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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.

Celebrating America’s greatest sports
Passing knowledge and passion for the sport of hunting to new generations is a big deal in Wisconsin, and it’s something to focus on as we celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day this Saturday.      —Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

THERE?WILL be a moment this Saturday, maybe during a break from hunting grouse or after catching a walleye, that I’ll think about how appropriate it is that we have a National Hunting and Fishing Day.

That’s what we will celebrate on Sept. 28, a tribute to sports that allow anyone to walk in the footsteps of America’s first environmentalists — the very people who established the conservation ethic of the nation.

This week, we are again running a two-page spread to promote

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:30 PM
Great exercise, tough going on the opener
Gracie holds one of the few birds that gave us a glimpse of feathers on opening day of the 2013 grouse season.               —Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

THOSE of you who didn’t put on the miles chasing grouse on opening day missed a lot of exercise and forest scenery, but not much else.

The foliage was thick, the mosquitos were on a rampage and you could tell grouse numbers are way off from last year, when a phenomenal spring hatch meant big broods.

That didn’t stop the scribbler and his sidekick, a 4-year-old Lab named Gracie, from walking various trail systems on county, national and industrial forest lands

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 3:31 PM
Swim jigs: new weapon in the pike arsenal
The scribbler and grandson Alexander show off a 32-inch northern pike that slammed a swim jig in heavy weeds.          —Photo By Steve Krueger

By Kurt Krueger

IT?WAS the final hour before dark, our window of fishing opportunity, and we took it on an evening over the Labor Day weekend because the grandson was itching for some boat time.

Alexander is making the slow transition from bobbers and bait for panfish to some casting for game fish, or at least that was the plan for this short trip. Attached to his 3-foot rod was a small topwater bait with no hooks on it — for everyone’s protection.

That’s not to say that son Steve and

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:16 PM
Tribes not entitled to nighttime deer hunting

By Kurt Krueger

IT?ALWAYS amazes me that Wisconsin’s Chippewa tribes want to take advantage of special hunting privileges on the argument that somebody else is allowed to do it, even if it is an apples to oranges comparison.

Most noteworthy were those early court cases in which able-bodied tribal hunters were trying to get the same road-hunting privileges as non-Indian hunters who had a disability permit.

The tribes argued that giving anyone a right to shoot from a vehicle or from a roadway means that tribal members should also have a right to do it — disability or not.

Today, the six Ojibwe tribes are seeking

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 3:23 PM
Time to support the grouse habitat experts
It takes active timber management, especially clear-cutting, to regenerate aspen stands because the species requires full sunlight to sprout.

By Kurt Krueger

GROUSE?FEVER is in the air this week, less than three weeks from opening day of the fall hunt and the  traditional time for the Ruffed Grouse Society’s (RGS) fund-raising banquet in St. Germain.

Local volunteers, many of them avid upland hunters, will stage the Chain O’ Lakes Chapter’s seventh annual Sportsmen’s Banquet this

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:59 PM
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 )

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