Well, our youngest son Evan and I struck out for the second year in a row.
No deer for the freezer, so Ev’s family, and Kathy and I will rely on beef, pork, chicken and fish for the next 12 months.
Wisconsin hunters registered 175,667 deer during the 2021 nine-day gun deer hunt, including 84,952 antlered and 90,715 antlerless deer. Compared to 2020, the total firearm deer harvest was down 7.9% statewide, with buck harvest down 1.3% and antlerless harvest down 13.2%.
Nearer to home, the Central Farmland Zone where we hunt showed the buck kill down 1.8% at 44,610. More important to us meat eaters, the antlerless kill declined 14%, is down to 54,909.
Why? There could be several reasons including mild weather coupled with less hunter movement, strong winds the second day, fewer hunters in the woods and maybe more “trophy” hunters passing up smaller bucks for the “never-came-by-my stand” heavy antlered buck.
Good friend Bruce Lindseth and his crew hunted near his cabin on Little Round Lake in northern Wisconsin. “Lindy” and his son Andrew hunt the Chequamegon National Forest north of the Chippewa Flowage.
“Our Northwoods hunt was semi-successful as we did get some venison, but deer sightings were few and far between. The highlight was my 20-minute stare down with a nice big doe that finally gave me a clear shot,” Lindy wrote. “Also, had some elk contact and that is always exciting.”
Overall, most hunters I have talked with had less than stellar seasons for one reason or another and often mentioning fewer hunters.
Statewide, as of 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 28, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports and patron licenses reached 808,224. Of that total, 564,440 were for gun privileges, including gun, patron and sports licenses. The year-to-date sales for all deer licenses declined 1.5% from 2020.
Elsewhere, the current weather pattern is great for grilling, hiking, biking and wildlife watching. Displaced deer from being chased during the hunting season, haven’t been showing their faces in our condo neighborhood in the valley yet this week, but will appear once they become comfortable again.
I certainly feel for ice anglers anxious for their winter pursuits. Ditto for skiers, ice skaters, sledders and kids waiting to make their first snowmen of the season.
Meanwhile, across the Mississippi River, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tyler Ramaker, stationed in La Crescent, checked waterfowl and deer hunters who were staying out to the bitter end of the season. Ramaker checked a large group of 3B season hunters who had 21 deer hanging in the barn. To their credit, every deer was tagged, registered and tested for CWD. Hats off to that group for their attention to detail after the harvest.
DNR conservation officer Mitch Boyum, in Rushford, reports checking 3B hunters and muzzleloader deer hunters. Action was slow at best. Reports of trespass, WMA violations and shining were investigated. Boyum investigated reports of people hunting after their hunting privileges were revoked. Citations were issued. Duck hunters were also checked along the Mississippi River. Hunting was fair with most groups having a few birds. Compliance was good.
DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, in Winona, reports the duck season ended with many hunters and mixed success. He received information about late duck hunters that also resulted in several other violations, including no licenses or stamps and an unplugged gun. The gun deer season ended pretty quietly, with complaints of trespass and hunting without a license received. Hemker continues to spend time on a boathouse violation.
Remember to take a kid hunting or fishing. It’ll be the best thing you ever did.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors!