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Outdoor Report

Published September 15, 2016 by the Central Office

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View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).

For current statewide information on statewide fall color, log onto the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Fall Color Report (exit DNR).

As cooler temperatures spread across the state and a rainy Thursday evening looms in south central, Wisconsin's outdoors are turning toward fall. Bear hunting season is going strong and a number of seasons will open this weekend, including: archery, small game, goose, turkey and grouse season and this weekend is the youth waterfowl hunt.

Fall color is just beginning at the Brule River State Forest.
Fall color is just beginning at the Brule River State Forest.
Photo Credit: DNR

With the recent mild winter and a fairly lush summer, wildlife populations are in excellent shape. Throughout the state there have been groups of deer observed foraging in the fields both in the early mornings and late evenings. A buck with polished antlers was seen this week in Waupaca County. Many archers will be staking out some time and space next to a nice acorn producer, in order to get a great early start to the archery season. Ducks and geese are starting to migrate and will soon be filling the marshes.

Bull elks have begun bugling in the Flambeau River State Forest.

While fall weather will keep hunters cool in the woods, it is also already bringing out the bite in the Northwoods.

There have been numerous reports of strikes, follows and general musky success, along with smallmouth bass and largemouth, though the latter remain more elusive. The dropping temperatures are also slowly improving the walleye bite, with area rivers and flowages showing the most consistent success. Northern pike have also continued their active trend and panfish action has stayed consistent.

Anglers in the northern Lake Michigan counties are reporting improved success for perch and bluegill, as well as a slowed increase in walleye pressure and success. Intermittent and sporadic weather patterns over the past two weeks, in the Bay, seem to have dropped the bite for all but musky anglers, who continue to do well in the cooling waters. One other exception are those seeking walleye in Door County, were a strong and consistent evening/night bite has been reported. Smallmouth bass fishing has also continued to be very good and a good number of trophy sized fish have been reported throughout the Door County peninsula.

Anglers in the southern Lake Michigan counties are reported a more sporadic and difficult bite, with heavy rains in many counties dampening pressure and visibility over the weekend. Milwaukee anglers saw some early morning success for trout and salmon, but by and large, the bite from Sheboygan to Racine still has yet to bounce back from the rain.

Most humming birds that swarmed the feeders this summer have disappeared now from northern Wisconsin, headed off to their wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. The slow but steady southward raptor migration has begun. Numerous red-tailed hawks, broad-winged hawks, and kestrels are moving through the area on their way to wintering regions.

Monarch observations have increased over the last week as they nectar on early fall wildflowers like goldenrod and yellow coneflower. The forest floor is starting to fade and dim, with the ferns turning brown. Some early yellow and red fall color is appearing in ash and maple in lower wet areas and other areas.

Most area trails are in improving shape after the rains of last week and weekend. With lower amounts of mosquitos, whether you're hunting, biking, hiking or paddling, the coming weekend is looking to be a great one in Wisconsin's outdoors. And with a full moon, there is a full moon hike at the Pike Lake unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, a full moon paddle at Merrick State Park, a candlelight hike and stargazing evens at Richard Bong State Recreation Area and Harrington Beach State Park. For a complete list of events search the DNR website for keywords "Get Outdoors."

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Upcoming State Natural Area Workdays

Friday September 16, 9 a.m.-noon. The Friends of Cherokee Marsh http://Cherokeemarsh.org are continuing our project to stop the spread of phragmites (giant reed grass) that is threatening the populations of diverse native sedges, grasses, and flowers in the Cherokee Marsh State Natural Area. We need volunteers to help bundle, cut, and treat the stalks of phragmites. No experience needed; we will provide tools and supplies and train you on site. We will likely see fringed gentians and other special wetland plants in bloom.

Saturday September 17 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. The prairie is blooming, come care for Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area. Help Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund volunteers during our monthly workdays on the third Saturday and enjoy the beauty of this rich prairie in the process. Remove the invasive queen anne's lace threatening the prairie. We will remove them by pulling or bagging. Bring a bag lunch to eat afterwards. No skills needed you will be trained onsite

Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program page of the DNR website for details. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane

