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Kurt Krueger

In the Outdoors

Kurt Krueger can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521.

Swim jig and a leader — look out pike
Steve hoists a nearly 3-foot northern pike that slammed a swim jig in about 8 feet of water over the holiday weekend.  	—Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

STEVE fired a long cast toward visible weeds in about 7 feet of water, the bait of choice being a weedless swim jig that was tipped with a sizeable plastic grub tail.

The odd-looking bait includes a bass-attracting skirt that enlarges and pulsates on the drop, the sort of creature that catches the eye of bass and northern pike.

We were fishing on a cloudy evening over the Labor Day weekend, hoping for the fast and powerful action that these aggressive game fish are known to produce if you can find them.

A couple of cranks into the retrieve,

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 11:05 AM
What is the best job a hunter could have?
By Kurt Krueger

SITTING around the campfire on a night last weekend, the hunting seasons almost upon us, the boys got to sharing information about the deer and grouse and ducks they’d come across during summer.

Coming from die-hard hunters who live for the cooler days and nights of autumn, the surprise of the night were complaints about where the heck summer went and how we got to late August in such a hurry.

It was far from a frosty late-summer night with the warm spell that moved in for the weekend, yet it was cool enough that the warmth of the fire felt darn good.

There’s more to a campfire than staying warm,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 11:02 AM
Time to support the grouse habitat experts
It is moments like this that we grouse hunters appreciate what the Ruffed Grouse Society does to promote young forest habitat and active forest management on both public and private land.      —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

THE?VOICE of forest wildlife like no other organization in America, the small but effective Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) is stronger today than at any time in its 52-year history.

Grouse fever is about to hit the North Woods. It’s less than four weeks from opening day of the fall hunt and it’s the traditional time of the annual fund-raising banquet of the Chain O’ Lakes Chapter.

Next Thursday at the Whitetail Inn in St. Germain,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:08 AM
DNR eyes severe panfish bag restrictions
Brennan Ranheim of Raleigh, N.C., probably would disagree with the DNR that panfish numbers and sizes aren’t great on the Three Lakes Chain. This photo was taken two weeks ago.          —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

PANFISH enthusiasts will want to check out the latest from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), for the agency is proposing species-specific bag limits as low as five a day on some of the best lakes in the North Woods.

You read that right. The agency is proposing to treat panfish as if they are game fish — a real kick in the teeth when you consider the reduced walleye bag limits that continue to slam the sportfishing industry here.

Only three public hearings are scheduled across the state

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:58 AM
Saving wildlife: the pro-wilderness lies
By Kurt Krueger

I?WAS thinking the other day about the wilderness areas located in or close to Vilas and Oneida counties, trying to be fair to a subject that has taken some controversial hits in this space over the years.

After 36 years of watching wilderness proposals and roadless area studies come and go on national forest lands to our east, I believe we struck a respectable balance between the need for unmanaged wilderness and the many types of managed forest.

Managed forest alone is a complex monster where land managers attempt,

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 2:41 PM
Some of the wildest places in Wisconsin
A fat brook trout is a bonus on a trip to trout country, one of the most tranquil, remote places Wisconsin has to offer.          —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

ONE OF the strangest summers for weather and bugs has altered fishing patterns for several species, and that’s my excuse for not hitting the trout stream until reports subsided of large mosquitos carrying off small animals.

Maybe the scribbler is getting wimpy as the years pass, but the bugs were so plentiful around residential areas in May and June that I couldn’t imagine what they’d be like in trout country — where you better have some bug spray along.

The story I’m sticking with is that the mayfly hatches were really late this year and that I rely on that  frenzy-producing period to take some nice brook trout

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 10:52 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:10 PM )
Grouse numbers better than expected
By Kurt Krueger

IT’S ALWAYS a pleasure to see a ruffed grouse picking gravel from a roadside shoulder, an item it must have for a hard-working gizzard that breaks down seeds and other foods for digestion.

Last week I spotted a grouse while traveling 55 mph on a county highway, as you could hardly miss the dark form against the lighter gravel.

And like usual, I pulled off a distance ahead,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:41 PM
Sharing boat space, making new friends
Walker Linboom of Eagle River and August Wang of Milwaukee display some of their catch during Guides/Kids Day, including August’s 141?4-inch monster, judged trophy of the day by the chamber.   	—Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

NEVER am I?more serious about finding fish than when it comes to guiding kids who yearn to catch something, and so it should be for those of us who really care about hooking kids on one of the world’s greatest outdoor, lifelong sports.

That drive caused me to check the Three Lakes Chain for spawning bluegills last Wednesday on the eve of Guides/Kids Day in Eagle River, a Thursday set aside each year to give kids an opportunity to spend the afternoon in a boat with a guide or so-called guide.

The brief scouting trip showed that bluegills,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:17 PM
Get ready for the right place, right time
By Kurt Krueger

CHIRPING in the skies above meant an osprey was near and I fumbled around trying to switch from fishing to photography, just in case the so-called fishhawk decided to dive-bomb a school of fish in my vicinity.

I barely got the camera set and the strap around my neck before the big bird literally fell out of the sky, dropping so quickly I lost it in the viewfinder and had to play catch-up to find it. It was pretty much coming right at my canoe.

The shutter was clicking as it neared the water,

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 3:01 PM
Still fishing with Dad a half-century later
Pop Krueger holds a pair of dandy walleyes he took with jig and minnow on a cold, windy afternoon last month.                 —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

YOU?CAN’T call it beginners luck when it happens to an 85-year-old who has been fishing most of his life, but it is otherwise hard to explain how it came to be.

I was sharing boat space on an evening in June with my dad, Leland Krueger of Marion, who was more anxious than ever to get up north to collect some prized walleye and crappie filets for the frying pan.

Anxious is an accurate assessment

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 11:24 AM

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