I hope you get good use out of it you poor soulless, egotistical, poor excuse of a human. I do not miss the money enough to let it ruin my motives for this sport. Lets face it... Venison is about the most expensive meat in this state. But worth every penny.