A Quiet Deer Hunting Season

I haven’t been posting much the past month.  Between spending time up north at the cabin deer hunting, coming down with a nasty cold, and family stuff – I have been pretty busy.

While I am looking forward to a nice winter I admit my mind is more on Spring 2019.

I Wasn’t Feeling A Strong Desire To Hunt

For whatever reason I have to admit I wasn’t feeling a strong desire to get out and hunt this year.  I love getting outside in the woods and enjoy deer camp with family at the cabin.  However, the desire to hunt wasn’t a passionate one for me this year.

Deer Camp Dining, 2018
Deer Camp Dining, 2018

Usually I get out and do some archery hunting during my favorite time of the year (Autumn), but this year it only happened a few times and with no success.  Then I do look forward to the Wisconsin regular 9 day gun rifle season, but my motivation was lacking.

My desire to get out int he woods was there, but carrying a gun and hunting while in the woods was not.

Lots Of Deer Sign

My cabin is located in the middle of thousands and thousands of acres of public land.  I tend to rifle hunt in the same location year to year, and this year when doing some early season scouting I found lots of deer sign.

Ground Blind View, 2018 Nine Day Wisconsin Opener.
Ground Blind View, 2018 Nine Day Wisconsin Opener.

Typically during the 9 day regular Wisconsin gun season I just plop my butt down in a brush ground blind and wait for other hunters in the woods to push deer to me.  The method works well and usually I have a tag filled within a few hours… usually.

This year it was not at all like that.

Less Hunters In The Woods

There was certainly a lot less hunters in the woods around me.  In the last decade hunting license sales in Wisconsin has dropped almost 6%.  Baby-boomer hunters like my father are still going to deer camp and hanging out, but are not hunting.  And then there is the decline in new hunters as well.  I see it in my family.  Nearly all my cousins I grew up with hunt, but of their kids only a handful desire to take up the tradition.

Less hunters in the woods around me meant less deer being moved around.

I Saw Only One Deer Opener Weekend

As a result of what I noticed to be less hunters in the woods was a direct correlation of deer not being moved around.  Thus when I only saw one deer opener weekend I was pretty sure I was in for a rough deer season in general.

The rest of my family, for the most part, had luck much as I had, or worse!  In fact only a couple hunters in our camp managed to harvest deer this year.

Last week and into this past weekend was the Wisconsin muzzle-loader hunt, and I usually hunt a few days of it for no other reason than the woods are void of hunters (typically).  Deer during this time of year are very skittish and usually go back to nocturnal movement.  Seeing them can be tough.  Sitting and waiting for them does not work.  So when I muzzle-loader season hunt I hope for fresh snow and still hunt.  I enjoy still hunting in a quiet woods.

But this year there was no fresh snow and tracking was much more difficult.

Doe Only Hunts?

There are a couple gun seasons left in Wisconsin where a hunter with doe tags (depending on where they hunt) can still fill those tags.

Brought My Nephew Deer Hunting For The First Time, 2018.
Brought My Nephew Deer Hunting For The First Time, 2018.

For me there are two 4 day rifle seasons left this month.  Will I hunt them?  I don’t know yet.  While I would love some venison in the freezer I still am not feeling strongly motivated to get out and deer hunt.  I have a nephew that is interested in hunting.  He’s 10 and wants to go, so I will likely get out with him to encourage his interest.  A couple times this year I have already been out with him: once for a successful squirrel hunt in October and one morning of deer hunting.

What Do I Want To Do?

I have lots of hobbies and I tend to flow back and forth between them when the moods strike me.  I like to read, study history, leather craft, make indie video games, play retro video games (Commodore Geek!), day hike, watch outdoor YouTube channels, camp, canoe….  you know, the usual.  But right now what I really feel drawing me is canoe camping.  But the canoe camping season where I live is pretty much done until spring.

It’s going to be a long winter.  The Springtime and my recent Old Town Guide 119 canoe purchase is already calling to me.

I like winter and have a few outings I want to do this year… but man I am itching to get canoe camping.



TD is the owner and publisher of TD All Outdoors. He has been enjoying the outdoors since since he was a child. Over the years he has spent as much time as he can solo wilderness canoe tripping, overlanding, hiking, fishing, bushcrafting, hunting, hammock camping, and more. Aside from this blog, he also own his own coffee brand, www.folklore-coffee.com.

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