IRON MOUNTAIN - Lack of deer movement was the most frequent complaint among area hunters this season, as reports indicate many hunters not seeing much of anything.
"It's hasn't been a very productive season," said Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River. "There were a few pockets of success, but they were few and far between."
"Not many deer at all," was the report from John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. "A lot of guys will be out for muzzle-loading season."
Michigan's muzzle-loading season begins Friday.
Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle in Iron Mountain continued to report good bait sales, but the success stories from hunters were limited.
Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait said they've registered a lot of small bucks. Their total count from last season was way down, but some of that was due to the fact that doe tags were not available.
"Our buck kill is about the same as last year," Teske said.
The few fishermen who were out were using mostly suckers to attract walleye, northern and muskie, but most anglers continue to wait for the arrival of ice.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Imp Lake: Near Watersmeet is providing fair to good splake action.
Lake Ellen: Near Crystal Falls is also producing some splake.
Menominee River: Has good musky fishing on all the reservoirs near Iron Mountain. Anglers are using live sucker rigs.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye fishing has been slow with few catches reported. Those targeting fish were trolling stick baits at night from the Narrows up to the Center Reef in 5 to 30 feet of water. Some nice perch were caught off the northern end of Butler Island when still-fishing with crawlers in 10 feet of water. Northern pike were active throughout the Bay and were caught by walleye anglers. Those trolling crank baits in 20 to 30 feet of water off Hunter's Point caught smallmouth bass.