The local guys I’ve talked to so far haven’t had much luck. (Some very good hunters that have killed many nice bucks) I’ve heard numbers are up so we’ll see what the final numbers show for northern forest. I’ve seen some deer on vehicles but not as many as years past. For every 10 guys that say it was good hunting and numbers look good, you’ll have 10 that will say it was piss poor.
I scout a lot. Year round. All I can say is you gotta move around and find the pockets of deer. The predators and logging or maybe more so, the lack of logging in areas moves deer around a lot. What was good 10-15 years ago might not be much good now.
Whether or not you keep camp in the same spot is up to you but that would mean possibly getting up earlier in the mornings and driving more and further if hunting in a different area. I would probably move camp once I find some bucks worth pursuing.
Also, I drive all over Vilas every day for work. Mostly at dawn and dusk and just don’t see the bucks that I use to. I see far more deer, including some nice bucks around the towns, residential areas, etc. than I do in the bigger woods areas. We use to see many nice bucks on Hwy 70 east towards Forest county and some other bigger woods areas and just not seeing that much anymore. It’s frustrating because the 4 biggest bucks I’ve spotted again this year were damn near right downtown Eagle river and St. germain.