Please read the cache listing to get a preview of this adventure and to take advantage of some tips on entering the woods and exiting after the find as noted below. Searchers need to read the offset directions below to find the final.
I've been wanting to see a new night cache for a while, and the current season seemed like just the right time for one. Earlier darkness, fresh air, and no bugs. Deer, small game, and a diverse bird population were company for several days and nights of trekking in the woods and marsh when I placed this course and cache.
While I had been looking for a location closer to home and more convenient for families to get to for a fun night cache adventure, this opportunity popped up while visiting some old friends in the area, and it's more of a terrain challenge. Might even be a 3.0 at night. It's everyone's own call. The course does involve some careful stepping over or around down tree litter and logs at times, but no real heavy bushwhacking. The most distant wp is less than half a mile from the parking area (as the crow flies).
It's a bit of a trek to the starting point from the parking coordinates, but single reflectors mark a narrow hunter's trail southward from the parking area through open grassland to a suitable entry point in the woods. One stategy would be to start at sunset to enjoy the view over the fields to the west of the woods and enter the woods at dusk. It will darken quicker in there, and the fire tack trail starting at the given coordinates is deep in the woods.
From the hunter's trail entry that continues south just inside the wood's edge there are some scattered reflectors that go south-easterly and mark one way to the given coordinates through a natural more open area in the thickest part of the woods. Pick your own way as you like or if you are familiar with the woods and/or have other caches to visit.
At the starting point a diagonal line of three white fire tacks will be visible. Anyone having difficulty spotting these could move slightly northwest of the given coordinates for a better angle in case you are too close.
From there, a white two tack "trail" will lead you to and along the edge of the woods. There are some 90 and 180 degree turns along the way. The original hide beacon is marked by half a dozen or so white and orange tacks. Due to some evidence of hunter presence at this beacon in January, the container was moved to a knee high spot about twelve feet to the left of a single white tack north of the gaudy hide beacon. From the hide beacon, you can see a single white tack to the north, above head high, and a single white tack to the west, below head high. Each of them are about fifty feet away from the down tree with half a dozen tacks. The tack to the north is twelve feet to the right of the hide, the tack to the west leads you to the twin tacks marking the return trail. Please put the container snugly back in place and leave it well concealed when you return it to the hide spot.
After making the find, one of any number of exit routes is marked initially by alternating orange and white tacks in pairs, then singles. It takes an almost straight line past Pete's log benches to a distinct trail just inside the edge of the woods along the open grassland. When you get there your compass should tell you whether to turn right or left for an easy trail walk back to the parking area.
Enjoy the atmosphere at night in these aging woods along the extensive Rat River marsh, and take time to savor the view from the closest points to the open sky. Wildlife sounds and sighting reports would be great log additions. On some nights I am treated to the chilling calls of owls waking up, followed by their hooting as they moved around in the woods.
Located on Wisconsin DNR public hunting and fishing grounds. Wear blaze orange if searching this cache on the edge of daylight hours during open deer gun hunting seasons listed in the "Related Web Page" at the top of the listing. The geocache notification form 2500-118 (Rev 4/07) has been approved by Jaob Fries of the WI DNR Service Center in Oshkosh.