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All things considered Wisconsin's 2014 spring season will be one for the record book.

Wisconsin 2014 Spring Turkey Hunt Forecast

Wisconsin is divided into 7 turkey management units.  Units 1,3, and 4 are covered in this post.  According to a  consensus of retired turkey biologists and dedicated hunters who are year round turkey observers Wisconsin has one of the largest turkey populations in the nation numbering in excess of 500,000+.  In spite of a severe winter across the northern third of Wisconsin the turkeys seem to have survived intact.  There are some localized reports of dead turkeys being found and these … [Read More...]

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Woodcock in Wisconsin a welcome sight in March.

Woodcock Return to Wisconsin

March 29, 2014 first Woodcock. After enduring a long cold hanger-on winter the twittering rise of 3 woodcocks was a pleasant surprise for  Vic and I.  This might be our earliest Wisconsin woodcock sighting.  I must admit before Vic the turkey dog entered my life there may have been woodcock about in March which I simply walked by.  Vic doesn't miss much making him a special joy to hike around with.     Don L. Johnson writes in Summer's Song Just Ask The Birds "Men may … [Read Full Article...]

Flying Turkey Gobbler

Wild Turkeys Migrate

Do wild turkeys migrate? Winter 2014 has been severe in most of Wisconsin.  Also the winter of 2013 was challenging for wildlife survival. While snowshoeing across a hilltop field a flock of 30 – 40 turkeys flew in loose formation over head looking like they were on their way somewhere not near here.  They were a couple hundred yards in the air and until that moment I had never seen such a flock flying so high.  My first thought was they were migrating. Posted here on March 7, 2014 Turkey … [Read Full Article...]

vic on setup2 (800x631) (2)

Meet Vic and charlie elk

Vic the turkey dog and charlie the human will be speakers at Talk'n Turkey Expo, March 22, 2014 at the Howards Grove High School.  Hours are 9am-6pm. Talk'n Turkey expo is a fundraiser for the Howards Grove Rod & Gun Club's Learn to Hunt program.  The Learn To Hunt pairs up experienced mentors with first time hunters.  They take them out turkey hunting and supply everything they need to hunt. Our session starts at 1 pm. Now wait a minute you're thinking "What does fall turkey … [Read Full Article...]

generation hunter

Wisconsin 2014 Hunting Licenses

New fishing, hunting licenses go on sale March 5 WDNR press release MADISON --Wisconsin hunting, fishing, trapping and other licenses for the 2014-15 seasons go on sale Wednesday, March 5. The new annual licenses are valid through March 31, 2015. Hunting and fishing licenses for the 2013-14 license year will expire March 31, 2014. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources encourages long-time license buyers in Wisconsin to consider purchasing a Conservation Patron license. A … [Read Full Article...]

2 year old turkeys are the bread and butter of spring hunting.  There should be more of turkeys found this spring.

Wisconsin 2014 Spring Turkey Permits

Wisconsin 2014 Leftover spring turkey permits available beginning week of March 17, 2014   The leftover  permits for the 2014 spring turkey hunting season will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Monday, March 17. Designated zones will be sold each day, starting at 10 a.m. Sales will continue through midnight or until all permits for that zone or time period are sold out. Wisconsin's spring 2014 turkey hunting season runs from April 16 through May 27. A … [Read Full Article...]

This raccoon got caught sticking its head out.  To check the weather? Feb 27, 2014 was too cold.

Below Zero; Raccoons are Out?

The cold of winter  2014 continues.  A strange a sight along back roads encased by walls of plowed snow - raccoons, skunks and woodchucks?! A lot people think these are hibernating animals. To the casual observer  who does not see them all winter or stumbles across one out "sleeping"  in the snow their assumption is usually that raccoons hibernate like bears.  As the length of daylight decreases raccoons begin feeding less while spending more time in their dens.  Their metabolic rate slows … [Read Full Article...]

Many small things go into a successful turkey hunt.

Wind and Wild Turkey Hunting

For the most part wild turkey hunters do not like windy days.  The wind makes it harder for hunters  to hear the turkeys and for the turkeys to hear the hunter's calls.  Not sure about latter.  A turkey's hearing is so fine tuned they can probably hear the hunter's calls it's just that the hunter who can't hear the turkey's response.  Blowing wind masks the sound of approaching turkeys perhaps causing a hunter to give up their setup prematurely in the mistaken belief there are no turkeys out and … [Read Full Article...]

doe 2 fawns

Is Quality Deer Management Theory Destroying Wisconsin’s Deer Herd?

