Summer winds down in some blast-furnace heat even as Sept. 1 rolls around and with it a shift to autumn. Given the heat and humidity of the past week one has difficulty thinking of cool fall weather but the tide has turned and we can expect some chill soon. Or so we’d think; this year all bets are off when it comes to weather.
The heat of the last week of August hardly sets the tone for upcoming hunt season but the calendar tells a different story. Sept. 1 hunt seasons open up with Early Goose and Dove seasons. The latter is hardly a major story up here but the former, the goose hunt, can be. Geese, being migratory, come and go so it is difficult to predict success of the first days. And if the heat continues it will hardly seem like hunting weather. Still, the early goose hunt can be a good one so it’s best to check fields and ponds for sign of the big birds.
Doves are not much of a factor up here and so that season will open with little fanfare. Soon to come though are archery deer and grouse, both in a few weeks, and those seasons carry some weight. archers should be sharpening their skills these weeks; upland hunters really don’t have much to do save for finding shells and related gear. Deer numbers should be good but grouse populations are unpredictable. A June cool period that corresponded with the time birds hatched may have taken a toll on young grouse. We hope for the best but expectations are tempered.
The heat of this weekend should set the stage for a very nice Labor Day Weekend. Water temperatures rose this week so in-water activities should be good (swimmers and water skiers take note). The rise in temperatures is a mixed blessing for anglers given that most fish like stability. Still we would think bass fishing would continue its late summer surge; both largemouth and smallies have been active of late.
Walleyes remain steady with decent catches on some lakes though not many big fish have been seen. That should come later with autumn really takes hold. Same for muskies; they’ve been spotty this summer and the prime time for big fish is probably a few weeks off at the best.
But the warm weather at least puts people in the mood for summer and this last weekend of the season should be a good one for all.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.