With the approach of fall, hunting activity has begun with the opening of the early Canada goose, dove and black bear seasons in the last week. Goose hunters reported some very good success in a number of areas, with plenty of shooting and some hunters taking a full limit. Geese were moving primarily early morning and late afternoon and with the early harvest of most grain fields, birds have been concentrating in the fresh cut corn and alfalfa fields. There was fairly heavy dove hunting activity on public hunting grounds that have been planted with sunflowers.
Bear hunters report that acorns are dropping early and area bear hunters have already seen changes in bear habits and showing less activity at their baits. Although this happens most years, this year acorns began dropping right before the season opener, which is unusual.
Hunters are also reminded that the wolf hunting and trapping license application deadline was extended a week and will now close Friday, Sept.7. As of Sept. 6, more than 19,600 people had applied for a license. People interested in hunting should also note that a recent judicial ruling has temporarily prevented the use of dogs for hunting wolves, and also for training dogs to hunt wolves. As this is a temporary injunction, people should check the wolf hunting page of the DNR website for updates.
And with the early archery deer season and fall turkey season opening in just over a week on Sept. 15, people who have questions about deer or the archery opener can get answers by participating in an online chat with DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Go to the DNR website and search “chat” or look for the advertisement Tuesday or Wednesday. Turkey hunters can visit the website to find units that have available permits and watch a video of a first time turkey hunter’s experience.
Water temperatures are dropping and with that fishing picked up in some areas, especially with some good fall panfishing reported in a number of areas. In the north, musky action continues to increase with more reports in the last week of nice fish caught. Largemouth bass fishing has also been very good. In the south, anglers are being cautioned about some very low water levels on the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers that has been contributing to boat and motor damage, especially with wing dams.
Smallmouth bass fishing continued strong along the waters of Door County, but walleye action slowed some on both shores of Green Bay. Cooler nearshore Lake Michigan waters brought trout and salmon closer to shore in the last week. Fish are beginning to stage and mature salmon are turning darker and many brown trout are also showing their spawning colors, but as of yet there has been no fall salmon runs up rivers.
This week and next will mark the peak weeks for fall warbler migration. Recent cold fronts and expected northwest winds should bring large pushes of long-distance migrants including warblers, thrushes, tanagers, grosbeaks, vireos and hummingbirds through the state.
Fall colors are progressing rapidly, with the Flambeau River State Forest already reporting 35 percent color and Douglas County 25 percent. Forestry officials say that despite the drought in the south, fall colors should still be good, especially across the north, which had better precipitation through the summer.
DNR Outdoor Report in Portable Document Format (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
DNR Outdoor Report in Rich Text Format
Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources