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Dick Ellis Blog:
5/8/2019
Now it starts.  Too much to keep up with in Wisconsin, and that is one nice problem for an outdoorsman. OWO Columnist Wayne Morgenthaler and his son Neal spelled double trouble for two Richland County gobblers after four days of not filling tags. We put the May-June issue of On Wisconsin Outdoors to bed last week with 100,000 copies being distributed statewide. Look for your copy at any Kwik Trip statewide…that’s 400 stores ...
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December 9, 2013 Hayward Lakes Area Outdoor Report

Steve Suman

North Wood’s weather remains cold and windy, with some nasty wind chills in the making. Forecasts indicate little reason to expect relief in the near future, and every slight (very slight) rise in temperature seems to bring falling snow. Read the temperature predictions closely – it can be difficult to differentiate between nightly lows and daily wind chill!

If you are visiting the North Woods and the Hayward area, be aware fresh snow might cover extremely icy roads. This is the result of last week’s mix of freezing rain, heavy snow, and then subzero temperatures – NOT a good combination! Be cautious and particularly careful when approaching corners and making turns – your vehicle might continue on a straight path no matter how hard you try to ‘will’ it through the turn!

Reminder:

The application deadline for 2014 bear harvest and spring turkey permits is Tuesday December 10.

“We had developed some decent ice on some of the area lakes,” says Pat at Happy Hooker, “and a few anglers enjoyed some decent fishing.

“However, the recent wet, heavy snow will insulate the ice and may sink what was already formed. There will be slush under the snow and anglers should use extreme caution. The main bodies of the lakes are not yet thick enough to support snowmobile and ATV traffic, so do not travel the lakes until trails are marked.

“This is a much better time to ski and snowshoe – get out and find your Christmas tree and enjoy some time in the woods.”

Jim at Hayward Bait says the sizable snowfall last Tuesday and Wednesday was certainly not good for the ice formed before the storms.

“Many anglers had been getting out prior to the snow, but there is now surely a fair amount of slush on the lakes. As always, use extreme caution if you venture onto the ice, but especially so after this heavy snow.

“Walleye fishing is generally good on Nelson, Round, Spider, and Lost Land/Teal, with fair panfish action on Nelson and some smaller area lakes.”

Guide Dave Dorazio at Outdoor Creations says Chippewa Flowage anglers did well on both walleyes and northerns during the month of November, and there has been some decent ice fishing action.

“Ice depths were four to seven inches, but some current areas were unsafe. With these recent heavy snows, there will be even more unsafe areas on the Flowage and all of the area lakes.

“The best idea is to wait until we have safe ice before venturing out on it.”

DNR fisheries biologist Max Wolter says the Internet has transformed many industries and fishing is no different.

“The recent study ‘Fisheries’ looked at how online searches related to fishing have changed through time.

“Some search phrases, such as ‘fishing clinic’, ‘family fishing’, and kid fishing’, have increased in popularity, while not surprisingly, phrases such as ‘fishing Facebook’ and ‘fishing blog’ have seen huge increases in search volume. Some phrases, such as ‘fishing guide’ and the general search ‘fishing’, are showing decreases.

“This study paints an interesting picture of the changing demographics of anglers.”

DNR fisheries biologist Skip Sommerfeldt says cold, blustery weather during the early part of deer season resulted in ice cover forming on most lakes in the north woods.

“By December 1, many had three to four inches of ice and the first ice anglers were on some back bays and along shorelines. However, this is not safe – most anglers want a solid four to five inches of ice before venturing onto it. In addition, recent storms added five to seven inches of snow that will soften the ice and delay further ice formation. As such, any early season ice anglers should be very cautious and follow all the early season ice-safety tips.”

Wisconsin’s winter Free Fishing Weekend January 18-19 is a great opportunity to get friends and family out on the ice for some fishing fun – and you do not need a fishing license to fish anywhere in Wisconsin during those days (but other rules and regulations apply!)

In the past week, Hayward area registration stations (Shooting Star, Hillman’s Store, Hayward Bait) registered 10 antlerless deer and seven bucks for muzzleloader season, and one antlerless deer and one buck for archery season.

Wisconsin’s wolf harvest reached 219 animals (statewide quota 251) as of December 9 and Zone 3 (quota 71; harvest 37) is the only zone now open for wolf hunting and trapping.

The December 9 Hayward Lakes Visitors & Convention Bureau snowmobile trail report says Sawyer County received 8-10 inches of heavy wet snow last Tuesday and Wednesday nights, another couple inches since then, followed by frigid cold temperatures over the weekend. Although Sawyer County snowmobile trails never close, the heavy, icy snow is not helping make ice and at this time, the Sawyer County Snowmobile and ATV Alliance is cautioning people not to ride on lakes under any circumstances. While they expect people to ride on land trails, no grooming will take place until the lakes are safe and they have staked the trails. The Alliance’s next meeting is December 17, after which they will decide when to begin grooming. Note: Trails crossing private property will remain gated until grooming begins.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 11: Muzzleloader deer season closes.

Dec. 10: Application deadline: Bear; Spring turkey.

Dec. 12-15: Antlerless-only firearm hunt in Herd Control and CWD DMUs.

Dec. 16: Canada goose season closes in Northern Zone.

Dec. 25: Period 1 bobcat season closes.

Dec. 26: Period 2 bobcat season opens north of Hwy 64.

Dec. 31: Seasons Close: Pheasant; Turkey (zones 1-5); Fisher; Frog; Hungarian partridge.

Jan. 5: Late archery deer season closes.

Jan. 5Northwest Relic Rider's Paul Wick Memorial Snowmobile Ride; 1 p.m., Anglers Haven Resort.

Jan. 18-19Free Fishing Weekend.

Jan. 18: Winter crow season opens.

Jan. 31: Seasons close: Ruffed grouse (Northern Zone); Squirrel; Bobcat (Period 2).

For more information on area events and activities, visit the Hayward Lakes Visitor and Convention Bureau website, view its Calendar of Events, or call 1-800-724-2992.