Throughout Wisconsin, many individuals are gearing up for the hunt, some will do it the night before and others will spend months getting ready for the various hunting opportunities offered in the Badger State.
Hunting for many is more than just filling a freezer or hanging a trophy on the wall. Hunting can be a moment of bonding, renewing old friendships, and creating new friendships.
One group of local outdoors-people has taken their love for the area and the bounties it has to offer to a modern level. Ridge and Valley Pursuits (RVP) was born, as a way to share what Crawford County and the surrounding areas has to offer with other enthusiasts on the social media outlet, Facebook.
“The idea started as a way for people in the local area to follow hunts, see videos and just see what everyone gets while they’re out,” said founding member Cody McCann.
McCann has been an avid hunter since the age of 12 and counts a vast number of bucks to his name. The local outdoorsman wanted to share his passion with others, who feel the same drive and thrill that the hunting season brings.
“Cody is very dedicated to hunting,” said Jason Knight a fellow RVP member. “When I’m at home watching football and I ask what he’s doing, he’s always in the woods.”
As with many hunters, there’s a lot of time and effort put in with the folks who participate with RVP. The local outdoorsmen are continually sharing ideas on what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to setting up
“It (RVP) is an outlet to share our successes and failures,” noted member, Kraig Oppriecht “Sometimes, it may be more failures than successes, but that’s what makes our successes so much better.”
However, on the group’s Facebook Page, you would not guess that failure is part of the game in Crawford County. Many huge animals fill the page. And, there are lots of hunters with smiling faces. There are also plenty of positive words of encouragement from group members and others following the social media page. It brings bragging rights to a whole new level.
McCann, as well as a couple others in the group, explained that bow hunting is the favored season.
“It’s more relaxing, peaceful, as well as challenging,” McCann noted.
Fellow RVP member Rick Hadley chimed in “challenging is right, you have to be patient and let the deer get pretty close before you can take your shot.” Murmurs of agreement among other members followed.
The Wisconsin Archery and Crossbow Season runs from September 12 until January 3. The harvest numbers in Crawford County already reported from opening day until November 1 indicate lots of success. To that date in the archery season, there have been 159 antlered deer registered and 128 antlerless deer registered for a total of 287. Additionally, in the crossbow season, there were 49 antlered and 58 antlerless deer registered for a total of 107.
The youth gun deer hunt which was held in October also brought in good numbers for Crawford County with 40 antlered and 36 antlerless deer registered for a total of 76 deer harvested by young hunters.
Gun season will open on Saturday, Nov. 21 and will run until Sunday, Nov. 29. A muzzleloader season will follow immediately running from Monday, Nov. 30 until Wednesday, Dec. 9, with the gun deer season rounding out with a statewide antlerless hunt from December 10-13.
When not hunting deer, many members of the group participate in the Gays Mills Sportsman’s Club ‘Learn to Hunt’ turkey hunting program. The program mentors young hunters, many of whom are taking to the woods for the first time in search of a feathered prey. The group also participates in other outdoor adventures such as bow fishing, which brought a 50-pound carp to member Rick Hadley, as well as water fowl and small game hunting.
When it comes down to it though, the love of the area and the love of the pursuit drives many individuals to get up early and stay up late, to prepare for their outdoor adventures.
“We live in one of the best hunting areas in the nation, we don’t want to give away any secrets, but we want to share with everyone what we are lucky to have,” Oppriecht concluded.
Those interested in sharing their pictures and tales can do so on the group’s social media page, which is found under their name, Ridge and Valley Pursuits. You are welcome to message them or just ‘share’ the items on their page. The group also has an email, firstname.lastname@example.org to which you can send your photos or tales.
The members of Ridge and Valley Pursuits would also like to wish everyone a safe and successful hunt.