Outdoor Notebook: Rehashing the deer season with an eye toward spring
I have read in several publications that the deer season is over. That may be rushing the end of the season a bit. The archery season began Sept. 13 and will end Jan. 13, 2015. Wisconsin has one of the longest archery seasons anywhere.
As usual I took advantage of the archery season, the gun-deer season and the muzzleloader season. Believe it or not in spite of all that time in the woods I never pulled a bow back nor did I aim at any deer with my rifle. My notes show that I hunted 23 different times, not full days, but at least three hours or more each time, many days at least seven hours.
Most of my deer hunting time has been spent in the Monico area. We have known that deer are scarce in that area however we enjoy hunting there and I’m sure we will continue to hunt here hoping for the best.
During the nine-day gun-deer season I saw a doe and two fawns on the last Saturday of the season. Those were the only deer that I saw during the season. During the muzzleloader season I saw those three deer again plus I got a look at six additional deer. Unfortunately the only legal targets had to have antlers and the deer I saw did not have antlers.
Moving on to the antlerless hunt in the Central Farmland Zone, deer that are legal targets in that zone must be antlerless. As usual I was hunting in the Farmland Zone with my frequent hunting partner the “Osseo Jinx” (Tom Twesme).
We began our hunt on Friday afternoon and hunted until shooting hours expired. Tom and I compared notes when we met back at the truck and had a good laugh. Our luck continued to be the same as it had been during the regular gun-deer season. Tom had seen a deer but when he scoped it he saw antlers. Of course bucks were protected during that hunt. I had not seen any deer.
Saturday was frustrating. We made pushes to each other trying to push out a deer. No deer were seen until the end of shooting hours but it too had antlers when seen through my scope.
Sunday we again made some pushes to each other. A doe and two fawns tried to sneak out of the thick cover. When I got the doe in the scope it was too late to shoot since the deer were in heavy cover. Tom went into that thick cover and pushed a huge deer out. I scoped it and sure enough it had a nice rack of antlers.
As we sorted out equipment and packed gear in my pickup we decided we could partially blame our lack of deer sightings on the extremely dense fog both Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be ready to hunt turkeys in the spring.
During the first half of a very poor effort by the Packers we reviewed how our deer hunting had gone. As we compared notes we saw that we had seen more moose sign than deer while hunting in the Monico area.
Troy Twesme, who is on active duty stationed at the Air Force Academy where he teaches engineering, was with us for the first half of the gun-deer season. He was still hunting in a thick, very wet area. As he was working along the edge of the wet cover he heard something moving through the alders directly in front of him. As he continued to still hunt he came across very large tracks in the snow. He had flushed two moose from their beds. Troy said the beds (areas where animals lay in tall grass) were huge. As he looked around in the area he found where a moose had rubbed on some trees. Troy said that he could just reach the tip of the rub. Troy is about 6’4” so one can visualize how high those rubs were.
Now is the time to get rid of some predators. There are plenty of coyotes in the area to keep several hunters occupied for some time!
If you like ice fishing, use caution as you move about on area lakes. The warm weather of the past two weeks has caused some packets of ice that are weak. My policy is to never make the first track on snow covered ice. Some anglers have been enjoying excellent action on the ice.
Have you established a slate of New Year’s Resolutions yet? I am lacking in that endeavor but will have some suggestions in two weeks.
Happy New Year from our house to yours!
Longtime Northwoods outdoor enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.