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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.

Walleye plan needs more than two years

By Kurt Krueger

DON’T BUY that extra chest freezer just yet, even though the state’s new Walleye Initiative promises to improve walleye populations in many lakes where natural reproduction has failed or is far below sustainable levels.

Despite what might be a 10-fold increase in the stocking of large walleye fingerlings that are 6 to 8 inches in length and a significant improvement in survival rates, there is no telling whether the program will be funded beyond its current two-year stint.

The budget-bill initiative provided an extra $870,000 in funding for 2013 and an added $1.3 million for next year’s stocking efforts. It allows the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to buy minnows for the walleye to eat and allows them to put more pounds into fingerling production.

With short notice, the agency went from the production of

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:14 PM
Anglers welcomed brief holiday warmup
By Kurt Krueger

IT?SEEMED like an eternity trying to drop a crappie minnow, hook and tiny split shot down a slushy hole into 30 feet of water, the wind stinging the back of wet hands all the way.

And finally, when the slack line all disappeared and the bobber reached the water, the darn thing kept going as if cracked or water-logged. What kind of luck on the first panfish outing of the winter?

But then I saw the submerged bobber stop, and pop a couple of times, indicating it might be a fish messing with me. So I set the hook. Fish on!

After what again seemed like forever,

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 9:56 AM
Walleye limits, deer, logging on wish list

By Kurt Krueger

IN THE HEART of the Christmas season, it is time once again to formulate a “wish list” in regard to some of the nagging issues that impact those of us who live to spend time in the great outdoors.

It’s the season of miracles and as we celebrate the greatest gift the world has ever known, it can’t hurt to ponder how we might help improve the future of Wisconsin’s outdoor traditions.

Part of that improvement might be a change in personal responsibility, for each of us plays a role in resource conservation. We can all strive to join more habitat groups and write more letters to public land managers.

The scribbler has more

Monday, December 23, 2013 11:52 AM
It was a surprisingly grand grouse season
By Kurt Krueger

SNUBBED fairly abruptly on favorable weather for chasing birds, grouse hunters got no more than two months of decent conditions this fall but found surprisingly good numbers in the second year of a downswing in the population cycle.

What a difference a year makes.

Last fall we hunted birds into mid-December with little or no snow on the ground,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:09 PM
Hunters deserve a better northern herd
The capacity of does to rekindle the northern deer herd is stripped away every time the state sells hundreds of antlerless deer tags to both archers and gun hunters, trying to maintain low goals.      —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

IF?YOU support keeping a fairly pathetic deer herd in the?North Woods, then the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is performing beyond expectations — right on the money.

Though the deer herd hadn’t recovered much beyond the pitiful goals of 25 deer per square mile in Unit 36 and 20 deer per square mile in Unit 35, those units went from buck-only to what the department calls a limited antlerless harvest this fall.

Even a lingering winter that had biologists concerned about stress, winterkill

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 1:56 PM
Rooster pheasants, big grins go together
Bill Weber and son, Noah, display some of the roosters they chased down with Gracie’s help on a hunt last month.                —Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

THE?WIND was gusting to 30 miles per hour with wind chills near the zero mark as we readied the cold-weather clothing, guns and a dog on a brisk November afternoon, too late to cancel or question our sanity.

Nothing could stop us now from chasing pheasants at Heritage Hunt Club in Laona. The drive was over. The birds were already in the field. We were all in.

And it was no surprise that the scribbler, a dog named Gracie and hunting partners Bill Weber and son Noah of Eagle River had the farm to ourselves.

Who hunts in these conditions?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013 12:03 PM
Cold can’t stop the deer camp tradition
The Pine River boys were happy to have one buck down in the national forest with the cold and tough hunting conditions on opening weekend. The spike-horn was taken by Mark Krueger (front center). Also pictured are Deano Radtke, Steve Moericke, Greg Radtke and Dan “Keet” Moericke.                            —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

COMBINING a late deer opener with sub-zero wind chills is far from the ideal scenario for productive hunting, but it wasn’t all bad news from the Pine River Country deep in the national forest.

Six of us staked out a claim in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in various tree stands and ground blinds. And for the first time in many years, everyone saw a deer on opening day.

Given the weather and the fact that we don’t use bait, that’s a mighty big accomplishment in and of itself. Heck, for the first time since 1989, I saw a doe with three fawns milling through the hardwoods Sunday morning — couldn’t believe my eyes.

The credit goes to a U.S. Forest Service that’s finally getting

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 12:29 PM
It’s hunting buddies you should fear most
Knowing where the muzzle of your gun is pointed at all times, and never at people, is the key to avoiding a hunting accident.      —STAFF?PHOTO

IF?YOU spend time worrying about the possibility that a bullet from a mysterious source will find its way through the woods and hit you this deer season, give it a rest.

It’s more likely that you’ll win a lottery prize than be injured by a bullet of unknown origin. The records show that most of the time, hunting injuries are either self-inflicted or are caused by someone you know — a hunting buddy.

Safety is something worth pondering as the grandest single sporting

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:57 PM
Quick wolf hunts fuel mixed speculation
Slow but sure, Wisconsin is moving toward a smaller but stable population of gray wolves thanks to hunters and trappers.         —Contributed Photo
By Kurt Krueger

THERE is more than one way to interpret the results of this year’s wolf hunt, including what some might consider good news for those who cherish one of Wisconsin’s largest carnivores.

We still have a very healthy wolf population, evidenced by the fact that the harvest quota was met in five of the six harvest zones in less than three weeks.

Zone 2 in this area, hardly the most populated wolf country

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 11:04 AM
Wetlands: steadiest of wildlife habitat

By Kurt Krueger

WETLAND habitat is one of the few natural wonders in America that is being effectively protected today, thanks to a 76-year commitment from Ducks Unlimited (DU) and its volunteers across the North American continent.

The numbers are staggering — the preservation of almost 14 million acres of wetlands and conservation influence on another 12 million acres in the United States and Canada.

It is because of that incredible turnaround since the Dust Bowl days of 1937, when duck hunters founded DU, that hunters have enjoyed 12 straight years of 60-day seasons, a six-duck daily bag limit and more than 100 days of Canada goose hunting.

The feat becomes more

Tuesday, November 05, 2013 12:01 PM

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