Test results provide current snapshot of CWD in south-central Wisconsin For 12 years WDNR has had ongoing CWD surveillance efforts, Department of Natural Resources officials are able to maintain a current picture of trends and prevalence of chronic wasting disease within the area previously known as the Wisconsin CWD zone map in the southern part of the state. The Prevalence of CWD has increased in all categories- Based on 2013 test results for the western monitoring area, … [Read Full Article...]

Dick Cabela Passes at Age 77

As a lad obsessed with all things outdoors, including fly fishing I remember responding to an ad in Sports Afield offering free flies and sending in my 25 cents to cover shipping.  Little did I know this would start a long term relationship with Cabela's.  Back in the 60's all I wanted to do was catch fish.  More than half a century later I look like I've walked off the pages of a Cabela's catalog when I go hunting.  So much of my gear has the logo of the retailer who, in a sense became a … [Read Full Article...]

sunset on the last hunt of 2012

Wisconsin DNR Land Sale

State land under review for possible sale A new state law requires the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to review state held lands for possible sale.  The department developed a land sale policy that reflects the requirements found in Wisconsin state statute.   That policy was shaped by public comments received at five informational meetings held throughout the state in October 2013 and by comments received through the public policy page of the DNR website.  The Natural Resources … [Read Full Article...]

Because Box Elder trees hold their seeds into late winter and early spring they are a valuable source of food for both turkeys and deer.  Notice the seeds on the tree and scattered on the snow.  These trees continue time releasing seeds thus keeping a steady supply of food for wildlife.

Wildlife Winter Survival

As this is written mid February 2014 the severe winter of 2013-2014 marches on with no relief in sight.  Most human animals are staying in their warm abodes starring out the window hoping for spring's arrival.  As for the wildlife, they of course do not have this option.  Unless they are of the variety that hibernates.  The rest are left to make do. They try to  maintain body temperature by seeking the shelter of trees, brush and snowbanks.  In the case of deer many are not making it. I … [Read Full Article...]

late season snowshoe turkey (640x344)

Wisconsin Turkey Hunters Tag 4,633 Fall Wild Turkey Hunt 2013 down 34% from 2012

2014 Turkey Permit Levels Set Wisconsin wild turkey hunters registered a total of 4,633 birds during the fall 2013 wild turkey season, a decrease of 34 percent from the 7,054 turkeys registered during the 2012 season. Success rates also decreased, from 12.9 percent in 2012 to 7.1 percent during the 2013 season.   Unedited press release from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources "The late spring and wet June last year translated into poor overall reproductive success for … [Read Full Article...]

turkeys eat seeds

Warning: Winter Feeding Can Kill Wisconsin Deer

How can this be true? Due to severe winter weather conditions deer in Wisconsin are or becoming very stressed, may be to the point of starving. If I put out some corn, I mean, they eat corn I've found it in their stomachs while field dressing them. Plus we all see deer in cornfields eating away. So what's with this warning? A version of this question is being asked all across Wisconsin especially in the northern part of the state.  We all love and treasure our deer and only want to do what is … [Read Full Article...]

Turkeys and deer are having a tough time.

Wisconsin Winter 2014 Killing Northern Deer and Turkeys

Update: March 31,2014 - After covering a lot of Wisconsin turkey territory this spring including the Northern Wisconsin units my fears of a massive wild turkey winter kill were not realized.  There are few birds that died but no huge flocks died or at least I could not find any evidence of any.  A landowner in northern Polk county told me of a massive winter kill on his farm and invited me to come see.  Vic the turkey dog and I covered this farm finding only 4 dead turkeys, some of the neighbors … [Read Full Article...]

Side by side shotgun, knife

charlie elk – A Hunting Hipster?

What is a Hipster?  According to the Bing Dictionary Hipster - somebody up-to-date: somebody conversant with fashions in music, clothes, food and social attitudes... No one has ever accused charlie of any of the above.  Until now at least in the food area.  It is certainly no secret that charlie is an avid hunter and he hunts for many reasons chief among them - Food.  All hunters have known that wild game is the ultimate organic, low fat, high protein food.  Plus it's down right satisfying to … [Read Full Article...]

