One season ends, another begins
The woods are a quieter place this week than last. The rifle deer hunt filled the woods with blaze orange clad hunters as at no other time of the year. That season is gone, left for stories to tell, for the annual round of bragging by some, complaining by others. That’s always been the case. Now we are going full-on to winter and all that it will bring.
This week the muzzleloader hunters hold sway, a less popular by far season than rifle but still one that get people out. As such we always advise other users in the woods to wear some blaze orange; it’s just a good idea. For those hunters the key is finding a good food source. Deer still need to bulk up and bucks are coming off the rut and in need of food. Find the food, you’ll find the deer.
There is no (legal) baiting this year so all efforts are on natural food sources. Red oak rdges are a good option. Deer prefer white oak but white oak acorns fall earlier and are mostly gone. Red oak acorns are a second choice but fall later and so can draw deer.
Next up with be an antler less hunt later next week.
For now hunters here are putting gear away and waiting for final tallies including if any deer have tested positive for CWD. Those results will be coming out in the next weeks.
Ice covers most lakes and ice anglers are ready. Early ice can be a very productive time especially for walleyes so there is a lot of interest in getting out. But of equal importance to good fishing comes safety and early ice is unpredictable. A sheltered bay or small lake may well be safe; ice over deeper water is not. Anyone getting out on ice needs to test it with a chisel as they go. There is simply no ice that can be assumed to be safe this early in the season.
Snow cover is patchy at best, good enough for hunters, not so for skiers and snowmobilers. The key thing in all this is that with no snow to insulate the ground and sub-freezing temperatures, the ground is freezing up. That will set the base that, when snow does come, will hold the snow and provide a solid foundation on which, we hope, will build good trail conditions in the upcoming weeks.
As we move to early December we are in another seasonal transition. Time to put up most of the fall gear and start to break out winter gear. That season is on us. We are less than a month away from Christmas and if all goes well will have good snow in the next few weeks.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post, downtown Rhinelander, where a variety of outdoor products is available.