This is a busy outdoor weekend in the northern Wisconsin. Major hunting seasons open up, including archery deer and fall turkey. Add to that the two-day youth waterfowl hunt. In short, a lot going on this weekend and the real start of serious hunting seasons.
One would not think so, given the weather. The late surge of 80-degree temperatures has been a surprise given that it was five consecutive days. None of that really sets the stage for fall hunting but it is what we have. It will be hot on Saturday, cooling off on Sunday and next week looks far more reasonable for September.
The deer herd is on the rebound, no two ways about it. The killer winters of a few years back took a huge toll on the northern herd. Those numbers are now coming back up. Archers will have more deer in the woods this season. There is no baiting in Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties and that will change the dynamics of the hunt. Deer will move more during daytime hours and locating their natural food sources becomes more important. But bottom line is this should be a better archery season than we’ve seen for a few years.
Grouse numbers may also be up based on spring counts, but the opening weeks are always marked by heavy leaf cover that makes clear shots rare. Add to the hot weather on Saturday and we expect a quiet opening stanza for the upland hunters. The best to be said of grouse hunting is that it’ll get better.
Fishing is steady as we move into autumn transition. This week’s weather slowed the drop in lake temperatures but that will be a factor as we move forward over the next few weeks. Fish like periods of stable weather and we have had that this week. As temperatures drop over the weekend look for a drop in fish activity but mid week we’d expect a rebound. Muskies continue to take buck tails and walleyes will prefer minnows on jigs. That will not change over the next weeks.
Forecasts call for an early color peak and already we are seeing some color develop. That will come faster every day over the next weeks and if predictions are accurate we’ll see it peak in about two weeks. That combined with the mild weather make the upcoming week look pretty good indeed.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.