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Weather shifts to seasonable for deer opener in Wisconsin

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Calm, seasonable weather is expected for the opening weekend of Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer season as archery hunters have harvested some bigger bucks in recent days.

High temperatures in the mid-30s are predicted for today’s opener and on Sunday.

In a roller-coaster pattern, high temperatures in November have ranged from the 70s to low 30s.

“People are starting to see some bucks,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., noting a 10-pointer was taken along with a few eight- or nine-pointers.

During the pandemic, to help keep a distance from others, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to register their deer online or by phone. All harvested deer must be registered electronically by 5 p.m. the day after the deer is recovered.

New this year, Wisconsin hunters can complete the paperwork necessary to submit a chronic wasting disease sample on their phone while at a CWD sampling kiosk. Also, the DNR’s free Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile app offers information on such topics as property boundaries, shooting hours and deer carcass disposal locations. The app can be found at dnr.wi.gov, or search for Hunt Wild Wisconsin in the iTunes app store or Google Play store.

“With COVID-19, we all must work together to keep our communities healthy and safe this deer season,” DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole said. “To help stop the spread of this virus, I want to remind folks that they should hunt with people from their household. Equally important is firearm safety, which is essential to any responsible hunting trip so we can all get back to our families safely.”

Michigan is entering the first full weekend of its 15-day firearm deer season, which runs through Nov. 30. The DNR’s Norway Field Office check station is open by appointment from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Wednesday, and then again from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4. The number is 906-563-9247.

A 24-hour deer head drop box at the field office will be available through Dec. 4. Drop boxes also are at the P-S Locker Plant in Spalding and the DNR’s Stephenson Field Office.

Fishing pressure is typically light during the deer hunt, but walleye action was reportedly picking up on inland lakes. Whisler, as well, noted at least one angler with a limit catch of walleye.

The Michigan DNR said Little Bay de Noc had walleye anglers. But while many were marking fish, few catches were reported.

Most fished the head of the bay from the mouth of the Whitefish River to the “Narrows.” The best area was between the Center Reef and the Third Reef when trolling stick baits or a crawler harness in 14 to 30 feet. Some had success when jigging the east bank along the drop-offs.

More steelhead were starting to show up in Upper Peninsula rivers, the DNR said.

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