Stumlin brothers score deer hunting trifecta

HOLMEN, WI - Thanksgiving is certainly a time to give thanks, and this year the Jeff and Nicole family are ever so thankful for special reasons.
Three of their four sons had a successful opening weekend during the Wisconsin nine-day gun deer season.
Ironically, the three boys shot 8-point bucks while hunting Sunday on their parents’ (Jeff and Nicole) farmland in Sweden Coulee east of Holmen.   
Pictured from the left, Ben, 23, shot the largest buck. Cartyr, 16, managed his first buck, while 10-year-old Reid completed the trifecta.
Cartyr, a junior at Melrose-Mindoro High School, toppled his 8-pointer shortly after shooting hours opened Sunday morning.
“The buck came in behind us,” said Nicole, who was hunting with Cartyr from a double tree stand. “He shot it at 40 yards. It ran another 40 yards and dropped.”
Cartyr has hunted deer with his mother since he was 12 and was extremely excited with his first buck kill.
“You should have seen the smile on his face. It was priceless,” said Nicole. “Two tines were broken off and the right eye was missing as well, so it must have been a fighter.”
Ben attends Western Wisconsin Technical College in La Crosse with an emphasis on becoming a pipe-fitter. He also has a full-time job. He shot his buck between 4:15 and 4:30 Sunday afternoon, according to his mother.
“It came through the brush and he shot it,” said Nicole. “He hasn’t shot a buck for five years, although he shot two before.”
About the same time Ben was field dressing his buck, Reid shot his deer at 4:30. Reid, a fifth grader at Melrose-Mindoro Elementary School, and his father were hunting from the second floor window of the cabin their uncle Jason Pralle built several years ago. The 8-pointer came to within 20 yards before Reid shot. He missed, but his second shot connected from about 40 yards. The deer then ran down a fence line, stopped at 60 yards, jumped the fence and ran into the woods and down into a valley.
“Jeff and Reid found blood and stopped. They didn’t’ want to pursue it if it wasn’t a killing shot,” said Nicole. “There wasn’t a lot of blood, so we waited more than two hours.”
After the family transported Ben’s deer down to the farm, they picked up more lights and went back up to the top of the hill to begin the search for Reid’s buck.
“Jeff, Jason, Ben, Cartyr and Reid started tracking,” said Nicole.
The family search party was about to give up when it finally found blood at 8:40, then the dead deer a few minutes later.
“Jason had a trail cam up with instant downloads and he saw it go by about 7:30, so they kept on. If not, they wouldn’t have found it,” said Nicole.
Unfortunately the Stumlins’ other son, 19-year-old Aiztdon, was hunting with a friend on Nicole’s sister’s land and didn’t harvest his deer on opening weekend.
“There’s always a little competition among the boys as to who shoots the biggest buck, said Nicole. “Ben’s buck had a 16 1/2-inch spread, 1 inch wider than Cartyr’s deer. Reid’s buck was 14 inches.”
Nicole was quick to heap praise on her brother Jason for the hard work he puts in throughout the year to create excellent wildlife habitat.
“Jason puts in a lot of time making food plots and water retention ponds. He puts in a lot of effort,” she said.
The end result is a bountiful harvest and lasting outdoor enjoyment for the Stumlin family.
“It’s pure happiness and joy being able to hunt with our kids and the memories made,” said Nicole.
“That’s how we were raised by dad (the late Tom Pralle). He always said, ‘With this farm, God gave us land to hunt on and food for the freezer,’” added Nicole. “I’m sure Dad was watching over those boys. It couldn’t have been any better.”

Here’s to another deer hunt

Well, another Wisconsin gun deer season is on the horizon.
Nearing my 76th birthday on Nov. 26, I’m giving opening weekend one more shot from this old body. I wouldn’t even attempt to go if it weren’t for our youngest son, Evan.
“Pops, you are going deer hunting, even if I have to push you out there in a wheelchair,” he has repeated the last few years.
Thank the Good Lord for providing me with enough strength to get out for one more try at putting a deer in the freezer for winter.
Big buck? Naw. Been there, done that. All I want is meat for winter, especially the way food prices are these days. Besides, venison is much healthier than beef.
Thanks to the late “Friendly Farmer’s” family, we are still allowed to hunt on their farm. I have shot quite a few deer in that valley in the last 25 years. I look forward to reliving each and every spot I shot those whitetails, if and when I actually make it to my stand Saturday morning.
Old age in general, weaker knees and hips, lingering effects from pancreatic cancer and blood thinners make it more difficult to hike those hills like I once enjoyed.
Cold temperatures, resulting from the blood thinners, really affect me. Unfortunately, opening day temperatures are forecast in the low 20s, with stiff 15-25 mph winds from the west/northwest. Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!
I already told Ev that I’ll stick it out as long as I can, but it will likely be with my propane heater on full blast. Otherwise, I’ll head down the hill, stay in my warm Jeep, wait for the sound of a shot from his rifle and a call on his two-way radio, “Got one Dad.”
Here’s to a warm, safe, successful hunt to all.

