Outdoor Notebook: Still plenty of great outdoor activities to do in fall
Have you noticed that in the morning there is a bit of a cool bite to the wind? When the wind blows the trees are showering the landscape with leaves. Soon the water in most area lakes will turn over. A week ago, for the 30th time, the Jaeckle Company brought some of their salesmen to our area to fish and enjoy the colors.
It is interesting to reflect upon the efforts of some who say that they would like to encourage visitors to our area. About half of the lakes we visited last weekend had the piers at the boat landings already taken out of the water. On those lakes with rock bars the marker buoys have also already, been removed. It would be a great help to those still enjoying the water if the piers and navigation aids were allowed to stay in the water a bit longer in the fall.
Frequently when deer hunters gather, a concern for the ability of deer to grow to maturity in spite of all the natural predators is discussed. Across the North deer must avoid many predators. Recently a friend showed me some interesting pictures that were taken by a trail camera. There were several pictures showing a young nubin buck that was killed by a bobcat. It appeared that the cat had been sitting in a tree and jumped on the buck as it walked past. It was my belief that a bobcat was too small to kill a deer. It appears that I will need to re-think the ability of bobcats to take animals several times their size. I sometimes wonder how any deer make it to adulthood in our area.
Last weekend the youth deer hunt was conducted statewide. For that event some of the gates in the property formerly owned by Consolidated Paper Company were lifted. It appears that the gates were opened on Friday afternoon and re-installed on Monday morning. It was mentioned in a previous column that the roads that were opened were the main roads.
It was explained to me that one of the reasons that those roads were closed was that some people leave a lot of trash in the woods. It is as important in the woods as it is along the highways that we all dispose of our trash properly.
Fall fishing is beginning to attract some of those anglers who spend their time searching for trophy fish. Vilas County trophy hunter, Tom Gelb, will be out row trolling until the last day of the season, which is at the end of November.
Sometimes he has been forced to quit sooner because the lakes freeze up. Those anglers who fish late in the season truly earn their fish! It ceases to be fun when the water begins to dramatically cool down. My most difficult task during late fishing is the constant struggle to keep my hands warm and dry.
We have been involved in numerous discussions with area grouse hunters. Each of those hunters we have talked with is telling us that the grouse population is very low. Grouse numbers follow a cycle. High numbers seem to peak every eight to ten years. It seems that more effort will be aimed at the woodcock. They are not as desirable for eating as grouse but they are fun to shoot.
As usual for me, as the mornings get a bit cooler and the leaves drop, I spend more time at the deer shack. This year the mosquitoes are still present making it rather unpleasant to sit quietly in the woods.
This coming week is going to be rather difficult for me to concentrate. The group that I have gone with on numerous elk hunting trips in Colorado is leaving Tuesday. I chose not to accompany them this year since I have a great deal of difficulty adjusting to the high altitude. We have always camped at just over 10,000 feet above sea level. It is very difficult to get ready for that altitude when we live at 1,500 feet.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.