Crops down, rutting activity still up and a super full moon rising all point to a great deer-firearms opener on Saturday.
Suppose to be calm, clear and dry, too.
The 2016 Indiana's deer-firearm season is Nov. 12 to 27.
The pull of a full moon seems to increase activity in all animals and the one that peaks on Nov. 14 is a super moon, which is the closest the moon gets to earth on its elliptical orbit. It will appear 10 to 20 percent larger and brighter than other full moons.
The rut, the week or more when bucks get goofy and chase does around the clock, should linger into this weekend. Archers out during the week were stoked about the amount of buck movement.
And with dry weather this past week, most of the corn crop is picked, which means there are hundreds less acres for deer to hide in.
The firearms opener also means hundreds of extra hunters in the woods, which also keeps deer on the move.
More hunters also means to be extra careful, as in don't do anything stupid. There is no room for maybes, thought-it-was or hoping-for with a gun in your hand. Be sure of what you're aiming at and everything beyond.
Beyond that, enjoy the woods, hunting companions and your time doing something you've been waiting for all year.
A look at harvest figures provide an idea of how big deer hunting and the gun opener is in Indiana.
Last year, Hoosier hunters killed 37,896 deer during opening weekend of the firearms season, which typically accounts for half of deer bagged during the 16-day gun season. Combined, all seasons (archery, firearms, muzzleloader) produced 123,664 whitetail deer registered in 2015, which was a percentage point or two down from the average of the previous 10 years.
Any questions about regulations, check-in requirements and more can be reviewed at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild.
Remember, all check-in will be done on line at checkINgame.dnr.IN.gov or by phone at 1-800-419-1326. The phone-in option carries a $3 charge-card fee.
And speaking of phones, keep it fully charged for safety reasons. Also, don't forget to put it on silent mode.
• State tournament: The 31st annual Indiana State Stream & Surf Tournament is set for Dec. 3. This is a big trout contest with a $10 entry fee. See www.nwisteelheaders.org for rules and entry form.
• Outdoors report: Don't recall so many folks fishing this late into the fall, thanks largely to unseasonably mild weather. A few good catches of bass, crappie, bluegill, perch, catfish and steelhead has something to do with it, too.
Mostly, catching has been spotty — a few steelies in the harbor and on the pier, fewer in the stream. Lake trout are in shore, but water temperatures in the 50s has them off-bite. Warmer than normal water temps are keeping whitefish away, too.
Inland, bass have been good on crankbaits and jigs at times, Bluegills shallow on waxworms or waxworms pinned on ice jigs or flies. Crappie and perch on minnows with the best action on the deep side of weeds — on bottom for the perch, mid-depths for crappie. Catfish have been caught by bass and panfish anglers.