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Michigan deer opener could be wet, windy

Outdoors report

Sarah Scullon of Iron Mountain took this six-pointer near Norway during the 2019 Michigan firearm season. Successful 2020 deer hunters are invited to submit photos by email to news@ironmountaindailynews.com. Be sure to include basic information — the location of the harvest and the hunter’s hometown.

IRON MOUNTAIN — About a half-inch of snow mixed with rain could fall in the Dickinson County area before Sunday’s firearm deer season opener, the National Weather Service says.

The forecast for opening day is a 50-50 chance of rain and snow in the morning, with a high near 37. Expect a lot of wind, with gusts as high as 35 mph from the west.

By Monday it may turn calm and mostly sunny, with a high near 36.

Hunters should be on the lookout for oak trees producing acorns and invest time determining if deer have trails near these areas, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources advised earlier this fall.

“Acorn production looks to be fantastic this year,” said Karen Sexton, DNR Escanaba Customer Service Center wildlife biologist. “In general, most of our indicators are pointing towards a good deer hunting season within the south-central Upper Peninsula.”

Wisconsin’s gun season opener is Saturday, Nov. 21. There will be a small antlerless harvest quota on public and private lands in Florence County after a moderate winter, Wisconsin DNR biologist Tom Carlson said. The antlerless quota will be zero for the northern forest portion of Marinette County.

For the central farmland area of Marinette County, the DNR will be issuing two antlerless harvest authorizations with each license.

“If you are hunting in a county that is offering two to five additional antlerless harvest authorizations with each license, the message is shoot more antlerless deer,” said Jeff Pritzl, Wisconsin DNR wildlife supervisor for the northeast district. “You don’t need to fill them all but please consider harvesting at least one antlerless deer.”

Warm temperatures earlier this week brought out more anglers in the Upper Peninsula. Those targeting the inland lakes managed to catch a few bass, pike, walleye, perch and other panfish, including bluegills and crappie, the Michigan DNR said.

Activity reported included:

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers were fishing from the “Black Bottom” north to the Center Reef. Catch rates were spotty, as some reported fair to good catches while others caught little or no fish. Those fishing the “Black Bottom” were jigging minnows and crawlers along the east bank, while those trolling had stick baits or a crawler harness in 8 to 20 feet. Up near the Center Reef, anglers were trolling a crawler harness or stick baits in 15 to 30 feet.

St. Marys River: Was producing walleye, pike and smallmouth bass. Those trolling and casting in Munuscong Bay have caught muskie.

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