The nine-day gun deer season has ended.
Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait in Tomah, said the season was a mixed bag of successes and failures.
“I haven’t heard any of the (harvest) numbers, but looking at my hide collection bin, there were a lot of people that were successful − it’s overflowing,” he said. “I guess (success) depends on where everyone hunted. Some guys reported seeing more deer than they’ve ever seen this season, and some that haven’t done well and haven’t seen much — including me.”
Dennis Schnitzler of Schnitzler’s Sports Store in Sparta said area hunters appeared to have a successful season.
“It seemed like everybody has a pretty decent season and now we’re getting into the black powder (muzzleloader) season.”
Preliminary harvest totals for the nine-day gun deer season from the Department of Natural Resources show that in the Central Farmland Zone in Monroe County 4,159 deer were taken, of which 2,006 were antlered and 2,153 were antlerless. In Monroe County’s Central Forest Zone, 376 were taken with 301 antlered and 75 antlerless.
The preliminary harvest total for the state is 211,430 deer were taken — 104,388 were antlered and 107,042 were antlerless.
Duane Waters of Hatfield Sports Shop said the hunting season wasn’t great in the Clark County and Jackson County area.
“We didn’t have a lot of deer brought in here, but a lot of pictures on trail cams show deer moving a lot at night,” he said.
In fishing news, this past week has been good to some fishermen, depending on where they’re fishing.
Waters said the past week was excellent.
“We got about five inches of ice on Lake Arbutus,” he said. “Fishermen are not taking four wheelers or vehicles out yet, but a lot of guys are dragging their portable shacks out. They’re mainly catching crappies and walleyes, but I know some guys are picking up walleyes and smallmouths on tipups as well. Waxies are working for the panfish.”
In the Tomah area, the fishing has uneventfu as few fishermen are braving the thin ice, Roscovius reported. There was open water on Lake Tomah Sunday and open water at Castle Rock and Petenwell flowages.
“When we did have some ice, guys were catching some pretty good bluegills on the lake,” he said. “A guy brought in a bucketful of really nice bluegills, so the lake bite was good, and they were getting some really nice fish. Once the ice gets hard again, it might be a good place to go.”
In the Sparta area fishing has been quiet, Schnitzler said, but those who have gone out have caught fish.
“The guys daring to go out are doing fairly decent, but right now the ice is a little iffy depending where you’re at,” he said. “If it’s cooler in the evenings there should be more people out by next week. Guys are catching some good panfish — crappies and bluegills in some of the local bogs in the area. Guys are doing fairly decent, you just need to use extreme caution.”