-By Brandon Wikman
The beginning of November has always been one of the most incredible spectacles for deer hunters. It is a time when the forest ignites into a deer-chasing, rack-busting, heart-pumping frenzy! Hunters from across the country save their vacation days for this slight window of opportunity, in hope of slicing an arrow through a lovesick buck. As we approach the second week of November, I still find myself asking this simple question, where is the rut?
Last weekend I hunted hard with my good friends in Buffalo County. Typically, camp would have had at least three slammer bucks down by now. People would be sitting in a tree sunup to sundown awaiting the moment of truth and time to shine. The fact is neither is happening. Hunters aren’t seeing big bucks and the action has come to a screeching halt by 10:00 a.m. The all out buck-blitz has been severely choked by the unseasonably warm temperatures.
The temperature yesterday teetered the 70-degree mark. The weekly average temperature has been in the mid-60s. It is plain to see that the warm weather has declined nearly all mid-day movement. Instead of bundling up like an Eskimo, it feels like I’m dressing for an early season hunt in Texas.
Last Friday morning I sat until noon. The only deer I saw were a doe and a fawn making their way back from a cornfield. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a buck behind her. I called it quits for a few hours and headed back out around 2:00 in the afternoon. I sat motionless for hours without seeing a speck of brown fur, until last light. I had a small basket-racked 8-point buck pass under my tree stand. The good news was that I still had two more days to hunt until I had to go back to school. The bad news was that the weather was only going to get worse for hunting. It really put a damper on the camp atmosphere because nobody was seeing mature deer.
Saturday was spent in the same perch with the exact same results. There was really no game plan or strategy. The deer simply didn’t participate in any chasing until after dark when the temperatures dimmed a few degrees. It wasn’t until Sunday morning when my heart finally began to flutter! I heard some obnoxious crashing and crunching behind me in the brush. I listened closely and heard a few subtle grunts. I automatically grabbed my bow, attached my release to the string and waited for the buck to show himself. Nearly thirty yards behind me, a doe squirted out of a bedding thicket with her head hung low rocketing out of scene. Within seconds, here he came. A Boone and Crockett spike horn with 12-inch spiked daggers. He frolicked his way after the doe with a slightly swelled neck. It was definitely not what I was expecting or hoping for.
Needless to say, the weekend was very unproductive. I’ve been concentrating on the weather forecast at www.weather.com. Wisconsin and the better part of the Midwest will be experiencing a dramatic temperature turnaround by Friday. There is a winter storm approaching from the Rocky Mountains and brewing snow. The 70-degree temperatures are going to be cut in half. The Midwest should expect mid-30s for a high and temperatures dipping into the 20s by night. If I’d take my chance guessing, I strongly believe the deer activity should be astonishing.
The variables seem to be in our favor for next weekend. Good luck to everyone and hopefully my next blog posting will be much more positive!