Wisconsin – Dean Bortz

Catching up after a great trip

So, there I was, eating big and cheap, but tasty, chicken wings with my buddy, Dan Semmerling, at Slo’s Pub on the south shore of Big Arbor Vitae Lake on Wednesday night when I hear someone say, “Hey Bortzy, time to update your blog, maybe?” Heather Holmes and her husband, Dennis, were at the next table. I hadn’t seen Heather and…

4 wolf season meetings set

The DNR has scheduled four public meetings to review the state’s wolf season proposal, and those meetings will take place between June 6 and June 15 in Spooner, Black River Falls, Fond du Lac, and Rhinelander. The DNR will collect public comment on a wolf season “scoping statement” that was approved by the Natural Resources Board (NRB) at its May 23…

Turkey hunting season structure

Wisconsin Outdoor News reader Wes Kraemer, of Spring Green, e-mailed in with a good suggestion. Wes has been following the efforts of Scott Walter, the DNR's turkey ecologist, to update the state's turkey management plan. The DNR is trying to get as much input as possible on some questions related to turkeys and the state's turkey hunting format. Wes included…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Pheasant Festivities Warm Dead of Winter

I traveled to Wisconsin Dells on the night of Jan. 22 to attend the Pheasants Forever Wisconsin State Convention/Banquet at the Wilderness Conference Center. I made the trip with Brian Ebben, of Howard. Brian was on his way to the banquet to donate a charter fishing trip to this conservation cause. Brian operates The Predator out of Kewaunee. If you…

Some good news, and some other news

Want some good news? I know I sure could stand a little bit of good news, so let’s assume you’d like the same. and we’ll begin with ice fishing and ice conditions. We’re now seeing some very good ice conditions across most of northern Wisconsin, including the areas of western Oneida and Vilas counties that I see on a daily…

Stewardship land access rule hearing set

The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources will hold a public hearing on the Stewardship Fund land access rule on Wednesday, March 24 at 10 AM in 417 North (GAR Hall) of the State Capitol. The rule is referred to, or is named, Clearinghouse Rule 09-077, and is described, for the purposes of this hearing, as “Relating to ensuring that lands…

State Roundup – May 29th, 2009

HEY, GOT KIDS WHO WANT TO FISH? Three Wisconsin boat dealers, along with folks from the Angler and Young Angler Tournaments (AYA), want to get kids away from the TV, video games, or the computer and onto the water this summer. With that goal in mind, the dealers and AYA have organized three one-day tournaments this June – June 14…

State Roundup – April 15, 2009

THE SPOONER COUGAR apparently did not care for its Wisconsin reception. Neither the cat nor any sign of it has been seen since the day it was last seen on March 5. Should the opportunity present itself, wildlife crews would like to get a collar on it. “We would like to learn more about this animal, including localized and long-distance…

Wisconsin Round Up – March 13, 2009

CORRESPONDENT KEVIN NAZE did some checking on that Oconto County turkey case last week, but charges had not been filed as of Feb. 25, according to Oconto County D.A. Jay Conley. He told Naze that he expected criminal charges to be filed this week in the poisoning deaths of about 200 turkeys in north-central Oconto County earlier this winter. “It all came…