TV host encouraged with deer reports
BIG RAPIDS - Kyle Randall, of Paris, likes what he's seen of the first three weeks of bow hunting for deer.
"I'd say it's going fairly well with the exception of the weather that's keeping a lot of people out of the field," Randall, host of TV's Wilderness Journal, said. "The harvest is off but with the new regulations banning bait and requiring four antler points on one side in Mecosta County and other places, it's understandable.
"It has suppressed the number of people participating and it's definitely suppressed the harvest. On the upside, when the weather has been good enough, those who have been out are seeing numbers of deer even if they're not seeing harvestable deer."
With the oncoming rut, deer activity is expected to pick up.
"The rut is actually just starting right now" Randall said. "You'll see the first signs of it. I have in the last two or three days. If we can get the stable weather, as the moon darkens, I'm predicting a fairly early rut this year. That should bode well for archery hunters."
Fall turkey season has seen some impressive numbers.
"The waterfowl guys are chasing the geese around," Randall said. "The weather is not helping. There has not been a lot of cornfield harvested. Where they have been cut, the birds are pouring in."
Fishing has slowed down, Randall said, because of the rain.
"There are some salmon and steelhead that have been caught, probably more steelhead than salmon," Randall said. "The biggest problem is the rivers are constantly being blown out because of the amount of rain. Shoreline fishing with the wind has been out of the question. Fishing is down. There are some brave souls still out on the river, and inland fisherman are tagging some pretty nice perch, mostly in the bigger lakes."