by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson
COLD WEATHER CRAZIES
So the thermomter read 1 last Saturday in Northwest Wisconsin.
As the final weekend of the gun deer season was getting underway, we had to make a decision.
To we go out and deer hunt?
Or do we go out and waterfowl hunt?
The thought of sleeping in never occurred to us, as it must have to some, considering the quiet that dominated the woods. Not that the second weekend of the 9 day Wisconsin Gun Deer season ever has as much action as the first, but I think the lowered mercury levels kept a few rifles unloaded.
Half of our group strapped on the orange and stepped into the woods. The other half hoped to coax a few wary waterfowl over our fake mallard/honker mix. Plenty of birds were in the area, but few seemed willing to part with their roosting areas. I guess they decided to sleep in too.
The whitetail proved to be more fruitful as two does were registered about the same time we were freeing the decoys from newly formed ice.
It was the final weekend for ducks in Wisconsin, as well as the central zone in Minnesota.
Both are notable as the two states implemented new seasons. 3 zones were created in Minnesota, a northern, central and southern, with the southern two zones staying open longer to allow for following the migration southward. To accommodate this while staying within federal guidelines, the season was closed for a period of time, a week in the central and two weeks in the south. Wisconsin also closed the season for a week to allow hunters to have a chance to bag a post Thanksgiving mallard.
Historically we’ve spent Thanksgiving in Northwest Wisconsin during the gun deer season while mallards, scaup, ringnecks, buffleheads and other ducks would buzz the treetops freely over our stands, knowing they were safely out of season.
Not this year. We took the opportunity to do a little of both. As the temperature drops, the hunting usually heats up. Deer begin to move and waterfowl tend to bunch up.
Cold weather can bring some challenges not seen earlier in the year. Like staying warm, staying dry and keeping your decoys from getting pushed around by the ice. But it shouldn’t keep you from being outside.