Vic's Perfect Double

2013 Wisconsin Fall Turkey Harvest – Kill

The 2013 fall wild turkey season is now part of history with many hunters wondering about success across Wisconsin.  Wisconsin fall turkey hunters bagged 4,633 wild turkeys.  This is about 30% fewer fall turkeys than the fall of 2012 which had 6,933 fall turkeys killed by hunters. Click here for 2012. Here is a peek at Wisconsin's 2013 fall turkey statics.  Keep in mind these are preliminary numbers and could change slightly in the coming weeks.  Check back for the final numbers, they'll be … [Read Full Article...]

Proud Gobbler

Wisconsin State Park Rules Eliminate Turkey Hunting Zones

Proposed rules for hunting in Wisconsin State Parks will eliminate the current wild turkey hunting zones. The 2011 ACT 168 that was  signed into law in April 2012, established that hunting and trapping activities are generally allowed on state park properties effective Jan. 1 2013. The Department of Natural Resources implemented emergency rules for the first year of state park hunting under Act 168.  These rules were approved by the State Natural Resources Board in December 2012. Under its … [Read Full Article...]

A hunter's crossbow.  Will it be legal for all hunters in 2014.

Crossbows Are Legal in Wisconsin 2014

Update March 9, 2014 Wisconsin Cancels Disabled Hunter Permits   Starting the 2014 hunting season all Wisconsin hunters will be able to use a crossbow no matter their age or physical condition.  On December 10, 2013  Governor Walker signed AB194 now referred to as Act 61 into Wisconsin law.  The State Senate approved AB 194 in September with an amendment and the Assembly passed it twice unanimously.  These days it is very rare for our political leaders to agree on anything which … [Read Full Article...]

Hunt of a Lifetime makes the dreams of kids with life threatening illnesses come true.

The Harvest: A Story About Giving

The Harvest is a documentary of 3 Hunt of a Lifetime hunts, a Merriam turkey hunt, a black bear hunt and an elk hunt.  All of these  hunts were the dream hunts of kids with life threatening illnesses.  Be ready with your box of tissues nearby some of the uplifting determination these kids display will bring tears to your eyes. The Harvest can viewed here  on HULU  if this link does not work go to www.hulu.com and search "The Harvest" or Vimeo Hunt of a Lifetime was founded by Tina … [Read Full Article...]

A hunter's crossbow.  Will it be legal for all hunters in 2014.

Wisconsin Senate Passes Crossbow Bill

Read Update Crossbows are now legal in WI On Tuesday September 17, 2013 the Wisconsin State Senate passed SENATE SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT 1, TO ASSEMBLY BILL 194 ssa1_ab194 authorizing a crossbow season in Wisconsin.  All Senators with the exception of Senator Mark Miller voted for passage.  This revised bill is the same as the original Assembly which was passed earlier this year with the Senate's additional amendment 1 giving the DNR authority to change the crossbow season after 2 … [Read Full Article...]

Do you really know who is watching you and when?

Search for Internet Connected Hunting Cameras and everything else

There is a search engine, Shodan, available that searches for internet connected devices, any internet connected device.  The search can be narrowed down to a device which is not password protected, by longitude and latitude, IP address, street address, city, county, state or a device in which the user has not changed its password from the manufacturer's default.   This includes all household devices such as thermostats, baby monitors, security cameras, webcams, cell phones, just to name a few.  … [Read Full Article...]

Turkey Hunter

2013 Wisconsin Fall Turkey Permit Drawing Results

Update 8/23/13 The corrected number and zones of Leftover Wisconsin Fall Turkey permit numbers has been updated.  2013 Fall Turkey Leftover Permit Availability Here is a PDF table of Wisconsin's 2013 fall wild turkey drawing results.  2013 fall turkey permits pdf There were 20,000 more fall turkey applicants in 2013 than in 2012 as a result there are hunters who did not draw a fall tag in units 2, 5,6 & 7 including 130 landowners did not draw a permit in these units. 55, 711 wild … [Read Full Article...]

