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Reports from around the state indicate the white-tailed deer mating season, known as the rut, will likely reach its peak across Wisconsin over the next two weeks or so. Bucks are actively pursuing does even during the day, and conservation wardens continue to report increased vehicle-deer collisions in the last week. Archery hunters are reporting some very good success, with buck deer actively responding to grunt and bleat calls.
Despite some recently colder weather – with the first reports of measurable snow in the north last week – the mild fall still appears to have many activities behind schedule. Waterfowl hunters continued to report wood ducks as far north as Florence County this week. While increasing numbers of diver ducks, such as canvasback, bluebills, buffleheads and ring necks are being seen, mallards, teal and shovelers are still being seen in good numbers. Canada goose numbers at Horicon Marsh have reached about 50,000, still well below peak levels of 200,000 that use the marsh as a stop-over on their southerly migration. Numbers of migrating birds at Horicon Marsh are expected to peak in the next two weeks. The updated Natural Resources monthly page of the DNR website contains a new video with a hint of what birders will see, and online resources steer to birding hot spots for prime viewing.
Grouse hunters are reporting mixed success, with more flushes being reported in some areas than others. There appeared to be another fair movement of woodcock in some areas in the last week. Late season turkey hunters are reporting that some broods are already grouping into winter flocks and are frequenting the harvested fields in the county.
Water temperatures continue to hold in the low 50s to upper 40s on northern lakes, with fewer and fewer anglers venturing out. Musky continue to be the main species of interest and have been providing some fairly consistent action. Musky action has also been good on the Wisconsin River and on Dane County lakes in the south. Walleye fishing has been sporadic on northern lakes, but some good walleye fishing was reported on the Fox, Wolf and Wisconsin rivers.
While the peak of the fall salmon run has come and gone, anglers were still reporting some good numbers on Lake Michigan tributaries, including the Sheboygan, Menomonee and Root rivers. While the number of chinook have decreased, more coho salmon and brown and rainbow trout were being seen. On Green Bay, perch fishing picked up , with nice catches reported off Oconto and Pensaukee along the west shore and off Chaudoir’s Dock on the east shore.
With the opening of Wisconsin’s traditional nine-day gun deer season now just over two weeks away, hunters should be busy preparing, including making sure all firearms are in proper working order and accurately sighted in. Many ranges are now holding extended hours to give hunters extra time to sight-in rifles and get in some extra target practice.
The Deer Hunt 2011 television special with Outdoor Wisconsin host Dan Small will be carried this year by Wisconsin Public Television and Milwaukee Public Television and Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North. The show will be broadcast on Milwaukee Public TV: Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 5 at 9 a.m.; on Wisconsin Public TV Digital Wisconsin Channel on Nov. 3 at 8.p.m.; and on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Wisconsin on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 8 a.m.

A three-minute audio version of this report can be heard by calling (608) 266 2277.
A new report is put on the line each week.


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Statewide Birding Report Tundra Swans are beginning to stage on the Upper Mississippi River and in small numbers across Wisconsin. The first flocks showed up in Madison yesterday. Northern and central Wisconsin birders are reporting common redpolls, siskins, and crossbills in decent numbers. It appears that this may be a decent winter seeing finches. Waterfowl migration continues to progress and build to peaks at staging areas. Of interest are a relatively large number of scoter reports on larger inland bodies of water compared to a normal year. This past week has seen a number of vagrant birds from the SouthWestern portion of the United States show up in Wisconsin and the upper Great Lakes. Wisconsin birders have found scissor-tailed flycatcher, Say's pheobe, Inca dove and western tanager amongst others. A good summary can be found on Wisconsin ebird (exxit DNR).
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Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest - The peak of the deer rut is fast approaching with many archery hunters reporting increased sightings of scrapes and rubs and that in some spots, bucks are following does. Typically, half of the does are bred between Nov. 5 and 15. With this in mind, bucks are going to be chasing does and not paying attention when crossing roads. Most car/deer collisions occur during this time of year. Hunters are reminded that when out scouting for hunting areas, hunting, and retrieving animals, private property needs to be respected. Private land does not have to be fenced or signed…it is up to the person to know where they are. On page 38 in the 2011 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations it states that landowners suspecting that individuals are trespassing on their property should contact their local sheriff's department or other local law enforcement agency. Conservation wardens do not have the authority to investigate trespassing complaints. Although hunters are required to make reasonable effort to retrieve game they have killed or injured, they may not trespass to retrieve game, even if the game was shot from outside of the private land. Ask first for permission. Grouse are coming to the roadsides in search of greens to eat. Some woodcock are still around as well as some ducks that are making use of the unfrozen lakes and ponds. Deer ticks are still active.

Pattison State Park - The nature trail around the lake remains closed. The northern overlooks of Big Manitou Falls are also closed. All other trails, including the south overlooks of Big Manitou Falls, as well as Little Manitou Falls, are open and in good condition. The shower building and flush toilets are closed for the season. Water is available from a faucet on the north side of the office building. County Road B is now open for 3 miles east of the park, but some construction is still occurring.

Ashland DNR Service Center area
Ashland County - The weather has been cool and rainy with some snow mixed in at times in the Ashland area. The open water waterfowl hunters are reporting limited success on Lake Superior. Deer hunting with bows is starting to pick up as the deer are starting to close in on the breeding season. Bears are still out and about and woodcock can still be found in the area.

