- By Brandon Wikman
This year’s weather has brought an increasingly new mix of variables to the world of whitetail hunting across the country. New challenges and obstacles have been exceedingly piled onto archery hunters throughout the duration of this year’s season. From the upper bands of Michigan to the southern hills of Kentucky, deer have been tough to kill.
Currently, I’m on my 20th day in a tree stand in Wisconsin. I’ve hunted all across Dairy Land in some of the most deer-littered areas of the state. Yet, no matter what, I’ve came home with a sore rear-end and an eyesore of antler. Sure, there are hunters capitalizing on the 2010 season and have a mean set of antlers to show for it, but at least for my partners and me… it hasn’t been good.
Wisconsin and much of the Midwest have experienced record inches of rainfall. I remember waking up to nearly 10 inches of water in my rain gauge. During the soggy summer months, things were always simply wet. Crops were sky-high, puddles were everywhere, and deer antler was abundant. Things changed come season.
As Mother Nature would have it, opening weekend of archery season turned out to be the toughest I’ve ever hunted. Deer were difficult to pattern because of the mass acorn crop. There were acorns literally scattered everywhere in the woods. Any trail camera pictures that I did receive at my stand site were after dark. Bucks were basically lollygagging, browsing and munching on a healthy dose of appetizers before tearing into the main course of field greens.
This trend has continued over the past few weeks in my area. After speaking with friends last night from Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri, they are completely the opposite.
Many of their stories have hinged on the fact that weather has been extremely hot, dry and bland. Deer have dispersed like rats off a sinking ship. Temperatures in Missouri have been in the 80’s throughout October, which isn’t normal by any means.
As Mother Nature battles on, we as hunters can only do one thing: hunt on. November is approaching and the time to be in the woods makes us all just that much more excited. Weather plays a significant role on deer movement, as we know. Natural forage doesn’t help much either, especially when we are trying to draw deer into our homemade hunting plots. Things will turn around, as they always do. Persistence in the forest will reward those who have patience with opportunities.