Monday, June 17th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Monday, June 17th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Wisconsin Mixed Bag: Free fishing weekend arrives June 1-2

Madison — Wisconsin residents and visitors who have not yet bought their annual fishing licenses may fish for free during the annual Free Fishing Weekend June 1-2. For that weekend, anglers do not need a fishing license or trout stamp, but they must follow all fishing regulations, including size limits and bag limits.

“Even if you don’t have any fishing gear, you can still get involved. The DNR has tackle loaner sites across the state and hosts events to help you make the most of Wisconsin’s waters,” said Justine Hasz, DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management director.

State park admission fees and trail passes are also waived for all visitors at 50 state parks, 15 state forests, and 44 state trails.

New to fishing? Check out free clinics hosted at state and local properties on the DNR’s website event calendar.


Northern Wisconsin’s deer herd: Hunters say Douglas, Bayfield counties once offered ‘fantastic’ deer hunting

Wisconsin Outdoor News launches series investigating deer herd issues in northern counties

DNR deer program specialist Jeff Pritzl dives deep into the northern Wisconsin deer situation

L. Michigan Whitefish Rule Meeting May 29

Madison — The DNR and the Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum will host a public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland to discuss rules governing the trawling for lake whitefish in Lake Michigan.

Attend virtually or in person to learn about the DNR’s onboard camera monitoring efforts the past four years, and discuss proposed changes for 2026. The rule now allows commercial harvest by trawl in designated areas with use of an onboard camera system and a specific trawl during certain times of the year. Join via Microsoft Teams (meeting ID 294 930 549 229, passcode 8FPu48).

Turkey Hunters Ahead of 2023 Harvest with Sixth Season Still to Wrap Up

Madison — As of May 22, Wisconsin turkey hunters had called in or logged in registrations for 45,939 bearded birds. Hunters registered 43,439 turkeys during the 2023 spring season, a 9% increase from 2022 and 6% above the 10-year average. The state record spring turkey harvest was set in 2008 with 52,880 birds registered.

Through May 22, Zone 1 hunters registered the most birds, at 12,608. Zone 3 hunters were next at 11,583 and Zone 2 hunters were at 9,760.

Zones 1 and 3 did not sell out of leftover turkey tags. As of the morning of May 23, the second day of the sixth one-week turkey season Zone 1 had unsold 3,230 tags from the fifth season and 9,891 tags still available for the sixth season. Zone 3 had 2,267 unsold tags from the fifth season and 8,120 tags remaining for last season.

Next Hunter Nation Predator Management Meeting set for June 18 in Medford

Medford, Wis. — The next Hunter Nation Predator Management Forum is slated for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the Simek Event Center, 1037 West Broadway Ave., in Medford. Hunter Nation’s founder and CEO Keith Mark and local elected officials will be on hand to discuss obstacles on state and federal levels to removing the gray wolf from the federal Endangered Species List. For information, call  Chris Vaughan at (608) 719-8475.

Hayward’s Fishing Hall of Fame Putting in New Playground and Garden Area

Hayward, Wis. — Parents and grandparents who visit the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame this summer will find a new playground for their children and grandchildren to enjoy.

The new playground equipment purchase was made possible, in part, by a $5,233 donation from the 39th annual Treeland Challenge Fishing Tournament. Hall of Fame Treasurer Tom Turngren accepted the check from Tatum Treeland on May 12.

The Treeland donation bolstered an earlier $3,500 donation for the new playground from the Lake Chippewa Flowage Resort Association. Hall of Fame Executive Director Emmett Brown thanked both organizations for the donations.

“Prepping for the playground is finished and the new equipment has been ordered. We hope to have the playground up and running by early June when our family vacationers start visiting,” said Brown, who also said the Hall of Fame’s new garden design has been finished and planting will be done by the end of May.

Minnesota Sets New Turkey Harvest Record

St. Paul — Minnesota set a new harvest record during that state’s fourth of six hunting periods when turkey hunters registered 14,472 birds as of May 14, according to preliminary harvest reports. The previous record was 13,996, set in 2020.

Minnesota’s sixth season opened May 22 and runs through May 31.

“It’s great to see the high levels of harvest this year,” said Nate Huck, Minnesota DNR game bird specialist. “Clearly the nesting effort in 2022 was great and there are lots of 2-year-old birds on the landscape.”

Huck added the reason for so much success this season could be the distribution of toms. During severe winters, turkeys survive in larger flocks. The 2023-24 winter had little snow and ice, which allowed the turkeys to spread across the landscape, perhaps allowing more hunters to find turkeys in more areas.

Indiana Finds its First Case of CWD

Bloomington, Ind. — The Indiana DNR has confirmed that state’s first positive case CWD that was found in LaGrange County. This positive case is adjacent to a region where CWD had previously been detected in Michigan, according to the Indiana DNR. CWD has been detected in wild deer in 33 states, including all states bordering Indiana.

Because CWD had been detected in Michigan near the Indiana border, finding it in this area of Indiana was highly likely. The DNR will continue monitoring the area for CWD.

The Indiana deer was a buck harvested by a hunter and confirmed positive for CWD by two independent tests.

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