THERE’S nothing overly fun about bow hunting for deer when it’s 75 degrees and humid, as it was last Friday evening, but then the scribbler isn’t always lucky enough to be sitting in Wisconsin farm country.

So despite the sweat beading on my bald head and the mosquitoes that could only be chased away by something as effective as a Thermacell unit, there I was just after 5 p.m. in a tower stand overlooking mammoth deer trails that led to a nearby alfalfa field.

The trip was made despite the balmy weather because there were plans made weeks ago for a little get-together at a friend’s deer camp, and the thought of a fish fry and throwing some cards with friends was worth the trip even if the crossbow never came out of the case.

I toyed with the thought of holding off with the hunt until morning, when the mercury would be 65 degrees with no sun at the crack of dawn, but it’s hard to resist an hour or two in any deer stand near my hometown of Marion.

What’s happened in recent decades is a historic transition in the most productive deer areas of Wisconsin, including trophy deer. There was a time when hunters came to the North Woods for the big bucks and big numbers of deer in general, but today, they go to counties with names such as Waupaca, Shawano, Jackson and Buffalo.

As I sat in this too-comfortable elevated stand with a roof over my head, the acorns were raining from the oak trees in every direction. In the first hour, I saw about seven deer, all does and fawns, scooting down trails some 50 to 60 yards away as they headed for the alfalfa.

The highlight of the evening was watching a fork-horn and a spiked buck march down a trail at 30 yards. They entered the grassy roadway that ran nearly beneath my blind and then came up the road under my blind, feeding on acorns the entire way. I watched those little bucks for almost 30 minutes as they scratched out acorns beneath windfalls, thickets and heavy ferns, and that show alone was worth the price of admission.

With a baiting ban in place in Vilas, Oneida and Forest counties, archers who don’t have private land and a fantastic food plot have little opportunity for viewing deer like I saw last Friday. That’s the beauty of farm country, where deer movement can be patterned so much easier than in the massive forests of the North Woods.

The 11 deer that I saw in just two hours of hunting on that evening would likely not be equaled in several nights of hunting here, unless you happen to be sitting in an apple orchard, a field full of alfalfa or a great food plot. We have some oak ridges in this area, but even those are hard to come by.

No bolts were fired and no deer authorizations were filled, yet it was one of the most entertaining hunts I’ve had in years. And that’s why you sit a farm country stand whenever you get the chance, because there are so many deer there and so much opportunity to fill a tag.

For those who think that’s an exaggeration, consider the fact that the Department of Natural Resources gives every deer hunter three free antlerless deer tags in both Waupaca and nearby Shawano counties. I was sitting in a stand with four harvest authorizations in my pocket, one good for a buck and three good for antlerless deer.

I returned to deer camp with a big smile on my face after seeing deer, a male cardinal, a big orange-bellied fox squirrel and two cottontail rabbits. That’s why we sit in elevated deer stands; because the entertainment is fantastic.

We feasted on a fish fry of North Woods crappie, fries, coleslaw and some of the best darn tartar sauce ever made, which my buddy Mike Krueger purchased from a former classmate of ours who owns Marion Rec — a bowling alley and bar.

We played sheepshead until midnight, the guys and the gals, and got a great night’s sleep at the Shabin Hunting Camp on the end of Quarterline Road in the town of Dupont. The camp is less than 2 miles from the Dupont Cheese Factory, which has been a must-stop cheese source on Highway 110 for more than 60 years. Fresh curds that squeak as you chew are my favorite.

We just completed the second weekend of the archery season, which extends into early January, so there is a ton of opportunity left to fill those “tags.” I know, they are technically harvest authorizations today because we no longer have to tag deer, but I like the word tag.

The scribbler has vowed to return to farm country when fall weather arrives, because there’s nothing better for hanging deer and curing venison than when the mercury gets closer to the freezing mark at night. If you can allow the meat to cool on the bone, it will always be more tender.

Until we get the added deer movement that the rut brings in late October and early November, archery deer hunting is quite the challenge in the northern forest region. Only those with oak stands, food plots, gardens or near agricultural fields have the upper edge at consistently seeing deer here with a baiting ban in place.

So until that time, I’m going to be chasing grouse in this area or heading to farm country with the crossbow. I can’t wait to see what kind of deer show up on the first frosty morning of October, when the mosquitoes are gone and the maple trees become a blaze of yellow and red.

It’s officially autumn now, so bring on the frost and cooler weather. The golf clubs are stored. It’s time to hunt.