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Dick Ellis Blog:
7/16/2019
Kevin Wallenfang and his tournament winning, 46-inch musky just prior to release Fishing has been as hot as the weather for our circle of family and friends, and anglers participating in the 16th Annual Bob Ellis Row Trolling Classic. The Classic was started in 2003 by fishing guide Patricia Strutz to memorialize Bob Ellis, a legendary northern Wisconsin row troller inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2008 for his im...
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The 9-Day Sentence

By Darrell Pendergrass

I spent a lot of time in my tree stand this past deer season – a lot of time.

I’m sure people get sentenced to less jail time for minor crimes than I spent in the tree stand this year. Honestly. I spent more time up in the tree during the hunt than I did in some of the classes I took in college; which isn’t saying much I guess, but it’s true.

Was there a pay off for my efforts? No. There was not. Essentially I sat in my tree stand for the better part of every morning and afternoon of the nine-day gun season and have nothing to show for my efforts. I got out of having to do a lot of chores back at home under the guise of having gone hunting. Sure. You could count that. But no, I did not get a deer.

The plan heading into the season was a good one. Hunt bucks during the first few days, then, if nothing comes of that switch over to doe(s). The trail camera said there were a couple of little bucks hanging around, nothing substantial, but there were a few boys in the area. It seemed like a strategy that might work – bucks first; then doe(s).

I climbed aboard my tree stand on opening morning filled with a hunter’s enthusiasm for the new season. My eyes were bright, my faith renewed, and a youthful optimism was sweeping over me entirely. The forest around me seemed inviting and welcoming. The beautiful and warming sun was not quite up yet and the tell-tale sound of deer walking nearby musically lit in my ears. But, they were females.

It was still a wonderful first morning. The sun crept over the horizon, the temperatures were indeed warm. All was right and good.  First mornings are like that. It’s great just to be out here. A bad day of hunting beats a good day of hauling hay.

But, no bucks. Not then. Not that afternoon. And not the subsequent few days, either. In fact, the same two doe(s) kept coming around time after time.  Ok. Good. Those two are coming around; I’ll bag one of them here in a few days – you know – if no bucks come in. I’m sure a buck will come in. I’m sure.

After a few days perched in the tree my attitude changed a bit. To begin with the dang sun kept shining in my eyes every morning, nearly blinding me. The birds seemed a little too ‘cheery’ with their singing and generally happy attitudes. I’m sure the three giant squirrels frolicking in the bushes were actually taunting me with their actions. I hate squirrels now. Never did before.

You could say my attitude soured a bit.

Then it snowed. Good, I thought, peeking out the window of my home prior to turning in for the night, in the morning I’ll be able to see what’s around my stand. I’m sure my fortunes will change for the better.  I like snow.  I slept like a baby.

And sure enough, there was sign that deer had lingered around my deer stand during the snowy overnight hours. In fact, I imagined there was a deer convention right in my neck of the woods, judging from the amount of fresh tracks. Now, I know a couple of three deer can make a lot of footprints in the snow and make it look like more deer than there really is, but this was ridiculous. It actually looked like someone had organized a deer Olympics from the trails and circular raceways in the area.

Fine. Fine. No bucks are going to come in. I’ll switch to shooting a doe; I know I can do that. Those two deer will come in today and I’ll be done and I can go home and everything will be fine. Sounds like a plan.

No doe(s). What? No doe(s) from then on out. The same two stinking deer that had come in for seven days straight decided to wander off somewhere else. And I didn’t get a deer.

But I did serve out my sentence in the tree stand. Thankfully its over.

Darrell Pendergrass lives in Grand View.