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Long away from hunting, Fischer ends up with reward

After Darla Fischer of Ellsworth hadn’t hunted for a long time, she returned to the gun-deer sport last month. On opening day of this year’s season, Fischer shot a nine-point buck with an 18-inch spread. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

Darla Fischer of Ellsworth remembers when she used to go squirrel hunting with family members as a youth.

Last week, Fischer believed it was her brothers who taught her how to shoot a gun. She knew her family cleaned and ate most of the animals they killed back then.

“My mom was good at cooking them…she fixed them with onions and bacon,” said the daughter of Shirley and Donald Borst, who grew up with 10 siblings and whose dad wasn’t a hunter.

She was unsure Wednesday exactly how long it’d been since she’d done any kind of hunting (rabbit and pheasant, along with venison, were others popular in her early years). One of her visiting grown sons said he couldn’t recall it at all. Maybe 45 years, she estimated, concluding it should be sufficient to say it was a “long time.”

Joining in the gun-deer hunt more recently became an item on what she calls her “bucket list,” Fischer said. Another grown son, Jody of Rochester, Minn., inspired her to try deer hunting herself. She’s accompanied this wheelchair-bound hunter to the Rock Creek Disabled Hunt each October in Willard for five years and, now, it was her turn.

Opening day of this year’s regular season was bitterly cold, she said, so much so it wasn’t too many hours beyond their 6 a.m. departure she and nephew Tony Brantner of Beldenville, her hunting partner, decided to warm up inside a house. She originally was going to hunt alone (husband Richard doesn’t hunt anymore due to injuries and her sons weren’t around), but she called Brantner at the last minute and he obliged. The frigid temperatures and wind chills may have had them rethinking the idea when they left the woods (this despite her having gathered her warmest clothes the previous night in preparation), but determined to carry on, they went back outdoors.

“Within a half hour, we each had a buck,” she said.

Brantner’s was a six-point and hers a nine-point with an 18-inch spread, Fischer said, already having had the latter processed into steak and hamburger, though also considering having it mounted and joking with her daughter it’d look nice on a living room wall.

“I was hollering and carrying on,” she said of her excitement when the reality of the prize overcame her.

For more please read the Dec. 4 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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