1.Location

‘Outsiders’ to review state’s SAK formula

By Tim Eisele Correspondent Portage, Wis. — Two Natural Resources Board members told a DNR Sex-Age-Kill (SAK) Audit Committee that the agency should find someone outside the DNR to review the SAK. “I think the DNR should find an independent contractor so that there are no questions about DNR influence over the contractor,” said NRB member Christine Thomas, of Plover….

State duck numbers, harvest down

By Tim Spielman Associate Editor St. Paul – Preliminary harvest reports from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service support what Minnesota duck hunters suspected since their last trip to the duck blind: The 2004 duck season was one that often lacked one important element – ducks. State hunters last year killed about 683,000 ducks, compared to about 884,000 in 2003,…

Spring gobbler harvest may be up just slightly

By Steve Piatt Editor Albany — New York State hunters may have bagged just a few more gobblers this spring than in 2004, according to preliminary data received by the DEC. But DEC Game Bird Unit Leader Bryan Swift says more accurate numbers will come later this summer after hunters return mail surveys, about 12,000 of which are being sent…

For most fish species this time of year, think deeper

ALGOMA AREA Not much has changed since last week, with excellent numbers of rainbow trout and chinook salmon coming to boat. Rainbow trout were still being caught in good numbers farther out from shore, 10 to 30 feet down. A lot of chinook salmon were caught with most of the action occurring in 140 to 300 feet of water and…

Woodcock population stable for second year

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – Their numbers may not be on the rise, but woodcock enthusiasts nonetheless can take comfort in the fact that the birds’ population apparently is stable. For the second year in a row, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trend estimates show two separate woodcock populations – Eastern and Central regions – that are…

Summer sunnies remain top option along thick weedbeds

BIG SIX LAKE MILLE LACS East – Leeches and crawlers on live bait rigs or spinners are turning a few walleyes off the edges of the mud flats in 28 to 32 feet of water. Look to the Blue Jug Flat, Seven Mile, and Eight Mile as likely starting spots. Slip bobbers and leeches also will produce fish on the…

Sport Shows

Sept. 10-11: Commonwealth Sportsmen’s Club Sportsmans Show, Florence County Fairgrounds. For more info call Sean Franklin, 715-528-5739. Banquet/Fundraiser July 16: Two Lakes DU Chapter Dinner, Schaumburg Dinner Club, N 11935 Hwy. A, Randolph, WI. For more info call Ron Babros, 920-928-2482. July 27: St. Croix Scenic Valley Ladies DU Chapter Annual Banquet, 6 p.m., West Wind Supper Club, River Falls….

Survey shows Wisconsin duck numbers are good

By Kevin Naze Correspondent Madison — Variable spring habitat conditions observed in the U.S. and Canada present a mixed picture for fall waterfowl season, but Wisconsin duck numbers appear to be in good shape, according to Wisconsin waterfowl biologists. Preliminary information shows areas ranging from very good wetland conditions to very dry. The impact of these conditions on actual breeding…

Southern Tier rifle bill awaits Pataki

By Don Lehman Contributing Writer Albany — Big-game hunters in some Southern Tier counties will likely get to take rifles afield this fall under a bill passed last month by both houses of the state Legislature. The proposal, which was awaiting Gov. George Pataki’s signature as of late June to become law, would allow the use of rifles for deer…

Western goose hunters may catch break

By Tim Spielmant Associate Editor Bemidji, Minn. – Goose hunters in western Minnesota, often limited by special protections for Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese, which migrate through the area, may have fewer limitations this fall. DNR waterfowl specialist Steve Cordts recently got a first-hand look at EPP production in Canada, and said things are looking up for the migrants. Cordts,…

Study says outdoor ed beneficial for youths

By Tom Carney Correspondent Madison, Wis.–A recent study administered by the California Department of Education concluded that “at-risk” students who participate in outdoor educational programs increase their science test scores and show long-term improvement in a variety of personal and social skills. This confirms beliefs long held by a Michigan educator. Martin LeBlanc, Inside the Outdoors project director for the…

