Time to start planning
Fall hunting rules are as complex as the seasons are numerous
By Roger Sabota, special to the Star Journal.
The time of transition is almost upon us. This is that time of year when days are shorter, a few maple leaves are taking on some color and there is a lot of variation in temperature. My wife usually could forecast when this time of transition was coming. She enjoyed swimming off our dock and could tell when the temperature of the water began to drop a few degrees.
Another sign that changes are coming is evident when we are trying to photograph animals and birds. Several flocks of geese in front of our dock are a sure sign. Now the family groups seem to all be the same size. The adults still occupy the first position and the last position with the youngsters in between but they are all about the same size.
The fawns that were born in May are losing their spots and beginning to have a solid brown coat. The bears are up to their usual mischief at bird feeders as they search for a meal.
Another sure sign that the fall of the year is approaching is that the bear hunters have started putting out bait. Those hunters who want to hunt bear will need to carefully read the regulations for that activity. The bear hunters who want to hunt over bait will have different regulations than those who will hunt with dogs.
A wolf season was approved in several states only to be halted by a Federal Judge. There will not be a wolf- hunting season this fall. Seven dogs have been killed by wolves and two injured in Wisconsin this year.
What all these observations about transitions lead to are the hunting seasons across the Northwoods. About mid-October the openings of various hunting seasons tend to be a complex assortment. For example, the regulations relating to deer hunting are extremely complex. There are archery and crossbow deer seasons and the youth deer hunt. There are hunting seasons for deer with a gun and hunts for hunters with disabilities. Then there is the Muzzleloader season as well as special hunts by areas. You would be wise to carry a booklet with the deer hunting regulations with you.
The archery and crossbow season begins September 12 and is open until January 3. The Youth deer hunt is scheduled for October 10 and 11. A special deer hunt for gun deer hunters with disabilities will be open October 3 until October 11. The gun deer hunt will open November 21 and end November 29.
Following that hunt, from November 30 until December 9, is a muzzleloader deer hunt. Then there are also special deer hunts. Remember that there will be NO antlerless permits in the northern one-third of the state.
Those hunters who plan to hunt grouse with the aid of dogs need to spend time getting not only themselves in shape but also their dogs. Dogs, like people, need conditioning.
Some of us are caught trying to participate in many different activities. For example some, like myself, plan to hunt all the legal animals and birds. It seems as though there are more seasons than there is time to participate in all of them.
With so many hunting seasons as well as open fishing seasons there is ample time to enjoy our many opportunities. This is the time of the year when I wish that we still had a bird dog.
There are still several weeks before fall is here but like so many things the planning is a big part of the enjoyment.
Northwoods outdoors enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.
Photo courtesy Wisconsin DNR