Outdoor Report – Oct. 6
The weekend should be one of high color. Autumn leaf color, after a slow start, has come on strong the past few days and this weekend should be close to the peak. Add to that the blaze orange of hunters in the field. It is, for Saturday and Sunday, the youth rifle hunt and all hunters, except waterfowlers, need follow the blaze orange requirements (50 percent or more blaze above the waist). Grouse and woodcock hunters, as well as archers, need to wear blaze.
Blaze is certainly not legally required for other people out and enjoying the woods, but it’s a good idea regardless. A cap, a vest, something blaze makes a lot of sense this weekend.
The cooler weather has made it seem more like fall, but it should feel that way, given we’re a week into October. The lack of a hard frost is still a puzzle and more than one hunter has complained mightily about mosquitoes this past week. The week-long forecast does not hold much promise for colder nights.
There has been little change to the outdoor scene and we see no real reason to expect much in the upcoming days. There are still mostly local ducks around, wood ducks and mallards and few if any early migrants have come down. Duck hunters report decent success even with the mild weather that is hardly conducive to great duck hunt conditions.
Grouse remain a mixed lot with more negative than positive reports coming in. A killing frost will help bring leaves down and concentrate birds on specific feed but as noted above it does not seem we’ll see one soon. Woodcock numbers are still thin, though some hunters felt there was a small push into the area midweek. Mid-October usually sees some good woodcock flights.
Archers typically see this time frame as an uneventful period in the whitetail world. Deer are still not focused on any particular type of food. Cold weather will change that and, more importantly, the rut should come on in the next 30 days and that will be more significant than food or weather.
Fishing is steady, water temperatures are still mild and fish have not gone on a major autumn feed yet. That will happen over the next weeks as longer hours of darkness will bring lower temperatures and more active fish.
We continue to enjoy warmer-than-average temperatures, which have made for a pleasant fall so far. With fall color peaking in the next days we are into some of the glory days of autumn. Best not to miss out on them.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.