Bayfield County - Bow hunters reported it was really slow as far as buck activity early last week but this past weekend the buck definitely appear to be on the move. Hunters are saying that bucks are finally showing themselves. Some nice bucks were harvest this past weekend, with many more active scraps being noted. Reminder to those using bait while archery hunting: 2 gallons of bait is the legal limit while deer hunting and once an area is bait, turkeys are off limit as far as hunting them in this same baited area. Waterfowl hunters are seeing more northern ducks but stated they feel the best weeks are yet to come, though some waterfowl hunters were surprised to bag a few wood ducks last weekend, stating to their surprised they thought the wood ducks had already headed south. Late season canoeist and waterfowl hunters, don't forget life jackets: with the cold night temperatures, local lakes and rivers are really cooling down and hypothermia could be an issue. Some nice musky were caught this past weekend on Namekagon Lake. Anglers stated that the fish appeared to be more active this past weekend, for what ever reason. People fishing on the Chippewa River had some success crappie fishing this past weekend, though on most local lakes panfishing does appear to be slow. Leaf cover has more or less disappeared, making grouse, woodcock and squirrel hunting much more enjoyable, though many hunters claim the grouse numbers are up, others hunting the southern edge of the county are seeing fewer numbers of birds. Woodcock flights appear to be spotty: here one day gone the next. ATV enthusiast are still hitting the trails. The recent cold nights and frost are really helping in keeping the dust down. For those thinking of the snow and the snowmobile season, it’s time to check snowmobile registration decals and to make sure sleds are ready when the first snow hits. Snowmobile clubs are working hard on the local trails, getting them ready for the upcoming season, many of the trails have been groomed and club members are requesting that all ATV operators be sure the trails they are traveling on are open to ATV traffic. A days work grooming can be wasted if the trails are traveled on before the freeze up.

Douglas County - Deer activity is on the increase with increased scrapes in the area and the bucks are starting to chase the does. Duck numbers have picked up as the northern flights work their way through the area. Grouse hunters have not being seeing many grouse during their hunting activities.

Iron County - Grouse hunters are finding birds in heavy cover areas with water. Some nice numbers of woodcock were being shot also. Hunters are reminded to check the woodcock regulations and be HIP certified. Duck hunting is slow as the puddle ducks have moved south. Small groups of geese are still in the area. Flocks of divers were being seen on Lake Superior. Deer hunting has picked up with the cooler weather, and as the rut getting closer. Lake Superior anglers were doing well on lake trout by fishing in about 100 feet of water. Nice catches of trout are still being taken at area trout lakes. Families can purchase a Christmas tree permit from the Iron County Forestry Dept., for one dollar; now is a good time to locate a holiday tree, before the winter snows come. Mark your tree with a little pink ribbon and then come back in December to harvest it. Locating your tree with your family is a great way to spend a day out in the field with your kids. Deer hunters can sight their rifles in at the Snake Track Range located in Iron belt and also at the rifle range located south of Mercer on Hwy 51. Both ranges are open from morning until dark 7 days a week. Area DNR foresters are reporting black flies coming out for several hours during the day due to the warm weather -- just enough to brother people during the warmest part of the day. Dog owners are reminded to check their dogs for deer ticks as they are still out in numbers depending on the area that you are hunting in. Any hunters using tree stands are reminded to use their safety vest while hunting and as they put up their stands for the deer gun season.

Hayward DNR Service Center area
Sawyer County - The few die hard anglers out have been catching walleye. They can’t complain about the weather this fall as it has been treating them well. Not too cold and wet as of yet. The Chippewa Flowage is producing fish. A good number of them are coming off the deeper wooded areas in around 18 feet of water. Smaller walleye suckers and larger fathead minnows seem to be producing the best results. Those fishing with the fatheads are picking up an occasional crappie and perch as well. The grouse hunters are still finding some pockets of grouse, but they are dwindling. Hunters walking for several hours are only flushing a few grouse. If hunting areas that have been hit hard already, these birds are flushing far ahead of the hunters. The hunters willing to go the “extra mile” and hit areas way back or hard to get to appear to be having a little more success. Most are still seeing more woodcock than grouse, especially when hitting the low land areas and alder swamps. Hunters are reminded that woodcock season closes Nov. 7 this year.

Spooner DNR Service Center area
Polk County - Several musky anglers that have been fishing Bone and Deer lakes reported they have started catching more muskies as the lake turn over approaches. Anglers are having a lot of success with large spinners like double cow girls on the weed lines. They have also been catching some large muskies while dragging a sucker behind the boat. Several of the fish that are being caught are following the spinners in and hitting the sucker behind the boat. Motor trolling is allowed on all Polk County lakes.

Washburn County - Deer are very active, moving day and night. Lots of diver ducks were in the area for a few days but they have now moved on. Anglers report crappies and bluegills have been biting well.

Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - Variable weather conditions have made for some erratic fishing success on lakes in the Northwoods in the last week. Water temperatures continue to hold in the low 50s to upper 40s, and along with the variable weather, fewer and fewer anglers have been venturing out. Musky continue to be the main species of interest and have been providing some fairly consistent action. Nearly all of the anglers have been dragging large suckers around, with just a few of the musky anglers continuing to cast artificial bait. The sucker anglers have been having good success with a quite a few of 'hit and drops' and a fair number of catches being made. Most of the musky caught have been in the 34- to 42-inch size, but a few in the mid to upper 40s have also been reported. Action on artificials seems to have been especially slow, as the colder water temperatures have made the fish more reluctant to hit any fast-moving baits. The slower moving lures such as jerk baits and bulldawgs have gotten a little action. Walleye fishing has been especially erratic -- with some days providing fair action on small and medium-size walleye and other days finding bites very hard to come by. Large fatheads or small suckers have been the best bait, whether fished below a slip bobber, on a jig or a bare hook dragged along the bottom. Cloudy days have produced some catches all day long, but on sunny days, look for the fish to bite in the hour right before dark. Bass fishing can basically be considered done for the open-water season.

Price County - Deer activity in the Park Falls area has been picking up with the approach of the rut. Mostly small bucks have been seen so far this fall. There have been some reports of conflicts between grouse hunters and archery hunters on crowded public lands in the past week so be sure and use some common courtesy while enjoying the outdoors and give fellow hunters a little elbow room. Musky anglers have been enjoying the pleasant fall weather we've been having with reported success on Butternut Lake and the Flambeau River flowages. Trolling suckers has been very effective.

Taylor County - Deer are beginning their annual mating season and archery pressure is increasing with deer movement. Some nice deer were being harvested and archery hunters were seeing good deer numbers for the most part. Turkey broods are grouping into their winter flocks and frequenting the harvested fields in the county. Turkey hunting pressure seems minimal and hunters are reminded of the new call in registration process.

Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Oneida County - Deer have become quite active with bucks beginning to follow does and begin moving during daylight hours. Fishing has been good with crappie, walleye, and musky anglers all having some success. Waterfowl hunting has been a bit slow with many hunters seeing a lack of ducks but some northern ducks have been moving down for late season waterfowl hunters. Swans are migrating south and have been observed on small ponds in Oneida County. Trappers are reporting good success with a few fisher being harvested as well as some coyotes.

Vilas County - Last week the area had its first measurable snowfall with snow sticking to the grassy surfaces. The snow only lasted the day but the moisture is always welcomed in the area as lakes are still recovering from a decade of drought conditions. Weather is predicted to be in the upper 40s to low 50s this week so make sure to get out and enjoy the nice weather in the north woods before winter socks us in. Water temperatures have fallen into the low 40s throughout the area and a number of lakes in the area have experienced more turnover with the drop in temperatures the last few weeks. With the weather turning colder especially at night, extra clothes are needed for those days on the water. Muskie and walleye are starting to become more aggressive with all lake types reporting good action and anglers having good success. Most musky anglers are having some success using suckers and the walleyes are biting on jigs and minnows in remaining weeds. A few perch are also being taken. Grouse hunters are finding birds scattered and putting on miles in search of them. Archery hunters are reporting some fresh scrapes and rubs and bucks are starting to chase does. The Tamaracks are past peak now and it will not be long until snow covers the ground for good. Hunters are encouraged to start sighting in those deer rifles as opening day is less than three weeks away. Hunters are always encouraged to report any violations to their local Conservation Warden that they may find as they are traversing the landscape in search of that perfect spot to harvest that “Big Buck”. Wood ducks and woodcock are still as far north as Florence County, very unusual this late in the year and a testament to how mild the fall has been.


Sturgeon

More than 5,000 sturgeon fry were stocked into the Turtle Flabeau Flowage this week.
WDNR Photo Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area - The colder weather and recent rains have quieted recreational activity on the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage; however, those willing to battle the elements are enjoying some of the best hunting and fishing of the season. White-tailed deer activity continues to increase as the breading season draws near. Anglers pursuing walleye and musky continue to experience better-than-average success while increased feeding activity persists as the fish put on weight for the upcoming coldwater period. With the added precipitation, water levels on the Flowage have remained fairly constant over the past couple weeks at 1569.0 feet, 3.0 feet below full pool. Sturgeon raised at the DNR Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery were stocked Oct. 26 in the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. There were 5,114 sturgeon stocked that day. The eggs came from adults in the Turtle Flambeau River below the dam that forms the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. DNR crews also will be stocking sturgeon in the Menominee River, the Wisconsin River, and the Upper St. Croix River.

Antigo DNR Service Center area
Langlade County – A bull moose was reportedly shot in northeastern Langlade County. A person reported observing a group of hunters pulling a bull moose out of the woods. A Langlade County Deputy arrived on the scene first and determined that the animal the caller had observed was a shoulder mount of a bull moose that the taxidermist was taking photos of. Although this is an amusing story people should realize that moose are consistently observed in Oneida, Langlade and Vilas counties with sightings called into the Rhinelander DNR Office as recently as October of this year. Hunters heading up for the gun deer season are reminded to be aware of their target and what's beyond. There have also been reports of young bear raiding bait piles and recently two bear were caught in coyote traps. These younger bear are typically the last bears to den up due to competition for food such as acorns. Bear are also routinely observed during the gun deer season in Northern Wisconsin.

Lincoln County - Deer pre-rut activity has been increasing, which also brings on an increase in car-deer collisions as the deer become more active and less aware of their surroundings. Fall fishing for walleye on the Wisconsin River has been steady. Bird hunters have reported quite a few woodcock; however, that will change with the coming of freezing temperatures.

Council Grounds State Park - Canada geese, and various species of ducks have been congregating on the Wisconsin River. Turkeys are frequently spotted around the park as well as white-tailed deer. Some trails remain closed due to the tornado. Please ask at the park which trails are closed. The campground closed Monday, Oct. 31. The dump station as well as the flush toilet buildings, and water fountains are off for the season. The docks have been removed from the boat landing for the season.


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Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Lake Michigan water temperatures at the landings are in the mid to upper 40s with fishing pressure heavy in places due to some fine catches of perch.

Marinette County - Panfish are being caught at the dam in Peshtigo using live bait and bobbers or dead drifting from the Silver Bridge to the dam. Casting spoons and stick baits have been producing some trout, salmon, and pike. Little River has still been producing a few king salmon on spawn fished on bottom. The Menominee River has a good population of browns, steelhead, and walleye. DNR fish surveys showed healthy populations of brown trout using the river during their fall spawning run. A big push of woodcock came through over the weekend; a few stragglers were still being found both in upland brush and alder thickets. Local waterfowl have flown south and the northern ducks have not come down form Canada in large numbers yet. Rutting activity seems a bit slow to get started but is beginning with bucks following does around the woods.

Oconto County - Bluegill and crappie are still the main attraction at the Stiles Dam. Slip bobbers and leaf worms or minnows are working best. Some salmon and browns are also being caught from the mouth of the Oconto River up to the dam. Look for rock and gravel areas suitable for spawning. Anglers are using spoons, stick baits, and drifting crawlers. Perch and bluegill were also biting in the Pensaukee River; drifting live bait has been producing some nice fish. Anglers at the Oconto Breakwater Park, the Municipal Landing, and Oconto Park II were enjoying some nice catches of perch on minnows fished in a variety of ways. Bring along some crawlers for a change of pace. The occasional trout was also being caught

Shawano County - Lots of waterfowl can be seen on local waters especially Shawano Lake. Waterfowl hunters are having some success on wood ducks and geese. Archers are in full swing with the rut starting. Everything else takes a back seat. A few pheasant hunters are still out there but most everyone is after the big buck.

