Hunting is my Passion

By Nancy Schraufnagel - June 1, 2007
From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a hunter. My Dad and my brother Ron (who aren’t with me today) were very active hunters. I always wanted to go with them, but Dad said, that is no place for a little girl to be, so I always had to stay home. I was always proud, when they would come home, with 2 or more deer tied to the truck. My Dad would say, (that was a successful hunt. Meat on the table, and no one got hurt.

So, now starts another time for me. In 1985, when I met Carl(Perch) he was a very avid hunter and that was always my passion. Carl and I and a few of our kids ended up taking a Hunter Safety course. That was the best thing for me and I really enjoyed it and I aced the course, and I was ready for the 1986 nine day deer hunt.

My first hunt was really something to say the least. A few weeks before the big hunt, we had to meet with some of Carl’s old hunting buddies. They had to plan their attack for the weekend. Everybody had a place to hunt at, and every body knew just when the big drives were going to take place. Honestly, those guys pushed me through some hard brush, marsh , water, and up and down hills for the nine day hunt , all day long. Well, after a few years that group broke up and all went their own way. Thank God for that. Carl and I started to hunt with our kids.

That was a good time, and I was always reminding them of the do’s and don’ts. I always reminded them of what they had learned at their Hunter Safety Course. They actually are good hunters today and somewhat lucky too. It is fun to get together and cut up our own deer and discuss the hunts.

On to the first deer I ever shot. That I will never forget . Carl and I got the kids off to school and decided to go do some hunting by ourselves. Man , we found this nice little public hunting grounds near Montello. We got our gear ready and off into the woods we go. I took a stand and Carl decided to take a long walk to see what he could spook up for me. As I am sitting there, listening to the noises, the squirrels up and down, I also heard Carl shout Deer heading toward you, I heard him take a shot and low and behold the deer was headed right towards me. I took the safe off, got her in my scope , took a head shot and dropped her right in front of me. I am just a screaming and calling for Carl and telling him I got her, she is down and dead. Yup, my very first real deer I shot, all by my self. Wow, the heart was just a pounding. Carl tagged the deer for me and then started to gut the deer. When he was all done, he told me he will put it in the truck and we will continue to hunt.

Well, I said I got my deer and we should go home, well he wanted to hunt a while yet, so I stayed with this gutted deer. I actually found myself talking to this dead, gutted deer, with my arm around it. More people came into the woods and I was getting really nervous. They weren‘t getting my deer. Somehow Carl took wind of this and our hunt for the day was done. I was taking my very first deer home with me. What a day for me. The deer was hanging in the garage when the kids got home and they were very happy for their mom and Step-mom. That really made my day complete, and by the way my first deer was a huge doe and I was proud too .

I continued to hunt with my family, long nine day hunts and some very successful too, and then I started to get ill, things were happening to me and I had to go to a doctor a lot and I just knew my hunting days might be over. That was hard to take. I thought my passion for the hunt was over. In 1994 I spent my last nine-day gun hunting season out in the woods , waiting for the monstor buck. During the course of the next year, severe arthritics and generative disk disease and chronic spinal disease took over my body and left me unable to take my stand for the 1995 hunt.

Thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center, I can still put my blaze orange on every year. I carry a Class A disability permit, so I have had this hunt for eleven years now. This hunt was originally created there to control a growing population. Now, it is provided for those of us who want it. There are pre-selected sites with accessibility, safety and of course success in mind. I feel it is the quiet and stillness of the early evening,-waiting, watching and listening for a deer. Site four is my favorite. I have my bale of hay and blanket for that early morning chill. I always can hunt from the truck if I have too. Regulations for this hunt require that all disabled people, have an assistant with them.

Carl does the dirty work, like field dressing and dragging the deer in. He even has admitted that I am a better shot than him. This past year I hunted with a .270 Remington pump that he got me for my birthday. Prior to my hunt I sited it in and it was right on. I didn’t get to unload this past year. I only saw three deer all weekend and two of them were does sprinting by. The other was a buck that was chasing the does, but I didn’t have a clear shot.

During my 11 years at this disability hunt, I have shot six deer. My disability limits me from being able to track anything that I shoot, but it doesn’t matter. I am a one shot hunter. I’ve never had to have Carl track a deer-I always drop them in front of me or where I can see it. Hunting in the fall is a real treat for me, because I can not stand the bitter cold that sometimes come with the regular hunting season. This is why the disabled hunt is really nice. Otherwise I would have to hang it up. Hanging it up, is not an option for me. I hope I will have many years of disability hunting left in me. I don’t always have successful hunts, but it is a success to me, just to be able to take part in this special hunt and I will be back God willing .

I will be back for this years hunt and maybe it will be successful. Hunting is my Passion, and I hope it will be for many years to come. If any of you have a Passion, no matter what it might be, go after it and you will find it.

Author Nancy Schraufnagel
Nancy Schraufnagel
My name is Nancy Schraufnagel. I was born and raised in Dodge County. Wi. I love the Great Outdoors!