Saturday, August 18, 2007
We had our first little touch of fall this weekend. Cool weather, rain, and the temp in Grand Marais, MN hit 32F last night. My own personal touch of fall was a trip to Bwana Archery to check out a new hunting bow. Bow deer season in Wisconsin begins on Saturday, September 15th this year. The freezer is almost bare with a disturbing lack of venison sausage, bologna, breakfast links, steaks, chops, and roasts. Don't worry fellow paddlers, there is likely enough left for a couple more kayak trips so we should be good. When properly cared for, there is no meat more tasty or healthy than venison. No growth hormones, antibiotics, very low fat, and an excellent flavor make it a carnivores dream. And believe me, in Wisconsin we need to cull a few thousand; the overpopulation problem is severe. The CWD outbreak in the south of the state a few years back, thousands of car-deer collisions, plant species being eradicated, and the crowding out of other species make deer hunting almost your civic duty. I reported a moose sighting near our camp to the local DNR wildlife biologist. He said he had sporadic sightings but in order for moose to thrive in the area the deer population needed to be 1-2 per square mile. Right now they are at 6-10 per square mile. Another friend who is a biology professor at Northland College in Ashland, WI said that Canadian Yew and even cedar are becoming rare because the deer eat the young trees like candy.
Our deer camp is two miles from the south shore of Lake Superior as the crow flies. This enables me to multi task in the fall. I spend a couple hours in the bow stand at dawn and dusk and the middle of the day is spent somewhere between the Brule River and the Meyers Beach sea caves in my boat. On a memorable bow deer opener 4 years ago, I sat in my stand in the morning and saw 8 deer, flushed 5 grouse (never even got a shot off) and then headed for the Brule to troll in the kayak. In about 3 hours I caught walleye, a couple coho, and a nice Lake Trout. It doesn't get much better than that in the fall northwoods.