Outdoor Report: Fall brings more than a change in the weather
November comes; season change with it. The autumn warmth and blaze of color are gone; gone this year and not to come again. Now things happen at a faster pace; we are only weeks away from the nine day deer rifle season that dominates the 11th month. Each day now brings change; every day holds potential.
If you are a fisherman this is the time for big fish, muskies mostly but walleyes also. If the mantra for big fish the rest of the year is “location, location, location” the refrain now is “slow, slower, slowest.”
Big fish in cold water (and the water is very cold right now) do not move with speed; a fast retrieve is wasted energy and will produce very little save for tired muscles for the angler. Now big suckers floated under oversize bobbers is a key tactic for large fish. That or large lures moved slowly, every so slowly. But big fish will feed in the cold and this is the time trophy anglers wait for.
Trophy hunters wait for this time as well. The rut is near and bucks will move and any archer worth the name should be on the stand in the next weeks. There may be no better time to take a big deer than now. That does not mean the big guys throw all caution to the north wind this week; they don’t. But they do move more and they do move more during daylight hours.
Bucks will be chasing does so find does and you often find bucks. Now is the time to use a mix of rattling horns and rut-specific scents. But the most important thing is to get out there.
Waterfowl hunters will see major flights in the next weeks. It can happen any given day. Weather will drive it but birds are on the move and will continue until ice up. Large flights of divers will make up the majority of south-bound ducks but mixed mallards and other ducks will come into play as well.
Upland hunters will be focused on grouse from here on out; woodcock season closes Nov. 4. Hunting conditions are good and there are grouse to be found if you look long and hard.
But the big news is the rifle season that looms only weeks away. It’s time to gather up gear, sight in the rifle and begin serious preparation for the big day.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.