Wisconsin deer opener today; first weekend for Michigan hunt

Outdoors Report

Floren Mileski of Iron Mountain shot this eight-point buck Wednesday in Dickinson County, his best in 50 years of hunting. (Chris Tomassucci/Daily News Photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season opens today, with brisk winds likely to have an impact.

The overall archery deer harvest is running higher than in 2016 and Department of Natural Resources officials believe that trend will carry into the gun hunt.

“Deer are moving at all hours of the day right now with heavy rutting activity,” said Aaron McCullough, DNR wildlife technician at Wausaukee. Sightings of scrapes and rubs are still being reported, he added.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Jared Whisler said hunters are expecting a better season than in recent years. “There’s a lot more bucks being reported this year than last year,” he said.

Wisconsin hunters no longer have to attach carcass tags to their kills, but still need to carry their tags and hunting license as proof of authorization to hunt and what zone can be hunted. The tags also contain information for registering kills online or by phone.

With Michigan’s firearm season entering its fourth day, hunters are at least seeing deer, said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township.

“A lot of yearlings and does,” he said. “It should be pretty good,” he said of prospects for the weekend. “A lot better than last year.”

Persistent anglers are hitting the water, Grier added, apparently finding some success. “I sell a little bit of bait every day,” he said.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula fishing activity:

Lake Gogebic: Was producing some walleye, pike and smallmouth bass.

Menominee River: Anglers caught the odd Chinook salmon along with the occasional brown trout or walleye. The better fishing was between the Hattie Street Dam and the US-41 Bridge with small spoons and minnows.

Little Bay De Noc: Had snow and the shoreline was beginning to freeze. Only the diehard walleye anglers are out now and the reports were good. Most are fishing at night and taking fair to good catches. The better action was off the Kipling area reefs when trolling stick baits or crank baits in eight to 17 feet. Those fishing during the day had fair catches at best off the Kipling Flats in 30 feet or south toward Gladstone off the Terrace Bay Inn in 25 to 35 feet when trolling.

Big Manistique Lake: Anglers caught pike, walleye and a few nice perch.

Tahquamenon River: Had no fishing reports. There was some ice on the river and at the Dollarville Flooding but no safe ice.