Traveling Trails Less Traveled. By Buckshot Anderson

For November 5th, 2010 Edition.

For me, it’s amazing how many times fate plays an unexpected card in the game of life. Just last summer Old Man Fate provided me with a series of good cards, which caused me to meet two new wonderful friends. Here’s how it to all came together.

Bob and Christine Faulks of Waupaca, Wisconsin were up north in August browsing for some reading material in a local book store and by chance Bob spied a copy of my newest book, Sixty Years Between the Oars. For some unknown reason the photo of the old guy on the cover drew his interest and he purchased it. After reading my drivel he told his wife he’d like to meet the author and schedule a day of guiding with him. A phone call to our residence resulted in Wifee Poo telling Bob her husband wasn’t taking on any new clients. At this point the story may have ended but Fate still had an ace up his sleeve.

Bob called again and found me at home. He asked if he could purchase my other eight books and I suggested he meet me at my booth at the St. Germain flea market on Monday where I would be more than happy to fulfill his desire.

Later that same day my phone rang again. This time the caller was Nancy Minx, director of the Vilas Historical Museum in Sayner. The museum gift shop was running low on my books and could I fill an order? “Yes, I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

Well guess who was visiting the museum that very day – Bob and Christine! After appropriate introductions we chatted, Bob bought a stack of books from the museum gift shop and our eventual friendship had begun to cement.

Several weeks later after several additional friendly phone calls from Bob, I consented to book a half-day of guiding with Bob’s parents, Syd and Ardys. Syd is a WW II vet who loves to fish, (as does Ardys) and Syd’s failing health has prevented him from engaging in his favored sport. How could I refuse such an offer?

On August 19th I fished with Syd and Ardys and got to know an extremely charming couple. I penned the following in my daily diary at days end.

“8-19-10- The Bob Faulks group. Fished With Bob’s pa & ma (85 and 79) from 7:30 till 11:00 on Erickson Lake. It was party cloudy with a northeast breeze and in the mid-60s. We landed 8 bass (released all), 3 big ‘gills and 8 jumbo perch. Cooked lunch for six, plus me, and enjoyed much conversation getting to know the Faulk clan a bit better. Very nice family!”

Next I fished two additional half-days, which included a shore lunch, with Bob and Christine, once on August 21st and again on September 27th. By then it seemed as though I’d known them for years!

The Faulks invited Peggy, our two dogs and I, to visit them for a few days in their neck of the woods – Waupaca. How could we refuse? We set the dates of October 20th – 23rd aside on our social calendars and I headed my heavily laden truck south on the morning of the 20th. Included in our baggage were two huge pans of Peggy’s famous Lasagna, an entrée I had promised Bob and Christine we’d all dine on our first night in Waupaca.

Between September 27th and October 20th much transpired concerning our scheduled visit to Waupaca! Bob had loaned his newly purchased books to many of his friends and acquaintances and plans began to develop to create an environment where Peggy and I could gather with Bob and Christine’s friends for some socialization. The plot mushroomed into securing a meeting room at the Waupaca Public Library where the public could gather to listen to an old crusty fishing guide tell fishing stories and attempt to sell his literature to an unsuspecting public! Fate was doing an outstanding job!

The Anderson gypsies arrived at Bob and Christine’s guesthouse early afternoon on the 20th of October. The refurbished old farmhouse was something you’d expect to see in “Better Homes and Gardens!” Accommodations at the Waldorf wouldn’t have been better!

Bob, Christine, Syd and Ardys joined Peggy and I for an evening of chatter and dining at Bob and Christine’s beautiful guesthouse where we devoured nearly all Peggy’s famous Lasagna. After dinner, in front of a crackling fire in a gigantic stone fireplace, we did what friends and acquaintances do in such a social setting. It was an evening well spent and a memorable one as well.

Early the next morning, 6:15 to be exact, I met Bob and two of his close friends, Ron Susnar and Dr. Tom Poullette at the Faulk Marsh for a morning waterfowl hunt. We saw numerous ducks and geese, which were successful in avoiding coming into range of our shotguns. But any morning in a marsh, watching and listening to the world come to life beats lots of other options, including going to work.

Later that day the scheduled early evening hour event at the Waupaca Public Library was completed in just over two hours with over forty folks in attendance. And it seemed everyone had an enjoyably time. The staff at the library was very friendly, professional and courteous to Peggy and I, plus cookies, coffee and hot cider were an unexpected plus. I’m sure a donation consisting of five of my published books was not thank-you enough!

Another early morning waterfowl hunt took place on the morning of the 22nd. This time Bob invited Jeff and Ellen Davis to join us. Our luck improved and by 9:15 we called it a day with three ducks and a Canadian goose in the bag.

On Friday evening Bob and Christine organized an evening cookout at their fantastic farmhouse. Besides the owners and the freeloaders from St. Germain, guests included my four hunting companions plus Ron’s wife, Kay. Jeff, just back from a two-week western upland gamebird and waterfowl, hunt grilled sliced pheasant breast on a charcoal grill for appetizers, Christine prepared a huge bowl of salsa salad complete with dipping chips and a variety of iced internal body stimulants conditioned our bodies for huge charcoal grilled steaks coupled with the usual condiments. And although most diners were too full for dessert most of us forced down a delectable creamy cake.

Friendly conversation finished off a delightful evening, which finally ended about ten.

Once again early Saturday morning found Jeff and I hunkered down in a thick stand of cattails on the banks of the Faulks Marsh. By 9:00 we had added five ducks and two Canadian geese to the previous days total. Jeff picked up the decoys and we called it a successful morning.

By 10:30 Peggy, our two dogs and I had said our good-byes to Bob and thanked our new friend and his lovely wife, Christine, for their superb hospitality! I’m sure more cherished memories await us all!

By 2:00 P.M the traveling freeloaders were safely back home in St. Germain savoring a wonderful three-day vacation!

Yes sir – Old Man Fate dealt a fantastic hand!

Mr. Leon "Buckshot" Anderson is one of the few old time hunting and fishing guides left in Northern Wisconsin.   Buckshot is a personal friend of the family and has known and worked with my grandfather, Howard "Pop" Dean,  both of whom are members of the fresh water fishing hall of fame, Legendary Guide.   Buckshot has authored 7 books on the great outdoors. All of his books can be purchased directly from him, at a discount, by email:  or by mail to: 2220 Deadman's Gulch Road, St. Germain, WI 54558.

Books by Leon "Buckshot" Anderson Click Here

Yes; Deadman's Gulch is the correct name, I have been on that road many times. Sincerely David D. Cruger

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