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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 ...
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Calling All Toms, Catching All Walleyes….

The old man finally loosened his grip, except that he’s planning to slip his icy fingers around our necks again next week I understand.  I hate to be the bearer of bad weather news but it’s the truth.  He’s on his death bed anyway, and he can’t hold on long now. Warm breezes are just around the next roosting tree.

These first spring days are so welcome. It used to be the time to answer the chorus of a million frogs out from the deep sleep. Every kid on his way home from school and worth his muddy rubber boots would find every open pond and walk through it up to the knees, and over those boots, because it was there. 

I remember the Friday being so glad grandma was watching us for the weekend. With nice Valeska watching us and parental risk non-existent I didn’t even remove my new penny loafers before hitting the pond…

I didn’t know a grandma’s wooden spoon could sting the back that hard and I didn’t know it was even legal to throw a normal 8-year old in bed with the sun that high.  And Valeska obviously didn’t know that those paper balls crumpled and stuffed up the loafers’ toes will not stop leather shrinkage.

Now we’re big little boys and spring still calls. You’ll find Jim Olsson on our homepage video catching brown trout on the harbor.  You’ll find a teaser picture of the Tobin brothers taken on the Wisconsin River at the Dells this week that should send us all after spawning-run walleyes on your main vein of choice. You’ll find our usual guides and OWO outdoor writers posting their reports and stories. And you’ll find a lot more with a little look.

How about my own teaser?  You know I often talk about Phil Schweik, and how I don’t know anyone who catches more, big fish, of any Wisconsin species, than the Wausau area based guide. Thanks to an upcoming Kwik Trip contest, Schweik will be taking a couple of you guys or girls out on one of his fishing trip.  You will get the details in the May-June issue of On Wisconsin Outdoors which is currently in production and slated for the streets the last week in April.  But entering the contest will be easy and the potential payoff in the boat with Phil well worth the effort.

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Open water, hard water…Phil Schweik catches fish. 
Will Kwik Trip put you and a friend in a boat with the expert Wisconsin guide?

Don’t forget that by “liking” Kwik Trip Outdoors you could also be eligible to win a $100 gift card, click here for details.  Don’t forget either, that any of 252 Wisconsin Kwik Trip stores is one great place to pick up your copy of On Wisconsin Outdoors.  It’s also one great place for your food and gas before targeting Tom or those migrating fish.

Speaking of targeting Tom, that is personal spring favorite.  Are we good at something because we like it?  Or do we like something because we’re naturally good at it?

I’m not too talented at many things in the field.  Call me Mr. Average.  I like to say that those of us who cannot do in the field become outdoor writers and hit the field to place the spotlight on those who can.  Usually this is a good partnership, because the “those who cans” usually write like Jethro Boudine. Call that a pre-emptive strike.  These guys are friends…but so what?

Turkey calling is a different animal.  I taught myself to work the mouth call 20 years ago and tagged a 23 pound Tom the first morning out.  I was shocked the way Thomas came from the distant hills to my romance.  Since, I have called many gobblers to friends’ guns, had some of the most challenging and successful duels one and one that a hunter could hope for, and believe if it’s me against him…Tom is probably going to lose.

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This 23 pound gobbler answered an Ellis mouth call almost 20 years ago.
Taylor Ellis was obviously impressed with her Dad’s first Tom.

So my spring is set.  I will hunt gobblers in the hill and pasture country of southwest Wisconsin during period 3.  Then hunt the big woods for Thomas near Wausau period 4.  And some time in between watch every partner I’m with outfish me on the walleye waters.

Oh, that feels nice.  It’s spring.

Thanks for connecting with On Wisconsin Outdoors.  Shoot straight.

Dick Ellis