Some weather moved in this week; chill and rain, temps in low 30s. Fall weather; seasonal for mid-October, the type of weather we can expect. The forecast held the dreaded (for some) four-letter word: Snow. As in “Chance of Snow”. It’s been a while since we’ve seen that. All of which brings to a stark reminder that things are changing with more to come.
There are those that say that the early duck migration peaks around Oct. 20. By then we should see redheads and ringnecks and the early bluebills come down.
It’s been warm so that may be delayed but heavy weather to the north will send ducks on the migration and any waterfowler worth the name should be ready now. Local birds will be gone soon and migrants will be the key for the rest of the season. Small water can still be good but big lakes and flowages now should be the focus.
It’s early for the rut but it’s not too far off. Archers should be ready. Bucks should start responding soon to rut-related scents and rattling horns. There is still a lot of leaf cover but a hard rain or high wind can put that to an end. Deer season will get better very soon as bucks start to move and hard frosts kill off any remaining summer cover. Once deer have to narrow the focus for food they become easier to pattern.
We’re not hearing a lot about upland hunters; grouse are scattered but there are areas that are pretty good. Woodcock have been moving through but the age-old theory is that the week after October’s full moon will bring a good migration. That full moon is on Oct. 18; expect some good woodcock flights next week.
All the talk on hunting tends to diminish fishing chatter but its all about muskies and walleyes now. Muskies have been pretty active and we think that will continue. Bucktails still work but colder weather will make suckers a popular (and effective) choice as well as larger, slow moving jerk baits. As water temps drop it is critical to move lures slowly. That time is near.
And while it seems difficult to believe it, rifle season is not much more than 30 days out. Nov. 23 will be a late opener but it’s not too early to sight in rifles and start to prepare stands and gear.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.