Outdoor Report: In a slow spell
The rush to winter, to snow and ice, to cold winds and frosty temperatures, all took a giant step backwards this past week. The ice that was forming is either gone or weakened; the snow of a week ago is gone to thaw. We have taken a step back even as December moves into its second week, a time when one can reasonably expect far more in the way of winter than we will have.
Chilly weather, if the forecast holds true, will start to build more ice. And snow can come at any time (a year ago we got a nice storm about this time). But good winter weather has not shown up and winter sports seem to be off in the future.
For now, we are winding up the firearms deer hunt that started a few weeks ago. Let’s see…we had nine days of rifle, nine days of muzzleloader, and now this weekend a four-day antlerless season that ran statewide (but only in specific units that had antlerless permits). That’s about a three-week run by any count. Now all that remains is the late archery season. There will still be some grouse hunters out, a few rabbit hunters in the woods, and fewer still coyote hunters. But the long run of hunting seasons that started back in September are now nearly all done.
We often have good ice by now, but that is not going to be the case. Yes, we know, some sheltered areas over shallow water will have ice, but overall it’s too early and we’d not risk it.
Snow sports are a way off, barring any unexpected storms. Granted, a snow storm can come up in a hurry and if it does, cross country skiers will be the first to benefit. But it’s not there as of this writing and the forecast, short-term at least, is not good.
All of which is to say we’re at a slow spell in outdoor activities this week. About the only thing worth noting is that Monday, Dec. 10, is the deadline for spring turkey applications as well as the date to get bear hunt apps in the mail.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.