It’s duck hunting season in the northwoods and while plenty of artificial decoys will be used by waterfowlers to lure birds within gun range one thing they won’t be using is live decoys.
This technique of waterfowl hunting was regulated out of existence in 1935, partly because of the severe drought of the early 1930s that devastated waterfowl populations. But the practice was once common and even celebrated.
Researchers at the Wisconsin DNR are looking for answers as to why walleye populations are declining in the state.
DNR Research Scientist Gretchen Hansen says adult walleye numbers are declining statewide by an average of two percent per year.
“So there’s a lot of variability. So in some lakes, populations are going up, but in the majority of lakes populations are going down. And a lot of that is driven by failed recruitment, so failed reproduction.”
The Wisconsin DNR is waiting for the next move from Gogebic Taconite, now that the company has stopped fieldwork operations for the year.
DNR hydrologist and project lead Larry Lynch says activity on the proposed mine site wrapped up last month.
“They stopped their data collection in regard to surface monitoring, so right now there’s really nothing going on on the site. They also stopped their road improvement work on one of the access roads.”
When I lived in Colorado, I tried to get out hunting whenever I could. I usually went small game hunting,
seeking jackrabbits, rocky mountain cottontails, coyotes or grouse. I would try to use a combination of maps and atlases to find land open to public hunting. I would take my old AMC Gremlin as far down the trail as I could, and then I would start walking.
Vilas county has picked up nearly $40,000 to promote non-motorized trails.
The money comes from the Department of Tourism through its Joint-Effort Marketing grants which are used to advertise tourist-friendly activities.
Cindy Burzinski from Vilas County Tourism and Publicity says this is the second year of the grant...
"....in 2013. Vilas county received their first year JEM grant of $39,550 so we could promote the rich trail systems in the county. We figure with the first year JEM grant, we figure we had an economic impact of just around $300,000...."