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home : outdoors April 30, 2016

Latest DNR 'Ask the Experts' chat focuses on citizen science
Human beings are naturally curious about their surroundings. We wonder at the world around us and many want to become more involved. Citizen science projects are a way to do just that. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 22, 2016

Birding festival to mark 10 years of soaring success
Among the best birding destinations in the Midwest, the Chequamegon Bay region encompasses a wide variety of habitats home to nearly 300 species. Abundant public lands and extraordinary natural beauty provide visitors with unparalleled nature-watching opportunities in this exceptional area of northern Wisconsin. All of this combines to make Ashland, the heart of Chequamegon Bay, an ideal setting for a festival dedicated to birds and nature.
Friday, April 29, 2016

Fishing for Dollars draws anglers to Three Lakes
Fishing in Three Lakes is getting an exciting twist. That twist is called Fishing for Dollars and is sponsored by the Three Lakes Fish and Wildlife Association and the Three Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. The contest is open from May 30 through Sept. 5, 2016.
Friday, April 29, 2016

From a deer farmer's perspective
There is no science behind double fencing deer farms helping slow the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD). And there is no science behind the claim that deer farms are a source of CWD.

In fact, the science shows it is most likely the few farm-raised deer that are contracting CWD are getting it from wild deer in their area.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Northwoods Birding Festival held May 13 and 14 at North Lakeland Discovery Center
Spring is an exciting time of year for birding in the Northwoods. More and more birds arrive each day at the North Lakeland Discovery Center, the host site of the 12th annual Northwoods Birding Festival. An Osprey pair has moved into the giant White Pine on the west side of Statehouse Lake. By the time of the Birding Festival on May 13 and 14, the lakes and trees of the Northwoods will be teeming with even more birds, from waterfowl to warblers.
Friday, April 29, 2016

Minocqua Gun Club leagues are forming
Leagues at Minocqua Gun Club are about to begin. Adult league starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Teams consist of four- to five-person shooters. No matter your level of shooting skill, the Minocqua Gun Club invites you to form a team and have fun and enjoy the company of other shooters.
Friday, April 29, 2016

Youth shooting instruction available in Boulder Junction
The Boulder Junction Shooting Range is planning a youth shooting instruction program scheduled Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning on May 12 and running through June 16. This program will be limited to 10 young men and women, ages 12 to 17, who must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Participants will learn gun and shooting safety and practice shooting clay targets.

There is no cost to the youth shooter. All targets, shells, guns and instructors will be available at no cost. If you are interested, please call or write Bill Washburn at 715-369-0465 or wwshoot@newnorth.net.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Wisconsin elk reintroduction project highlights strong partnerships
With year two of Wisconsin's elk reintroduction efforts now complete, elk from Kentucky continue to adjust to their new home in Jackson County.

The goal of the multi-year reintroduction project is to work closely with partners to establish a second elk herd in central Wisconsin and bolster the existing herd in northern Wisconsin. The 39 elk trapped in Kentucky in 2016 will be released in Jackson County, while the remaining years of this project will focus on adding up to 75 elk to the Clam Lake elk herd that was established in 1995.

Friday, April 29, 2016

To get to the other side
A ruffed grouse begins its walk across the road on Friday, April 22, in Lac du Flambeau.
Friday, April 29, 2016

Invasive Impacts: Big Sand Lake
Big Sand Lake is a 1,427-acre lake in northern Vilas County. Panfish are abundant there. Musky, smallmouth bass and walleye are said to be common, according to the DNR, and largemouth bass and northern pike are also present. There is one boat landing by which visitors can access the lake

A few invasive species have been found in the lake, starting with Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) in 1990. (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

northwoods almanac
Snipe and Woodcock Aerial Displays

A snipe has been winnowing over our house now for the last week, often throughout the day. The sound comes typically from the male snipe who is sky dancing in hopes of proving his vigor to a starstruck female on the ground. The male climbs several hundred feet into the air, then dives at a 45-degree angle, spreading his outer tail feathers to capture the wind and create a haunting, tremulous sound that is best described as "winnowing." (subscriber access)

Friday, April 29, 2016

the lake where you live: Loon Nests
What makes the ultimate Northwoods lake? Wooded shorelines and sandy beaches. Crystal clear water. Natural populations of walleyes and muskies, for sure.

But even with all that, something essential can be missing: A nesting pair of loons can be a lake's crown jewels. Nothing completes the lake experience like a loon nest somewhere along shore, and later a downy loon chick paddling beside or riding on the back of its mother.

Friday, April 29, 2016

traveling trails less traveled: Opening weekend memories, part one
As I begin putting this column together, the date is April 16 and the North Country is enjoying its third day in a row with above average temperatures

- finally! Some of our smaller lakes are open and the ice covered larger lakes are beginning to turn black with areas of open water along the north shores. It's a situation that puts a twitch in my casting arm!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Local bat research project receives 'Wings Across the Americas' award
Bats may seem of little consequence to some, but they are in fact an important part of the food web. They are also economically important to farmers and agriculture across the country. Sadly, many species of bats are now in danger of being decimated by a fungal disease known as white nose syndrome (WNS). This fungus grows on hibernating bats and can kill large masses of the small, winged animals fairly rapidly. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 29, 2016

Fish like a GIRL: Citizen resolutions from the spring hearings draw attention
As many people know, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings were April 11. In those hearings, citizens from each county were allowed to put forth their own resolutions and to voice their opinions about changes in natural resource management they would like to see throughout the state. This is the beginning of a process in an attempt to make those citizen resolutions into binding Department of Natural Resources regulations. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 29, 2016

Phoenix rising
An American bald eagle rises like a watery phoenix from the Tomahawk river after diving for prey on Sunday, April 10, in Minocqua.
Thursday, April 28, 2016

traveling trails less traveled: Hand lining
For a guy who has been wetting lines for over seven decades and was pretty sure he had "been there, done that" in just about every aspect connected with the sport of fishing, I signed up to try a method of fishing I had never heard about called hand lining, or as the old river anglers called it, "pulling wire."
Friday, April 22, 2016

Musky Pete bags a gobbler
Dale "Musky Pete" Peterson of St. Germain bagged this 24 lb. 1 oz. turkey with an 11-inch beard in Vilas County on April 14.
Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring hearings results are in
Statewide, over 4,300 people attended the Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring hearings held April 11 in every county in the state. A reported 108 people in Oneida County attended and filled out their ballots. In Vilas County, that number was 89, with 21 people attending in Iron County and 19 attending in Forest County, according to the DNR website. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 22, 2016

Fish like a girl: Cold water requires extra precautions
As anglers, we all understand that just about anything can happen on the water. Every year, people take an unexpected trip out of a boat and get wet. We never expect it to happen, but it can truly happen to anyone. If you are a good swimmer and it's the middle of summer, maybe it's just an inconvenience. (subscriber access)
Friday, April 22, 2016

They're Back
Ospreys have been seen returning to the area in the past few weeks, such as this one on Stag Lake in Woodboro.
Friday, April 22, 2016

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