Tough hunting in warm weather, but that’s changing
I recall Veteran’s Day of last year (2021) very well. I spent a few hours in the woods that morning and the remainder of the day working — from my front porch. It was so warm I posted a photo on Facebook of my yard from my “porch office” as I like to call it, noting that a cooler weather pattern was about to arrive putting an end to what had been a steady stretch of warm weather that made hunting tough, but porch life easy.
So far, 2022 has far outdone last year in terms of warm hunting weather. This past weekend, the fourth and “peak” weekend for us Northern Zone hunters, was much the same, although it was a little cooler on Sunday. The three previous ones featured temperatures no lower than 60 degrees F on any of the given days. This makes for tough hunting if you’re a mobile hunter, as I am, who participates in deer drives. Let’s just say there’s been a lot less clothing layers and more water being carried in the woods. Staying hydrated has been paramount.
Hunters everywhere are cussing about the warm weather. With their winter coats, deer just don’t move unless they have to. Think about how many deer you’ve been seeing an hour before daylight, or an hour after sunset. I know I’ve seen a lot. This is when it’s most comfortable for deer to move, at a time when the guns and bows are put away.
Buck sign during the early part of the season has been all but non-existent. Until just recently, I had found only one scrape and just a few rubs. Ironically, our group has had success, but that is only because the deer/bear drives we make lend themselves to making deer move. We know our hunting areas well, and where deer hang out, but we’ve had to literally step on them to get them moving. The bucks we’ve killed have shown little sign of rutting activity, including odiferous tarsal glands.
So, here we go again, as it looks like this year will be much like last year, and with that, there is some good news. Once it cooled down last year the woods seemed to come alive with deer. Overall, we just saw more of them and had some late season action. In fact, it felt like the season was ending just as things were getting hot.
On the flip-side, I won’t be surprised if Mother Nature tosses winter at us a bit early in the form of bone-chilling cold or deep snow. That’s what’s been happening in the spring, where we basically go from winter to summer with little in between (spring). Could the same thing happen to our autumn?
I prefer normalcy, if it exists anymore. As much as I enjoy working from the front porch office, I’d much rather have November feel like, well November. But, we’ll just have to take the hand we’re dealt and enjoy deer season no matter the weather. Good luck!