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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.

Starting to bring wolf numbers in line
A smaller but sustainable wolf population is what the DNR is working diligently and effectively to achieve in Wisconsin.         —Contributed Photo
By Kurt Krueger

WOLF hunters and trappers harvested 257 wolves last fall and helped bring Wisconsin’s estimated wolf population to less than 700 animals, the latest word on the subject from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

David MacFarland, the DNR’s large carnivore specialist, said the late-winter wolf count indicates there are a minimum of 658 to 687 wolves distributed across the state.

He said that population is within the range predicted

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:42 AM
It’s been a tough fishing start thus far
The highlight of the young walleye season thus far has been a pair of nice Wisconsin River walleyes that the scribbler and Editor Gary Ridderbusch teamed up on last week. They hit a jig and minnow combo.
By Kurt Krueger

HAVING spent the past 50 years fishing opening weekends in the North Woods, I can’t recall a more dismal start to the open water fishing season.

I’m not trying to further depress the owners of sport shops, bait stands and other businesses that thrive on fishing-related tourism, but the record has to show the effects of Mother Nature and severely reduced walleye bag limits.

Though lacking solid financial evidence with which to back my claims, I’d say the opening weekend turnout was not even 5% of the modern normal because most lakes were covered with ice.

And last weekend, though slightly better, paled in comparison to any normal May fishing weekend. Most of the lakes that did clear of ice didn’t do so until last Thursday,

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:05 AM
Turkey hunting: it’s all about the chase
Sometimes seemingly uneventful hunts produce a turkey, and then some great hunts end without a bird being bagged.       —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

SONGBIRDS were singing, geese were honking and sandhill cranes were filling the airwaves with those echoing, prehistoric calls on a morning last week — when suddenly a tom turkey sounded off.

What a thrill it was to be back in farm country for a day, a place in central Wisconsin where spring has sprung and the wildlife activity is at its peak.

The scribbler was in the Marion area chasing gobblers,

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 10:00 AM
Walleye bag limit concerns not overblown
Creel information indicates less than 5% of anglers ever put five legal walleyes in the well and that most catch one or none on any given outing. That’s why a three-fish bag doesn’t reduce harvest.      —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

I READ in the Capital Times in Madison last year that this whole flap over the spearfishing declarations and reduced bag limits may be exaggerated.

The piece was written because for the first time in years, the tribes changed their spearing quotas so drastically that sport anglers ended up with mostly one-fish and two-fish daily bag limits. The normal statewide daily bag limit for walleyes is five.

It was controversial then and it is even worse this spring,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:27 AM
Panfish vote is great news for tourism
With walleye bag limits so dismal it is good news that anglers supported keeping the 25-fish bag limit for panfish at the fish and game hearings.
By Kurt Krueger

THOUGH the motor trolling compromise passed statewide and single-line trolling may get forced upon Vilas County, there was some good news from the spring fish and game hearings.

About two-thirds of the 5,625 sportsmen and -women who attended hearings in all 72 counties voted to keep the combined daily bag limit for panfish at 25.

With 65.5% of the vote in support,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:06 AM
No better place to find eagles, ospreys
By Kurt Krueger

MY?DOG growled and took off running in the middle of a frozen lake the other day, which seemed bizarre until a glance at the sky revealed a bald eagle gliding in circles around our fishing spot.

Gracie took chase but little did she know how imposing that eagle would be face to face — and fortunately she never found out. It wasn’t long before she stopped jumping and hoping it might fall from the sky.

It’s been a tough winter on most wildlife and the eagles that spent the winter here have to be mighty hungry. That probably explains why that bird was hovering above, looking for any fish we might have laid on the ice.

According to the 2013 Wisconsin Bald Eagle and Osprey Survey,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:55 PM
Don’t miss your chance to have a voice
The scribbler’s concern is that muskie anglers who like to troll, and therefore don’t fish here now, will target this area.                —STAFF?PHOTO
By Kurt Krueger

IF YOU CARE about the future of fishing, hunting and trapping regulations that are enforced by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), then you need to make time for a hearing next Monday night, April 14.

At 7 p.m. in every county in Wisconsin, the agency will conduct its annual Spring Fish and Game Rule Hearings. In this area, they will be at the St. Germain Elementary School, James Williams Middle School in Rhinelander and at the Crandon High School auditorium.

This is your chance to make a comment if you’d like,

Tuesday, April 08, 2014 10:48 AM
Deer study plan ignores artificial feeding
By Kurt Krueger

IT APPEARS that opposition to a proposed deer browsing study on 900 acres of public land near Palmer Lake isn’t unusual, at least according to a state-published book on the subject.

The book was found by Mike Duew of Land O’ Lakes, who is not too keen on the plan to lock up public forest acreage for this study. It was written by biologists Burton Dahlberg and Ralph Guettinger.

Back in the 1940’s, the Wisconsin Conservation Department employed 23 enclosures in northern and central counties for the purpose of studying deer range carrying capacity.

The predecessor to the Department

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 10:20 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 08, 2014 1:34 PM )
An outdoor tradition that will never end
Mike and Matt Krueger of Winneconne show some of the crappies they took using the deep hole theory last weekend.       —Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger


WE HADN’T set out three panfish rigs over deep water on the Eagle Chain when the first rod, a tip-down, popped once and headed for the hole.

It was the first crappie hit of the day for Mike Krueger of Winneconne, a cousin and longtime friend who trekked north with his son Matt for their annual hard-water fishing adventure.

He slid the rod off the stand and

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 11:41 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 08, 2014 1:35 PM )
Night crawlers can damage forest health
The mightest of earthworms, the night crawler, can consume 10 pounds of organic material from the forest floor every year. They are invasives.

By Kurt Krueger

DID YOU know that earthworms in Wisconsin, including the mighty night crawler used by thousands of anglers, are invasive species that can damage the health of forests?

The scribbler learned that and a lot more recently when Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologist Bernadette Williams spoke to the Eagle River Rotary Club.

“Opening a can of worms” takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to our forests, which evolved without invasive earthworms that were

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:59 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, April 08, 2014 1:35 PM )

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