November 21, 2017
The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
Rain. It’s rained and snowed and the wind has blown and the sun disappeared for most of the deer season so far. We’ve hunted in the grimpen mire. And most folks in Northern Michigan had some tough sledding. The buck poles were light on opening day. The guys that scored were champions of their deer camps—and lucky. Most hunters just didn’t see many whitetails in the beginnings of our coveted season.
I’ve talked to a few hunters that knocked down a racked buck that ended up being the only deer saw in the first few days of the season. That’s hard licks for hunters that can only put their cards on the table for a long opening weekend, but it’s good news for late season hunters. At least, we buckless Michiganders hope so. In the areas where bait is legal or where private land folks have food plots, those racked whitetails should get off the rut-muscle and look to actually feed as rifle season stretches toward December. Savvy riflemen should go early and stay late as the best deer will likely move in the smallest hours of dawn and dusk. There’s been a lot of hunter activity out there in the forests and fields and shooter bucks are smart when the mating season ends and they’re thinking with their brains again.
There is still of lot of deer hunting left and plenty of time to harvest food for your family. The regular firearm deer season ends at last light on November 30th, but archery picks back up again the day after and, this year, muzzleloading season start on December 1st as well. Then, on private land, in many of our neighboring counties a late firearm antlerless deer season starts on December 18th and pushes the opportunity to fill your freezer right out to January 1st. Of course, you should check the Michigan Deer Antlerless Digest to be sure of which counties are open to the late season, but I will tell you that over the counter tags are very likely available in the units that are open.
I’ll be back behind the dogs December 1st if the weather allows, and I may even poke downstate to see if I can find one of those Michigan ditch parrots.
I’m all but done fishing for the year. Sure I’ll make trip here and there down to the stream but I’m mostly putting the River to bed for a while I’m sure it could use the rest.
We’ll be tying flies before you know it.
Hope to see you soon,