Juicy honey crisp apples, freshly cracked and picked hickory nut meats, autumn-fragrant decomposing leaf litter, lightly seared venison tenderloins and hot chili meated with finely cubed pheasant breasts all trumpet fall.
Resisting gathering seasoned with these tastes, smells and sights is fruitless. The magnetics are too persuasive.
Pheasant season opened on a drizzling, foggy morning last Saturday and had hunters contemplating comfort foods as soon as the dog stopped parting with collected moisture droplets. Pheasant tacos, chili flavored white breast meat, and whole honey roast ringnecks were their visions while riding home.
Now, with the daily bag upped to two a day, and the possession limit being a three-day’s bag, hunters are even more effervescing about opportunities of going after some of the Poynette birds being released twice weekly.
Searching for Wisconsin’s unofficial state gamebird, the ruffed grouse, has not been a complete washout, but so far the hopes of a population upswing have not materialized in all northern locations. The blame has been spread among heavy rain when young birds were growing, thick vegetation creating ample food everywhere and slow leaf fall.
Food aplenty has continued to put the grouse and other animals wherever they want to be, not where we expect to find them.
Complementing combined corn and soybean fields, acorns, various crabapples, wild grapes and hard mast have helped to fatten the most active fauna. They are not wanting this fall.
Blue jays, a deer hunter’s friend and foe, is one of the most active birds these days, particularly around oak trees. This cunning, inquisitive bird is noisy to a fault, alerting hunters to other animal activities and at the same time alerting birds and mammals to human activities in the forests.
Continue to use the jay to an advantage, but remember they are as intelligent as and a close relative of our common crow.
One might not imagine a blue jay picking, taking and opening an acorn, but they can and do, usually caching most of them for later. They are squirrels with blue feathers this fall.
Not all nuts are clean of acorn weevils and other grubs. Some nutters have found as many as three white grubs in a single hickory nut. Fortunately most fruits are tasty and clean. These grubs surely would attract a bluegill or a winter bluebird.
A report posted on the Wisconsin DNR website shows youth hunters 10-15 years old registered 8,173 deer during the two-day hunt, 5,245 of which were antlerless. Several area counties contributed significantly with 158 registered in Sauk County and 150 in Columbia County.
Older hunters, archers of all types, have recorded 15,941 deer, 7,781 by crossbowers and 8,173 by more traditionalists.
Just when waterfowl hunters may have thought the weather was headed toward more conducive hunting conditions, another warm spell is showing.
Recent heavy precipitation will advantage trees’ and shrubs’ readiness for winter.
Color seems to be where one finds it, so lower the expectations this autumn, think small and look through a narrower lens and beauty may still show.
In spite of a few setbacks and disappointments, autumn is still a period for all other seasons to impersonate.