Wisconsin – Jerry Davis

Outlook for Wisconsin Turkeys Seems Good

Everything seems to be pointing to one of the better spring turkey seasons Wisconsin has had in some time. The excitement dates back to last May and June when recruitment conditions, primarily the weather, were near-perfect in many areas of Wisconsin. Brood counts and other numbers associated with young birds continued to confirm things were going the turkey population’s way….

Words have meaning

A spokesperson for a police department recently reported on the news that a number of live bullets were found on a school playground. Say what? The only way one could have live bullets is if they were flying through the air, and then we’d never be able to see them. When are we going to learn that words have meaning. …

Experiment with new rules

The door to changing deer seasons and rules opened with the "lesser implement" season that allows deer hunters to use archery equipment, crossbows, shotguns, muzzleloaders, rifles and handguns during the nine-day gun deer season, all under the authority of their gun license. The only reason one might find fault with this idea, introduced in 2012, was the complexity of tossing…

Simplifying becoming too complicated

You’ve heard the complaints. “We don’t have any new trout anglers or deer hunters because the regulations are too complicated.  We’d need a Philadelphia lawyer to interpret them for us.” Well, guess what.  Some of us, through our favorite politician, the one we contributed heavily to during the last campaign, has helped us get a new regulation on the books…

Sharing the harvest

While talking to a farm manager regarding an article about pheasant hunting recently, drought, short grasses for bird cover, and poor wild mushroom crops became an interesting sideline. This manager was lamenting not finding a single hen-of-the-woods mushroom this year. She loves this fall fungal growth form, which often appears year-after-year next to certain oak trees. She wasn’t alone in…

Promoting Ginseng

An outdoorsman called the other evening with his thoughts about ginseng harvesting in Wisconsin.  He was disappointed that he had been seeing “all these glossy photographs,” of ginseng in local newspapers. His frustration was that the print media, and those who write about outdoorsy things, were showing everyone what the plants look like and these young people, or new diggers,…

Wisconsin Deer Management

Maybe we – outdoors writers and media – should take some of the responsibility for there being so much angst swarming around Wisconsin’s deer hunting and managing issues, especially during the last decade. Seems it’s just too difficult for a writer to be unbiased when it comes to deer hunting (management), just as it probably is for most gun deer…

Quit the grousing

Thinking about a mid-September ruffed grouse hunt is enough to take some of the sting off summer’s hot, humid days. But the news, fully anticipated for the last three years, reported a 25 percent decline in the roadside monitoring survey of drumming male birds. Still, there was some encouragement because biologists suggested that the weather this past spring was good…

Prohibiting Baiting and Feeding

Whether we know it or not, if we hunt deer in one of the 32 counties where baiting and feeding is prohibited , we are (or should be) part of a research project to study this issue and practice. This is particularly true in northwest Wisconsin. Recently four counties — Barron, Burnett, Polk and Washburn — were added to the…

Get out and find those Morels

An ongoing discussion, after a number of very warm days in March, has been whether or not morel mushrooms will be plentiful, slim picking, or completely absent. The questions have not been completely answered for Wisconsin except these mushrooms began appearing in late March.  I found some March 29, which were two to three days old.  By April 1, a…

Early spring

We’ve become accustomed to expecting many major plant and animal events to be prompted by photoperiod. Plants flower and animals mate based on increasing or decreasing day length, it seems.  But what about March 2012? March was so atypical that events were weeks ahead of a normal schedule and sequence of events.  Will this early spring have any impact on…

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…

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…