Deer hunting in Northern Wisconsin seldom requires shot of more than a hundred yards. That is because most of the hunting is in dense forests or in woodlots where visibility is restricted. The occasional long shot is available, but they are unusual. This eight point “basket buck” was taken yesterday, on opening day 19 November, 2016.
The Namekagon river offers one of the few opportunities for long shots in the area. Most deer are harvested at a hundred yards or less. The buck was crossing the river 275 yards upstream when it was shot. In this unusual case, the deer floated down to the waiting hunter, who did not have to drag it very far.
Two inches of fluffy snow made for much better visibility for hunters. It did not play a part in this shot, as the dark river did not provide much contrast to the deer. The hunter in this case is an accomplished and expert shot who had the equipment and skill to make a one shot, one kill performance.
Another advantage of fresh snow for deer hunters is the ease of tracking deer. A wounded animal can be followed up in a timely manner. Blood shows up very well on snow, and aids in keeping the correct track.
Tracking deer who are not wounded is also productive. Hunters who stay on a trail may get a shot at a deer. It is more likely that they will move the animal past a hunter on a stand, who will have a better chance.
Such combination tactics are a long time favorite of deer hunters in the North Woods.
Hunters in the field likely jumped this buck, who then decided to cross the river, exposing himself to the expert rifle shot on the island downstream.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.