Outdoor Report: It’s all about the hunt
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.
This is a big weekend in the world of outdoor sport as multiple seasons open. And important seasons: archery deer; grouse; fall turkey. Those seasons, particularly the first two, lure a lot of people to the woods. So this weekend marks a true turning point as summer fades behind us and the major hunt time starts up.
Prospects are good for the most part. The deer herd is slowly rebuilding from huge losses a few winters back. The brutal winter of two years ago devastated the herd and we are still a year or two away, assuming good winters, from rebuilding to more normal levels. But this year is better than last and the fall hunts, archery now, rifle in November, look promising.
Early archery season is often overlooked; many archers prefer to wait until late October to go out. But early season has bucks in groups and less used to hunt pressure. It can be a very good time to spend outside on a stand. Deer have a lot of food choices now but a good acorn crop this year in many areas can concentrate them to oak ridges and provide good hunting opportunities for archers.
Grouse hunting in the early weeks is another story. Hunters may well find family groups in coveys and young birds unaware of hunting. So from that point of view it’s a good time to be afield. But the early season forest is thick with cover and heavy with greenery and opportunities for clear shots are rare. Many early season hunters can hear the birds flush but never see them in flight.
But the early days are a good opportunity to gather up gear and get out for a short walk to, if nothing else, check out the territory. Betters days will be ahead in terms of better hunt conditions but a walk in the woods in September never is a bad way to spend an hour or two.
Bear hunters started their season this week, waterfowl hunters eye up the opening day later this month but for now the hunt season is underway.
Fishing continues and can be very good as the weeks progress. Walleyes and muskies will be the key targets for autumn anglers and fishing can be very good. But this weekend it’s all about the hunt as we move toward mid September and cooler days, brilliant color and fine times to be in the woods.