The WI gun deer season opened Saturday, 30 mins before sunrise (6:40am in my zone). I was 20' up a pine tree in the Nicolet National Forest at 5:30am. Weather was overcast with snow flurries, and temps in the high 20's. There was about 1" of snow on the ground, with more forecast for later in the day, and Sunday & Monday, too. At about 6:50am, I heard a deer approaching at a steady gait, crunching the frozen leaves under the snow. It was getting closer and closer, but it was coming from an area of heavy balsam growth where my visibility was about 20yds. I had my Ruger Blackhawk out of it's holster, hammer back, ready to send a 300gr, .45cal hardcast bullet on it's way at 1300fps. The deer would soon hit a trail that goes across in front of my stand. If it turned left on that trail, it would cross in front of me at 15yds. If it went straight ahead, it would cross to my left at about 25 yds. If it turned right, I'd never see it at all. Yep, it turned right, going up the trail on which I had just walked in from my truck, an hour and a half before. It went up the trail about 50-60 yds, then turned left and crossed to my left through the woods at about 80 yds away. Too far for a pistol shot on a moving deer. I couldn't see any antlers in the dim light, but it's body langauge (steady gait, solo deer, nose to ground when I finally did see it) left no doubt that it was a buck. At about 9:30am, another deer came down the crossing trail. I was ready again, this time it passed me at the 15yds. It never knew I was there, but I decided not to shoot. It was a 5pt buck (double forked, with one brow tine). I put the crosshairs of my Leupold 2X pistol scope on it's left shoulder... and whispered "bang". Counted my first "coup" of the day. I might regret passing on this deer in a few days. At about noon, 3 more deer came down the same trail. A big doe, and her 2 fawns. One was a "nubbin" buck. The deer management unit I was hunting in (#39), is a "buck only" unit, so there was no shot to be taken here, either. I do have one of the few "hunter's choice" permits issued for this unit, but I'm saving that option for muzzleloader season next week. Shooting a doe now, uses my only tag, and kills any opportunity for a big buck in the next 18 days of gun/muzzleloader hunting. I've got vacation time until next Sunday, some buddies are coming up to hunt the muzzleloader season, and I just bought a new muzzleloader a few weeks ago... so I'm in no hurry to use up my only tag for this unit. Sunday sucked. The forecasted snow turned to freezing rain, then plain old rain... and lasted all day. I hunted 4 hours in the morning, then went home to dry out. Came back and hunted 3 hours in the afternoon, and saw nada. Never heard a shot fired in those 7 hours either. Monday wasn't much better. The storm passed to the east, bringing in colder air and snow, but very strong winds. High temp was 12 degrees, and wind chill was below zero all day. But I went out at 5:45am, and stayed out, until 4:45pm. I opted for my pop-up ground blind and my Mr. Buddy heater... screw the treestand in that wind. Never saw a deer in those 11 hours in the woods. It snowed off & on all day... added up to about 2". Today, I slept in until 7:00am. Did some paperwork for my business, goofed around here on the computer until about 11:00am, then went out and sat in my other treestand, with a little more visible range... so I left the Ruger Blackhawk at home and took my Rem 742 in .308. I saw 4 deer just before dark, at about 90 yds, but could not see any "rack", so I held my fire. Tomorrow is "trackin' day". I'll find some fresh tracks in the snow (big ones, I hope) in the first light of day, and follow where they lead me, all day long. Hopefully I'll catch up to the maker before dark. I get tired of just sitting in a tree all day, and I need a "break". The day before Thanksgiving sees the least amount of hunter activity up here, so it's the best day to do this. If I "bump" the deer I'm tracking, it won't run into another gun. The last one I got by this method, I "bumped" 3 times before I finally got a shot. I knew exactly where he was headed, and I took a "short cut" and got there first, and 5 minutes later he walked right into me. I love it when a plan comes together. ;f Wanna kill these ads? We can help!