They usually arrive the day prior and stay in cabins and some of the more hardy camp. There are campfires and stories of days past and some plain old bragging and BS is swapped between the friends and relatives.
Trout camp is almost the same. Thirty to forty trout anglers converge on a couple close together campsites. The same theme as deer camp is the rule.
Lots of adult beverages are consumed the night before. Some of the participants don't make it to the water until the sun has been up for a couple hours due to the late night and telling of tall tales.
These anglers are from the Madison area and some come all the way from Green Bay to camp in Wisconsin's mecca of trout fishing. The group targets the heart of the driftless area. The heart is Vernon,Crawford,Grant and Richland counties.
The gathering has evolved in to a competition through the years. Two dollars each is thrown in to the kitty each on the night before by the trout hunters go out on their crusade for the biggest trout.
Saturday at 5pm the warriors meet up again at a central campsite and the BS flies fast and furious. Each participant with a decent trout postured and were very tight lipped about where they caught their fish. Most anglers when asked where they caught their trout answer with the pat answer of: "Right in the corner of the mouth."
There kitty is used by the winner to place a plaque on the trophy with the size of the trout and the winning anglers name and year it was caught. The trophy is called "The Bull Of The Woods" for the winner of the contest. The second prize or runner up gets the "Pecker Wood" trophy and has to pay for their plaque out of their own pocket.
Two years ago I was on a trout fishing message board and met one of the Bull Of The Woods winners. He had just won the trophy for the first time. His name is Scott Blumreich. He is from Green Bay. He asked me if I could help him with some home field advantage on where to catch a big trout. I gladly shared some information with Scott.
The Monday after the gathering Scott sent me a photo of his catch for 2013 and thanked me for my good information. Scott won the 2013 Bull Of The Woods contest with the biggest trout ever caught in the contest. This was two years in a row he won.
2014 rolled around and Scott contacted me again. Scott wanted his dad to win the contest so I gave up some good information again. Scott even invited me to the 2014 award ceremony.
The 2014 ceremony was held last Saturday at a remote campsite somewhere in Southwestern Wisconsin. I was blindfolded and led to the site by Scott.
The Bull Of The Woods trophy was won again by Scott Blumreich. This makes it a three peat for Scott for winning the contest. I was a witness to the event and not a participant. I took a couple photos and enjoyed a couple beverages and left the Trout Camp to their traditions and tall tale telling.
Alex Domingues left of Sun Prairie won the "Pecker Wood" for 2014 and Scott Blumreich right of Green Bay won first.