As the state swelters, catfishing success surges

NORTHWEST REGION Erie (Erie County) — Perch fishing picked up with catches in 48 feet, straight out of Walnut Creek. The bass bite has been fair to good, with the rocky areas on the east side of the bay yielding some nice catches. Other hot spots include Horseshoe Pond around Perry Monument, the north and south piers and the east…

PGC Director Ross to retire this year

By Jeff Mulhollem Editor Harrisburg — While Pennsylvania game commissioners were planning to grant emergency powers to agency Executive Director Vern Ross to deal with chronic wasting disease, it turns out he was planning his retirement. Just after the board gave him wide-ranging powers to deal with the always-fatal-to-deer malady if it shows up in the state, Ross, who is…

Environmental funding bill keeps DNR running

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul — When a legislative working group passed a bill last Thursday to fund the DNR and other environmental agencies, the room erupted in applause. At the time, Senate and House passage was assumed, as was the governor’s signature. That all happened, and state parks remained open and the DNR avoided being shut down….

State land use rules expected to tighten

By Steve Griffin Field Editor Midland, Mich. — If you’ve gotten used to holding big events on state-owned land, or making a few bucks on that public turf, listen up: Some changes seem on the way. At best, you’re going to need to apply for a permit from the DNR, do it at least 90 days out, and probably pay…

Senate approves bill to ban hunting via Internet

By Bill Parker Editor Lansing — By early fall, it will be illegal in Michigan to participate in any form of Internet hunting if a package of bills continues to sail through the state legislature. A three-bill package makes it illegal to use a firearm, bow, or crossbow to shoot animals via the Internet and sets penalties for violating the…

Panfish and walleyes move deep, less active during midday

BIG SIX LAKE MILLE LACS East – A significant mayfly hatch has slowed the walleye action this week. The day bite seems to be most affected, although the mud flats continue to produce some fish in 28 to 32 feet of water. Spinners or long live bait rigs are the best options with leeches or crawlers. The evening rock bite…

Banquets/Fundraisers.

July 16: The Minnewaska Lake Association will be holding their annual banquet on July 16. July 22: Watonwan Bear Hunters NABF Chapter Banquet, 5:30 p.m., St. James VFW. For more info call Jennie Firchau, 507-375-3510. Aug. 1: Ducks Unlimited “Quackettes” Annual Banquet, 5:30 p.m., Dan Patch American Legion Post #643, Savage. Call Rosie, 952-447-4311 for more info. Aug 29: Friends…

Committee: DNR Game & Fish spending receives thumbs up

By Joe Albert Staff Writer St. Paul – The DNR is mostly making good use of the money raised by sales of licenses for hunting and fishing, according to the group charged each year with overseeing expenditures. “By and large, everything is OK,” said Rick Horton, chairman of the Game and Fish Fund Budgetary Oversight Committee. The oversight committee issues…

Group: Scrap minimum hunting age to help recruit new hunters

By Bob Frye Capital Correspondent Harrisburg — There’s no “C” in hunter, but perhaps there should be, since that’s the grade sportsmen are earning when it comes to recruiting youngsters. A new, just-released report, titled “Families Afield,” examined America’s hunting culture and its sustainability. The results were not encouraging. The study found that, on the whole, the nation is recruiting…

Great Lakes fishing stays hot despite scorching temperatures

SOUTHEASTERN LP Lake St. Clair Fair to good walleye fishing has been reported in Lake St. Clair when trolling with crawler harnesses in 10 to 12 feet of water near Metro Beach. Best colors have been gold or silver blades and red beads. Some anglers are drifting perch rigs and slip bobbers in 12 feet of water, while others are…

Pro anglers visit rivers to prep in Pittsburgh

By Deborah Weisberg Contributing Writer Pittsburgh — The world’s best bass anglers plied western Pennsylvania rivers late last month in a wet run for the upcoming CITGO Bassmaster Classic. It was a first fishing trip to Pitts-burgh for most of the 42 pros and five Federation (club) anglers who will fish the big, three-day tournament on the Allegheny, Monongahela and…