Eighty-degree weather does not make for good hunting.
Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait, said few hunters took to the woods for the opening weekend of the deer archery and crossbow season.
“Archery started, but I haven’t seen any deer, haven’t heard any stories,” he said. “The 80-85 degree weather probably kept a lot of guys (away) ... holding off until it cools down a little bit.”
Matt Modjeski, Department of Natural Resources conservation warden for Monroe County, agrees.
“I know it was kind of warmer, and I am sure a few people were out for archery deer, but when it’s this warm, they usually wait until it cools off,” he said.
The first Department of Natural Resources report on deer harvest from opening weekend will be posted on the DNR’s website Monday.
While he hasn’t heard anything from deer hunters, Duane Waters of Hatfield Sports Shop has better news for bear hunting.
“We got bear number four last night, a 300-pound sow,” he said. “We started off really slow − the first four days (of the season) were no dice, but the fifth day they killed the first two (bears) ... they got another one here on Friday night that was a 200-pound ... sow. It seems bears are moving more during the day now, which is a good thing.”
The bears were taken as part of the guided hunting offered by Hatfield Sports Shop.
Fishing was decent this past week, Roscovius said. Multiple species were biting.
“We had quite a few northerns this weekend get caught,” he said. “They were basically all caught on live minnows under a bobber. There were a few bass that came along with the northerns, but northerns were really active in the marshes this past week.”
Panfish were also fairly active, Roscovius reports.
“Bluegills have slowed down a little bit, but the ones guys are getting are nice-sized ... they’ve mostly been caught on worms,” he said. “Crappies are taking either artificial or live minnows, but they’ve got to be moving. If you’re using artificial, you need to keep it moving around.”
Bass have been active as well, Roscovius said.
“At Lake Tomah the bass have picked up a little,” he said. “They were a little slow in the last couple weeks, but it seems to have turned back on. Spinner baits, crank baits are working pretty good.”
Bass seem to be biting hanging out in the deeper water, Roscovius reports. They’ve been found in dropoffs and sandbars both on Lake Tomah and the Mississippi River.
In Hatfield, fishing on Lake Arbutus has been bad, Waters said, as approximately six to seven feet of water was drained from the lake.
“It usually takes a while for the lake to recover,” he said.
The bite is better on the Black River, below the dam between Hatfield and Black River Falls, Waters said.
“There’s at least some flow down through there,” he said. “I know for a fact that Saturday and Sunday (fishermen) were picking up walleyes below the power house.”