Birds, bears and bucks all on the table right now
After the third wild flush, I turned down a path that would lead out to the main road. A couple hundred yards down the path, Allie’s beeper collar sounded point about 25 yards ahead of me. According to the Garmin, it was 50 yards to the south.
I walked ahead, the gusting wind kind of died and I heard the flush of grouse. I looked up and caught the glimpse of a gray blur coming towards the trail about 15 to 20 yards ahead of me When I headed out in the morning, the wind was blowing like five miles per hour or less, and the sunny skies and 50 degree temps were almost too perfect. It only takes like 40 minutes to get to this covert but the wind picked up along the way. When I arrived it had to be blowing 10 mph. By the time Allie had her first point, the wind was blowing mostly 15 mph, and hearing anything was becoming impossible.
I saw the first point on the Garmin before I heard the beeper. She stood point about 75 yards from me downwind. I walked about 25 yards on the line. The Garmin pointed me when I could faintly hear the beeper and followed the sound to her. I was 15 yards away from her when her intensity changed, and I was lucky to see a flash of a bird take off about 25 yards ahead of her. The second point I never heard or saw the bird leave. At the third bird, I heard the beeper faintly and walked up the trail about 30 yards and, just as I was about to cut into the thick stuff, I saw the flash of a bird cross the trail about as far ahead as the point. That’s when I took the shortcut out about 100 yards farther down the trail.
It was so windy, the birds were spooked by all the leaves on the trees. I twisted a knee after that first point and it was starting to talk to me a bit. Plus, an occasional branch would break off and fall to the ground. No sense tempting the widow makers.
The plan was for a quick two-hour hunt that would have me home by 1 p.m., and then I’d head to a lake to enjoy the 65 degree day for a meal of panfish. I could see that even on a small lake I would spend much more time fighting the wind than fishing, so changing plans seemed like the thing to do. The other thing to do the last couple weeks has been to hunt bear and bow deer. There have been a couple truly monstrous bear taken in the state that I’ve heard about since the opener. One was taken in the northeast part of the state on the second day of the season that weighed 733 pounds. The successful hunter shot it with a rifle and its picture is very impressive. It doesn’t matter about the exact location because we’ve had a bear reach that size in this area. Its age that determines size. The other truly big bear that I heard about came out of south central Wisconsin. The successful hunter was a young lady from southeast Wisconsin who harvested herself a 720-pound bear. Both of these bears were harvested over bait.
I talked to guys from a couple dog crews and they were putting bears in trees this week despite the cooler temps, but the bears were pulling the old switch-a-roo. They would start a track on a bigger bear, but it would wander across trails heading to several other baits. The bears that go into those baits and run out often do so hours after the bigger bear came through and the dogs follow the newer scent. They don’t get to 700 plus pounds by being stupid either.
On the archery hunt side of things, if you are on any social media, you have seen the size of the bucks that have been harvested and the number of them. Early season is good but this year has been great. Those bucks will get hunters excited to hit the woods, so be diligent in your safety, especially in the tree stands.
And...how that fourth pointed ended up. I connected with that fourth grouse as it flew across the brief opening, which is why I shoot skeet all summer.
Good luck out there and please remember “Safe Hunting is No Accident!”
CHUCK K OLAR LOCAL OUTDOORSMAN