Peshtigo River State Forest - Boat Landing 8 in the state forest has had some upgrades recently. Two new docks were installed for the summer and after this weekend one is no longer there. We are sad to report that major pieces were stolen. On a happier note, the deer are starting to move so we are welcoming hunters and wanting all drivers to be on the lookout. There are still a few geese lingering in the area before moving south. Bring a hat and rain jacket, the weather is cooling down and there is a lot of moisture in the air.

Green Bay DNR Service Center area
Brown County - Fox River musky fishing has been slow during the past week. Most anglers have been trolling crank baits in the lower bay or Fox River. Walleye fishing has been good with numbers of fish being caught up by the dam. Anglers have been casting crank baits at night or jigging the river channel during the day for best results. Perch fishing was very good the last week off Bayshore Park with anglers catching limits. Anglers have had the best success with a minnow for bait; most anglers have been rigging them on the standard bottom rig. Anglers are reporting catching good numbers of whitefish as well. Low light conditions have been the best time to target them. Lots of bluebills have been seen on the lower Bay of Green Bay, with successful hunters timing the rainy weather. There were reports of redheads, bufflehead, goldeneye and a few canvasbacks also being harvested. Most activity is out of Oconto, Pensaukee, Suamico, Metro Landing, and Bayshore Landing. Please use good common sense as high winds bring dangerous conditions. Please use proper equipment (PFDs, correct size boat, etc.) and let someone know where you are and when you will return.

Manitowoc County - Temperatures dropped this week to the upper 40s, with wind chills around 40 degrees. West winds last week switched northerly at 10-15 mph up to Friday when the winds westerly at 5-10. Sunday, winds switched again to the southeast at 15-25 mph with gusts to 35 mph. Both Tuesday and Sunday brought steady rain and thunderstorms. Water clarity remains good, but water levels remain very low in the tributaries. Tributary water temperatures ranged from 43-45 degrees over the weekend. Both angler activity and success decreased significantly this week. Only two to three trout have been caught per day in the Manitowoc harbor/marina, a sharp decline from previous weeks. The rainbows have ranged from 15-27 inches long weighing 2-7 pounds. The brown trout have been a wider range of sizes, moving in schools along the rocks in the marina and by the piers. Anglers have had luck floating chinook salmon spawn or fishing on bottom. An occasional rainbow has also been landed using night crawlers. Activity near the dams on the tributaries has slowed down this week, with only a few scattered chinook salmon being landed and in good enough shape to keep. Fly anglers have been having little success with trout near the dams, with only a few brown and rainbow trout seen or caught thus far. The rain on Sunday will help and the trout fishing will only get better into November. Along with the trout, a few coho started showing up this week near the Mishicot and Shoto dams. Anglers had luck using any orange jigs or spinners for both trout and coho. The piers and boat ramps in Manitowoc and Two Rivers showed little activity this week. Open water waterfowl hunting is picking up on Lake Michigan out of Two Rivers. Larger numbers of diver ducks are beginning to pass through the area and hunters are having good success. Lake Michigan access points for Manitowoc County include the Hika Bay boat landing in Cleveland, Veteran's Park and Seagull Marina in Two Rivers, and the Two Creek's boat launch.

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Door County - Northern pike have been caught in good numbers in Sawyer Harbor. Most anglers have been casting large stick baits or spoons for best results. Perch anglers are still trying their luck this week as well. Most perch anglers have been targeting fish in 5 to 10 feet of water. Most anglers were finding it slow but fish were being caught if one was willing to work at it and spend some time on the water. A few perch were being caught at Little Sturgeon Bay on minnows in 10 feet of water or less. A few musky anglers ventured out this week, all however reported fishing being on the slow side with only a few follows during a full day on the water. Walleye fishing has been spotty with most anglers trolling around Larson’s Reef at night with some success. Perch fishing has been good for most of the week out of Chaudoir’s Dock with anglers catching good numbers of fish in 20 feet of water. Most perch being caught have been of respectable size.

Potawatomi State Park - The strong winds this fall have blown away many of the fall colors, but new views of the park's terrain emerge as the leaves fall. Launch piers will remain in the water at Sawyer Harbor until Nov. 14. The park will be open to gun deer hunting Nov. 19-27. The Door Drifters Snowmobile Club is beginning to sign the park's snowmobile trail route in anticipation of the winter season. The well at the campground shelter remains open year-round. Campsites are available year-round, with four sites plowed out for winter campers. Water is turned off at the shower building, fish cleaning station, and dump station until next spring.

Kewaunee County - Unsettled weather continued throughout the week. Wind or rain dominated the week, but Friday was a picture perfect day. At Algoma, there were low water levels in the river and few anglers. Higher water levels on the Kewaunee River seemed to have come a little late as the number of anglers wane. Some decent catches were recorded at Bruemmer Park especially in the morning hours. Successful anglers were using imitation spawn or yarn lures.

Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Marguett County - Archery deer hunters are reporting that the bucks are starting rut and becoming more active. Turkey hunters are having very good success harvesting birds. The waterfowl migration is slow with very few new ducks moving through the area. The southern part of the county continues to have a good number of geese utilizing the picked cornfields. Fishing activity has been slow.

Waupaca County - Walleyes are starting to bit on the Wolf River in the New London area again. Bucks are chasing the does. Many deer are seen moving about any time of the day now and wind up dead on the highway. Their coats are so dark they are difficult to see in the woods and in the dry fields. Tunnel vision drivers run a huge risk of hitting them, as they have no caution this time of the year. Archery hunters are reporting some rut activity. The does are not yet receptive but the bucks are starting to move more. Trappers have been out in full force since the opening of water trapping last week. Most are reporting god success. This is a good time of the year to observe migrating hawks exhibiting kettling behavior, especially on warmer days.

Waushara County - Most leaves have fallen with the exception of the oaks so visibility in the wooded areas is much better than early in the season. Oaks are just past peak color. Buck activity is picking up…scrapes, rubs, buck/vehicle encounters. Archers are finding that buck deer are getting active chasing does for the last week. Bucks are moving all hours of the day and night. This will bring heavy archery hunting pressure as the full rut is just days away. Bow hunters registrations are increasing. Corn harvest has been increasing making deer and turkeys more visible. Skunk activity has picked up prior to denning.

Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
Calumet County - Deer activity has increased in recent days and motorists should be aware that deer will be moving at all hours of the day and night. Archery hunters are taking full advantage of this increased movement and are spending longer days sitting in tree stands and ground blinds. Recent cold fronts have pushed geese and ducks south as the annual migration continues throughout the state. Most Lake Winnebago perch anglers have now winterized their boats and are waiting for the hard water ice fishing season. Most trees have dropped their leaves already making for a noisy walk through the woods. With the water set trapping season opening this past weekend, many trappers are now pursuing muskrats along creeks and rivers in the area.

High Cliff State Park - The October 29 Fall Open House was a huge success. More than 1,100 vehicles entered the park to take part. The Sherwood Lions Club and Friends of High Cliff sponsored the event that included kid's pumpkin carving and costume Contests, free wagon rides until dusk and ended with a torch-lit trail hike. All trails are open. Hunting is open for deer hunting by special permit only during the traditional nine-day deer gun season (Nov. 19-27). No other hunting is allowed in the park. All deer hunters are required to wear blaze orange at High Cliff State Park during the gun deer hunting season. Other park users are strongly encouraged to wear blaze orange or bright colored clothing as well.


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Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Havenwoods State Forest - While most of the vibrant color is gone, there are still leaves hanging on the trees--elms, maples, cottonwoods, and, of course, the oaks! Regular birdwatchers would prefer the leaves to have all fallen so they can enjoy the fall migration. Visitors have reported hawks overhead, and the bird feeders at the nature center are busy with finches, sparrows, chickadees, and woodpeckers. When you visit, head up to the north end of the property and check out the salmon in Lincoln Creek! If you have young kids in your group, stop by the nature center and take Smokey for a hike. For more information, give us a call or visit www.friendsofhavenwoods.org/Take_Smokey_Hikiing.htm.

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - Nearly all the fall colors are gone, but wildlife have been very active. Canada geese, robins, and other birds are gathering up for migration, and juncos are arriving to spend the winter. Deer are moving around a bit more as the bucks are approaching rut, and small mammals have been busy foraging and caching food in preparation for colder weather. The leaf drop has also made it possible to get the most panoramic views from our scenic overlooks, and easier to see our famous kames, kettles, and eskers that dot the landscape. Hikers, bikers, and equestrians are encouraged to wear bright colors during this busy fall season. About 95 percent of the state forest is open to public hunting during established open seasons. Firearms are not allowed in the Mauthe Lake and Long Lake Recreation Areas or the Greenbush Group Camp. The Zillmer Trail allows firearms during the spring turkey and fall deer gun seasons only. Mauthe Lake Campground and Backpack Shelters 1-5 will remain open through winter. The Mauthe Lake campground showers and flush toilets have been shut down for the season, but drinking water will remain available behind the entrance station. Long Lake Campground and New Prospect Horse Camp are closed for the season. Greenbush Group Camp will close Nov. 28.

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit - The trees in the Southern Unit are now past peak for the second time this fall. There are a few stand outs lingering, but overall we have very little color left. Pheasant hunters continue to show up in large numbers, especially on the weekends. Please be sure to stop by the Forest Headquarters for a map of the hen/rooster hunting areas within the Forest. Excitement for the upcoming gun deer season is growing. We are receiving more calls and visits looking for hunting maps. A map of the huntable areas of the Southern Unit can be found at: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/kms/huntfish.html The Ottawa Lake Campground is open year round. If the weather is good, we still expect a fair number of campers coming in for the electric sites on the weekends.

Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan shore anglers have reported a few brown trout caught of the lake side of the piers, and chinook have been caught on spawn near the Deland boat launch. A few brown trout have also been caught on gold spoons near the Edgewater Power Plant. On the Sheboygan River the water level remains low, and fishing pressure has been generally light. Most anglers have had moderate success with spoons and flies for trout and salmon. Chinook, coho, brown trout, and rainbow trout have all been reported.

Ozaukee County - In Port Washington, shore fishing pressure has been light, and success has slowed a bit. Spawn remains the most productive bait, and most anglers have been catching chinook and some whitefish. The water temperature near the power plant has been around 48 degrees. Flows in Sauk Creek remain low, and the water temperature is 44 degrees. Flies and spawn have both produced chinook and coho.

Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee, shore anglers continue to catch salmon on spawn in the slip near the Milwaukee Yacht Club, and brown trout have now been reported near the McKinley launch. Water levels are low on all Milwaukee area tributaries. In the Milwaukee River, fly anglers have been catching decent numbers of salmon in Kletzsch Park and in the vicinity of Capitol Drive. Egg sucking leeches have produced. Good numbers of fish can still be found in the Menomonee River near Miller Park. In Oak Creek some mature salmon are present in the deeper holes below the dam. Trollers working near the harbor have been catching mature chinook on J-plugs. When trollers can get offshore from Milwaukee, immature chinook, coho, and rainbows have been taken on flashers and flies fished about 20 to 40 feet down in 120 to 160 feet of water.

Racine County - In Racine, water levels on the Root River remain low. Numbers of brown trout in the river have started to increase in downstream areas, while the chinook are starting to taper off. Decent numbers of coho have been caught, with most taken on flies. The majority of fishing pressure has been in Lincoln Park, but a few anglers have also been successful near the Horlick dam. Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, October 31. So far this season DNR crews passed upstream 1,673 chinook, 662 coho, 25 brown trout, and 1 rainbow trout. A total of 427 coho have been spawned. Fish will be processed again on Thursday, November 3 and Monday, November 7.

