It’s all about the hunt. Nine days. That’s it. Nine days and in that span dreams can come true. Or not. Nine days of high intensity and time outside no matter what the weather.
The Wisconsin Deer Rifle Season: The time is now.
It starts on Saturday and after a mild autumn and slow moving weather things are forecast to change and change dramatically. As of this report the weather looks to bring falling temperatures and a mix of rain and snow driven by hard winds. There may or may not be snow on the dawning of the new season; late changes in the forecast might bring snow early or more rain. But the winds will be a constant.
Most hunters stand the first weekend and the weather, especially the wind, may make that a challenge for some. And deer, like many game animals, do not feel comfortable in high winds. Expect them to be edgy and nervous and looking for cover. Their normal patterns will be upset by legions of hunters and opening morning will, as if usually is, be the key time to take deer.
Deer move ahead of hard weather, lie tight during a storm, and move after. Keeping an eye on the weather this weekend and adjusting plans as it unfolds will be very important.
With a ban on baiting in this area hunters will be reverting to more scent lures to draw deer clos-er. That and hunting over areas of natural food sources will be key to many this week.
Overall, deer numbers are rebounding after the bad winter of a few years ago, but the population still is under what it was a few years back. But we do expect more deer this year and a better population of more mature bucks than we’ve seen the past two seasons.
The majority of deer killed in the nine days will be taken in the first two days so putting extra hours in the stand is important. The full moon was earlier this week and deer will not be moving as much at night as they did even a few days back. And the rut, while past its peak, is still a fac-tor. Bucks will still be looking for hot does and the doe-in-heat type scents should be a good tac-tic to employ.
After the opening weekend things typically slow down. Fewer hunters are out and deer adjust to the hunting pressure. But a wildcard in the mix is the forecast for a major storm on Tuesday. Again, deer will move ahead of the storm and after the storm when they are hungry. Midweek may hold some very good possibilities.
After nine days it will be over for another year. But the next nine days will be all about deer and deer hunting. After that, it will be time for the stories of the hunt!
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.