WI gun deer season opened Sat.... no luck so far [Archive] - Glock Talk

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rfb45colt
11-25-2003, 22:28
The WI gun deer season opened Saturday, 30 mins before sunrise (6:40am in my zone). I was 20' up a pine tree in the Nicolet National Forest at 5:30am. :( Weather was overcast with snow flurries, and temps in the high 20's. There was about 1" of snow on the ground, with more forecast for later in the day, and Sunday & Monday, too.

At about 6:50am, I heard a deer approaching at a steady gait, crunching the frozen leaves under the snow. It was getting closer and closer, but it was coming from an area of heavy balsam growth where my visibility was about 20yds. I had my Ruger Blackhawk out of it's holster, hammer back, ready to send a 300gr, .45cal hardcast bullet on it's way at 1300fps. The deer would soon hit a trail that goes across in front of my stand. If it turned left on that trail, it would cross in front of me at 15yds. If it went straight ahead, it would cross to my left at about 25 yds. If it turned right, I'd never see it at all. Yep, it turned right, going up the trail on which I had just walked in from my truck, an hour and a half before. It went up the trail about 50-60 yds, then turned left and crossed to my left through the woods at about 80 yds away. Too far for a pistol shot on a moving deer. I couldn't see any antlers in the dim light, but it's body langauge (steady gait, solo deer, nose to ground when I finally did see it) left no doubt that it was a buck.

At about 9:30am, another deer came down the crossing trail. I was ready again, this time it passed me at the 15yds. It never knew I was there, but I decided not to shoot. It was a 5pt buck (double forked, with one brow tine). I put the crosshairs of my Leupold 2X pistol scope on it's left shoulder... and whispered "bang". Counted my first "coup" of the day. :) I might regret passing on this deer in a few days. :(

At about noon, 3 more deer came down the same trail. A big doe, and her 2 fawns. One was a "nubbin" buck. The deer management unit I was hunting in (#39), is a "buck only" unit, so there was no shot to be taken here, either. I do have one of the few "hunter's choice" permits issued for this unit, but I'm saving that option for muzzleloader season next week. Shooting a doe now, uses my only tag, and kills any opportunity for a big buck in the next 18 days of gun/muzzleloader hunting. I've got vacation time until next Sunday, some buddies are coming up to hunt the muzzleloader season, and I just bought a new muzzleloader a few weeks ago... so I'm in no hurry to use up my only tag for this unit.

Sunday sucked. The forecasted snow turned to freezing rain, then plain old rain... and lasted all day. I hunted 4 hours in the morning, then went home to dry out. Came back and hunted 3 hours in the afternoon, and saw nada. Never heard a shot fired in those 7 hours either.

Monday wasn't much better. The storm passed to the east, bringing in colder air and snow, but very strong winds. High temp was 12 degrees, and wind chill was below zero all day. But I went out at 5:45am, and stayed out, until 4:45pm. I opted for my pop-up ground blind and my Mr. Buddy heater... screw the treestand in that wind. Never saw a deer in those 11 hours in the woods. It snowed off & on all day... added up to about 2".

Today, I slept in until 7:00am. Did some paperwork for my business, goofed around here on the computer until about 11:00am, then went out and sat in my other treestand, with a little more visible range... so I left the Ruger Blackhawk at home and took my Rem 742 in .308. I saw 4 deer just before dark, at about 90 yds, but could not see any "rack", so I held my fire.

Tomorrow is "trackin' day". I'll find some fresh tracks in the snow (big ones, I hope) in the first light of day, and follow where they lead me, all day long. Hopefully I'll catch up to the maker before dark. :) I get tired of just sitting in a tree all day, and I need a "break". The day before Thanksgiving sees the least amount of hunter activity up here, so it's the best day to do this. If I "bump" the deer I'm tracking, it won't run into another gun. The last one I got by this method, I "bumped" 3 times before I finally got a shot. I knew exactly where he was headed, and I took a "short cut" and got there first, and 5 minutes later he walked right into me. :) I love it when a plan comes together. ;f

Michigun
11-26-2003, 07:33
Good luck! It sounds like it's only a matter of when for ya.

ithaca_deerslayer
11-26-2003, 09:21
Originally posted by rfb45colt


At about 9:30am, another deer came down the crossing trail. I was ready again, this time it passed me at the 15yds. It never knew I was there, but I decided not to shoot. It was a 5pt buck (double forked, with one brow tine). I put the crosshairs of my Leupold 2X pistol scope on it's left shoulder... and whispered "bang". Counted my first "coup" of the day. :) I might regret passing on this deer in a few days. :(


I would have shot. Bucks are fairly hard to see. Don't know if it is the way I smell :)

acpoulos
11-26-2003, 16:56
Saturday hunting just north of Rhinelander, only deer I saw were in the road on the way back to the cabin. One doe stood in the middle of the road, almost defiantly, until we got out and chased it into the woods.

