By Brandon Wikman
Last week I cased my bow and stuffed my archery equipment into the closet. As I shoved bags, shuffled boxes and pushed draping clothes of camo, I latched onto my shotgun gear. My partner, Hunter Olson, and I took the invitation to bust a few clay pigeons and hunt the long fields of sorghum and high grass in western Wisconsin at an incredible shooting sports and bird hunting facility called Triple J Wing & Clay.
Steve Reis, owner of Triple J, provided us an amazing opportunity to bring our cameras and capture the ambience, experience and enlightening spectacles decorated around this beautiful place only 20 miles from legendary Lambeau Field.
We were guided by Steve’s son, Jason, and kindly helped by other Triple J workers. Hunter and I tied our walking shoes, loaded our shotguns and began dissecting the field with the aid of dogs. Triple J holds over 530 acres of bird hunting paradise that is solely dedicated to bird hunting and clay shooting enthusiasts. The clay pigeon shooting courses, bird hunting, restaurant and bar are open to the public and always make a nice resting spot after a great day of hunting.
With shotguns in hand, Hunter and I marched to the pheasant-infested fields in hope of filming our first pheasant TV show of the year. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a pheasant hunter by any means or stretch of the imagination. To put it in perspective, I can relate to making homemade raspberry jam a whole lot more than I know a feather about pheasants. This was not only a hunt, but also more importantly a learning experience for both Hunter and me.
The early morning sun speckled the midnight’s frost and placed glimmering jewels upon each stalk. As soon as we began to walk, the glowing field – freckled with beauty – erupted. Our black birddog darted back-and-forth in pursuit of the smell of roosters. With each crunching step my spirits lifted in hopes of getting my first crack at a pheasant.
At only a mere sixty yards into the depths of waist-high sorghum, our birddog (the real hunter of the morning) showed deep signs of “birdy”. As Hunter and I prepared for the flush, a long tail-feathered rooster raged into the air like a mini-rocket. Hunter jabbed the butt of his small 20-guage into shoulder shooting position and lit the rooster up! The colorful bird plopped into the dirt a few yards from where it was flushed. The guides and I looked at Hunter with eyes as large as shotgun shells and congratulated him on a spectacular shot.
We progressed throughout the afternoon, hunting hard. Celebrations, misses and a vest full of enriching moments weighed our back vest pockets. The morning truly brought memories that will last a lifetime. I must sincerely thank Steve Weiss for giving me the chance to learn a little more about pheasants, shooting sports and, most importantly, mentoring an 8-year old child into the woods, water and field. For more information about bird hunting and shooting clays in western Wisconsin, be sure to look up www.TripleJWingandClay.com.