BY MARK WALTERS
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY STANLEY TIRE
2021 a year of ups and downs Hello Friends,
I am writing this on Christmas morning. Late tonight my 20-year-old daughter Selina and I are going to get in to my Chevy pickup which will be pulling a trailer and heading for Delta National Forest in west central Mississippi. We will meet my brother Tom Walters who will be coming over from Denham Springs, Louisiana and we will camp, canoe, and hunt whitetail deer and wild hogs.
This week’s column is my annual high points and in some cases low points of the year story. I would like to say thank you to all of the readers, the folks that run advertisements next to my column, and the people at the newspapers that get the job done each week.
I am going to start right out with March. First it was winter camping and ice fishing for walleye on Little Bay de Noc with my high school buddy Doug Cibulka. Big walleye and lots of laughs on that trip.
The following week, it was my eighth winter camping trip of the season, Cibulka was along and so was Jeff “Im gonna burn the shack down” Moll. We were on Chequamegon Bay, near Lake Superior/Ashland and we had about as much fun as three high school buddies could have over four days on the ice. In the middle of the night there was a fire, Moll discovered it and put it out and after hiring “special” detectives it was determined he caused it. We caught a ton of browns, splake, gators, smelt, and some perch.
I also took my canoe over to DePere where I paddle trolled after dark in the insane world called fishing the walleye run. I have yet to see someone else out there in a canoe and caught a beautiful 26-inch walleye.
In early April I headed down to my brother Tom’s cabin on Lake Washington with my brother Mike to fish crappie. That was another adventure and I love the south in the winter as long as its not a trailer park, get me remote!
So in June The Canada Gang was supposed to be participating in our annual fly in fishing trip to Shultz lake. There is so much bad news in that area you could write a book.
I grew up working in this business, Chimo Lodge and Outposts, started writing this column there back in 89, and worked for Pete and Elisabeth Hagedorn. The Hagedorn’s sold Chimo five years ago and the new owners have literally been put through hell.
First, a major forest fire burnt the main camp and two out posts. The following year COVID hit. This year covid was still there and my good friend, co-owner Daniel Wesolowski who could build anything and was the bushmen for the business was killed dropping a tree.
After Daniel' passing this past spring, the fires returned and wreaked havoc again. Chris LeBlanc and his crew always keep their chins up and press forward. Check Chimo out!
I have become pretty good at fishing out of my canoe. In June I limited out on walleye on Green Bay and than headed over to the Mississippi River near Desoto and put a hurting on the crappie and bluegill.
I also took out the computer out on my 90hsp Etec. It took until mid July to find a computer and someone that knew how to handle the job as well as $1900.00. Come to think of it, I was with my old buddy Jeff Moll when it burnt up and the Coast Guard rescued us.
No actual bear baiting for me this year, none of my gang got a tag but this year I should get one and chasing bear is never far from my mind.
In November I went on a very cool bow hunt/ canoe camping trip. I have the big bucks figured out and I honestly think it's time for me to go over to the crossbow. I have a shoulder problem, never was one to to shoot past 25-yards and saw two pigasaurases that were just out of my range, I did pass up a few and never used to.
I also got back into raising a few steers in November and simply love having them around and so will my gardens.
The second half of November I was at deer camp and almost burnt up in the campfire when my wheelchair was pushed into it, come to think of it, my old buddy Jeff Moll videoed the sizzling of Mark Walters. I might need to hire a body guard.
This was the 50th year in a row that I watched the sun come up while hunting deer at this incredible place on opening day of deer, gun season.
Keep moving my friends, eventually your batteries will be spent!