WisBlogs

Six town hall meetings with Deer Czar now fully set

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress and Dr. James Kroll have finalized the meeting locations for the six April town hall forums that will be offered across the state as a means of giving sportsmen a chance to deliver their thoughts on Wisconsin deer management to Kroll. Kroll had met earlier with a number of Wisconsin conservation groups by invitation only. All…

Turkey season camaraderie

Wisconsin’s spring turkey hunters will face a few changes in how things are to be done when it comes to hunting wild turkeys this year. The six hunting periods are seven days, instead of five, Wednesday through Tuesday. No big deal to most hunters. We’re likely to see little impact on the success rates by hunters, or even total hours…

Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow

Most of the professionals who work in natural resources, and are age 50 or better, began with an interest in natural resources because one of their parents was a hunter. For those with gray hair or a slight balding spot, hunting was something that we enjoyed and really wanted to do and couldn’t wait until we got our first .22…

Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters' Conference

This year’s Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters’ Conference will take place March 9-10 in a new location – the Plaza Hotel and Suites in Wausau – and all waterfowl hunters are invited to help celebrate the conference’s 10th anniversary. The conference is designed by a committee of independent waterfowl hunters. It is supported by individuals, conservation groups, businesses and government agencies.

New wolf and crossbow bills

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Environment has scheduled a public hearing on a number of bills, including the crossbow bill and the wolf bill, for Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 10:30 a.m. in room 300 Southeast of the State Capitol. Here is a list of bills up for hearing that day: • Assembly Bill 334: Relating to possession of…

Hunting antelope in South Dakota

A reader just e-mailed me to ask for some information on hunting antelope in South Dakota. He also had a secondary question about hunting antelope with traditional archery gear, as in, would it be a hopeless quest? My response isn’t particularly reserved for South Dakota, other than the web site that I gave him, which is http://gfp.sd.gov. Wyoming, Montana and…

“Deer Czar” Public meetings

The dates and times have now been set for the six “deer czar” public meetings. One location has also been determined – the Appleton meeting will take place at the Appleton West High School. We will post the remaining locations as they become available. Monday, April 16 – Appleton West High School, 7pm-10pmTuesday, April 17 – Rhinelander (location TBD), 7pm-10pmWednesday,…

The Ethical Hunter

It is easy to find a newspaper story about hunters doing or acting poorly, doing things that reflect negatively on all of us, or endangering the lives of others. We owe it to the greater community to make everyone aware of some of the positive, ethical acts many hunters do routinely, just as we need to publicize unlawful acts. The…

Forestry hearing

Wisconsin’s private forest owners (who own about two-thirds of the forested land in the state) have a chance Feb. 9 to give their opinions on a bill that will change the Managed Forest Law in Wisconsin.Public testimony on Senate Bill 161 will be heard by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Higher Education in Room 411 South, beginning at…

Mother Nature’s Helping Hands

What would life be like now if Duck’s Unlimited was never created with all the group has done for wildlife and the wetlands? Today doesn’t seem so bad when looking back at the drought and terrible financial crisis of 1937. Seventy-five years ago a group of men gathered to discuss their love for waterfowl hunting, and the sight of a…

Hunting documentary wins Sundance Film Festival

When you think of the Sundance Film Festival, you picture a crowd of liberal, Prius-driving artsy folk showing up sipping Starbucks. There are most likely scarves and berets, too. That’s why when I read a headline that a hunting video won the 2012 Shorts Competition at Sundance, I just about tipped over – like some of the wild game did…

Wolf bill update

Here’s a brief update on Assembly Bill 502 – when the bill was first read on Jan. 27, it included language that said that landowners and their family would be able to hunt wolves for free (they would have to have a tag, but would not have to pay for it) during the month of February, if the harvest quota…

Transparency

There’s some truth to the saying, “if something can go wrong, it probably will.”That’s often the case when computers are asked to do our sorting, not because computers make mistakes, but because we have to tell them exactly what we want them to do and sometimes we don’t give them the correct message.There was a glitch during Wisconsin’s spring turkey…

Wolf hunting and trapping

I was in Madison Jan. 25 for the Natural Resources Board and heard, from two different directions, that a legislator, or more likely it will be legislators, is going to introduce a bill Jan. 30 or Jan. 31, or the first few days of February, that would shape the state’s first wolf hunting and trapping season. No word yet on…

Wolf Season

A bill introduced on Friday, Jan. 27 would create a 41/2-month wolf season that would allow the use of all firearms and bows, foot-hold traps and cable restraints, trailing hounds, a $99.25 resident license, free wolf-hunting for landowners in February in open zones, and shooting from non-paved roads with buckshot. The first public hearing is coming up on Wednesday, Feb….

Crossbow Bill

Anyone who is tracking the progress of Assembly Bill 384, known generally as the crossbow bill, might want to know that the bill is scheduled for executive session by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 9:30 a.m. If the bill makes it through committee, it will go to the full Assembly for review, and then on…

Madison finally has ice!

I was in Madison Jan. 25 for the Natural Resources Board and then stayed over one more day to follow up on some other stories. While bouncing around the city on Jan. 26, I happened to travel John Nolan Drive – there were a lot of fishermen on the ice near the railroad tracks along John Nolan. I didn’t have…

Game trophy photographs

During the past several months we have had numerous chances to look at photographs of game taken by hunters during the gun and archery deer seasons.While I won’t say all, but some are not particularly pleasing to look at. Some are demeaning to the animal.What’s wrong with them? How could we make them, and us, look better?First, it is the…

Hunting with my son

I had not been that stoked for deer hunting in years. It’s not that I had a huge buck patterned. In fact, I didn’t know what to expect because I was hunting a new spot, albeit with generous deer sign. The reason for my giddiness was that I was going to sit my first gun-deer-opener with Hunter, my 10-year-old son….

Extended Deer Seasons

When is enough gun deer hunting enough? Should I deer hunt in southern Wisconsin during the Holiday Hunt, which closes Jan. 8? And during the landowner season, which continues through March 31? Or is it best to be a traditionalist and hunt during the nine-day season and then stop; maybe just hunt the first weekend of the regular gun season…

Create new Hunting Traditions

It seems that almost every club, organization, and even some state groups are scrambling to grow hunter interest and eventually hunter numbers. You name it and it's a method that has been suggested and most have been tried, including reducing the cost of licenses for some and changing hunting rules in the face of science, safety and probably management. How…

Seeking earlier turkey lottery results?

Natural Resources Board member Christine Thomas raised a question at the board's Dec. 14 that could be a matter of convenience for some turkey hunters. Thomas wondered whether anyone within the DNR ever received comments from turkey hunters who would like to know their drawing success earlier so that they can request vacation time at work. Thomas said her calendar…

We have become an impatient species.

A month is a long time to us. A year is forever, it seems. But we need to get over our impatience when viewing environmental changes and results from our manipulations of the ecosystem. I’m talking about the mix of season structure, winter severity, forest maturity, hunting season weather, hunter attitudes, hunter recruitment, and a host of other variables that…

What type of hunting are you in the mood for?

Experiment with all different types of hunting before you place judgment on hunting as a whole. A variety is important, especially when introducing someone new to the sport. My hunting adventures started in 2010 and since then I have hunted deer, pheasant, snow goose, duck, turkey and in December I hunted Canada geese for the first time. Some hunters develop…

New Catch and Release Bass Season

Sometimes a person has to consider if the "means to an end" can justify "the end." It can be a dangerous scenario. A bill is being considered right now authored by Rep. Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc that would establish a catch-and-release season for bass fishing from the first Saturday in March through the Sunday preceding the first Saturday in May…