ALL SHE WROTE. The 2017 Deer Firearms Season is officially in the books, and a lot of great bucks were taken as cold conditions triggered a solid start to the rut and then warmer temperatures allowed hunters to get out and after those deer. Don’t hang up your field boots just yet, as we look ahead to what’s next in hunting with today’s Three Things.
(Featured Photo: A whitetail doe sneaks through an opening in the brush. Simonson Photo)
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Mon 11/27 – Afternoon gusts. Hi 62, Lo 35, Winds NW@20, G30.
Tomorrow: Tue 11/28 – Warm westerlies. Hi 47, Lo 30, Winds W@14, G25
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Sunrise: 8:03AM Sunset: 4:58PM
Moonrise: 2:08PM Moonset 12:33AM
Overhead: 7:49PM Underfoot: 7:26AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (61% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 8:00 – 9:00AM. Light winds to start the day will provide an ideal chance to get out there and explore during the Edge Hour. See what’s left of the deer herd, or take advantage of those newly-opened refuge lands before the gusts kick up at noon.
OPEN UP! As has been discussed in the recent run up to the close of firearms deer season, a number of federal wildlife refuges throughout the state will be open to upland hunting starting today, including Long Lake NWR near Bismarck. For a complete list of refuges and those with areas opened to expanded hunting, visit the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Refuge page. At this point in the year, its similar to hunting virgin ground. With this season’s reduced bird numbers for both grouse and pheasants – that’s an awesome bonus to have as the calendar turns!
PREDATOR & PREY. Even though there’s no snow, predator hunting will move to the forefront for those dedicated rifle hunters in North Dakota as winter settles back in and the white stuff coats the land. With a good crop of coyotes still on the landscape, the approaching prime time season should provide an excellent opportunity for new hunters to experience the sport, and for veteran furbearers to succeed at a high level.
STICK WITH IT. You’ve still got about six weeks left of deer archery season as well, so use these warmer-than-average days to hang a stand, move a stand, pop up a blind and set up along some newly cut corn field and find what’s left of the herd. Those big bucks are smart, and odds are that a few of them gave the gun hunting crowd the slip over the last two weeks. The season doesn’t end until you say “big buck down” or sunset rolls around on January 7, so get out there and punch your tag.