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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

June 1998

Readers Write

More Tales

I just read Dave Crehore's story, The digging out of Nip in the February 1998 issue. It was delightful. There must be some more stories to be told. Please! I'm only two years older than Dave and can identify with the time and setting of his story. Can we look forward to more?

Kathy Kohlman
Princeton, Wis.

Fear not. Mr. Crehore has crafted several pieces about family hunting and fishing trips and we intend to sprinkle them throughout future issues.

Weasel Mischief

I was happy to see the weasel get his due in February's You little weasel!

When my "woods truck" failed to start I pulled off the air cleaner and found a weasel's cache consisting of three meadow voles, a deer mouse, a star-nosed mole and a chicken bone!

On another occasion we actually had one get into the house. The circus of chasing it around finally came to an end about an hour later when I cornered it in the basement bathroom. When it jumped into a garbage can, I covered the opening with my fishing net, carried it outside and let the weasel go. I find them truly delightful little creatures.

Michael J. Ecker

Welcome Visit

On our recent visit to Parfrey's Glen (featured on the back of the February 1998 issue) we struck up a conversation with a young couple and their two children. We commented that they must have been reading the same magazine we had and that's what brought them to this spot. We were delighted to find out we were talking to the author and photographer of that piece! Thomas Meyer assured us your magazine would be featuring more of the little-known natural wonders in State Natural Areas, and we're writing to say "We sure hope so." Thanks for letting us know about Parfrey's Glen. It was wonderful.

Tom and Jean Zaremba

Event Roasted

Announcing the "World's Longest Weenie Roast" on Lake Namekagon (February 1998 Wisconsin Traveler) is surely inconsistent with water quality objectives discussed by the DNR Water Division earlier in the issue.

How can the ash from a 1,000-foot fire trench and attendant litter from participants help but contribute excessive polluting materials entering the lake after ice-out?

Art Oehmcke

Event organizers contacted the Department of Natural Resources to procure permits. The sponsors had to make plans to collect all litter and also repair any damage to the ice so the fire would not leave bumps or trenches that would impede foot, car or snowmobile traffic. The event has not run afoul of environmental regulations in its first two years.

Originally wood fires were set in a narrow trench and the ashes were later collected with an end loader and disposed of. Last year, they burned charcoal on a long strip of aluminum foil. This year, they were constructing a 10-inch curved trough that would have been suspended above the ice to hold charcoal. We say would have because the weenie roast was not held – ice conditions were not deemed safe enough to support a big party of snowmobiles and people.

We mention the item for two reasons: First, please call the events we highlight before you attend because conditions can change after we go to press. Second, one can't assume that it's okay to host large events on public properties. Check to determine what permits and guarantees must be met and what liabilities must be covered to host a public event in a public place.

To Call in Animal Complaints

A February letter writer was advised to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through a toll-free number to handle Canada goose problems in communities. The number listed in your response is not a USFWS number, but is one of two U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services numbers cooperatively funded by USDA and the Wisconsin DNR. This popular service provides the public with technical advice on resolving myriad wildlife-related problems. We receive more than 10,000 calls a year.

There are actually two numbers your readers should use. Those callers living south of an east-west line running through Wisconsin at Green Bay should call USDA's Waupun District office at 1-800-433-0688; callers living north of this line should contact USDA's Rhinelander District office at 1-800-228-1368. The telephone lines are staffed by wildlife specialists between 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

John R. Maestrelli
State Director
USDA Wildlife Services
Sun Prairie

Safe Boating

I liked how you explained boating laws and safety issues in the June 1997 issue (On the Water. I do a lot of boating with my kids on the Mississippi. I'd like to see a lot more stop checks conducted to keep the river. The Wisconsin DNR people do a very good job on the river, and I want to say thank you. I know how important the Mississippi is because I grew up along it and have stayed nearby.

Kenneth K. Huseman
Dubuque, Iowa

Class Pride

The February 1998 issue had tremendous impact at our school. The students were in shock over the beautiful pictures and summation West Allis Central High was given in the story The Earth Day Project. The article was a fine example of how environmental education is being applied in all walks of life. We are proud to have been a part of this tremendous program.

Laura Felda
West Allis

Bird Dog Fan

I was looking for grouse hunting articles on the Web and found your article The practical grouse hunter (October 1997). I agreed with most of it but I did find one thing to argue about – the importance of using a dog to locate birds. I agree dogs are very important to find downed birds, but they are equally important for flushing grouse. I hunted for years without a dog, but I'm now hunting with a good one. I know I've flushed many more birds with the dog than without him.

Matthew Bump
Owosso, Michigan