The bowhunter's crossbow

Wisconsin State Senate Schedules Crossbow Hearing

Update 12/17/13 Crossbows Now Legal in Wisconsin Just when you think hope of change is slim, in this case crossbows legal for all hunters in Wisconsin--  I wrote about the slim hope the other day Will Wisconsin let everyone use a crossbow in 2013? A pleasant surprise.  Here is the press release from Rep. Mary Czaja (R) and Rep Chris Danou (D) Madison – Statement from Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma) and Rep. Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau) on progress of Assembly Bill 194 in state Senate: "We … [Read Full Article...]

Fawns like this are rarely if ever abandoned. Do not try and help, Mama deer will be back.

The Death of Fawn Named Giggles

Post Updated August 30 WDNR proposed Policy Change-- scroll down-- This is sad story, with plenty of wrongs on all sides.  Watch the initial WISN 12 " Armed Agents Raid Animal Shelter for Baby Deer" news story here.  It started when a good intentioned Illinois couple mistakenly thought they were rescuing an abandoned baby deer close to the Wisconsin / Illinois border.  They compounded the problem by crossing a state line with a living wild animal in order to bring it to Wisconsin based St … [Read Full Article...]

Side by side shotgun, knife

Fully 3D Printed Rifle The Grizzly Hand Firing

3D Printing is a technology my brain has a hard time wrapping around.  As a long time Star Trek fan I have pondered the societal ramifications if a working replicator could be built.  If the average person could own a replicator would they ever have to work again?   If not what would a fellow do with all that leisure time? Is a 3D printer our replicator?  Currently they are large machines but soon there may be small more portable versions.  Will the survival kits we carry while hunting or … [Read Full Article...]

The bowhunter's crossbow

Will Wisconsin let everyone use a crossbow in 2013?

Update March 10, 2014 Wisconsin Cancels Disabled Hunter Permits Update 12/17/2013 Crossbows Now Legal In Wisconsin After investigating many possible scenarios there appears to be a chance  although a slim one that Wisconsin's bowhunters will be allowed to use crossbows in the 2013 archery season.  Well, technically during the soon to be established concurrent crossbow season, an important distinction to some. When the Wisconsin Assembly unanimously passed AB 194 many hunters were … [Read Full Article...]

wild turkey poult head close up

Turkeys and Poults Find Them During the Summer

The poult watch is a popular summer time activity of turkey hunters; well maybe not the casual turkey hunter but certainly those who are the hard bitten turkey hooked type of hunter.  Many hunters I have talked with lately see no sense to scouting turkeys now.  After all  turkeys will, most likely, not be in the same areas come September 14th Wisconsin's 2013 fall opening date.  Besides these hunters add the cover is so thick you can't see the birds anyway.  Well maybe there is some truth … [Read Full Article...]

Strutter the Ruffed Grouse

Wisconsin 2013 Ruffed Grouse Report

June 25, 2013 Wisconsin DNR Ruffed grouse survey indicates slight population decline in the recently completed roadside survey of ruffed grouse. WDNR Press Release, MADISON, WI – “The index that Wisconsin uses to track ruffed grouse decreased 9 percent between 2012 and 2013,” said Brian Dhuey, Department of Natural Resources wildlife surveys coordinator. “This decrease isn’t unexpected at this point in the population cycle. Ruffed grouse populations are known to boom and bust over a nine- … [Read Full Article...]

2013 spring turkey typical day

Your Secret Hunting Location and Metadata

So you thought you've done a good job keeping your prime hunting spots top secret even from most of your closest buddies. Heck, season after season you've bagged a trophy what's to worry about. Except then on occasion you see another truck parked around "your" area, then another and another. What's going on? A random hunter invasion or something else? Well if you took pictures near the kill sight, texted or made a phone call... You marked the location of your honey hole with … [Read Full Article...]

A Treble Hook in a wild turkey's neck?!  
photo courtesy of Jerry Cusick.

Treble Hooked Triple Beard Turkey: What?!?

My good friend and hunting partner Jerry Cusick had one of the toughest spring turkey hunting seasons during this Wisconsin 2013 season.   We all had some seriously tough weather to contend with but nothing like Jerry experienced so it is good he killed this unique gobbler. Story as told by Jerry Cusick:   What I remember is it was downright cold that morning (First day of 3rd  WI turkey season).  I was bundled up pretty good and that was just barely warm enough. I was hunting above the … [Read Full Article...]

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