Thankful Outdoors: Prepping for Fall Hunting Seasons

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – We have passed the second Holiday weekend of the summer. I hope you all enjoyed the 4th, the fireworks display that I watched at Hotchkiss Last Cast was enjoyable. With the page-turning on the calendar and showing July, my mind starts to think about bowhunting. I started the practice session with my Mathews bow since we have 70 days until the opening weekend of bow season.

I haven’t shot bow much since the spring turkey season, and it felt good to flex the back muscles and let a few carbon shafts fly. The initial shooting sessions indicate I could make some minor adjustments to dial in, but my shooting skills still provide an ethical shot when the time is ready.

Some arrows need fletching repaired, and the string and cables should be looked at getting replaced since they are now going on four years old. One could say, geez, don’t rush summer to be over with and enjoy the nice weather before fall gets here.

Personally, my favorite season is fall; I like the temperatures, the change in colors, all sorts of outdoor activities available to do. It’s what I would call my Primetime. I appreciate the climate of Wisconsin, which gives us all four seasons; heck, sometimes, we get all four seasons in one day!

The other reason that I’m looking to get a jump start on getting ready for the fall season is from a consumer standpoint. With labor shortages and supply shortages, it’s time to plan now to not stress over not having some gear that is needed for a fall adventure. And we all know that 70 days can blow just as fast as the weather can change here in Wisconsin!

Besides starting prep work for the fall, Mike and I headed back out to Cherokee Park on Monday to throw some more musky lures. OMG, was that a hot outing. At 6 pm, the truck was still showing temps in the ’80s. When we quit that evening at dark, it had just dipped into the upper 70’s.

After trying for about an hour at Cherokee Park, I said to Mike, let’s go check out Big Rapids Park to see what that looks like. It’s been a very long time since I have fished Big Rapids Park, the facilities have been upgraded, the little park is waiting to have freshly shredded bark added underneath the equipment. The swimming area seemed to have gotten smaller than I remember, probably due to lack of use over the years.

The feeling of being a youth came back again on this evening as I tried to bound from rock to rock to reach fishing spots. My confidence in how far I’m willing to jump to rock has declined over the years. No longer being as light-footed as I was when I was 14 years old, being 47 years old now, one is not as willing to take a tumble on boulders.

Mike had never fished Big Rapids and didn’t even know that this area existed. His smile as we left the parking lot and glanced upstream to look at the setting sun against the rapids was enough of reward that night. He turns to me and says, “that sure is a pretty view!”

The only fish activity that evening was watching the occasional sucker jump out of the water. Seeing the water levels be what looks like around four to five feet low on the river explains why the Big Eau Pleine Flowage continues to be down this year. If the feeder river can’t even fill up, how is the Flowage going to recover? Mother Nature has a way to correct itself, and I hope that by the time hard water comes around, the water levels on the Flowage have recovered!

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.