By Brandon Wikman
The Wisconsin Firearm Season opener may have been a treated delight to some lucky hunters, but many gunslingers across the Dairy State were left wondering if gun season even opened!
Hundreds of thousands of blaze orange outdoor bandits awaited the countdown to Saturday morning. Family, friends and relatives from across the countryside continued their ever so great tradition that has been a staple at deer camps across cheese land for ages. I was just as stoked as the next gun hunter to get into the woods and get a crack at a burly buck!
Saturday morning began strangely slow. I’ve hunted opening day of Wisconsin since I was about 10 old and have never heard the woods so quiet in my life. The fire-cracking booms, bangs, and pops just weren’t there. In years past, the forest sounded like a firestorm of blazing gunshots from the tops of bluffs to the bottoms of rivers… but not this year.
I sat warm and toasty in my blind as the wind whipped across the field top. My eyes scanned a vast standing cornfield that was sure to suck a few deer in throughout the day, or so I hoped. As sunlight speckled through the cloudy morning, only a handful of shots ignited the rolling hill country. I waited my turn.
The morning ensued as my anticipation of cranking back the trigger began to plummet. Hour-by-hour my confidence spiraled into a fiery heap… no deer. I closed my eyes and wondered what exactly was going on in the whitetail world that would put their movement to a sudden halt. There was no pressure by me, the temperatures were extremely brisk, the sky was dull in a blanket of clouds, and there was a storm brewing for Sunday. The variables and recipe just didn’t add up.
My first deer sighting was at 4:30pm. A doe and fawn came into the field for a quick nibble before vanishing into the woods again. Realization fell upon me as night fell. I couldn’t help but attempt to figure out why opening day was so slow.
I came back to camp and was eager to hear about how the others did. Story after story summed up the day. Deer movement was at the minimum and buck sightings were few and far between. I can’t help but ask the deer gods what was going on!
Sadly, Sunday was a spitting image of Saturday. A mix of icy rain drizzled across the entire state and sent many hunters back to camp. Firearm season has just begun, but I hope the season gets better with time. Now that the rut is for the most part over, many bucks are laying low and gaining energy back.
Good luck for the next week as firearm seasons across the country continue!