Submit your Email to receive the On Wisconsin Outdoors Newsletter.

Our Sponsors:

Milford Hills

Archie Monuments

Wolf River Taxidermist

Daves Turf and Marine

Kwik Trip

Dick Ellis Blog:
10/9/2019
Fall brings with it something for everyone in the field from the angler to the hunter.  Just a few recent sessions of shooting the bull tell me that autumn is for the youngest of outdoorsman just learning the games to those of us more seasoned with our eyes focused dead ahead on for example, the whitetail rut. James Wallace captured this great buck on trail camera during summer scouting. James Wallace, my nephew-in-law (is there such a ...
...Read More or Post a Comment Click Here to view all Ellis Blogs

OWO

Waukesha Truck Accessory store and service, truck bed covers, hitches, latter racks, truck caps

Kwik Trip

OWO

Kwik Trip

OWO

OWO

OWO and Kwik Trip

OWO and Kwik Trip

OWO

OWO and Kwik Trip

OWO

/Content/files/Sponsors/Summer.jpg

OWO

OWO

Kwik Trip

Kwik Trip

Kwik Trip

/Content/files/Sponsors/BuckysBanner-nov-dec2012.png

Bob's Bear Bait

OWO and Kwik Trip

Kwik Trip

OWO and Kwik Trip

Kwik Trip

OWO

/Content/files/Sponsors/AdvertiseBrown.png

OWO

OWO

Gary Greene's Memories from an Old Hunter............#12

The year was 1958 and for the second year in a row, the Milwaukee Braves were in the World Series. The year before, the Braves were world champions, and at age six, I just started following our baseball team.

That October of 1958, my parents took me out of school for a week in Canada. It kind of was a family vacation as we went as a family and a dog plus one. The one was my dad’s hunting partner Wayne and he drove in a separate car. Traveling in the trunk of our car was King, my dad’s Chesapeake Bay retriever. The objective of our trip was for my dad and Wayne to get in as much waterfowl hunting as they could, while my mom kept me occupied with things to do.  Where in Canada we were is a mystery to me.

On Wisconsin Outdoors

 In 1958 Canada: Gary's father, Tom Greene in red with his hunting partner Wayne, Greene's Chesapeake King and numerous ducks.

After each morning’s hunt, the men came back draped with numerous ducks. The only ducks I recall were Mallards, but there might have been other species as well. At a later age, when I became a hunter, I observed that King was an accomplished duck dog.

In the school yard adjacent to our home, because I was too young, I remember my dad hiring local teenagers to throw distant bumpers for King to find and retrieve. My dad always trained his own dogs and they performed well, but I do remember that he was very physical with his training. The dog training was so physical, that I didn’t care to watch.  For years, in the magazine rack, (Yes, every home had one) there was an old, with torn jacket barely intact, dog training manual. Periodically, because it was always there, I would pick it up and read various sections. I must have read several parts repeatedly, because I still remember certain training techniques, or possibly my dad retold me those techniques so often that I would never forget.  I learned that my dad’s hunting dog was a one man’s dog and he should not be played with.  Also, he should be left outside so not to ruin his smelling ability and so that he gets accustomed to current weather conditions. Regarding hunting dogs, those were well accepted training theories of that day. Today, we have five hunting labs living in our house, and they are all family members and they do just fine in all types of hunting and weather conditions.

Back in 1958 Canada, I recall us driving around searching the fields and potholes for ducks. When ducks were spotted, the cars would stop and the men would jump out and load up.  I remember them on all fours, like King next to them, crawling up the long hills of plowed fields. When reaching the peak, I can still see them on their knees firing as the ducks took to the air. I don’t recall a time that they ever came back empty handed.

My mom took a picture of Wayne and my dad with King and the ducks. In that picture, there seems to be more than a two man limit of birds. I attempted to find out what the limits were in 1958, but I was unable to find that information.  I count at least 22 ducks in that picture. I found that today, Canada’s daily limit is eight ducks. I mentioned earlier that I only remember Mallards, but there appears to be a Bull Canvasback or two in that picture and a couple of birds that I can’t identify. Since it was October, all the ducks were a very healthy size with full plumage. I also wanted to note that my Dad had a cigarette in his mouth. I don’t recall many times my dad didn’t have one there. I also remember that his first two fingers on his right hand were yellow and there was an indention between those fingers where that cigarette fit real snug. With me, smells that I might not have experienced for decades can bring back distinct, previously forgotten memories. On a break in the field, when I’m guiding pheasant hunters, a few hunters will light up cigarettes. For me, that unpleasant odor floating on a breeze mixed with the sweet smells of autumn will bring my thoughts right back to a 1960’s hunt with my father. When walking and pheasant hunting, he always hunted with a lit cigarette in his mouth. Another aspect of those hunts that amazes me is that we never brought water along for us or the dogs. The dogs had to fend for themselves.

On Wisconsin Outdoors

Gary with his snazzy matching coat and cap with their dog King and the Canadian ducks. (1958)

There is a second picture of me with King and those ducks. Please note that I was wearing a snazzy matched set of coat and cap with ear flaps. It must have been cold, as I was bundled up.

While the men were pursuing ducks, to pass the time, my mom and I went hunting for souvenirs and ironically hand fed ducks at the local park. I remember being intrigued with the Canadian coins with their outdoor themed beaver, caribou, canoe, and totem pole figures. During that World Series, we didn’t miss a televised Brave’s game and that was quite difficult to do. There were very few TV’s to be found, our hotel had none, and I emphasize hotel. We stayed at a downtown hotel, because there were no motels. My mom and I had to go to a tavern to watch the games. I remember feeling out of place as we were the only woman and boy in that facility.

October 9th when we left Canada, it was game seven of the World Series. Previously, our Braves had a 3-1 game lead over the Mickey Mantle lead New York Yankees and needed only one more win to repeat as world champions. While we were in Canada, they lost games five and six, so now the series was tied at three wins a piece.  On the way home while listening to that final game, I remember crying in the back seat of our 1957 Plymouth Fury as our Braves lost late in game seven. It was a long, tearful ride home.

After the Packers blew that last quarter, playoff game lead against Seattle in 2015, I had a brief article published in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel. I wrote about that 1958 ride home and how that painful memory is as clear today as it was then, but now the Packers have helped ease that pain with this new, 2015 pain.