Hunting seasons begin as summer turns to autumn
Labor Day marks the turn in seasons in spite of the calendar that promises more weeks of summer. Say what you will, September is autumn and summer will fade into memory before long. Now, September, and we are moving full speed into fall and all that it will bring.
Fall brings hunting seasons and those kicked off last Saturday with early goose and teal seasons. Early reports were spotty with goose numbers seemingly down from past years and hunt action inconsistent at best. Being migratory birds, one can expect better days ahead for goose hunters. Teal season has little traction in this area, nor does dove season which also opened. Dove hunting, after a decade or so, has never much been a factor for hunters in this area.
Deer archery season will be next up in terms of major openings, along with grouse season: both open on Sept. 15. Waterfowl season will get underway Sept. 29. Deer numbers are holding steady in most areas and a good acorn crop will help pull deer to oak forests as they seek out the rich food that acorns provide. Grouse numbers are poor and consideration is still on the table for a possible shorter season. But any way it plays out this season for grouse does not hold much promise.
Fishing continues of course but it’s been a slow week or two as summer tapers down. Smallmouth bass have been a bright spot but other than that we have not had reports of any kind of consistent success from area anglers. The heavy rains forecast for this week will likely set things back as lakes will be altered and rivers could be wild with flood, neither of which will help anglers find much action. Best we can note there is that better days are ahead as fall angling can be very good.
Assuming we get heavy rains this week we’d advise caution to boaters on both lakes and, especially, rivers. Water levels will change some on lakes and at the least make access at landings more difficult. But on the rivers heavy rains may cause significant rise in water levels and flow and make canoeing or kayaking less comfortable.
But after all is said and done, we are now into autumn activities and the change in season is now at hand. Look for some great times in the weeks ahead as color peaks and fall seasons progress.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.