Cody Schneider, 11, of Arbor Vitae, was hunting the Hazelhurst area during the Wisconsin youth gun deer hunt when he got two deer in two days.
The first was a doe, the latter a five-point buck. They are Cody’s first two deer and also his first two deer registered in the Northwoods Youth Deer Hunt Challenge.
The doe came on Saturday, Oct. 6, the opening morning of the two-day hunt. Cody was sitting in a pop-up ground blind with his father, John Schneider.
“It was pretty early in the morning, so I was kind of tired,” Cody said. “We’d just seen ... one doe walking by. I didn’t take a shot at it, because it kept moving along, then it ran off.”
It was a little disappointing not getting a shot at the deer, but another showed not too long afterward.
“The other doe came around and I shot that one,” Cody said.
The 40- to 50-yard shot Cody took with his 7 mm-08 was true. The doe didn’t travel very far.
“We followed the trail of blood and we found it,” Cody said.
The second day of the hunt would bring Cody more good fortune. This time the action came later in the day.
“It was about 5:30, maybe 5:15. I was just scoping out and my dad was putting shades up on our blind to block the wind,” Cody recalled.
“He was doing that and I just quick looked to my left and I saw a buck. I was like, ‘Dad, shut up ... there’s a four pointer.’ And he was like, ‘No there’s not.’”
There was indeed a buck, but it was screened by cover, so Cody had to play the waiting game.
“It was just taking its time, feeding behind a tree in a bunch of bushes.” he said. “So we had to wait about three minutes for it to come out. Then I shot it.”
Hit in the lungs, the buck didn’t travel far before dropping.
“We went looking for it and it didn’t take too long,” Cody said.
When the buck was recovered, they realized the rack sported not four, but five, points.
“It looked like a four-pointer at the time. I didn’t see five,” Cody said.
Cody received his second field-dressing tutorial of the weekend, then began dragging the buck out of the woods.
“It was pretty heavy. It was hard, because ... we had to drag it through all the brush,” he said.
“We got to a logging trail, then we took a break, got the rest of our stuff. Then my dad took over on the deer and I took all the other stuff out to the road.”
Cody enjoyed the weekend and wants to get out and hunt more. He tried for deer last year, too, but didn’t have any luck. He also tried duck hunting once.
Cody has had a chance to enjoy some of the meat from his deer. He also has plans on how he is going to display his buck.
“We’re going to get a European mount,” he said. “My dad works with a guy that does that. You know, with the beetles and everything.”
What Cody really recalls from the hunt is the anticipation when the buck was nearby.
“It was really hard for the buck – waiting for him to come out from the brush. I was getting so anxious. And just sitting there, resting my gun on the blind for like three or four minutes, getting anxious, finally getting to take my shot.”
John Schneider summed up the hunt succinctly.
“It was a blast,” he said.
Hunting nearby was Cody’s neighbor and friend, Reed Smolinski. Reed also registered a buck and a doe in the NYDHC during the weekend hunt. He was hunting with his father, Don Smolinski.
“Reed ... he shot a buck right away Saturday morning. Then he shot his doe Saturday night. Cody just had to wait on a buck then,” John said.
“It was pretty neat for two dads to enjoy their sons doubling-up for the youth deer hunt, you know.”
John said Cody also wants to try bow hunting eventually.
“He wants to get into that, but I want to get a gun season or two under his belt,” he said.
“It’s really neat how this youth mentored hunt has got a lot of kids excited,” John added.
“It starts them earlier ... and the time of the season is such that the weather conditions are usually more favorable and it’s not so nasty for the kids to sit out in, and their success is higher.”
Craig Turk may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.