Thankful Outdoors: Hunting Memories

Thankful Outdoors: October 25-31

As we wrap up October and enter November, the big bucks are being harvested based on what I can see on social media pages that I follow. This time of year always take me back many, many years ago to the first buck I shot with my bow.

Scott’s first buck

I was in my early twenties; it was a hunt that took place out at my parents’ land. Dad and I sat that night. I took my Loggy Bayou Climber in the woods and set up near one of the large red oaks. I made a mock scrape and the only tree that gave me a decent shot was a little basswood tree that only let me get about 10 feet off the ground. I wasn’t thrilled about the tree choice, but I thought I would give it a try.

A buck had come into that scrape right as it was about quitting time, and I made a great shot on him. After showing the family where I had my set, they all thought I was crazy and couldn’t believe I had shot a deer sitting so low in a tree. Over the years, I had harvested multiple deer from that tree, and to this day, it still is standing in the woods; it had survived several logging events.

I have climbed into many trees in my hunting career, and it amazes me at how many of those trees I can still go find and remember the outings that they provided for me. I can go years without ever going into that area, but I can track down that tree, but yet I can’t seem to locate the remote to the TV when I just turned the darn thing on about an hour ago. I guess it’s a reminder that those trees and memories are more important to me than watching a TV show.

As I had mentioned earlier, social media is showing up with all kinds of neat pictures and stories about the hunt. I want to share a new Facebook community that I follow, called Wisconsin Hunting Photos; I like their page because they remind members to be respectful of what someone calls a trophy.

Last week I shared that Connor, Bryce, and I were out setting our small trap line. We had a little success, and Wednesday night, we had a big raccoon caught in the creek bottom at parent’s place. We are still in pursuit of getting that fisher tag filled.

Bryce is doing a great job of being responsible and checking his traps even when he is not with me. I have been proud of seeing his excitement for the sport and also not quitting. It can be disappointing checking traps every day and seeing an empty set every single day. When that happens, I often think of the saying that is credited to Albert Einstein “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” By that definition, then, I guess trappers are full of insanity!

October 29th – Fun workday

Photo Credit: Mike Hack

Sometimes my day job isn’t just sitting in an office. One of our vendors, Solarus, does a corporate event for their clients at Woods & Meadows in Warrens. Wendy Hack, Director of Business Sales for Solarus,  does a great job setting up this corporate event.

She and her husband Mike breed and train bird dogs and pull together a great group of dog handlers to make the event a lot of fun. Woods & Meadows, owned by Scott & Kris Goetzka, offers sporting clays, hunting preserve for pheasant and whitetail hunts. If you are looking for a different kind of corporate event, contact Scott or Kris.

Being one of the people in the office that enjoys the outdoors, I get invited to go along on this event. Justin Ellenbecker, our Director of IT, deals with all the technical stuff for our organization, knows more about the telecommunications side of things, and can talk all the technical terminology for that part of the day. He is pretty darn good with a shotgun, though also! I go along to take care of the social butterfly aspect of the day. The outing was delightful as I got to meet others from Solarus and not only discuss some business but also talk about many outdoor activities. Our group faired well on the pheasant hunt as well, we had 25 birds to hunt that day, and the team was able to get 17 of those birds.

October 31stAfter hunting with Connor last weekend and checking the trail cameras in that area, I looked forward to getting back into a tree. I had awoken that morning with high hopes of seeing lots of deer! I then stepped outside to let Boone out and heard and felt the high winds.

Those high winds swept my over-enthusiastic feelings about seeing deer. I reminded myself that it’s hard to see them sitting on the couch and had to get into the woods. The one benefit to a high wind hunt is that the sounds muffle the walk-in. Always try to find the positive about the situation!

Thanks to technology, I was able to keep in touch with the rest of the family, who also was out hunting that day. We texted each other our thoughts and sightings in the woods. The morning soon gave away to my empty stomach, telling me to get some food. I enjoyed a slow walk out of the woods, checking and looking for any buck sign as I knew the next coming week I would be on vacation. I was trying to plan to find that perfect spot to be to fill a tag.

The evening sit brought similar results as the morning hunt, windy a few deer passing through way out of bow range but still an enjoyable time in the tree.

In closing, I hope you find a way to get into the outdoors, create your adventure and memories, but most importantly, find a way to “Celebrate the Experience.” Go check out for more content and share your “Celebrate the Experience” moment with us!

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.