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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

One Wet Deer Camp

Girlfriend, Hunt'n, Deer Camp, Outdoors, Smile For The Trail Cam, Hunt Camp Humor

It’s been raining steadily since last night and the farm is one giant, sucking quagmire.  The ponds are spilling over.  The creek is running.  There is standing water all over the place.

I’m done and have officially declared deer camp to be closed.

What? No more deer hunting for the rest of the year?

Good point. It is closed for the present time only.  I take no pleasure sitting in the rain and getting my gear and person all wet. Besides I haven’t seen a neighbor or other blaze orange soul out and about all day.  Hardly a shot to be heard.

Girlfriend and I ventured-out this afternoon to fetch the disc from the trail camera, one of the bow blinds, some cammo shrouding from the Stand of Death and Sid’s stool. The Polaris and I returned soaked and spattered with mud and Girlfriend had a giant grin behind her muddy and soaked countenance.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a wet Lab that has been rolling in various exotic unmentionables.

The trail camera had taken 42 pictures of deer and the occasional hunter over the course of the nine-day gun season.  There appear to be plenty of whitetails around here that have survived - almost all of them moving about in the dark after hunting hours.

This was taken opening morning-

And this one was taken just 23 minutes later-

The deer kill statewide was off by 25% on opening weekend so it’s looking more like we’re going to have back-to-back seasons with fewer numbers of deer killed.  Earlier this week a local sportswriter emailed me for a report from our camp and our observations. He indicated that it was probably the quietest opener in decades. Bar none.

I’ve heard about a number of hunters who spent countless hours in the woods and never saw a deer – much less took a shot at one. Foggy and warm wet weather and millions of acres of standing corn probably had something to do with it. Our deer management Unit – 80B – was socked-in with fog for a number of days putting the visibility down to 35 yards or less from time to time. But in many parts of the state I think that countless years of earn-a-buck have put a serious dent in the deer population. 

That’s got some deer hunters pretty steamed.

I’ve got mixed feelings about that. Sure, I like hunting and seeing deer probably more than most people; but I can also speak to the destruction that too many deer can have on woody vegetation and forest regeneration.

We've had a successful camp this year. Four deer have been converted into tasty steaks, chops, kabobs and burger.  And there’s plenty of hunting opportunities remaining. We usually do better than most – but we work hard at it. I also know that deer are not distributed evenly across the landscape and we happen to be blessed with some mighty nice cover around these parts.  This is a nice compliment to all of the farmland. We also don’t have bears and we only get an occasional wolf so predation of fawns is minimal. Winters on the peninsula are a bit milder than winters in northern Wisconsin.

Bottom line – I still think we have too many deer. At least around here anyway.

I spent the balance of the day cleaning firearms, locking them-up and swapping-out my blaze orange for bow hunting camouflage. Sure wish all of this rain would turn to snow.

I’m not sure who this is but it provides a pretty good idea of the conditions we hunted in.

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