WisBlogs

Pheasant Hunting

Wisconsin pheasant hunters, for the most part, are finding out just what two to three tough winters can do to wild pheasant populations. While carryover of state-released birds, or birds raised by landowners, have made a difference in some years, much of that carryover was wiped out by deep snow, icy crusts and sub-zero temperatures. Of course pheasant populations, as…

Grouse Populations

Now that the dogs’ noses have found the scent and the hunters’ guns have been fired, this is a time to assess Wisconsin’s ruffed grouse population as best we can. Hunting conditions have been ideal at times, other times the temperatures have been more August-like than Octoberish, but hunters and dogs have coped. Autumn leaf color and subsequent leaf fall…

Hunting Prep Time is Fun Time

I now refer to autumn as hunting season rather than fall. To think, it has only been a year and a half since I first started shooting my compound bow. Within the past couple of weeks I have been working to strengthen my arms and back. It’s important to be overly prepared because the element of the outdoors effects both…

More hunter access to private lands

Hunters can look forward to some new public lands this fall, thanks to the new Voluntary Public Access (VPA) program. This program will open more land for hunters, fishermen, trappers and wildlife enthusiasts, beginning in September, but it may be a short-term gain. The VPA program is brand new to Wisconsin and funded by a grant through the 2008 Federal…

What happened to our gathering spirit

I recently read an unpublished story written by an Alaska man. He and his friend had gone on a moose hunt last autumn, being dropped in the bush by a pilot. They had their camping, hunting and necessary river equipment to float down river, hunting at various points along a 35-mile journey. After several harrowing experiences, one that almost took…

Science vs Rumors

A recent news release from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection brings to the forefront the value of having science involved in rare animal sightings. Hearsay, rumors, hoaxes and flash sightings have made us all leery of claims, but this case says two things about how important science is and should remain in documenting animal movements. More than…

Just Enjoy the Hunt

The 2011 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations pamphlet is not so much about what we can or cannot do, or should and should not do, but who is sending the message. Wisconsin has a fine staff of biologists, ecologists and property managers, dedicated to the state’s wildlife, not to egos or distant handlers. But did any of those biologists have any…

Ready to expand my fishing horizons

I have fished for bass, bluegills, perch, crappies, and smallmouth bass. I have never been taught how to catch a walleye, muskie, or northern pike. Can I fish for them from shore in southeastern Wisconsin, since I am “boatless?” I am doing research on my own and reading the fishing reports in Wisconsin Outdoor News to figure out where to…

Are lichens the silver bullet against CWD?

It was reported several weeks ago that one or more of the organisms in lichens are able to produce a substance that can degrade prion proteins, the molecules responsible for causing fatal brain diseases in cervids. The research should awaken us to the significance of basic research, science that studies organisms and processes simply to find out what they are…

Skunked by Turkeys on Friday the 13th

I was lucky to have two great teachers take me on my first turkey hunt – Kelly Alexander, of Chaseburg, and Jesse Wojtkiewicz, of Rochester, Minn. They film for an outdoor TV show as a hobby and they also love taking out new hunters. The hunting began Friday the 13th; maybe that was our first mistake. I tell myself I am…

Environmental Compromises Extract a Long-Term Price Nobody – and no Thing – can Afford

Some individuals say that everything begins with the environment. We can read any number of quotes proclaiming that very thing. To many, those are just empty words. But if we study ecological principles, that phrase, “it all begins and ends with the environment,” rings true. It’s food chains, energy chains. It’s also an interconnectedness that is easily disconnected, breaking the…

Deer bill, NRB appointees up for Senate hearing May 5

Bass culling, bear bills up for Senate committee vote May 5 Sportsmen who have been following the progress of the bass culling bill, bear hunting bill, deer hunting bill and the appointment of three new Natural Resources Board members might be interested to know that the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Environment will meet on Thursday, May 5 beginning…

Starting out with a Walk in the Woods

I recall getting a Swiss Army knife when I was 10 years old in my Easter basket. It was the best Easter basket I ever found. Every once in a while, I was allowed to tag along with my dad during pheasant hunts. I will never forget watching our amazing brittany spaniel, Shy, direct us to the pheasants.I remember being…

Hearing on Wisconsin Deer Season Framework is April 27

State deer hunters who have been following along the past two weeks to the talks about the 2011 deer season framework know that legislators have introduced a bill, now numbered Assembly Bill 99, that, if passed, would prevent the DNR from using earn-a-buck in its current form, end the four-day October antlerless season, and prevent the DNR from beginning any…

Honoring, and Preserving, our Natural Resources

Tomorrow’s hunters and anglers will be the beneficiaries of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources annual Scholarship Awards program that was held on April 8. The college gave out 181 scholarships totaling $149,300 to students majoring in natural resources. These students are very sharp and will be the wildlife managers, fisheries biologists, conservation wardens, foresters, and administrators…

A Late Spring Activity Report

Spring isn’t springing very quickly here in the Northwoods. This blog is being written on Thursday, April 21 after three days of cold weather, rain, and snow. Conditions have not changed much between April 9 and today, as far as the loss of snow cover, the progress on ice-out on area lakes, and turkey hunting here in western Vilas and…

Maybe Deer Hunters can Learn from Turkey Hunters

Let's compare and contrast turkey hunters and deer hunters. Why do the attitudes appear to be different, even though most turkey hunters are also deer hunters at another time of the year? There are concerns by some – actually, worries – that turkey hunters might develop the same trophy-only ideas that prevail among many deer hunters. In other words, turkey hunters…

Time to climb into the political fray

I believe the biggest downer from today’s political fights is their impact on our attitudes. It is difficult these days to be positive about things, even outdoors events, decisions and goals.Many of us go outdoors on hikes, hunts and fishing to get away from the fray or the battle royale.It seems even when the fishing boat is rocking gently on…

Eating Well and Resting Assured

Last year I began my adventure of exploring the outdoors and my quest has only just begun. After learning how to shoot all different types firearms and bows, I began to hunt. I am now a fan of bowhunting for white-tailed deer, pheasant hunting, and I recently went snow goose hunting in Missouri. After I added up my receipts from…

Common Sense Prevails on Known CWD Farm

Chronic wasting disease has been virtually off the radar screen in southwest Wisconsin much of the time since first discovered in 2002.  It’s usually only when a hunter gets results of a positive test that there is a little blip on someone’s screen. Last fall news of a positive wild deer in Minnesota reminded us that there is such a…