DEER TRAILS 3: Precipitation chances slight during deer season

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Jerry Davis, a former UW-La Crosse professor, is a longtime free-lance writer who produces “Deer Trails,” during Wisconsin’s traditional nine-day gun deer hunting season)

A weather-worthy opening weekend during Wisconsin’s long-standing gun deer season varies from hunter to hunter, but many agree wind and rain are unwelcome elements.  
Deer seem to not prefer those conditions, either.
Snow, rightfully in the deer hunting world, is best called sighting and safety snow. Naming it tracking snow is down the list, even though snow can be used to locate other hunters’ paths, find deer travel lanes, and on occasion follow a wounded deer.
“Snow cover is lacking in the state other than a couple inches between Superior and Ladysmith,” said Haddie McLean, WISC-TV Channel 3000 meteorologist, in Madison.
That said, it is unlikely central or southern Wisconsin will have snow cover other than a dusting Sunday, which would likely melt away before the Green Bay Packers play at 3:25 p.m.
A bit farther north and central, in the La Crosse area, hunting conditions should be similar.
“Saturday is definitely going to be the quieter of the weekend, with a light northerly wind on Saturday and highs in the 40s,” said Alyssa Triplett, WXOW News 19 Daybreak meteorologist, in La Crosse. “Cloud cover could prevent a bright, autumn day, though.
“Precipitation chances have been pushed back to the daytime Sunday, with a few flurries in early morning, followed by a drizzle in the afternoon,” Triplett added.
“After venturing into slightly below freezing conditions Saturday, temperatures in the south will warm to about 40 in the afternoon,” McLean said. “Then a chance of rain, maybe a few flurries Sunday.”
The weekdays before Thanksgiving could bring minor accumulations during nighttime, but some light rain will likely wash that away, too.
Wind, which has been a real bummer lately, has subsided with air movement around 10 mph Saturday and a touch more Sunday.
Beyond Thanksgiving, seasonal, dry weather is likely through the closing weekend.
With little or no sighting snow, brown deer with a mostly brown background will necessitate extra caution.
Moisture of some kind helps to muffle a hunter’s footsteps, but also makes slope walking a bit more slippery and dangerous. What quiets hunters’ footsteps, does the same for deer moving.
The safety colors, blaze orange and florescent pink, help. Remember, that a cap, if worn, must be at least 50 percent safety colors, too.
Wisconsin’s deer are technically white-tailed deer, or whitetails, and hunters can use flagging tails and a front white neck collar as alerts.
Food sources have changed recently because most corn and beans have been cropped, and acorns are nearly non-existent. Alfalfa field edges, grassy fields and meadows will attract deer as dawn and dusk before returning to deeper, thicker bedding cover.

Contact Jerry Davis, a freelance writer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-924-1112