Readying guns, clothing, deer stands only part of the equation
Color the world blaze orange. It’s that time of the year. Daylight shortens, nights chill and soon, in a week, the woods will fill with blaze. Blaze orange and the new (and many would argue absurd) blaze pink will fill streets, diners and of course, deer stands and hunt shacks across the state.
This week is all about deer season and blaze. Every hunter should be sighting in rifles (or have them sighted in and ready); checking clothing and gear; scouting their hunt areas; and reviewing the regulations (foremost is a new tag system and a baiting ban in this area). There is, for most hunters, a lot to get done this week.
For all the preparation a hunter can do the one key element that is critical is one which they have no control over: The weather. Favorable weather will determine deer activity levels as well, to some degree, hunter participation. Most hunters hope for at least a dusting of snow, good for tracking deer, positive for better visibility.
Unless the forecast is hugely mistaken scratch that off the list; the weather looks to continue with temperatures well above average and no chance of snow. That will make sitting on the stand pleasant but do nothing positive for hunting.
A full moon on Monday will have an impact as well; make of it what you will but generally deer are thought to move more in night hours with the full moon. By weekend the moon will rise later, after 9 p.m. on Friday and it will be less of a factor. Deer are still in the rut and will be tapering off by the weekend but it will still be a factor. With the baiting ban deer movement will be different for most hunters than in the past and good natural food sources will be more important. Find where deer feed, set up accordingly and chances for success will increase.
But full moon or not, baiting or baiting ban, warm weather or cold, this is the week hunters wait for and dream of and anticipate for months. It is a short, intense season that remains a huge factor in the north woods culture.
And a caution; while hunters are required to wear blaze clothing it is a good idea for anyone doing anything outside in a rural area to use some blaze. It simply helps minimize chances of errors in judgment.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.