Kenosha County - Shore fishing in Kenosha has been generally slow, but occasional coho and browns have been taken in the harbor and off the south pier. Most fish were caught on spawn. Flows on the Pike River are low, and fishing remains slow.

Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - Water levels on impoundments within the marsh are at normal full pool levels, and duck and goose hunting success has been mixed. Other rivers, lakes and ponds in the area remain somewhat low. Hunters are still hoping for a major weather front to push more migrant ducks and geese into the area. Rutting deer are becoming very active and many deer/vehicle accidents are being reported. Hunters are reminded that the Theresa Marsh refuge areas remain closed until Dec. 1, except for gun deer hunting. Several flocks of flying migrating tundra swans have been seen. County Highway D west of Hwy 41 remains closed for the Rock River bridge replacement project.

Sturtevant DNR Service Center area
Kenosha and Racine counties - Cooler temperatures have archery hunters hitting the woods, eager to see deer with rutting activity increasing. Many corn fields have been harvested in Kenosha and Racine counties in the past week, presenting more deer shining opportunities. Although duck hunters have been seeing more divers migrating south, quantity of ducks has been lacking. Consistently cooler temperatures in the next few weeks should help push more ducks south. Salmon anglers are still seeing good numbers of fish in Racine and Kenosha counties, with anglers on the Root River in Racine reporting the best luck. While the peak of the fish run has come and gone, anglers still have some time left to get out and enjoy the annual salmon migration.

Walworth County - Hunters are reporting increased deer movement. According to hunters deer are aggressively responding to grunt, and bleat calls. Many of the local farmers have there crops harvested making fields more accessible to the deer and to hunters. Waterfowl in the area is still sparse. With the colder temps and more feed available waterfowl numbers should increase. Of all waterfowl geese numbers are holding steady.


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Dodgeville DNR Service Center area
Grant County - Anglers at the mouth of the Wisconsin River reported that they are catching and releasing small sauger, 8 to 9 inches in length, but no walleyes. So far most anglers have reported the walleyes remain elusive. Small sauger were also being caught off the Eagle Point fishing barge below Lock and Dam 11 near Dubuque. Bluegills were biting on the backwaters of the Mississippi River near Wyalusing State park, with many hand sized or larger being caught. Waterfowl hunters report seeing a few divers beginning to migrate into the area -- bufflehead, bluebills (scaup), ringneck and canvasbacks. Hunting was limited to a few mallards, wood ducks and gadwall. A large concentration of coot have been rafting directly above the Lock and Dam 11 off Eagle Point Road, with several gadwall, canvasback and green winged teal in the mix. A dozen trumpeter swans have been feeding for the last several days near Potosi Point and are visible from river Lane about a quarter mile south of Highway 133. Archery hunters have noted that due to the extremely low water this fall, that many deer have been frequenting the Mississippi River bottoms. Waterfowl hunters have been seeing several larger bucks in the Bagley Bottoms area while duck hunting.

Green County - The rut is full on, with large deer (bucks and doe) being observed all over the county. The wood ducks are still hanging around, as are the geese. With limited rain fall the Sugar and Pecatonica Rivers are still low and the Badger and Sugar River trails are dry with a good base for walking or riding a bike.

Iowa County - Trappers are finding large raccoons starting to get fully prime. The buck activity is still steady as they are searching for the first receptive does. Fishing activity continues to be good on all area waters.

Lafayette County - Water levels are extremely low on the East Branch of the Pecatonica River between Browntown and Woodford, making travel with a motor boat challenging. Water temps were around 45 degrees at the surface. Small groups of blue wing teal and wood ducks were observed on the river in this area. Over the past week, there were two incidents of bobcat mortality in the county. People are asked to report rare mammal observations at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/forms/rare_mammal.asp or call your local DNR office.

Wyalusing State Park - Mississippi River stage at Prairie du Chien was 7.6 feet Nov. 3, no change from yesterday. Anglers are still successful, with nice catches of blue gills being reported. The park received substantial rainfall Nov. 2, so trails may be slippery due to the wet leaves on the ground. Even though it is weeks past peak leaf color and many trees are bare, the bluffs are still beautiful with various shades of rust, mauve, maroon, amber, yellow and brown highlighting the oaks and aspens offering late season leaf lookers an opportunity for fall color. Bird and squirrel nests, previously hidden by full leaf coverage, are now clearly visible in the bare trees. Amazing river views can now be seen due to lack of vegetation. The leaves of the tamaracks, standing as tall sentinels at the entrance to the park, are now turning to yellow. Soon the branches will be bare. Bird sightings in the park include: bluejays, cardinals, goldfinches, mourning doves, Northern flickers. bluebirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, red-headed woodpeckers, pileated woodpeckers, tufted titmice, wild turkeys, pheasants, various hawks, bald eagles. The large number of oak trees in the Wisconsin Ridge Campground makes it a great place to find red-headed woodpeckers this time of year. Flocks of robins and bluebirds have been congregating in preparation of their trip to warmer winter climates. I believe many of the turkey vultures have left the area for warmer climates. The howling of coyotes is a familiar sound in the Homestead Campground. Raccoons are frequent visitors to campsites in the Wisconsin Ridge Campground. Campers are reminded not to feed raccoons, and to take their garbage and recycling to the dumpsters each day. Food should be kept in the vehicle. The Wisconsin Ridge and the Outdoor Group Campgrounds are both open for camping on a first come, first served basis. Camping and visitation have dropped off even more this week with 3 campers per night during the week. Wyalusing still had 40 campers on both Friday and Saturday nights of last weekend, Oct. 28-29. The Outdoor Group Campground will remain open until the first snowfall. The water at the dumping station has been shut off. The shower/flush toilet building in the Wisconsin Ridge will remain open for this weekend due to the still warm temperatures. The drinking fountain located near the shower flush building is still on as well as the winterized faucet. All remaining water fountains throughout the campgrounds and park are closed for the season. The park will be open for deer hunting Nov. 19-27. Only holders of a 2011 Park Access Permit for deer hunting in Wyalusing State Park (Deer Management Unit 73A) may deer hunt in the park.

Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Canada goose numbers remain at 50,000, but are expected to increase as the weather gets colder. At peak, geese numbers will be around 200,000; they use the marsh as a stopover on migration. Duck numbers are down slightly to 60,000. Visitors are seeing high numbers of mallards, green-winged teal, gadwall, and shovelers. Diving ducks such as ruddy ducks, ring-neck ducks and bufflehead are on the increase. Trumpeter swans can be seen from Highway 49. Also, there have been several sightings of horned grebes. Tundra swans are starting to show up in the Horicon Marsh.

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County - Large numbers of Canada geese have been noted moving through the county, along with large flocks of sandhill cranes. The woodcock migration is also in full swing. Deer movements are on the rise, with an increase in car collisions. Very large numbers of gulls have recently been spotted on the Wisconsin River near the Prairie du Sac dam.

Dane County - Game fishing on lakes Monona and Mendota has still been steady with some decent catches walleyes coming from both lakes. Musky anglers have been hitting Lake Monona pretty hard with decent success. Some really nice size fish have been caught and they appear to be putting on some decent weight for the winter. Pheasant hunters report some success on the public hunting grounds where pheasants have been stocked regularly. Still have not observed the main migration of ducks and geese but it is expected that this could start any day now. Deer movement seems to be in full swing and the prime of the rut is about a week away. As crops are beginning to come down, shining activity has begun to increase. People need to remember that shining hour are closed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. between Sept. 15-Dec. 31. Now that trapping season is in full swing many trappers are out and about. Most fur still has not reached its full prime but it is improving. Also trappers should be reminded that most trapping incidents happen close to the road and trappers are encouraged to get as far off the road as possible.

Devil's Lake State Park - The oak trees have put a final bit of colors on the bluffs. The brownish- orange, red, and yellow colors really stood out amongst the green of the pine trees. There are a few turkey vultures still being seen around the north shore of the park. Larger flocks of dark-eyed juncos can be seen throughout the park. Other animal activity has slowed down some, although an occasional deer sighting is not out of the questions. Visitors can still see tufted titmice, white-breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, goldfinches, purple finches, and black-capped chickadees on the feeders at the nature center. Some waterfowl, such as coots, and ring-billed gulls can be found on the lake. You may even be luck to see the bald eagle that frequents the south end of the lake.

Lake Kegonsa State Park -The campground, dump station and shower building are closed for the season. All fishing piers and one boat landing pier have been removed for the season. The last boat landing pier will be removed in late November unless lake icing conditions require us to remove it earlier.


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St. Croix County - Fisher are on the move. One was caught on a trail cam last week in Erin Prairie township. Also last week, a large male was killed on a county road near Glen Hills Park in the northeastern portion of the county.

Baldwin DNR Service Center area
Interstate Park - Most leaves are down except for the oaks which provide a colorful contrast to the pines. Deer are active in the park and more visible with leaves down. Migrating waterfowl, raptors and songbirds are easily viewed from Eagle Peak and Horizon Rock. All hiking trails are open and in good condition. All flush toilet facilities and the shower building are closed for the season. Vault toilets are available in the campgrounds and picnic areas. Water is available near the old park office building and in the Pines Group Camp. Road construction continues on US Hwy 8 east of St. Croix Falls; expect delays and single-lane traffic. All park roads are open.

Willow River State Park - Eastern bluebirds are still moving through. Robins are here year round. They were reported here back in 1998 during the annual bird count in December. With leaves down on trails, trail users need to be aware of hazards hidden by leaves, especially if running is involved. The leaves alone can be slippery. In some cases, the mower has been down the trail and the center has been blown clear of leaves, such as the Oak Ridge trail. Most of the ski trail signs are up. A few more will go up once snow arrives. Now is the time to get on the roller skis. The 100 and 200 campgrounds have two year old asphalt and no vehicle traffic since gates are closed. There are some hills so its not just a flat course. Park at the 200 campground and you can ski to both. It’s a little rough between the two on the park road. Park on the gravel lot at the pines near the office for closer access to the 100 loop. The Trout Brook trail is slated for a few small jobs: repair the encroaching washout and some gravel at the entry and near the bridge. The Yellow trail is slated for a culvert installation to prevent washouts on the hill down to the 300 campground. The timetable on these is uncertain and there may be short term closures while the work is in progress. Saturday morning there will be a volunteer brushing crew working on the Trout Brook trail. There will probably be some chain saw noise. Last weekend there was a total of 24 hours of brushing work on various trails. Selected undeveloped areas of the park will be open for the coming 9 day deer hunting gun season Nov. 19-27. Archery hunters may hunt from Nov. 19 until Jan. 8. Some deer hunters will get to see a bald eagle nest that is not visible from the road. The new parking areas on Nelson Farm Road and River Road will have self-registration stations ready soon. Visitors to the park during gun hunting season should wear bright clothing. Peak hunting activity occurs at the low light times of the day. Maps showing open hunting areas will be posted at all trail heads that are near those open areas. Snowplowing stakes are in. Do not drive over these since damage to the vehicle is likely.

Kinnickinnic State Park - With leaves down on trails, trail users need to be aware of hazards hidden by leaves, especially if running is involved. The leaves alone can be slippery. Most of the coming weekend activity centers around a dog trial. Dogs of various breeds are tested for their ability to follow a scent track. This takes place in the prairie areas and does not conflict with other trail users. All the dogs are leashed at all times. Each dog and handler team has its own course to follow. They are scored as pass or failed by a team of judges. The dogs are just household pets. The entire park will be open for the coming 9 day deer gun hunting season starting Nov. 19 through 27. Archery hunters may hunt from November 19th until January 08, 2012. Visitors to the park during gun hunting season should wear bright clothing. Peak hunting activity occurs at the low light times of the day.