Nobody in our party even fired a shot. The deer must have been hunkered down due to the weather.

Snow, sleet, and rain coming down pretty much all day. At least the porterhouse steak dinner at Fibber's was pretty good.

Tony

marlinfan
11-28-2003, 10:02
I hunt in the southwest corner right on the Mississippi river bluffs. We are in a "T-zone" management area, so I got a doe in the late October bonus season. Last Saturday morning I took a nice 2 1/2 yr old 8 pt with a 17" inside spread at about 150 yds with my Marlin 30-30 loaded with Federal Premium 150gr Nosler Partitions. I also missed a good sized doe that was escorting the buck I got. We really didn't see much more activity other than Saturday morning though. The weather killed us, I was soaked to the bone most of Sunday afternoon..... Good luck the rest of the season, I'll be out there again tomorrow trying to get a 3rd deer for the freezer.

rfb45colt
12-02-2003, 08:53
Originally posted by acpoulos
At least the porterhouse steak dinner at Fibber's was pretty good.

Tony

Yep, George & Lois, owners of Fibber's, have a nice place there, with great food. It's my favorite snowmobiling "pit-stop". Did you try one of their Bloody-Mary or Marguarita cocktails? They have the best Friday fish-fry in the area, and their Wednesday "Mexican Day" is great too.

Both of my daughters worked there at one time, a few years ago. When the restaurant/motel was built, I installed all the door hardware.

Originally posted by ithaca_deerslayer
I would have shot. Bucks are fairly hard to see.

I'd rather shoot a doe... she'll never grow a "rack". Next year, that 5pt might be an 8 or a 10. Getting a "meat" deer is no problem... I passed up at least 20 opportunities in 9 days. But I would've used up my only tag valid for a "wallhanger", and I've got the 10 day muzzleloader season yet to go. Hell, I've got a half dozen does & fawns that are in my back yard, several times every day. They're out there right now, in fact. I can make a 15 yd shot from my deck, anytime I choose... but that's not "hunting". I've been feeding them for months, and they have no fear of me whatsoever. When I approach the feeder with a bucket of corn, they stand only 10' away.



The regular gun season ended without me firing a shot.

Instead of tracking all day Wednesday, I decided to split the day between my two tree stands. The snow was way too "crunchy" to try moving around, it was sunny and dead calm all day. The sound of the snow crunching underfoot could be heard a long way off... I know, because I heard deer approaching my stands several times, and they were a good 100 yds away when I first heard them coming. I saw at least a dozen deer Wednesday (all between 11:00am & 2:00pm). The woods were devoid of all other hunters, and coupled with the first day of "nice" weather in a week, it brought a lot of deer out of hiding. Too bad though, none had any appreciable antlers. I saw the same 5pt again, a forkhorn, and a spike. The rest were all "bald".

I did "shoot" 3 deer, however. I brought my cam-corder to my stand on the second Saturday, and got a nice "close-up" (15yds) shot of a doe and her two "button-buck" fawns about 11:30am. ;)

I'll be out again this weekend, with my muzzleloader... but in a differant deer management zone. I've got two doe tags for this "T" zone (#35). And I still have my buck tag, too. "If it's brown, it's down." I can shoot my "meat" doe, and still have a valid tag for "da turty-pointer", just in case. ;f

rfb45colt
12-04-2003, 18:40
Thought y'all might like to see a pic of three of my "pets". This pic was taken about 1:00PM today (12-4), from my living room window, by my wife, who was home for lunch.

There's 6 deer that come everyday. Fortunately for them, they've all survived the hunting season, so far. You can see the corn on the ground, which I put out every morning before going to work. These deer are my "study group". I watch their habits every day... how they move, how they socialize with each other, how they react to passers-by... and how soon they become alert to other people moving about my neighborhood, what scares them and what does not, etc, etc, etc. I watch their tracks in the snow, and how the tracks "age" with differant types of weather. I can now spot deer tracks in the woods where I hunt, and know just exactly how old those tracks are (give or take an hour or so)... and have a very good idea of the approx size & the sex of the deer that made them. I have become a "deer-ologist", and my front yard is my laboratory. ;)

I have learned more about deer from my "local residents" in the past few years, than in the previous 25+ years of chasing them through the woods with a bow or a rifle.

The downside is... it's getting harder and harder for me to drop the hammer on one. :(

paynter2
12-05-2003, 10:39
I just got a call from a friend in Bayfield (norther WI to you who don't know). He said he shot a really nice 8 point last Saturday (11/29). 20 inch inside spread, blade like brow tines and 9 inch G2s.

He shot it with his kids 742/6mm. He usually shoots a .280 rem, but the kids rifle had tip-off mounts. With the heavy snow cover, he thought he might need iron sights.

If/when I get pictures, I'll post them.

Edited to add... He said he saw 14 bucks. 6 the first day before 10:30. Passed them all up as too small. He has two kids that hunt, so venison wasn't an issue.