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Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest - Small game, archery, grouse, turkey and goose seasons open this weekend. Bear hunting season is in full swing. Be sure to visit dnr.wi.gov to find links to regulations and tips that pertain to the type of hunting you are planning to do this fall. A change of season is in the air. The humming birds that swarmed the feeders this summer have disappeared now - headed off to their wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. The leaves are just starting to show their fall colors, but the cool nights will soon bring an explosion of color. The upcoming weekend promises perfect weather for camping, hiking, fishing and hunting with warm and sunny days and cool moonlit nights. Get out and enjoy the opportunities our beautiful forests and rivers have to offer! - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - Cooler and more seasonal fall weather has prevailed across the Northwoods for the last week or so and this seems to have spurred on the fall fishing action. Musky fishing has continued to be very good on many waters across the north and fish have been getting most active during the mid-day hours after the water has warmed up a bit. Most anglers are seeing along of follows and shorts, though there has also been quite a few reports on musky boated. The most productive baits have been bucktails and glide baits, though some anglers have also begun to use suckers. Most of the musky have been found up in the weed beds that are starting to die back and some of the bigger fish have been seen along the deep weed edges. Most of the musky landed have been in the 34- to 40-inch size, though fish up to 48 inches have also been reported in the last week. Smallmouth bass action continues to be good on most of the local rivers and flowage. The smallies are still being found near woody cover along deeper water areas, with crank baits and finesse plastics being the most productive baits. Fishing for largemouth bass has become a little more consistent, and with the cooling water, more fish are changing to more of a fall pattern. This relates to fewer largemouth being found in the mid depth cover and more moving into the shallower weed beds that are starting to thin down. Soft plastics continue to provide the most consistent action, though jig/craw combinations have also been catching some ice fish. With the declining water temperatures, walleye fishing has continued its slow improvement. The best success has been found on the area rivers and flowages, with crawlers and leeches still being the favored baits. More and more anglers are switching to minnows for lake and flowage fishing, and they've reported some fair success on the deep break lines and along the deep weed edges. Northern pike have also continued their active trend, with stick lure and spinner baits producing some nice fish from along and over weed beds. Panfish action has stayed consistent - with some nice bluegill, crappie and perch being found around mid-depth cover. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls

Flambeau River State Forest - Lake water temperature for swimming is dropping so swimmers are enjoying every warm day that's left. Musky fishing on Connors Lake and Lake of the Pines has really picked up. The water levels are a bit higher than usual this time of year due to the precipitation we've received. People have been floating the river and enjoying the ride. Bass were the big bait biters on the North Fork of the Flambeau. The elk are still spread throughout the forest but the bulls and cows are getting together, making calves. The forest is singing with the bugling of the bull elk and the cows are responding. Two big bull elk have been the center of attention in the south east section of the Forest and they now have their harem of cows with them. Folks have been listening to their music. They have been very visible. Visitors are reporting plenty of grouse, turkeys and some woodcock. They are out on the road sides eating ferociously. The forest floor is fading, with the ferns turning brown and the ash leaves are down and yellow and reds are just hinting in the canopy. Goldenrod and ragweed flowers are dull and going to seed. Goldenrod is a good plant for the pollinators but ragweed is a problem for folks with allergies. Apples are falling and gardens are producing. Nights have been in the high 40s with no bugs. The weather forecast for this week looks like a possibility of rain on Friday but the weekend looks good and temperatures are going up next week. Connors Lake Campground is now closed for the season. - Diane Stowell, visitor services associate

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Oneida County - The bear hunters are having good success this year. The season is almost two weeks old and there have been many reports of successful harvests. The acorn crop is reported to be sporadic across the county which can impact bear hunting success. The bow season opener looks to be a good one with increased deer sightings around the area. The past weak winter should allow for increased nutrition for antler growth. Finding a good acorn producing tree can really make a difference in early bow season success, especially with a sporadic crop such as this year. The grouse numbers seem to be on par with last year coming off an average spring for broods. Reports of migrating woodcock are coming in around the county as well. The weather should be very nice and fall like this weekend, get out and enjoy. - Curt Rollman, associate wildlife biologist, Rhinelander

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - It's a mushroom hunter's paradise in the forest if you know what you are looking for. The wet summer has given the opportunity for many varieties of mushrooms to flourish. Ferns and understory are starting to turn brown, but it will still be hard for the grouse hunter to spot birds. Goldenrod and asters are holding their colors, as a few maples and birch are starting to show some of their fall color. Be prepared for wet trails and high water. Acorns are dropping and the squirrels and chipmunks are carrying them away as fast as they fall! Cool nights will make for foggy mornings and dramatic light! - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate

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Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Marinette County - Perch, smallmouth, pike, and walleye are being caught on the Peshtigo River from the dam to the mouth using a variety of presentations. Anglers report the bite is a bit slow but the fish are there. Perch are being caught out of Little River in 9 to 14 feet of water using mainly minnows. Find the weed beds and you will find fish. The walleye bite remains fair on the Menominee River mainly trolling very early morning or evenings from Stephenson Island to the mouth of the river. I have no reports of salmon being caught yet. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Fishing for bluegill and crappie below the dam at Stiles on the Oconto River was slow this past week due to high water and fast currents, with that said people were still catching some fish using live bait, fishing the current breaks and eddies. Reports from anglers fishing from the mouth of the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II report catching walleye and perch on the shoals and rock piles mostly using jigs and minnows or slip bobbers or crappie rigs tipped with a minnow and a chunk of crawler. Northern and musky anglers report catching fish in the same areas using large spinners and crank baits. The small mouth fishing is still a bit slow but there are to be caught. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Brown County - Fishing pressure remains moderate to high this week from the Suamico River Boat Launch, with most anglers targeting muskies and walleye. Walleye anglers continue to experience a tough bite with most boats coming back with only one or two fish all day. The slow bite is likely due to the inconsistent weather pattern we have experienced the last two weeks on the bay. Muskie anglers however have seen catch numbers continue to climb as the water temperatures drop. Muskie anglers were getting most of their hits and catches trolling with a few having some luck casting. The size of muskies reported caught were between 46-49 inches with no fish surpassing 50 inches yet. Non target fish included freshwater drum, channel catfish, white bass and yellow perch. Water temperatures are dropping around the low 70s and water clarity is about 3 to 4 feet. Most interviews this week on the Fox River were obtained from shore anglers which were fishing live bait either under a bobber or on the bottom. These anglers reported catching freshwater drum, channel catfish, and round gobies. - Derek Apps, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Door County - September has been off to a great start in Door County and fishing on Green Bay has only been getting better. Walleye fishing has been very good and as the days continue to get shorter and water temperatures begin to drop, walleye will continue to feed heavily prior to winter. Anglers have been reporting the best bite during the night, but walleye have been feeding at almost all times of the day. Northerly winds and cold fronts can make for a tough bite due to quick drops in water temperatures, but anglers have had luck fishing the days following strong cold fronts. Trolling slow and working deep crank baits in 20-30 feet of water has worked well following cold fronts as water temperatures begin to stabilize. During south winds, anglers are reporting a very good bite with some anglers catching their limits of low 20-inch walleye. Smallmouth bass fishing has also continued to be very good and a good number of trophy sized fish have been reported throughout the Door County peninsula. Salmon fishing on Lake Michigan continues to slow as most of the mature chinook salmon begin to concentrate in the harbors and migrate towards their spawning grounds. Anglers have had luck fishing from piers and trolling shallow with glow spoons or crank baits. - Lucas Koenig, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County - Fishing pressure has slowed recently as the salmon and trout fishing season winds down for offshore Lake Michigan. The pier, harbor, and river fishing pressure is beginning to increase as fish work their way up rivers to spawn. Mature chinook salmon have become very concentrated nearshore in both Algoma and Kewaunee but the bite has been tough. Anglers fishing the piers have caught a good number of chinook salmon this past week mostly on spoons and crank baits, but some have had luck floating spawn in the Kewaunee harbor. There is also a good chance for catching good sized coho salmon as some anglers have been reporting coho weighing 10-plus pounds. Anglers fishing from shore have also reported catching large brown trout and small rainbow trout on both spoons and crank baits. As the next few weeks progress, fishing pressure will likely increase inland on the Kewaunee and Ahnapee Rivers while chinook salmon continue their spawning rituals. - Lucas Koenig, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Manitowoc County - Fishing is slow even though the chinook are moving in for the fall run. The combination of warm water temperatures in the river and dredging at the mouth has shut down the bite in Two Rivers. Anglers have reported seeing a few fish upstream in the East Twin but no success. Fishing on the lake has also been slow. Manitowoc seems to be better with a few kings caught in the mornings and evenings. Most fish are being caught in the river channel starting at the mouth and going into town. Bright colored crank baits and spoons are working best in the muddy water. - Benjamin Thome, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Marinette County - It's hard to believe archery season is here! Saturday marks the opener of small game and archery deer seasons. Bear season opened last week with some early successful hunters. Some oaks are dropping lots of acorns right now, so if you're heading out to hunt for deer, squirrels, grouse, or even bear consider finding a productive tree to sit near. Turkeys are still very visible feeding in open fields and roadside at all times of the day. A few broods of turkeys have been seen that are quite small, but most are rivaling adult size. We did not get the heavy rains that were predicted and therefore we are not dealing with heavy flooding so most areas are accessible to hunters and hikers. We have been getting enough rain to keep mushrooms popping out in our woodlands, with some late summer/fall fruiting sulphur shelf making an appearance. Monarch observations have increased over the last week as they nectar on early fall wildflowers like goldenrod and yellow coneflower. Some early yellow and red fall color is appearing in ash and maple in lower wet areas and other areas under a bit of growing stress. It seems like the plague of mosquitoes might just skip at least the majority of the county this year as even calm nights are pleasant to be outside. The high water on the bay has been helping to reduce the growth of invasive Phragmites grass, but some treatment will be occurring prior to a heavy frost to knock back those stubborn patches that are still holding on. - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee

Governor Thompson State Park - The first signs of fall are starting along the trails. Now is an excellent time to go hiking! The office prairie is winding down for the season, but the flowers of fall including the bushy, small white, smooth, snow, and showy asters are in bloom throughout the park. The tall yellow rosin weed, double mint and goldenrod are lining the roads and trails. Turkeys are being seen in the park. - Maggie Kailhofer, park manager

Green Bay DNR Service Center area

Manitowoc County - This upcoming weekend marks the start to some of the highly anticipated fall hunting seasons. Throughout the county a large number of turkeys have been seen out throughout the day both toms and hens are looking good. Throughout the county there have been groups of deer observed foraging in the fields both in the early mornings and late evenings. Ducks and geese are starting to migrate and will soon be filling the marshes. For those who enjoy the fall color when you look closely some of the trees are starting to turn, but there is still plenty of time for the beautiful sight to come. As the cooler temperatures continue now is a great time to take a walk along the lakeshore or go for a hike out at Point Beach State Forest. Enjoy the great outdoors! - Alyssa Gove, conservation warden, Manitowoc

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Potawatomi State Park - Trees are just starting to turn color, most noticeably ash trees turning yellow. - Lois M. Hanson, visitor services associate

Monarch butterfly
Monarch butterfly
Photo Credit: DNR

Whitefish Dunes State Park - The weather has been great being so warm for the beginning of September. The trails are dry and in good condition. Lots of monarchs have been spotted on goldenrod and as visitors walk along the beach. With the recent rain several fall mushrooms have been popping up along the trails. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waupaca County - Lots of deer in central Wiconsin, but not all the fawns have lost their spots. A buck with polished antlers was seen last Thursday morning. Goose hunters reporting excellent success so far in the early season, mainly by hunting stubble fields. Seems to be more doves around than in past years, but have heard nothing about anyone hunting them locally. Early ruffed grouse hunting will be a monumental challenge after our wet summer, there is a ton of vegetation out there and we are weeks away from leaf drop. Some of the swamp hardwoods have started to change colors but that is about it for any signs of fall. Trout streams look great after recent rains, I need to get out and try some fishing. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Milwaukee County - Hunting season is gearing up, with archery, grouse, woodcock, dove, turkey, squirrel, and northern rabbit openers on Saturday, September 17 and most goose season openers on Friday, September 16. Visit a nearby wildlife property such as Big Muskego, Turtle Valley, or Vernon Wildlife Areas, or visit Kettle Moraine State Forest for hunting opportunities nearby. Search for "web mapping" on the DNR webpage to find more places to hunt near you, such as our FFLIGHT map, "Private Forest Lands Open to Public Recreation," or "Public Access Lands." You can also search for "VPA" to learn more about our Voluntary Public Access program, providing additional hunting lands to the public. If you are not a hunter, migratory songbirds are traveling through Wisconsin, and a variety of migrant shorebirds and waterfowl have been spotted along Lake Michigan. Get outside for the crisp weather and enjoy these beautiful fall days! - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist, Milwaukee

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - As of Sept 14, the forest's bridal and mountain bike trails have adequately recovered from recent heavy rainfalls totaling in excess of 6" and are now open. Portions of the Tamarack Trail are still under water. - Jason Quast, forest superintendent

Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee

Sheboygan County - Heavy rain throughout the week made for low fishing pressure. The Sheboygan River was very high and muddy on Wednesday and no fish were caught. The water level dropped a little this past weekend, but it is still very brown. One chinook was caught by a fly fisherman just below the Kohler dam on Sunday morning. The water temperature was 62 degrees. A group of carp anglers caught some carp in the Sheboygan harbor on South Pier Dr. on Sunday. Plenty of people were fishing on the piers in Sheboygan on Saturday and Sunday, but nothing was seen caught on Saturday and only one 5-pound chinook was caught from South pier on Sunday. Boating pressure was relatively low this weekend. Nothing was seen brought in on Saturday, and on Sunday 2 rainbows, one lake trout, and one coho were brought in. Most boats were in about 300 feet of water.

