Last autumn was all about what was missing. This fall it is loads of nuts and nut connections.
A Sauk County man is quick to say there are loads of nuts this fall, and of all kinds including acorns, walnuts and hickory nuts, both shagbark and yellowbud (bitternut).
They’ve already started to drop, he said of his prized product he sells countrywide on ebay.
Instead of picking and drying, then cracking, he cracks hickory nuts immediately, dries the meats in an oven preheated to 175 degrees, turned off and left closed until morning. Then eat, sell, or freeze them until later.
For other nut-dependent adventures its’s interesting to note this nutter hasn’t seen the likes of this bonanza for 5-7 years.
The clue, here, turkey, deer, squirrel and even grouse hunters, is that these nut-dependent game animals will be easier to position and pattern by first finding their favorite nut food.
The Wisconsin Fall Hunting and Trapping Forecast, 2017, crafted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologists, is now available on the DNR’s web page, all 63 pages.
Each of the upland game species is highlighted in population estimates and tactics, followed by migratory game birds, including woodcock, which opens Saturday. Bears and furbearers follow, ending with white-tailed deer.
Ten pages on deer may seem a bit scant, but remember the DNR overwhelms us with volumes more come October and November.
Just as with regulation pamphlets, which this is not, this forecast can be home-printed, deleting those pages that are of less interest. Or the items can be read on a phone or computer, in a den, diner, or tree stand.
Hunters who tried going afield this last weekend, in spite of warm temperatures, likely noted less game movement, lots of trout anglers casting, a few dirty ginseng diggers, mosquito-bitten and ground wasp-stung.
The most soothing part for ginseng diggers was the price of green root creeping up close to $175 a pound.
Deer and sturgeon registration stations were not crowded but action will pick up with cooler temperatures, cooling waters and more urgency.
Search for those one-stop business stations that offer venison donation takes, CWD sampling, registration help and other conveniences, too. A list of nearly 300 businesses, some of which offer most needs, can be found on the DNR web site.
It is kind of a conundrum to expect a hunter who has problems registering a deer with a computer or phone to use same device to find businesses who assist in the process of registering.
Archers, and I’m including bowhunters here, too, will note that those deer in Grant, Dane and Iowa County, who have been collared or just ear-tagged, are fair game, per normal hunting regulations. The DNR wants the collar units returned, please.
Color is rushing into the area in the form of walnut, sumac, birch, aspen and early maples.
Fruits are turning, too, so look for uncommon bittersweet breaking out of its orange casing, red winterberries and jack-in-the-pulpit and numerous colorful blooms, particularly goldenrod, asters and a few whites mixed in.
Corn and soybeans only add to autumn’s colororma.
As quickly as autumn comes knocking, it leaves as hastily. Answer the request or the season will have walked into winter.