Hunting season to begin, fishing conditions change
If there was any doubt as to where we stand in the cycle of seasons they were put to rest this week as cool, dry air moved in and the common refrain across the land was, “It feels like fall.” Indeed it did. We will have warm days ahead, perhaps some real heat, but this week the season changed. Summer is on the wane; autumn now is knocking on the door.
Across the landscape we are seeing the first splashes of fall color now; isolated patches of reds and tawny brown now are beginning to show up. We are also seeing trees in low lying areas that are stressed and in some cases dying now due to the high water levels that have kept many low areas inundated since April or May. Trees best suited to drier ground have been under water for months now and some are beginning to die, another consequence of the above average rainfall all spring.
Those high water levels will impact upcoming hunting seasons, now only weeks away. Waterfowl will have far more water to use which will make locating them more difficult for hunters and some archers that normally set up in near swamps may well have standing water where they normal set up.
We are now a week away from some early hunting seasons. Teal, early goose season and dove seasons all open Sept. 1. After that comes a steady parade of season openers through September. While none of the early Sept.1 openers bring a flood of hunters to the field they are significant if for no other reason than to put the hunting seasons in gear.
Fishing, of course, remains ongoing and the cooler weather this past week serves as the first major change in fishing conditions since late spring. It is still early but the cool nights this week and those to come will gradually bring water temperatures down and alter fishing significantly over the next 30 days or so.
For now, we are mostly in a late summer pattern and as such, things remain pretty constant week to week. Walleyes are taking leeches for the most part; bass still are working shallows in evening (largemouth) or deeper, cooler water (smallies); muskies are pretty steady, taking buck tails with some regularity and top water lures when conditions are right (cloudy days or evenings). As cooler temperatures prevail that will all change but for now it’s steady as she goes.
So it is as we wind down the summer in the north woods with Labor Day a week away and with that a final call for all things summer.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.