Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

State Roundup

Dean Bortz

Wisconsin Editor

ON THE FRONT PAGE of this issue you’ll see an article about DNR
Secretary Matt Frank’s outreach efforts to state deer hunters – how
he’s asking hunters to voluntarily give up the use of bait starting
this year. Will it work? Probably not very well. A few hunters may
realize that Frank is asking for their help in maintaining the
current level of health in the deer herd for the future, but I
doubt much will change until the Legislature comes up with an
outright ban.

And that’s probably where Frank’s request will get bigger play.
This is the first time the DNR has ever really taken such a bold
stance on this issue. That had to take a little bit of nerve, on
Frank’s part. Now let’s see if the conservation leaders in the
Legislature can find it within themselves to follow suit. Any
bets?

ONE DEER HUNTER said he is getting off the corn this year, and
that was even before Frank made his plea. I was visiting the
hometown a couple weeks ago when I ran into an old buddy on the
street. It didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to U.S.
District Court Judge Paul Friedman’s decision to put the Great
Lakes wolves back on the protected list. Friedman may have
graduated from Cornell University, but when it comes to wolves and
wolf management, he has a lot to learn, and any brush ape from
Ashland County could tell him as much.

My buddy knew who Friedman was, and what his ruling meant for
state wolf management. He wondered whether Friedman understands
that for wolves to be accepted by the majority of locals in wolf
country that they have to be managed at a local level, not by a
judge in Washington D.C. who wouldn’t know a Holstein from a
Hereford, or why it mattered. “I’ll be the only guy in Wisconsin
hunting deer with a pork chop this year,” he said.

Well, I’m sure my buddy was kidding, but his point is very
clear: Wolves in the Great Lakes region are well past the point of
needing to be listed. Just in case anyone is wondering, the phone
number to Friedman’s chambers in Washington D.C. is (202)
354-3490.

WE LOST A CONSERVATION ICON on Wednesday, Oct. 22, when Martin
Hanson, 78, of Mellen, died. He recently was nominated to the
Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in Stevens Point. Hanson shot a
world record grizzly bear in the 1950s, the year before Fred Bear
shot one. He played a key role in getting national lakeshore
recognition for the Apostle Islands, partly because he knew
JFK.

SPRUCE GROUSE ARE BEEPING in northern counties. The DNR has
radio-telemetry devices on 15 spruce grouse so far in the
Chequamegon National Forest near Clam Lake. Plans are to get 10
more birds on the air yet this fall.

The state is well on the south end of spruce grouse range, but
Wisconsin historically has had a small population of the bird also
known as the “fool hen.” The birds are most often found near Clam
Lake in Ashland County or near Conover in Vilas County. Spruce hens
also have been found in Price and Iron counties.

MOOSE SIGHTINGS CONTINUED last week when a young bull moose was
spotted near Wittenberg in southwestern Shawano County. Hunters are
being advised that they could see moose on the loose during the gun
deer season. Shooting a moose is illegal in Wisconsin. It carries a
forfeiture of $1,000 to $2,000 and revocation of hunting privileges
for up to five years.

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