Patience and perserverance words of the day
We at a hinge point in the seasons. A month ago the leading edge of mild weather and fall color; 30 days from now full-on in rifle season with storms of November and ice-up at hand. But this week, the trailing days of October, has things on the balance; hoping for some mild weather even while feeling early chill of oncoming winter.
We got a taste of the storms of November last Saturday when stiff northerly winds blew hard all day and snow fell enough to cover the ground; some areas nearby with several inches. One could almost hear the old Gordon Lightfoot song about the Edmund Fitzgerald providing a soundtrack to that day. Gales tore at Lake Superior and inland lakes were white-capped.
On that day waterfowl moved in with duck hunters reporting good numbers of northern birds, big mallard, redheads, a mix of bluebills, buffleheads and even a few early goldeneyes. For those hunters who where in the right place and braved the snow and wind, there was some very good shooting at birds even as the snow fall and the wind blow. By Sunday it seemed as if most of Saturday’s birds had moved on; there was a marked drop-off in activity on that day.
But the Saturday storm gave a strong indication of where we are; on the edge of the season with more of the same to come. Duck hunters need pay attention to storms now; each one will bring birds down from the north. And archers, they now near the key time of rut activity which even now is beginning to move the whitetail deer.
Any archer need be ready as the next weeks are the key to the season. Deer numbers are good this year and buck will be ramping up soon. The key to the rut is time on the stand (deer will move at all hours), patience (bucks do not show up on the hunter’s schedule), and simple perseverance. Many hunters will key in on does, find the does, goes the theory, and bucks will follow. To do that food plots and natural food areas are good places to set up. But no matter what, the next weeks are for serious deer hunters.
To fish in the cold also requires patience and perseverance as well as a thick layer of clothing and a hardy disposition. The reward can be big fish, walleyes and muskies both. Larger suckers for muskies, slow moving retrieves for both muskies and walleyes, and the simple toughness to stay out in the cold are all keys.
Bottom line is that we’ve tipped the balance firmly toward November weather and winter. Mild days may still come but they will be as fleeting as a fast moving migrating duck riding the wind to places unknown.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.