Blogger Steve Meurett ponders the meaning of 'trophy' in today's hunting atmosphere.
- Dec. 4, 2013
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Blogger Steve Meurett ponders the meaning of 'trophy' in today's hunting atmosphere.
I know I've preached the gospel of Fatbikes for more than three years and I have no intention of letting up, but they are just too fun!
Just the other day I posted a story on missing my first Wisconsin deer gun season. Hip surgery just three days prior to the opener would keep me in the hospital or recuperating at home on crutches for two months. A deer hunt with family would have to wait til next fall.
The thermometer is hovering at just above zero this morning, the opener of the 2013 gun season. Normally, I’d be fretting. I'd be worrying if I have enough layers, if my backpack is loaded with essentials for the day and/or if I’d even make it through the day. I might even wonder if I’d see deer.
In all my adult years, and even those of a boy venturing out into the woods each fall, I’ve never had so few footsteps afield. Not because I’ve lost my passion for it, rather this 53 year old body is starting to show it’s age and not letting me out the door as often.
Duck Hunters wear waders because of the stories they tell.
In a chapter in 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' Tom convinces several friends he meets that whitewashing a fence is great pleasure. With a bit of bargaining, Tom negotiates and collects a small stash of treasure from each boy who passes by in exchange for the privilege of working on the fence. Tom reflects that all it takes to make someone want something is to make it hard to get.
A beach in Clark County?
Just when one thought about every wheel size for bicycles had been invented, ridden, discarded and finally settled on, another player shows up on the field. The 29+.
“My favorite thing to do is to go where I’ve never been.”
Each year for ten additions mountain bikers have gathered at a prime trail system somewhere in the state for a weekend of fun, camaraderie and always at the heart, riding bikes.
It happens every year about now and most would miss it-one has to spend many hours in the woods to catch on and be reminded of what is to come. It’s the sound of fall. Not anything loud and in your face, like fall colors, but rather just subtle things that you pick up on and think, “Oh yeah, it’s almost here, autumn is around the corner.”
Yes, I know ... Isle Royale isn’t technically in Wisconsin, but sitting out in the middle of Lake Superior, just 75 miles from our northern most point (Outer Island, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore) I figured was close enough and within the realm of Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com. Besides, doesn’t it count if all of us adventurers are ‘scononites?
It was time. A long sought after rainy afternoon- a rare day this summer, cool and wet “forced” me into the garage for a 3 hour date with organizing and cleaning the man cave. My garage has racks for bikes, space for gardening, a corner for straps, bungies and extension cords and plenty of car and truck oil to be recycled.
“Oxbow: A U-shaped body of water formed when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off to create a lake.”
"Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying."
There are things in life that kind of sit and brew in the mind for years, things that keep being put on the back burner until time or circumstance at some point, bring it forward. 1,200 miles. That’s an impressive number and when tied to the length of a trail, it’s pretty remarkable by any standard.
There is a simple joy in having the chance to get out and do a relaxing ride, where there is no need to rush here or there afterwards. Every once and a while I get one of those rides. Sometimes exploring trail alone is a good thing too. Soft pedaling when you want to, stopping at anytime just because and riding singletrack that don’t always make the “must-do” list are possibilities when there is only one rider making those choices.
“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.” - Doug Larson
I once wrote about the “in-between season” before snow arrives where one changes outdoor equipment, bikes to shotguns, shotguns to skis. In the “spring” it usually reverses and skis are traded back to bikes or turkey guns or bows. With the advent of fat bikes, the two wheels were never tucked away, and ran right alongside the skinny skis more or less.
I hope I never reach an age where nature doesn’t surprise me. It hasn’t, and maybe that’s why if given the choice between spending a day inside, no matter what the weather, or outdoors, I’ll always take the latter. There are always little things to discover in Nature or maybe a new way of revealing itself. I’ve always hunted and fished, so I think I’ve been in tune with the outdoor world and getting older I’m appreciating any and all time I can spend there.
The holy grail of cross country skiers-skate skiers, are the few rare days, sometimes just hours…..each spring known as “Crust Skiing.” Until this “spring” I’d never considered that as something any other sport might long for. I was wrong. Enter “Crust Biking”.
