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10/28/2022
New direction needed at DNR Dick Ellis Candidate for governor Tim Michels indicated in October that if elected he would break up the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to serve 1) business and 2 ) the hunting and fishing, or sporting community. “It’s not my opinion that the DNR is broken,” Michels said. “It’s what I hear everywhere I go.” Better days. John and Jim Ellis with a memorable opening mornin...
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Hunt, fish, watch football

8-30-2012

How sweet it is to be in Wisconsin in September.

We made the return trip to a Waukesha County farm Sunday to ask again for permission to hunt doves with the new season beginning September 1st.  It’s a great tune-up for the dogs before the waterfowl and upland game seasons and a great tune-up too for wing shooters.  I use a single-shot .410 and guess I’m about one for every 10 birds shot at (Have to tell the truth). Doves taste great as a Packer game shish ka bob with venison and turkey on the grill but I recommend waiting until you reach 10 or 15 birds.  It’s like eating bluegills. For me that’s about 100 shells I guess.

One of my hunting partners and I took a case of beer and a few papers and shot the bull for 15 minutes with the farmers including patriarch “Birdy”.  Talking shop with the farmers is part of being a hunter, even though I never have a clue what I’m talking about, agriculturally speaking, so just make stuff up.  Birdie looked at me a little strange when I told him I just didn’t agree with the price of beans in lower Slobowbia. He’s been around for a few decades working his fields and he, seriously now, asked when Wisconsin was going to give the green light to a season on Sandhill Cranes.  He told me no Wisconsin critter reaps havoc on a crop like the Sandhill, noting that they will burrow deep into the soil to uproot the stalk and get to the corn seed.  I remember my writing getting the antis riled up for advocating the dove hunt years ago. As for the Sandhill…let the riling begin.

Speaking of the new hunting seasons steaming in September 1, Saturday also brings us the early Wisconsin goose season.  OWO writer Seth Steinhauer has been there and done that.  Under “Waterfowl Hunting”, Seth brings the early goose hunter, in particular the novice, some great tips and tactics from where to look, how to dress and what chokes and loads to use.  Check out his photos too from past successful hunts.

With a long summer of baiting behind them, Wisconsin hunters also rest on the eve of the bear season beginning September 5.  After showcasing Mike Foss’s ‘Diary of a Wisconsin Bear Guide’ each week for months on this site, my reporter’s bags are packed and I look forward to joining the 20 hunters who will gather at Northern Wisconsin Outfitters in Bayfield County.  Read Foss’s last diary entry before the big hunt under “Bear Hunting”.  He includes another photo of one of the monster bears caught on motion camera that are coming in early to the bait and just may wear a tag if he doesn’t change his habits in a hurry.

Hunter Eric Pacey of Wausau sends us a handful of the hundreds of photos of the bears he caught coming to the bait stations being maintained in Iron County on public land with his brother Jason. Check out the photos posted under “Bear Hunting”.  Send your own bear hunting photos and stories during and after the season to ellis@onwisconsinoutdoors.com.

We post letters received this week under “Deer Hunting” from hunting organizations and the Conservation Congress pleased with Governor Walker’s decision to suspend the antlerless only hunt in CWD territory.  We also post under “Deer Hunting” a story from veteran outdoor writer Bill Thornley of Spooner in response to CWD being discovered in northwest Wisconsin.

Under “Inland Fishing” or “Fishing Reports” as usual you will read reports from Wisconsin guides including Dave Duwe, Roger LaPenter, John Carlson, Kurt Justice, Jeff Winters, Phil Schweik, John Faucher, Wayne Morgenthaler and others.  My friend Ron Klimcke knows how to catch walleyes anywhere but sends us a short and sweet report from his home water on the Chippewa Flowage showing how he adjusted to catch a limit of beauties. Ron sends a nice photo too of the fish pushing 20 inches that he caught on five casts once he made that change on the water.

´╗┐When you’re reading Schweik’s report from central Wisconsin, make sure to scroll back a week if you didn’t see who he guided last week. After working extensively for months with the secret service, Wisconsin wardens and law enforcement, Schweik led Speaker of the House John Boehner to some fine Wisconsin fishing. Phil is now officially “important” and not talking to any of us.  John Faucher tells us about good fishing for cats on the Wolf despite low water condition. Faucher is also my partner in this week’s “Dick’s Trips” or "Explore Wisconsin - Marinette County".  We find Marinette County backcountry in 2009 and work our way down to work the beautiful Peshtigo River with flyrods for smallmouth bass.  All the contact information for Executive Director Jamie Darge and Marinette County Tourism is found at the beginning of the column to help you plan your own trip. Like each week, connect with John Luthens traveling column under “Inland Fishing”.  This week’s title is “To Kill A Trout”. I think Luthens is a poet.

Check out too our “Upland Game”, “Waterfowl” “Firearms” and “Outdoor News” pages for information on everything from personnel appointments to Ruffed Grouse Society fundraising events to the weekly newsletter of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to wires directly from the Wisconsin wardens in the field.

For those of you who prefer reading On Wisconsin Outdoors online, the September-October issue is posted now on our “Homepage”.  Almost half of the 50,000 street copies have already been delivered so expect all 700 Wisconsin locations to have your hardcopy by the end of next week. The issue includes hunting from doves to bear and lots of fishing from the streams to the rivers to Green Bay.

Two very useful columns this month include Lee Gatzke’s deer hunting article focusing on the importance of summer scouting to tagging a trophy buck early, long before the rutting season plays any factor.  Very nice photos of a great buck captured on camera in daylight the day before he wears the September tag.  Executive Director Don Kirby of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association also offers great advice to the duck hunter who may find his traditional hunting routines altered by the Wisconsin drought and low-water conditions.  There’s much more too, for the angler and hunter.

Yes sir, it’s fall and a lot of bears are about to fall hard. Just not sure if we play them in Chicago or Green Bay first.

Shoot straight. Thanks for checking out On Wisconsin Outdoors.

Dick Ellis