This week in Outdoors – Nov. 7
OUTDOOR NOTEBOOK: Good news from deer camp
By Roger Sabota
One week ago Saturday morning our telephone rang at a relatively early hour. It was our granddaughter, Gretchen Arneson, a Senior at Chippewa Falls High School. Next to loving to play softball she loves to bow hunt for deer. Gretchen was out of breath as she said, “Grandpa, I hit one!”
I knew that some of the members of the Arneson family had gathered at their hunting cabin scouting for the upcoming gun-deer season plus get in some early bow hunting. Their hunting cabin is often occupied from October to December. Gretchen said that her Dad and others were helping her drag the buck back to camp.
Gretchen excitedly said, “Grandpa, it’s a five pointer!” I was as excited for her as she was! We were at our hunting cabin so we jumped in the truck and drove to their cabin. As we drove in the smile on her face was obvious from quite a ways down the driveway.
Gretchen described how she was the only one of the five hunters at the cabin who got out of bed to go hunting that morning about 5:30. She crawled into her tree stand and waited and waited, not minding the rain and the darkness at that hour. Obviously it paid off.
Incidentally, another member of the group, Mike Lang, had tagged a very large nine-pointer the evening before. His buck had a very large neck and is a true trophy. That was a happy group of hunters!
Each fall we begin looking for scrapes and rubs. This year we have been seeing a few scrapes and no rubs. We would like to see a few more rubs indicating a slight increase in the population of deer. We are still waiting for that increase.
It appears that hunting clothes with bright pink colors may be legal to wear this year in addition to the traditional blaze orange. Most of the hunters who have mentioned this change to us feel that a change such as this is not a big deal.
Each year as we prepare for the gun deer season the topic of safety enters the discussion. Wisconsin has improved the safety record during the gun-deer season over the past several decades. When I first participated in deer hunting (many years ago) there were numerous injuries to hunters and every year there were some deaths. The mandatory requirement that hunters wear at least 50% blaze orange as well as a required safety course for young hunters has had a positive influence on the hunting safety record. Most of the serious injuries seem to be from hunters falling from tree stands. As these thoughts are being recorded there is a report that a Wisconsin hunter fell from a tree stand this week and was reported as being seriously injured.
The thought and wish from our deer camp is for all of our readers to have a safe and successful Wisconsin deer hunt.
As we drove in, the smile on her face was obvious from quite a ways down the driveway. – Roger Sabota
OUTDOOR REPORT: All deer, all November
Now, it’s all about deer. That’s what much of November is about. Archers now; rifle hunters to come. Oh, and add everyone that drives a car in northern Wisconsin. This is the time of whitetail deer rut and they’ll be on the move fast and hard and steady now.
Peak days of this year’s rut? Look for November 6, 11, 14, 21 and 26. Those are tabbed by Field & Stream as the key days. The one day, November 21, has special meaning to Wisconsin hunters: That is the opening day of the rifle season.
All of which adds up to one whole lotta excitement now building in the ranks of Wisconsin deer hunters.
For archers the time is now. Now is when all the preparation comes to fruition. Bucks will move all day long during most of the rut which leads to one basic premise of deer hunting: What’s the best time of the day to hunt? Whenever you can get on the stand! Clear and simple.
Bucks do not toss all caution to the November wind in spite of what is the popular myth. They will move far more often and there are times when they are less cautious, but the big bucks are still wary. Any archer looking for success needs to pay attention to the same details as they do all season. Scent control, minimums of movement and sounds; all the basics are still in play.
For archers, there is no better time than the weeks ahead.
Rifle hunters are still in the preparation stage. For them blinds need to be checked out, shooting lanes cleared and gear made ready. And nothing is more important that sighting in the rifle. Time at the range (and we have a very good one in town at the Hodag Sports Club facility) is time well spent.
It’s been a mild fall to date but any hunter knows that weather will change; it’s only a matter of when. So a good look at cold weather gear is critical in the preparation.
And yes, late season fishing is on-going and steady from what we hear. Grouse numbers are good but scattered and the leaf fall is now complete and conditions favorable. And duck hunters can still get some very good days in as migrating flocks move in. This is all true.
But the one truth that defines November remains that now, it’s all about deer.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.