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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.

Age-55 crossbow plan still makes sense
Though the liberalization of crossbow use is still up in the air, lowering the legal age to 55 still makes the most sense.                   —STAFF?PHOTO

In The Outdoors
By Kurt Krueger

WITH THE Legislature poised to take up in September the issue of expanded crossbow opportunities for deer hunting in Wisconsin, it’s time for concerned hunters to contact the lawmakers who represent them.
This whole thing started two years ago when an advisory question floated by the Department of Natural Resources about lowering the legal crossbow age from 65 to 55 passed statewide by 500 votes at the spring fish and game hearings.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:01 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:04 PM )
Youths learn how to trap the right way
Trapping instructor Mike Kortenhof of Sugar Camp speaks to the young group about scouting, animal sign and basic wildlife travel routes prior to hands-on experience in setting traps.                —Photos By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

THE TWO 12-year-olds were busy crushing cookie pieces for placement in an odd-looking steel tube, hoping with anticipation that the trail they selected for trap placement along Mud Creek might produce a wandering raccoon in a night or two.

Volunteer instructor Richard Clark of Coleman was mentoring the two, Nicholas Justice of Eagle River and Sammy Spencer of Rhinelander, during a

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 6:03 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:04 PM )
Lake country: where eagles, ospreys play

By Kurt Kruger

THE GOOD news about all of the lakefront building and water quality regulations that Wisconsin has in place today is that we can claim victory in the field of water resources conservation.

Proof of that comes from looking at the 2012 Wisconsin Bald Eagle and Osprey survey from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which tells an amazing story of successful wildlife management.

Eagles and ospreys rely on clean water and healthy fisheries to survive, as they both consume fish as a major part of their diet. It’s apparent that they are finding both in this part of the North Woods, which harbors the highest concentration of inland lakes found

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 6:53 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:05 PM )
Trout country can soothe the soul
It’s a bonus from a trip to a scenic, tranquil trout stream if you come home with a batch of brookies for the frying pan.            —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

I DROPPED a chunk of crawler into the current and let it float toward an undercut bank. A moment later, line peeled briefly from my reel to signal that a trout had taken the bait.

It was the crack of dawn on the Deerskin River, and I was fishing a stretch along the Blackjack Springs Wilderness Area. There was a slight corner in the stream and the fast-moving water was cutting hard beneath the bank.

My escape was as much away from the rat race of everyday life as it was from busy lakes in the peak of the summer boating season. No motors. No personal watercraft.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 4:19 PM
The grouse downswing was inevitable
By Kurt Krueger

IT APPEARS the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was right on its second attempt at declaring a peak year in the ruffed grouse population cycle, as all signs now point to 2011 as the peak.

The agency was wrong with its first declaration a couple of years back, that 2009 was the best, so I’ve been ultra skeptical since last summer’s claim that grouse numbers were finally in decline.

But even an incredible grouse season last fall, due to a bumper crop of young birds, couldn’t hide the overall truth. There just weren’t as many birds in all types of cover, not like we saw during the fall of 2011.

Signs of the cyclic downturn came during several

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:37 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:05 PM )
Fast-action panfishing is meant for kids
Brother Cody Kreger was more than happy to center sister Kaylee’s head between two crappies during Guides/Kids Day.       —Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

TO?BORROW and slightly revise an old saying from a classic movie that featured the ever-entertaining Tom Hanks — guiding is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

That is especially true during Guides/Kids Day in Eagle River, where last week, about 20 guides hosted some 34 kids for an afternoon of fishing. There’s nothing more

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 6:01 PM
If Mother Nature helps out, don’t goof it up

By Kurt Krueger

THE BOBBER landed right next to the partly submerged shoreline tree, and under it was hook, sinker and a small minnow set just a foot below the surface.

It took all of four or five seconds for the pencil bobber to pop and slowly disappear, dropping toward the tree as a fish returned to its underwater hideout. The hookset was solid and the fight was on, quite a battle trying to keep the fish from darting back into the maze of sticks and branches.

I hoisted into the boat a 12-inch crappie, a golden slab of a fish that had so much

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 3:10 PM
Right place, right time is about persistence

By Kurt Krueger

YOU?DON’T have to be crazy to rise before dawn and head for a camouflaged tent that was placed in the woods the previous day, next to the drumming log of a ruffed grouse.

Passionate maybe, for a good photo, but not crazy.

Getting good wildlife photos does take a commitment, but nothing more than what the average angler or hunter would do in his or her pursuit of fish and game.

You know that old saying about how the fishing is always great,

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 1:55 PM
Do kids a big favor — take them fishing
Alexander hoists one of dozens of bluegills and sunfish taken with worms from the shallows, a real treat for a kid.                 —Photo By The?Author

By Kurt Krueger

FEW?WORDS in the English language strike more excitement in the heart of an angler and grandfather than these: “Pappa, will you take me fishing?”

Besides those glorious words is that innocent, inquisitive face that is patiently hoping for a positive response — the kind of face that’s really hard to turn down.

The scribbler is blessed by kids who fish and now grandkids, a boy and a girl who both like time in the boat, dropping bobbers and  wiggling fish on

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 6:32 PM
Loons thrive in state’s wildest country
It was a surprising moment when this adult loon swam close to our fishing boat with a chick on its back, warm and dry.          —Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

WE?WERE busy catching walleyes on the outside edge of cabbage weeds, three of us in the boat, when the rarest of wild encounters unfolded.

A loon with a chick on its back swam right past the boat, almost as if we didn’t exist. It came so close that I feared moving to unzip a camera bag might spook them away.

My wife and daughter knew exactly what this opportunity meant — the walleyes would have to wait. I grabbed the camera and a zoom lens. When the birds got an appropriate distance away, we pulled anchor and let the boat

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 2:43 PM

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