James Card

Freelance Writer and magazine editor based in the sand counties of central Wisconsin.
It still stands as the strangest fishing story I ever wrote:
"If “Blade Runner” were turned into a fishing program, this would be the filming location."
The Fish Are Biting and the Room is Hopping
By JAMES CARD
The New York Times, May 27, 2009

It still stands as the strangest fishing story I ever wrote:

"If “Blade Runner” were turned into a fishing program, this would be the filming location."

The Fish Are Biting and the Room is Hopping

By JAMES CARD

The New York Times, May 27, 2009

At the office I arranged my notebook screen in a different position and angle. This is what appeared.

At the office I arranged my notebook screen in a different position and angle. This is what appeared.

Drank mug of coffee overlooking this grim but lovely scene this April morning. Mostly amused. It will melt in time for turkeys, trout and morels.

Drank mug of coffee overlooking this grim but lovely scene this April morning. Mostly amused. It will melt in time for turkeys, trout and morels.

The stash for summer campfires. Cut in November. Seasoned over winter. The larger logs will be split this spring. Makes a guy feel wealthy.

The stash for summer campfires. Cut in November. Seasoned over winter. The larger logs will be split this spring. Makes a guy feel wealthy.

The opening of the early catch-and-release trout season arrived and we are still skiing in bitter cold weather. The concept of meteorological spring is a cruel and asinine joke. We make the most of it.

The opening of the early catch-and-release trout season arrived and we are still skiing in bitter cold weather. The concept of meteorological spring is a cruel and asinine joke. We make the most of it.

Upland epiphany: The spaniel and I discovered a new covert in the black cherry thickets along the river. There is nothing better than discovering some ruffed grouse where you never expected to find them.

The radio meteorologist said it will get down to 29 below zero tonight. With the Packers knocked out of the playoffs, I’m already thinking about baseball season. I’m thinking about the radio meteorologist calling for sunny afternoons and cool evenings. I’m thinking about Bob Uecker calling Brewer games on the radio as I listen along at my workbench while stringing up a fly rod.

From John Schulian’s Twilight of the Long-ball Gods: Dispatches from the Disappearing Heart of Baseball:

"Though evidence to the contrary is embarrassingly abundant, I would like to think this makes me somehow superior to the infidels of the cable age, for radio is a cerebral medium just as baseball is a cerebral sport. To hear it properly, you have to be able to imagine the setting, the stars, and the strategy."

While out ice fishing, I came across this shack and it seems like the owner thinks the same way, as if the old-time Brewer logo is some kind of Wisconsin hoodoo symbol that will speed the death of winter and usher in spring at a quicker pace.

The fact that it is painted on an ice fishing shack is not lost. A man must have hope in the cold northern winters and also must invent pastimes, such as staring over a frozen lake at a string of tip-ups until a pike is hooked and a flag goes up.

It was the last hour of the last day of the deer season. The last chance to put up some more venison. I waited two days until the wind was blowing in the right direction until I went into the woods. The night before a pair of coyotes passed by my ground blind and their tracks were dusted with fresh snow.

The whitetail doe emerged out of the pine grove and stood 75 yards away. I watched her through the scout scope for two minutes, most of her body blocked by a tree trunk. When she lifted her neck to survey her surroundings, I took the shot and she died instantly.

The sun went down past the treetops and the temperature was dropping fast. In a few hours it would be close to 20 below zero with the wind chill. I cleaned the deer and cinched the drag rope around its neck. Along the brushy fence line, I spotted a coyote and then another. In the darkness they would feast on the viscera but the heart and liver were coming home with me.

The big doe gave birth to a buck fawn in late spring that followed her around all summer. They bedded in the river bottom and in the planted pines. In early fall I watched them eat from the soybean field at dusk and dawn. In late October I watched them being chased around by a grunting buck that I was trying to kill with a bow and arrow. A few days later, they passed me as I was stalking through a grove of spruce. They were ten yards away and the wind was in my favor. Last week the big doe emerged from the thick pines. She trotted a few yards and stopped to look back where she came from. She died quickly.