Little Hills Youth Event

Members of the Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin & Feather organization recently joined other generous volunteers and donors at Little Hills Hunting Preserve in Gilman, for a fun and educational weekend of hunting activities for kids and have been doing so since 2009.

Little Hills Hunting Preserve Youth DayThe 8th Annual event offered many young outdoor enthusiasts a safety orientation, dog training demonstration, opportunities to shoot compound bows and clay pigeons, and a chance to shoot pheasants over beautiful pointers with the help of seasoned guides.

“This type of event is right in line with our mission statement of providing hunting opportunities for kids, women and handicapped individuals wanting to get outdoors and enjoy these activities,” said Jeff Kellnhofer, CWFFF President. “Along with a donation of cash to offset the weekend’s costs, we think it’s important to be an active participant in these types of local events. It’s why we started F3 in the first place. We were honored to be invited by Dave and Amanda and their team to participate this year.”

The weekend event ran from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, with kids coming in groups of 8 about every hour. “Although set up as a youth activity, the adults seemed to enjoy themselves almost as much as the kids”, said Ron Herman, CWFFF Treasurer. “The kids were polite, eager to listen and you could see them improve and gain confidence as they picked up pointers from the adult volunteer coaches.”

The event was well organized, and the kids were taught how to clean their birds after the hunt by their guides. “The safety and the details covered in this fun event really set this apart”, said Herman. “Most of us had to learn these things the hard way when we were growing up.”

“Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin & Feather will definitely be involved in a bigger way next year, and we encourage others to support this worthwhile local outdoor sports event for kids,” said Kellnhofer.

Learn more about Little Hills Huting Preserve by visiting their website.

Goose Blinds on Owen Mill Pond

The City of Owen approached the Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin, & Feather board members in 2010 to help control the ever-increasing goose problem around the local mill pond by building publically accessible goose blinds. The geese are notorious for messing up the park, horseshoe pits, and pavilion areas when their numbers get high and the city hopes that by F3 building these easily accessible blinds, it will encourage hunters to harvest some of the problem geese in the city during the early goose hunt.

Don and Ron Fixing Up Goose Blinds in OwenDuring the summer of 2010, CWF3 built four goose blinds in various locations around the pond for local hunters to utilize. The City of Owen approached CWF3 again in 2011 to spruce up the blinds and make them useable for the 2011 early goose hunt. We anticipate that fixing and adding new blinds will be a yearly tradition since we’ve been hearing great feedback from the community.

Several local hunters told us they took their kids out goose hunting here and really enjoyed having a place so close to town to get good hunting action, with comfortable blinds for the kids.

For more information on the rules and regulations for hunting geese on the Owen Mill Pond, contact the Owen City Board.

DNR Bear Population Study

The Wisconsin DNR approached Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin & Feather to assist with a bear population study conducted by DNR biologists. We were asked to hang bait boxes throughout western Clark county during the month of May and record their activity.

Jeff and Don Hang Bear Bait BoxEach bait box contains basically a peanut butter sandwich that consists of nine marshmallows with a tetracycline pill stuffed into each marshmallow. One bait box was to be set in each section of the township on a sturdy, soft-bark tree at about seven feet off the ground. The idea, is that the bear will knock the box out of the tree and eat the contents. The tetracycline pills, which are not harmful to the bears, will dye the bones a yellow tinge and can be differentiated once a rib sample in sent in after the bear is harvested or hit on the road with bear that haven’t eaten the contents of one of these bait boxes.

The premise of the study was to set a single bait box in every section within a township for a month’s period of time. Once a month had passed, each bait box needed to be collected and a number of data points were recorded, such as whether or not the bait was hit, what type of animal hit the bait, how much of the bait was eaten, and the coordinates where the bait was set. The correlation with the number of baits hit and the number of bear harvested with yellow-tinged bones will give biologists a better sense of the bear population in Wisconsin.

The F3 guys enjoyed being out in the brush in the off season, helping with a worthwhile cause. In our opinion, better stats leads to more and quicker kill tags—so we were glad to help.

Learn more about the DNR’s bear population model.

Wood Duck Houses on Sportsman Lake

The Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin, & Feather board along with their family and friends spent a day on the Sportsman Lake in Owen hanging wood duck houses. CWF3 founding board member, Brian Hanson, spearheaded this project in conjunction with DNR biologist, Matt Zeronski during the fall of 2010 and continues to be an ongoing project for the F3 organization.

Wood Duck EggsThis has truly been a community project from the beginning—the wood duck houses were built by the seventh grade Industrial Arts class in Owen/Withee and materials paid for by a number of local donors, including 2011 Dylan Crabb Award recipients Curt and Diane Benrud.

Seven houses were placed in various locations on the Sportsman Lake based on ‘best-practice’ recommendations from DNR biologist, Matt Zeronski. After cleaning out the houses following the first nesting season, the project appears to have already been a success. Four out of the six wood duck houses positioned around the lake served as a nesting site for wood ducks and the remaining two houses also served as a home for other bird species.

