Temperatures to dip by Michigan deer season opener; fire danger high

Outdoors report

WISCONSIN Fire control officials expect to see more fires over the weekend with dry and windy conditions in the forecast. (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — A November heat wave is expected to fade in time for the Nov. 15 Michigan firearm deer season opener.

Cooler weather should arrive Tuesday. By Thursday, the predicted high is in the low 40s. Snow is possible during the weekend and the forecast for opening day calls for a high of 38 degrees.

Warm weather has hampered the archery deer hunt as Wisconsin hunters await that state’s nine-day gun season opener Nov. 21.

Meanwhile, grasses and leaves have become dry, heightening the fire danger across the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. As of Friday, open debris burning was prohibited in Dickinson and Iron counties. Fire danger is expected to remain high until early next week.

There were nearly 50 wildfires across Wisconsin this week and winds are expected to increase.

“While these fires have remained relatively small in size, fire control officials are concerned the forecasted winds over the weekend could result in increased fire occurrence and rapid fire growth,” said Catherine Koele, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fire prevention specialist.

With temperatures soaring into the 70s, the best fishing success of the week was a 47 3/4-inch musky, said Fay Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. Otherwise, action was fairly slow, she said.

No weekly fishing updates for the Upper Peninsula were available, as most of the statewide creel clerks are done working for the year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

“Few anglers had been out, as strong, gusty winds coupled with rain and snow over the last week kept anglers off the big waters and most of the inland lakes,” the DNR said. “Water levels were low and clear, making it much harder for those targeting steelhead in some rivers. Warm and sunny weather will be great for fishing but will change up fishing conditions once again.”

On Thursday, a new package of deer regulations for 2021 will be introduced to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, including a proposal to allow crossbows during the late portion of the archery season across the Upper Peninsula.

There also is a proposal to overhaul the antlerless license system so that each antlerless license may be used on public or private land anywhere in the Lower Peninsula or in portions of the south central Upper Peninsula with deer management units open for deer hunting.

Under this scenario, some limited antlerless hunting opportunity in the midzone deer management units of the Upper Peninsula would be available to applicants through a random drawing. Another change is no longer requiring a permit for supplemental feeding in the Upper Peninsula.

The NRC is expected to vote on the proposed regulations in December or January.

Hunter feedback is encouraged at NRC meetings or by email to NRC@Michigan.gov or DNR-Wildlife@Michigan.gov. More information is available at https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/.


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