Abnormal winter has led into an abnormal spring
What do the following words have in common? Cold, clouds, rain, sunshine, snow, warm. Each of those terms describes the weather one may experience during the spring turkey hunting season. This year, we hunted in each of those conditions.
During the winter of 2013/2014, we were constantly hearing that this was simply a “good old fashioned winter.” That winter weather has hung on and has extended into spring turkey hunting and opening of fishing season.
We applied for turkey licenses for the third week-long season. We do that so we can combine some trout fishing with turkey hunting. On Saturday, May 3 we tried to hunt during the morning and fish some trout streams in the Osseo area in the afternoon. As a result of the rain they experienced in that area the streams were high and muddy. Without spending more time discussing trout fishing just note that the trout we caught were not big enough to keep.
We have been combining trout fishing along with turkey hunting during the first weekend of fishing season for quite a few years. Over those years, as we traveled to and from Osseo, we would see many boats on trailers being towed on highways 29, 39 and 8. This year, we saw very few boats being towed behind vehicles. We suspect that the combination of the one-walleye per angler limit and the large number of lakes that were still covered with ice caused fishing pressure to be lower than normal.
On the Monday following opening weekend, a lot of area lakes were still frozen. We have heard about a number of area anglers who fished opening weekend with tip-ups on the ice in northern Wisconsin. If you are still thinking about venturing out on the ice use extreme caution.
We have talked about a different winter ever since January first. Now we are talking about a different kind of spring. One weather person promised that the area lakes would be ice-free by June 1. Let’s hope that is right.
Last weekend for four consecutive mornings I crawled into my blind before five o’clock. My blind was the roots from a large tree that the landowner had pushed over with his dozer. Each morning when the alarm goes off before daylight I grumble that turkey hunting forces us to get out too early. Once settled in the blind, where I am able to see my decoy plus stay out of the wind, life looks good.
Saturday morning our son, Craig, was set up in a similar blind and was as comfortable as can be during spring in Wisconsin. He sat in his blind for just over five hours and said that he had been entertained during most of that time. He saw 21 deer, a coyote, at least 15 mallards and four pheasants. When we sat down for breakfast he said, “I guess that’s why I enjoy getting into the woods before daybreak”.
This week the Wisconsin Conservation Congress holds their State Meeting in Wausau.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.