Heading toward winter
Hunting dominates the outdoor scene
The glory days of autumn are behind us. Color has peaked and leaves have fallen; daylight hours are shorter; the warm, balmy days of this October now gone. Ahead lies November, the month that will certainly bring chill if not cold, snow flurries if not measurable snow, and ice on many lakes. That’s if everything goes normally and while there is no guarantee one has to accept the odds pointing in that direction.
If October is a transition month from early to late fall November picks up the pace toward true winter. By month’s end we may well see frozen ground, snow cover that will last til March, ice on lakes and streams. Needless to say, all those factors have a huge influence on outdoor activities.
Hunt seasons continue to dominate the scene. Archers are coming in to prime time with bucks beginning to move and all deer now looking hard for good sources of food to bulk up for winter. Bucks will respond to rut-related scents as early as October but now things accelerate. We continue to hear reports of good deer numbers as compared to the past two seasons as the herd recovers from the killer winter now several years behind us.
Bottom line is that archers need to be in the field now and as bucks hit the peak rut all hours of the day are going to have potential for action.
Waterfowl hunting continues on a slow pace. There is water everywhere after the rains of this autumn and what ducks are in the area have a multitude of places to rest up. All that can change in a hurry if weather cooperates and ducks ride storm winds down from Canada. But as it stands we are experiencing a slower season than normal. All now depends on northern birds coming in.
Upland hunters now have the best conditions they’ll enjoy with leaves down and birds looking for late fall foods. Woodcock numbers fluctuate with weather patterns and after one big push a few weeks ago they’ve been slow to show up.
Fishing continues and we had some reports of very good walleye fishing last week. It’s been a long time coming but now it looks as if we are into the late fall pattern that will bring walleyes and muskies both into a more aggressive feeding pattern. It will be cold for anglers but this can be a very good time to be on the water.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander.