In the Outdoors - Vilas County News-Review
An image
An image
  • Last hurrah for northern, walleye nears
    SOME GO to the grocery store for fish while others decide to drill holes through two feet of ice in hopes of catching some.
    I’ve never had a problem with cod, haddock, salmon or any other kind of fish found in local stores, but pushing a shopping cart doesn’t have quite the same appeal as 
  • The package said simply ‘railroad pines’
    AS WE dined on creamed ruffed grouse and wild rice one evening last week, a meal fit for kings and queens, it was hard to imagine that life could be any better.
    The scribbler had once again managed to please his bride with
  • Birders helped virus-strapped biologists
    WHILE Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists were grounded in 2020 with pandemic-related restrictions, bird-watching groups carried the torch when it came to monitoring eagles and other species.
    Stay at home orders and travel restrictions imposed by Gov. Tony Evers caused
  • What the heck was I thinking on wolves?
    I’VE BEEN writing and talking for months now about how wrong the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was to delist wolves in all 48 states, claiming only four responsible states deserve to be delisted.
    The premise for that was that
  • Tree drops boost habitat for insects, fish
    ANGLERS have known for decades the benefits of leaving stumps in shallow water, and trees and branches when they fall, to provide some natural habitat for fish. 
    Most often the success of fishing those “woody” shoreline areas is
  • Being forced to isolate outdoors: oh darn
    MY BRIDE doesn’t always say yes when it comes to fishing invitations, mostly because she’s not the diehard type and the fun has to include something more than just catching fish.
    Of course there’s also that
  • Let past walleye mistakes shape future plans
    AS THE Department of Natural Resources (DNR) begins the process of making adjustments to walleye management statewide, it’s time to start identifying the key issues.
    In Vilas and Oneida counties, the
  • Deer tag, unit comments being taken now
    IT’S NO surprise that the County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC) in Vilas and Oneida counties are pushing for boundary splits, which basically means adjusting management and antlerless tag numbers to reflect differing habitat and herd health.
    The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) did a great job, historically, of
  • A crappie bite — it’s just something magical
    TEACHING kids how to set tip-downs, rig a bobber 3 feet off the bottom, hook a crappie minnow light and set the hook with authority were all on the list for a holiday fishing weekend.
    We’re isolating in the great outdoors you know, trying to
  • Wolves, turkey, deer top 2021 ‘wish list’
    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.
    They call it
  • Early ice prime for shallow-water walleyes
    THEY were huddled around the first tip-up of the new season last Friday afternoon, my son and grandson, watching for movement on the spindle that would indicate a walleye moving off with a sucker minnow in its jaws.
    The approach to the hole in the ice had been a careful one, for
  • Fourmile logging should boost deer, grouse
    HUNTERS who enjoy spending time in the national forest east of Eagle River and Three Lakes should be happy to hear about the Fourmile Vegetation Project, for it will be a boost to populations of deer, ruffed grouse and other wildlife.
    Given final approval in 2017, logging
  • Grouse numbers rising despite new virus
    NOW THAT the dust has settled from the heart of the 2020 ruffed grouse season, there is little doubt that it was a great spring hatch and that bird numbers are stronger than last year.
    That’s as unscientific as it gets with
  • From deer famine to feast in 15 minutes
    I GAVE my opening day deer stand a 13-hour chance to produce, including two hours on Sunday morning, before finally being convinced that not seeing a single deer meant it was time to move on.
    That’s hunting of course and only one in seven Wisconsin hunters shoot a buck, so
  • Can’t ignore virus safety in deer camp
    A SAFE deer hunt is going to take on a whole new meaning this year, as a global pandemic threatens to have more impact on people’s health than bullets and tree stands.
    Nearly 600,000 orange-clad hunters are going to
  • Late fall was meant for chasing roosters
    WE LET the dog loose and turned our faces into a decent west wind, enough breeze to make it easier on an 11-year-old retriever searching heavy sorghum for pheasants.
    Gracie was racing back and forth between three hunters, covering the entire field, when she
  • Wetlands conservation surviving COVID
    DESPITE the massive hit some conservation groups have taken in this pandemic environment, Ducks Unlimited (DU) is still going strong with its unprecedented waterfowl and wetlands projects.
    That’s the word from
  • The glory days of October are slipping fast
    TRYING to decide between grouse and deer hunting last Saturday, and wondering how to fill a turkey tag, trap a fisher and shoot some pheasants in the days ahead, the reality of time and its limits hit home.
    That glorious month of October is
  • Farm country hunt kicks off the season
    THERE was barely light in the eastern sky as I walked in pre-dawn stillness, following the path of yellow leaves on a two-track in the hardwoods.
    I was headed for an elevated stand on an 80-acre ridge owned by a friend whom, over the years, created a paradise for
  • Things heating up in the grouse woods
    WHAT started as a fairly slow grouse season with early rain and heavy foliage took a turn for the better last week, as we finally stumbled into some county forest habitat that was holding decent numbers of birds.
    It’s been a year for expanding the territory we hunt and
  • Wolf counting changes unveil the truth
    FOR ALL you readers who insisted over the years that there were far more wolves than state estimates showed, take a bow. You were absolutely correct.
    It only took the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) a little more than
  • What better day to stage Grouse Camp?
    ON THE very day we celebrated National Hunting and Fishing Day last Saturday, there were 80 aspiring grouse hunters from nine states at a camp in Eagle River.
    What a testimonial to the natural resources and hunting ethic here that the Ruffed Grouse Society chose
  • Dry weather gives boost to grouse hunt
    WE WERE walking an old grass-covered two track on state land last week, my black Lab Gracie out in front searching for the scent of our favorite upland game bird, the ruffed grouse.
    About a mile into this particular hike, Gracie’s movements changed entirely. She was
  • Slab crappies saved dismal grouse opener
    TO SAY that the ruffed grouse opener last Saturday was the highlight of the week would be the normal thing, but it just wouldn’t be the truth this year.
    For those who didn’t experience it, the rain started about 3 a.m. Saturday morning, went virtually all day and into the evening, and then finished with some downpours after
  • Stewardship program up for renewal
    IT’S HARD to be good stewards of the land and waters we’ve been entrusted to protect without some monetary commitment, and Wisconsin is once again being asked to pledge its support.
    The Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program (KNSP) is up for reauthorization after a decade of
  • Pandemic gives boost to hunting, fishing
    IT’S BEEN a big year for Wisconsin’s great outdoors as more people escaped a public health emergency thru the isolation of hunting, fishing, boating, camping and other activities.
    Booming sales of
  • Foresters protect water quality, not aesthetics
    LOGGERS are going to be cutting about 215 acres of timber near Whitney Lake in Boulder Junction, part of timber management on the Northern Highland American Legion (NHAL) State Forest.
    And a second timber sale that has yet to be finalized will result in
  • Logging, better habitat can offset new virus
    IT APPEARS Wisconsin has a larger West Nile virus (WNV) problem than Michigan or Minnesota, as for the second straight year, testing shows exposure rates that were nearly double neighboring states.
    While it’s too soon to