Assessing Fall Prospects During Outdoor Break May Pay Off Later – WiscNews | Gmx Pharm

JERRY DAVIS For Lee Sports Wisconsin

Game watchers, photographers and archers set up game cameras, drive on country roads and forest trails and see where the deer are feeding, says Doug Williams of the DW Sports Center in Portage. The first hunting season, archery, begins on September 17th.

“This year, if it has three leaflets, let it be and also pay attention to the tights; They’re ripe and dry enough to stick,” adds Williams.

Most of what is collected outdoors this fall is now in the landscape. Scouting to assess prospects for spotting, photographing, hooking, hunting, and picking manifests itself in one of several ways.

Some archers check tree stands, looking for scraps and debris, and spend time observing the deer’s movement patterns.

Others may take a step back and look more broadly at how many and so many subtle clues are emerging, learn more about entire habitats but not just focus on deer.

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Williams calls this a kind of outdoor downtime, a slow time that allows more general assessments to be conducted at a leisurely pace, “taking time to smell the wild bergamot,” so to speak.

It may not seem like there’s a direct correlation between noticing bergamot and digging ginseng or climbing a stand of trees, but that shouldn’t matter. Some of what’s out there can be in our world for beauty and attention. However, it can be mentally helpful to figure out what it all means.

After all, deer eat numerous plants and fungi, step on others and even change the composition of the habitat, including what other animals may or may not exist nearby. Some late summer trips can end up collecting spiderroot seeds, admiring a blackberry fruit find, and kicking a pullball only to see a cloud of spores.


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An all-encompassing opportunity to assess populations, recruitment, plant growth, storm damage, water levels and general habitat knowledge can be rewarding, informative and important.

Insects are still on the move, pollinators are still busy with bees collecting pollen, spilling some and collecting nectar. Some insects and other parasites have damaged plant parts, helping fruit to develop and being eaten into goldenrod stalks, causing anomalies and an icefish pit.

Fungi have affected plant development, eating up large sections of trees, albeit internally, weakening others and on the verge of emerging as edible or poisonous mushrooms.







Tiger Swallowtail

An eastern tiger swallowtail takes nectar for joe pye weed flowers.


Jerry Davis, Lee Sports Wisconsin


An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly may be seen visiting a Joe Pye weed. Perhaps more than a monarch this summer.

Touch-me-not impatiens plants (aka jewelweed) begin to flower. Common names can be misleading. Here, the suggestion “don’t touch” is really a gentle warning that a seed pod (fruit) will burst if touched, which is startling.

A walk through a damp prairie where all manner of animals abound reveals flowering heads of the common sneeze and attracts some tiny ladybugs, dark and almost too small to see. Again, the common name suggests a discomfort, but the name came from the plant’s use to induce a sneeze to relieve a runny nose.

The results of some summer flowers are now showing up as hitchhiking plant parts. Dozens, all using a Velcro-like method of attachment to move the populace, are waiting to be hitchhiked. Stickseed is considered one of the most stubborn, annoying and annoying.


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There is still time to dissect some migratory plants before the seeds and fruit mature and develop hard, sharp brackets.

They certainly remind you of opening a Velcro fastener. It was burdock that gave an inventor this sticky idea.

Walks in the woods and fields, seeing the first parts of plants by hitchhiking is not all negative. These sticky particles capture fur, hair, feathers and even bare skin. A deer and a turkey may have been attacked by burrs, giving us some insight into where these animals roosted, fed and ran. Even if a certain type of drill seems to be everywhere, there can still be clues. A gender, size, or age range of deer can carry the burs, suggesting that the sites visited by different deer vary.

Wayne Smith of Lafayette County recently noticed four turkey poults. Now it’s two. Williams, back in Portage, has also seen some and wonders if the casualties are due to bobcats. “And there are bears in there now, there, now hills,” he says.

Wildlife feeding signs are ubiquitous. Even large compass plants did not escape the ragged biting and pulling of fawns, deer, and bucks; the males are still growing antler material and the youngest are showing dwindling spots. Breakthrough speed and new camouflage systems will make fawns on September 17th a worthy challenge for anyone interested in seeing them.

Don Martin of Martin’s in Monroe says, “Ammunition availability is no better now than it was last year.”

Now follow the advice of sporting goods store salespeople regarding the availability or lack of equipment and ammunition.

Gray squirrels have made it their business to shell hazelnuts and leave little chance of filling a bag with hazelnuts for a snack or good luck charm. Those rodents won’t be feeding here next month, so where will they be in mid-September?

It comes as a surprise that some archers and otherwise tree-seated photographers and viewers climb a tree and know nothing about the tree other than whether it is straight and solid. Is it a hackberry, a relative of the elm?

Seems of minor importance, but noticing it could prove otherwise. Ghost plants, these all-white flowering parasites that connect to better plants by a fungal thread, grow near the surface. So do morels and their root compounds. If ghost plants are having a good growing season, so could the mushrooms next spring. That would be the first time in four years.

Enjoy a walk, look around, or drive very slowly on a road or forest trail.

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