Packers’ season going down the drain quickly

The Green Bay Packers have an identity crisis. They aren’t who they were supposed to be this season.
Green Bay’s shoddy 3-4 record entering Sunday night’s game at the high-flying Buffalo Bills (5-1) is a mismatch to say the least.
The fact that the Packers are 10.5-point underdogs is an odds-maker’s gift to Green Bay.
It all boils down to an identity crisis in all four areas - offense, defense, special teams and coaching.
It begins up front on offense with a sieve-like line. Missed assignments. Poor communication. The line, even with its injuries, is less talented than we thought, right? And, all we heard about during the preseason was how the team’s philosophy would center around “Thunder and Lightning” - running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon - for much of the workload. I haven’t seen it yet? Green Bay’s receivers can’t catch a cold and their increasing rash of dropped balls are making future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers look older and worse than he really is this season.
Green Bay’s defense has certainly not lived up to its preseason hype as a top 5 or 10 NFL unit. Much of that has to do with the scheme and the coaching.
We all thought the special team would be… well, special or at least better than the past. However, special team gaffes are becoming more common each week. It begins with Amari Rodgers. I, like many of you, are sick and tired of hearing how well Rodgers looks in practice and is improving and progressing. I have yet to see it from last year’s third-round pick. And, if No. 8 is out there again Sunday night, I just may shut off the game.
I also question the coaching. I’m not saying Matt LaFleur has lost the locker room, but it can’t be far away. LaFleur preaches accountability. I trust that includes everyone - himself, every player and all the way down to the lowliest of assistant coaches beneath him.
I’m losing all confidence anything will change over the final 10 games. The first seven games were considered the soft part of Green Bay’s schedule. And considering the road ahead, it doesn’t look pretty.
Last week I said the Packers may finish 9-8. It’s looking more like 7-10, 6-10 or even worse.

All is not bleak in Packerland

There were many things we learned after watching the Green Bay Packers lose their fifth straight game and drop to 3-6 on Sunday.
While there were many negative things, there were some positives that surfaced from the 15-9 loss to the Lions. Here are just a few:
* Green Bay’s losing streak remains intact.
* The Packers are assured of a higher draft choice next spring.
* The pressure is off quarterback Aaron Rodgers to win his  third straight and fifth total MVP Award.
* Head coach Matt LaFleur doesn’t have to think about a Christmas bonus.
* General manager Brian Gutekunst has more time to find a new defensive coordinator, one who isn’t afraid to play man defense.
* The Packers can play loose now because they should be underdogs their final nine games of the season.
* With the growing injured list, Packers’ trainers should receive plenty of overtime pay the remainder of the season.
* With fewer healthy players, Green Bay locker room attendants won’t need to work as hard. Neither will equipment managers.
* Packers’ stadium workers don’t need to be concerned about bundling up to keep warm for the “Frozen Tundra” playoffs in January.
* The City of Green Bay can quit planning for a Super Bowl parade.
* Hard-core Green Bay fans will save on playoff travel.
* The Green Bay marketing and media departments get an early Christmas.
* Rodgers doesn’t have to worry about a new hair-do for the annual NFL Honors ceremony in February.
* Green Bay isn’t in last place in the NFC North…yet!


This corner says Packers won’t make playoffs

Sorry, Green Bay Packers’ fans. I doubt that our team will make the NFL playoffs this year.
There are growing signs the Green and Gold is going down the drain quickly. Sunday’s 27-10 loss to the New York Jets is the latest reason. The offensive line was manhandled, the special teams resembled much of the past, the much-hyped defense played a solid first half, but gave up in the second half after two quick Jets’ TDs, and the offense was pathetic once again.
It’s not pretty and I’m losing all confidence anything will change over the final 11 games. The first six games were supposed to be Green Bay’s soft part of the schedule. And considering the road ahead, it’s not pretty.
Actually, if the playoffs were to begin today, the Packers (3-3) would by tied for the third wild-card spot with the LA Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.
Here is Green Bay’s last 11 opponents and their records entering Week 7: at Washington Commanders (2-4), at Buffalo Bills (5-1), at Detroit Lions (1-4), Dallas Cowboys (4-2), Tennessee Titans (3-2), at Philadelphia Eagles (6-0), at Chicago Bears (2-4), LA Rams (3-3), at Miami Dolphins (3-3) Minnesota Vikings (5-1) and Lions (1-4).
My most optimistic guess is the Packers finish 9-8, which I doubt believe will be enough to make the playoffs.
What’s your prediction? Send your best guess to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..