Night Deer Hunting, Drug Take-Back Day, Recovering From Sexual Assault

Air Date:
Heard On Central Time

Wisconsin officials have said prescription and illicit drug abuse is a public health crisis, and they’re trying to come up with ways to solve the issue. The state attorney general joins us to talk about drug take-back day and other attempts to stop drug abuse. We also hear about a woman’s journey to recovering from sexual abuse, and look at the future of night deer hunting for the state’s Chippewa tribes.

Featured in this Show

  • One Woman's Way Of Confronting Her Rape: A 2,650-Mile Hike

    All her life, Aspen Matis said she felt incapable of taking care of herself, unable to be heard and a little bit vulnerable to the world. When on her second night away at college — before classes had even begun — she was raped by a fellow student, she said she felt as though all her insecurities had been validated.

    “In my 18-year-old mind, it was confirmation that I had poor judgement and how could I have trusted a rapist, and I wasn’t capable of functioning in the world,” Matis said.

    A few months after the assault, Matis dropped out of school to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a mountainous trek stretching more than 2,600 miles between Mexico and Canada. The journey, she said, was immersion therapy — a way of confronting the very thing that bit her.

    “I saw the trail as a place where I would be forced to rise to the occasion,” Matis said. “I would have to prove again and again that I was capable of taking care of myself … If I could survive there, if I could take care of myself in the Mojave Desert and the High Sierra and the Cascade Mountains alone, then I can take care of myself and be alone anywhere.”

    Matis details the story of that journey and what it meant to her as a rape survivor in her new memoir, “Girl in the Woods.” She’s donating a portion of the book sales to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, also known as RAINN — a group that she said helped her through her own ordeal.

    In the book, Matis recalls how administrators at Colorado College encouraged her not to press charges with the police because she reported the rape two weeks after the incident. Instead, she was turned to the school’s rape response coordinator.

    “I remember at the time that it totally blew my mind that a tiny little campus of 2,000 kids would even need a rape response coordinator as a full-time position,” she said. “I didn’t think that rape could possibly be common.”

    The coordinator served as a mediator after hearing testimony from Matis and her alleged rapist and ultimately ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence for further action. In a matter of months, they allowed her rapist to move into the same dormitory where she lived. Soon after, Matis decided to drop out of school.

    The trail proved to be a place where Matis would be constantly tested. One of those tests: She would often be confronted by men and other strangers on a regular basis while hiking on her own.

    “I was constantly put into the position of making my boundaries clear, and saying, ‘No, I’m not interested,’ when something felt wrong to me, and saying no without apology. Again and again and again, I found that my voice was audible, that people respected it,” Matis said.

    After hiking an average 26 miles a day, learning to locate food and water and build shelter, navigating her way along the trail and carrying her weight on her back, Matis said she undeniably earned her own respect. Her rape didn’t disappear — instead, she said, it became just one small piece of her personal identity.

  • Chippewa Night Deer Hunt Approved By Federal Judge

    After an extended legal battle, a federal judge ruled this week that the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians will be able to hunt deer at night in Northern Wisconsin. An outdoors writer talks about the case, the DNR response, and what to expect when the season begins on November 1st.

  • Wisconsin Attorney General On Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

    The Wisconsin Attorney General has said prescription drug abuse is a public health crisis, and the state will hold a drug take-back day to battle this issue. He joins us to talk about how the program will help fight drug abuse, and where you can get rid of your old prescriptions.

  • Recovering From Rape, On The Hiking Trail

    Our guest was raped early on during her freshman year at college. She shares her story of recovery and self-discovery on a solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Matt Oleson Producer
  • Aspen Matis Guest
  • Paul Smith Guest
  • Brad Schimel Guest
  • Jaime Sathasivam Guest