Ruby’s pups are all at their new homes. In the process I have made several new friends — Dean and Marilee Bornemann from Stockbridge, Wisconsin, and their son Max and daughter Hailey, who are both in their 20s.
The Bornemanns have read my column in “The Glidden Enterprise” for the past 25 years. They were excited to adopt a pup.
The whole family came along to pick out “Finn.” When they did they invited me to spear sturgeon and socialize with them, which is what this week’s column is about.
My truck was as full of camping and spearing gear as it could be when I hit the ice at the Harbor Bar landing just west of Stockbridge. Let me tell you folks I had plenty on my mind. The main thing was how was I going to drag my Eskimo “Fat Shack” in what was truly an insane wind.
The first job was cutting a hole in the ice, which was thick. I paid a reliable crew 20 bucks to do that. Next, along with my new friends Dean, his brother Kevin and family friend Bob Javenkowski, we needed to put up my 14-foot cabin on the ice. Bad luck came when we were unloading a 6-foot piece of aluminum siding; the wind caught it. It landed on my right temple. I could not let my new buds know I was hurting but I was. Three days later I had a black eye.
My comrades and I finished the task. We then headed over to the spearing shack that Dean and Hailey would be using the next morning, for a social experience. By the time I walked back to my cabin on the ice I had me some new buddies.
I was up at 5 a.m. the next morning because I needed to tarp my shack and prepare to harpoon a state-record sturgeon. I think I heard there are 12,500 licensed spearers on Winnebago. It’s crazy to watch the headlights as everyone hits the ice.
I need to be honest. The facts are I kind of suck at sturgeon spearing but I really like to do it. So far I have speared one; that was about 10 years ago. I put the sheet of steel that caused my brain damage 15 feet below my hole. Like 12,500 other people I waited.
At 8 a.m. I needed to take care of a little business outside. I saw a gal about 200 yards away with a good-looking sturgeon. I walked over, introduced myself and took a picture of Karen Propson with a beautiful sturgeon. She lives at School Hill, which is near Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Spearing ends each day at 1 p.m. We had us a shindig on the ice at my shack. Kevin Bornemann had marinated venison steaks and wrapped bacon on the outside of each one. That may have been the best meat I’ve ever eaten. Amber Kornack had baked some Jack Daniels cupcakes, which are guaranteed to make you smart.
Hailey’s boyfriend, Mark Dilling, and his brother Matthew came out on ATVs. It was just a cool experience on the ice. Later we headed to The Harbor Bar, which had a tent with live bands. We had a blast listening to the Bobby Evans Band. Those guys are out of Beaver Dam. If I had the cash I would hire them for Selina’s graduation party.
After dark Hailey, who was our designated driver, took me back to my shack with a UTV. That young lady amazed me because even though it was 1.5 miles away she found it without a flaw. That girl is so observant. She even saw me kind of fall on the ice, which gave me some more new injuries.
I was up early Sunday like just about everyone else. I had high hopes. But like I said I suck at sturgeon spearing. I did manage to harvest a mouse that has been living in my truck since this past fall.
After saying good-bye to everyone I was honored with a wonderful drive home in another snow storm.
I shall return!