DEER TRAILS: Snow in forecast for most places (copy) (copy)
Forecasting weather, at times, is similar to hunting and forecasting deer density.
Things change overnight. Weather fronts may keep deer from feeding or push them into deep cover. The reverse may true other times.
A forecast for a brown opener, at least in southern Wisconsin, has now changed to the possibility of snow, maybe a couple inches, with more near the Wisconsin-Illinois border by the time deer hunters take a lunch break on Opening Day.
The snow-rain line near the border could mean some drizzle/freezing rain mixed in, too, for border counties.
Even before the season opens Saturday morning, these conditions could mean slippery driving, riding or walking into a deer’s world. Remember, too, there is an overlap here with the deer mating season, so deer are still on the move.
Haddie McLean, WISC-TV/Ch. 3 meteorologist in Madison, in trying to mesh weather developments with hunters and travelers’ movements. The snow amounts often change with newer weather models, but all of the state should receive some snow, either Thursday night or Friday night and Saturday.
Safety snow, we’ll call it.
The low Saturday morning in southern Wisconsin will be about 27, with the highs moving up a few degrees.
Opening weekend highs will only hit close to 30 in the south, and mid-20s in the north. Lows will be in the 20s south and teens in the north.
There is increased moisture in the air, so snow could be on the wetter, stickier side, McLean said.
Warming highs early next week and some sun are likely to melt much of the snow, particularly on the south and west slopes and open areas.
“We’re in a quieter weather pattern, which is a change for us considering the last month or so,” McLean said. “Things are settling down; it’s nothing too exciting after the weekend.”
The slight freeze-up, and now some slippery snow on top, will mean walking surfaces will be hard and noisy Saturday morning, and after the weekend, surfaces could be slippery and a little muddy.
The frozen soil is not that firm below an inch, so don’t depend on that to get a vehicle through lowland, wet areas.
With varied conditions during the nine-day season, deer could be difficult to see in some wooded habitats, so look for parts of deer — an ear, a white throat patch or a partial antler. Horizontal lines of deer’s backs mean looking again to be sure.
Please be sure of your target and what is beyond. That’s probably the reason the white stuff has received the safety and sighting moniker.
Season Snippet: Metal deer tags were first used in 1920, and cost 10 cents.