Out and About with Bob

Tuesday was an interesting day to say the least.
As I made may daily drive into La Crosse, I noticed a big, white belly in the brush on our condominium association property. I didn't see the same white belly the day before.
I drove home, put on some warm weather gear and made my way back to the spot. I knew it was a dead deer, so I hiked downhill toward it. The 5-point buck wasn't bloated and didn't smell. I took a few photos and a video (appearing on our homepage) and returned home. I phoned a couple of local DNR conservation wardens and asked if I could take the deer. They said I could if it was salvageable, but I needed to call the Wisconsin DNR phone number at 1-888-WDNR-INFO (1-888-936-7463) to obtain a deer tag.
I asked my neighbor, Jim Ehlenbach, if we wanted to go with me to retrieve the deer and he was "all in," although he said the deer smelled and was probably no good to keep. Jim looked at the deer a couple hours earlier on Tuesday when he was hiking around our property.
We suspected the buck was a road-kill from the previous night, or that it was wounded by a hunter's arrow although no blood could be found.
We rolled the buck over and noticed what appeared to be an arrow
hole in front of the hind legs. It was apparent the deer was shot from a tree stand by the entry of the arrow. No exit hole could be found, but an extreme foul odor filled the air. Even I could smell it now after telling Jim about my loss of smell from extended chemotherapy from my 4.5-year battle against pancreatic cancer.
Jim and I both shook our heads at the wasted deer and walked away.
While the young buck only had a small five-point rack, it would have been illegal to saw off the antlers. According to DNR regulations, the entire animal must be recovered, not just parts of it.
Coyotes and other critters will salvage the deer for their needs.
As I continue to prepare for the nine-day, gun deer hunt on Nov. 23, I 'll think about that buck and the venison that went to waste.
Meanwhile, I walked out on the ice at Ol' Tom's boathouse on Wednesday. It's the first time in more than two months because of continued high river conditions.
I brought home 3 panfish poles, 2 bait casting rods and my 5-gallon bucket with fishing gear. I will work this winter to get them ready for next spring.
Speaking of winter, I heard there was one angler out on the ice off French Island on Tuesday.
Across the Mississippi River, Tyler Ramaker, a Minnesota DNR conservation officer stationed in La Crescent, continued to answer many questions and phone calls about new regulations pertaining to CWD. Hunters can find testing and carcass transport information on the DNR website.
Fall weather and northwest winds have brought good numbers of migrating waterfowl into the area, according to Ramaker. However, hunter numbers seem to have tapered off.
Minnesota DNR conservation officer Mitch Boyum, in Rushford, spent the week checking archery deer hunters. Success has picked up and sightings have increased. Bucks seem to be on the move as hunters are reporting rutting activity.
Time was also spent checking a few trappers out as well as small game hunters. Success was good, according to Boyum.
Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, in Winona, reports good success by bow deer hunters ad mixed success for duck hunters.
Hemker also continues to receive many calls about the new deer regulations.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.