Each year after the nesting season has passed, the F3 board will go out to the lake and clean out the old bedding in the houses a replace with fresh woodchips to allow for a new family of wood ducks to use the houses when they fly back in the spring. These houses will require attention each year because wood ducks will not inhabit a nest with used wood chips—so as an organization, we look forward to this being a great project and reason to spend an afternoon on the Sportsman Lake for many years to come!

Learn more about wood duck box maintenance.

Dylan Crabb’s First Bear Hunt

Dylan was 15 years old when the CWF3 board met him. We were introduced to Dylan through CWF3’s 2009 Sportsman of the Year award recipient, Brent Decker. Initially, we were going to show Dylan an exciting day of shooting trap and skeet at a local sportsman’s club, but after getting to know Dylan and his story a little bit better, Decker and CWF3 board decided to buy Dylan his own Winchester SX3 Flanigan exhibition shotgun to shoot at the range that day and keep as a gift. As it turned out, Dylan was a natural talent at shooting clay birds—right away he was breaking 20 out of 25 birds with his brand new shotgun.

CWF3 Organized Youth Bear Hunt
Dylan bags this 200 lb. black bear while hunting in Minnesota.

Board member Ron Herman, set up a meeting with the board and Dylan to meet Patrick Flanigan, the exhibition shooter whom the Dylan’s gun was named after. The board, Brent, and Dylan packed up and headed to Oshkosh to watch Flanigan’s show and meet with him afterwards.

Dylan was also able to hunt black bear with Minnesota Viking’s Defensive End, Jared Allen, Brent Decker, and CWF3 during the 2008 Minnesota bear hunt. CWF3 was fortunate enough to accompany Dylan when he harvested a 200 pound bear during the trip.

As time went on, Dylan’s situation worsened, but we were able to have one more outing with him. We were right there when Dylan bagged a turkey during the spring 2009 hunt in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, a month later, Dylan lost his long battle with Leukemia and we lost a great friend and an outdoorsman. Dylan will live-on each year in our banquet as we will be giving out the Dylan Crabb award each year to one deserving person that goes “above and beyond” for someone or something. Brent Decker was the first recipient of this award and we know there are many others in the area that are just as generous! If you or someone you know have a story like Brent and Dylan’s, we’d love to hear it. Email jeff@cwf3.com with your nomination for next year’s Dylan Crabb award.

To learn more about Dyan, go to Dylan’s Dairy Website.

Rock Creek Donation

In April of 2009, the board members of Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin & Feather were
approached by the Rock Creek Disabled Outdoors, Inc. sponsorship committee about an
unprecedented opportunity to make a difference in the lives of local handicapped outdoor
enthusiasts.

Sunset Pines Resort Cabin

Sunset Pines Resort includes three cottages, trails through fields and woods, and a fishing pond with a pier.

Rock Creek Disabled Outdoors was formed in 2003 is the operational arm for Dale
Petkovsek at Dale’s North Mound in Willard, WI, to handle the funding, promotion and
sponsorship of all disabled activities including the largest disabled deer hunting the US
held each year.

In 2000, Dale established an 80-acre recreational property called Sunset Pines Resort. It
includes 3 cottages, trails through fields and woods, and a fishing pond with a pier – all
accessible by wheelchair. This resort provides barrier-free enjoyment of the outdoors for
individuals from all over the Midwest.

“This project is exactly the type of opportunity that we had in mind when we started CWF3”, says Brian Hanson, Treasurer. “It is right in line with our Mission Statement to
provide outdoor activities for those that may not have the opportunity on their own
without a helping hand.”

This facility would make a wonderful headquarters for Rock Creek Disabled Outdoors;
However, the costs of construction and mortgage in establishing this require capital.

Sunset Pines Resort CabinA private benevolent sponsor stepped forward – a WY resident from the Greenwood/Willard area – who offered to match funds dollar for dollar up to $100,000 to
make this happen.

The CWF3 board all agreed that this was a cause worth supporting, and agreed to pledge $1,000 toward the Rock Creek Outdoors headquarters. “Although this was a large
percentage of what we raised from our banquet – this had the potential to help so many people – we just had to contribute as much as possible,” said John Kleczewski, CWF3
Vice President. “The chance to have our donation matched 100% was too good to pass up.”

Central Wisconsin Fur, Fin, and Feather is honored to be a supporter of this worthy cause, and encourages our friends and fellow sportsmen and women to contribute as well. Check out photos of activities at the resort at www.sunsetpinesresort.com and consider making a tax deductible donation of any size

to: Dale Petkovsek, Rock Creek Disabled Outdoors, Inc., W8902 Rock Creek Road, Willard, WI 54493-9016. Tell them their friends at F3 sent you!

To learn more about Rock Creek and Sunset Pines Resort visit their website.