La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Fall wild turkey hunters have been reporting fair hunting success in the Coulee Region. While not exactly over-abundant, there is no shortage of birds to hunt. Turkey hunters should be aware that, in general, the acorn crop is smaller than that of the past several years. Therefore, wild turkeys may be spending less time feeding in the woods, as there are fewer acorns available for them. On the other hand, if a turkey hunter can locate an oak grove that is more productive than average, it may improve the odds of encountering and bagging a wild turkey.

Wildcat Mountain State Park - Some of the Oak trees still have leaves hanging. On a sunny day the russets and red colors of the oaks stand out and contrast with the white pine trees that are still green. The park has a new compass orienteering course developed by an Eagle Scout of troop 38 Onalaska. Orienteering was originally a training exercise in land navigation for Military Officers. The long course is 1.33 miles and the short course is 1.05 miles. Compasses may be checked out at the park office.

Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Some northern mallards and divers are in the area on the Wisconsin River flowages. Bucks are starting to rut as they are making a lot of scrapes now. Trees are in full color with leaves falling and will be off the trees in a couple weeks. Musky anglers are out heavily with good action on the Wisconsin River. There are good turkey numbers in Adams County. Baiting and feeding is still not legal in Adams County, please report all bait/feed piles to the hotline. Plenty of geese area also being seen in Adams County. A Juneau County resident living north of Mauston captured a cougar on his trail camera. This photo was the first ever taken of a cougar in Juneau County. A farmer in the Camp Douglas area of Juneau County had three calves killed by wolves during the month of October. This mortality was confirmed by wildlife services staff.

Black River State Forest - The state forest will be seeking a variance to the master plan to allow the creation of a short snowshoe trail loop within the Overmeyer Hills. The forest will be working with the Black River Forest Trail foundation to create the new trail if approved. ATV trails are closed and will re-open for winter use on Dec. 15 if the ground is sufficiently frozen. UTV's are not allowed on the trail during the winter time. The toilet/shower building at Castle Mound has been closed for the year. East Fork Campground will close for the season on Dec. 1.

Monroe County - Rutting activity is on the increase. In south central Wisconsin the pre-rut days are upon us. It will be prime rutting activity in about a week to a week and an half. Hunters are indicating that smaller bucks are beginning to chase some does. Hunters are beginning to harvest more and more bucks with numbers increasing as the rut continues towards peak. Waterfowl numbers seem about average for the time of the year. The geese are definitely grouped up in certain areas and hitting the recently picked corn fields. Duck numbers are increasing and can be expected to increase with each cold day to come. Pheasant hunters are having success throughout the weeks since the opener of the season. Raccoon trappers have indicated a decent number of raccoon being caught and many trappers have begun focusing on muskrats. One trapper indicated that fur prices may not be as high as previously thought due to the number of trappers setting traps.

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Chippewa County - Waterfowl hunters have enjoyed some great shooting opportunities in the Chippewa County Forest northeast of Bloomer. The Mallard Flowage northeast of Cornell has had some recent management activity to improve waterfowl habitat. Musky hunters have been seeing some action on Lake Wissota south of Highway X.

Eau Claire County - The sheriffs department is getting more reports of car-killed deer over the last couple weeks as deer start to move more. Bucks have been seen chasing does around the county over the last week. Drivers need to be especially careful in the evening and early morning hours, but deer are also moving in the middle of the day because of fields being harvested by farmers.

Chippewa Moraine Ice Age State Recreation Area - - Trails are in very good condition and with the cold temperatures and trees bare of their leaves; it’s a great time to hike and see those glacial landforms that we are so famous for. Canada geese have been flying southward and their honking encourages each other to fly harder. Snow buntings are passing through to warmer climates. A flock of snow buntings is called “a drift.” Downy and hairy woodpeckers are enjoying the fare at the feeders as are black-capped chickadees and colorful blue jays. It’s important to leave snags and old trees standing if they are in a safe location, as many birds utilize holes for their winter roost cavities. Downy woodpeckers will enter a nest box or roost cavity at dusk and then leave it immediately at dawn. In the kettle lakes and marsh areas, beavers have hopefully collected their winter supply of woody saplings and shrubs. It takes almost 1,000 of them to feed a family through the winter. Visitors hiking in late fall or snowshoeing in the winter near the many kettle lakes should look for gnawed off saplings and beaver lodges. They may see steam rising from their interior on very cold days. Deer hunting is allowed on the reserve so visitors hiking during those seasons should stop into the interpretive center and borrow an orange vest or jacket. Some folks have been braving the wind and cold in a boat hoping to catch that late season lunker.

Wausau DNR Service Center area
Marathon County - There has been a definite increase in white-tailed buck scrape activity and more bucks are being seen during daylight hours. Grouse numbers appear good with numerous flushes occurring on most walks through area woodlots. Tundra swans were seen flying south down the Wisconsin River on Nov. 3.

Rib Mountain State Park - Trails are in excellent condition for a hike. New trails in the quarry area near completion, with a few minor details remaining, the trails are marked. Updated trail maps are available on-line and at the park office. Lots of deer, woodchucks and even an occasional turkey can be seen.

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - This Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5-6 is the Buckhorn Novice Deer Hunt. We recommend park visitors to wear blaze orange in the park this weekend and to stop at the park office or talk to an intersection guard to get a map (there are some orange vests available to check out at the park office). Bow hunting on the Nov. 5 and 6 is only allowed in park area north of G and north of 31st St or in the Yellow River Wildlife Area. Small game and waterfowl on the 5th and 6th is only allowed in the Yellow River Wildlife Area.

Roche-A-Cri State Park - The main gate is closed and parking is available in the winter lot on Czech Ave, park stickers required to park there. Parking is not allowed in front of the park entrance gate. The stairway up the bluff is closed and reconstruction of the stairway is started and will be going on this fall. The stairway will remain closed during the construction. There will be a grand reopening in 2012.









Last Revised: Friday November 04 2011 http://dnr.wi.gov/news/or/index.htm
 
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