We, finally, saw snow this week, a season-changing event more common to late September or mid October. But this fall everything seemed to be running late and so it is that Nov. 2 was a day we woke to snow cover. Granted, it will not last. But importantly, it sends the clear signal that November is there and things are getting serious.
Nothing more serious comes in early November than deer season in the Northwoods. Bucks are feeling the change and scrapes and rubs are common now as the big guys get out and move. Archers have their day now; gun hunters see their day on the 18th, only two weeks out. And for all of them this is the time to either be on the stand (archers) or be in major preparation (gun hunters).
Of all things whitetail related nothing stands larger than the rut, that short, intense time in which normally secretive bucks get out and move, on the prowl for receptive does. Every year Field & Stream magazine forecasts the best days of the rut and we present them here. For details on each day, buy the magazine! But for an overview read on!
Nov. 3 shows as a good day as does Nov. 6; both this week and both in the early stages of the buildup to the peak of the rut. But mark next Friday, Nov. 10: That is the day that F&S calls out as the Best Day. Period. That day, and we assume the days before and after, are the times to be on the stand, bow ready. Bucks will move all day and there simply is no bad time to be out.
The early forecast shows the 10th to be a decent day, chilly but not cold and as such a day for the archers to be on the stand early and long.
Following that there is a gap in the rut forecast until, significantly, the 19th when it bumps up again. That is of interest as it’s the Sunday of opening weekend for gun hunters. And that alone is a reason to look forward to that day.
So, in short, archers need to be out. And gunners need to be sighting in rifles, getting stands ready and preparing all their gear. The deer hunt will dominate the outdoor scene for the next weeks.
But more is going on as waterfowlers are seeing some migrating birds come in, though it has been spotty. Grouse hunters are accepting that grouse numbers are down this season and are making the best of what they have. Woodcock flights have been, as they usually are, unpredictable. Some large flights came through two weeks ago but recently it’s been slow as the end of the season looms on the 6th.
Fishing is ongoing and reports are of good crappie action mixed with so-so success on walleyes and muskies.
But the big news is the change in weather that now has snow on the ground, chilly mornings and more of that to come.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.