This winter has been long. And I love winter. I love the snow, the crispness on my face, the cleanness of the white, the quiet of the season. As Ruth Stout put it:
We’ve all done it. We see some of the same people at a trailhead from time to time, even recognizing their vehicle or their bike or the skis they snap into, but for whatever reason, we fail to introduce ourselves.
The Fatbike scene is not going away and there is more than enough interest among fatbike riders to gather together as frequently as possible to pound the pedals. We organized a small fatbike race last winter to provide that opportunity and brought it back, with double the entrants this year again.
First of all-is it “Snowbike,” Snow bike,” “Fatbike,” “Fat Bike”or “FatBike???” All of the above? I guess in writing about the big bikes, I’ve used about every version and now in winter, I tend to go the snowbike route in my descriptions. In any regard, they are the big bikes with big tires that love to go places normal bikes fear to tread (pun intended). So where are those places to ride, those trails and how do they get there?
A recent trail editorial addresses some of the issues the booming Fat bike craze brings to trail systems. Great comments here as well-check them out!
Blogger Steve Meurett is a cross-country skiing coach for the Special Olympics team representing the United States at the World Games in South Korea this winter. Below are a series of reports written by Meurett over the last week:
As it happens so many times for me, a photograph often spurs a thought or an interest-it shouldn’t be a surprise, I tend to be a visual person. That was the case when I was treated to the image taken by Wisconsin DNR pilot Beverly Paulan during a recent wildlife survey flight. Before I even closely identified what was in the image, I was struck by the composition, the color and patterns in the winter scene (the photographer in me I suppose).
I had an interesting conversation with an older gentleman recently who had just finished up a fat bike ride on our packed singletrack trails at Levis Mound. He talked of his early days skiing at Levis at a time when there were few trails, no facilities and no grooming. The good old days? He asked when I started volunteering here and if I’d skied some of the old treacherous goat trails we had at that time (I had) and how I came to work there.
What a difference a year makes.
Here is a link to my favorite images of the past year-a retrospective of photographs that in one way or another worked their way into the top of the list.
We're in the midst of a major winter storm today-heavy snow and blowing wind-perfect time to reflect on the past year! The Levis Mound trail system is located in south west Clark County in the 133,000 acre county forest. It hosts one of the premier cross country ski and mountain bike trails in the Midwest. It's also home to some breathtaking scenery, comprised of towering sandstone bluffs, surrounding pine and mixed forest and nearby lakes and rivers.
Sportsman’s rummage/trade sale: The Fox Valley Muzzleloaders of east central Wisconsin is holding a rummage and trade sale, which features used sporting equipment for hunting, fishing, trapping, camping and more at Crystal Falls Ballroom, 1500 Handschke Drive, New London from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $3 for adults. Children 12 and younger are free with an adult. For more information, visit foxvalleymuzzleloaders.com. More events | Events map
Fly fishing seminar: Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited will offer a program on fly fishing for walleyes on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Guide Bill Sherer of Boulder Junction will discuss techniques and equipment needed to catch walleyes on a fly. The program is free and will be held at the Fin ‘N Feather in Winneconne at 7:30 p.m. For more information visit http://www.cwtu.org. More events | Events map
Ice fishing show: This event will feature ice fishing accessories, destinations, how-to seminars and more from up to 100 exhibitors. Open Friday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Patriot Center in Rothschild. Admission is $6, children 12 and under are free. For more information visit http://icefishingshow.com/.More events | Events map
Fur auction: The auction will be held in two rounds at Maribel Sportsmen's Club, exit 164 off of Highway 43. The first round will be held from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. with round two from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The auction is sponsored by district 8 of the Wisconsin Trapper’s Association. There will be door prize raffles and a cash raffle and a District 8 WTA business meeting. Wisconsin Trapper’s Association member’s fee is $10 for a table. Non-members pay $15 for a table. For more information call Brenda Keys at 920-743-4195 or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. To reserve lots, order raffle tickets or get reservation information, contact Bryce Larson at 920-693-8734 or send emails to email@example.com.More events | Events map