Ozaukee County - In Port Washington a few nice sized coho were caught from the pier this weekend. A smaller chinook and a smaller brown were also seen. Alewives were the bait of choice. The shoreline and power plant discharge area in Coal Dock Park had high fishing pressure this weekend, but not much was being caught. One large 21-pound chinook was caught by the discharge on Saturday evening in the rain. No anglers have been seen fishing Sauk Creek yet this month. Rough water made for low boating pressure over the weekend.

Milwaukee County - The catch rate on McKinley pier tapered off toward the weekend as the water temperature increased. Near the Summerfest grounds, lots of fish were jumping inside the harbor, but very few of them were "biting" according to the shoreline anglers. Only a few rainbows and brown trout (12-16 inches long) were landed by anglers fishing with minnows and shiners during the week. Anglers fishing the early morning bite (before sunrise) landed most of the trout and salmon recently. Very few anglers have been fishing the Lakeshore State Park lagoons over the past two to three weeks. A couple of Grant Park anglers caught large sheepshead with spoons and crank baits near the mouth of Oak Creek at the start of the week. Farther upstream on Oak Creek, no salmon have been reported yet. Large channel catfish (up to 12 pounds) and freshwater drum were caught in the discharge chute at the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier with shrimp, minnows, and skein. The majority of the boats out of McKinley and South Shore were targeting chinook salmon in the gaps along the break wall and in the mouth of the Milwaukee River. One boat landed one coho (8 pounds) and four kings (25, 15, 13, and 9 pounds) on Saturday, Sept. 10. Most of their fish were caught while trolling glow-in-the-dark and silver colored spoons outside of the break wall. One of the charter boats landed four lakers, two kings, one coho (11 pounds), and one brown while trolling in 50-70 feet of water a little north of McKinley on Saturday. On Sunday, 15 to 20 boats were jigging and trolling the north gap but only a few kings were landed according to some of the anglers at the McKinley ramp. Salmon fishing on the Milwaukee and Menomonee rivers has yet to take off. Water levels on the Milwaukee River are still high after last week's rainfall.

Racine County - Only a few boats were out in Racine and none reported catching any salmon, trout or perch. Pier anglers reported catching some coho and king salmon in the morning. The kings were caught on glow in the dark spoons, crankbaits, and white plastic minnow jigs. The coho salmon were caught on tube jigs with shrimp or wax worms and spoons. No perch were reported caught. The water temperature off the piers was 66 degrees. Not many anglers have started fishing the Root for salmon and trout. Most anglers have been fishing for smallmouth bass and were catching a few small ones. A few small perch have also been caught as well. The water temperature was 72F.

Kenosha County - Only one Kenosha boat reported catching fish. They fished in 200 feet of water and caught some rainbow trout on spoons and flasher/fly. They ran their lures from 25 to 80 feet down. Anglers fishing from the pier reported catching king salmon in the morning on spoons. Anglers fishing the harbor have had the best luck and were catching a few brown trout, king salmon, coho salmon, and small rainbow trout. Anglers are catching most of their fish in the morning or evening; however, a few have been caught in the afternoon. They are catching fish on crank baits, rattle traps, spoons, glow in the dark spoons, tube jigs, white plastic minnow jigs, and live shiners. No perch were reported caught. The water temperature was 66 degrees. No anglers were seen fishing the Pike River this week.

Plymouth DNR Service Center area

Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - This week, Pike Lake DNR wildlife management staff spent time on Theresa Marsh cleaning out floating cattail bogs in front of the marsh dam and making repairs to two gravel access drives that had been damaged when more than 6 inches of rain fell last week. Waterfowl hunters may notice a few floating cattail bogs on the marsh above the dam, but for the most part access is good and water levels have returned to normal. A few small flocks of the "Interior" subspecies of Canada geese (the ones that nest in Canada and migrate through Wisconsin in spring and fall) have been seen arriving on the marsh. More will arrive later this month and throughout October, with their numbers peaking around the end of October on Theresa Marsh and other wetlands, parks, golf courses and farm fields. This year, CWD sampling efforts are being increased in Washington County. Gun and archery deer hunters are being asked to voluntarily provide head or lymph node samples from the adult deer they harvest. To find out how to donate a sample for CWD testing, contact Pike Lake DNR - wildlife management at 262-224-8523. - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford

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South Central Region

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Columbia County - The Baraboo River hit flood stage over the weekend with last week's heavy rains. Its water levels are projected to begin this week, but is currently still well outside its banks. Hunters partaking in all the season openings this weekend should be aware of that, particularly on the south side of Pine Island Wildlife Area. Almost all areas that lie south of I90/94 on that property are flooded with about a foot of standing water, including the managed dove field. The WI River is still running fairly high too, with few to no sandbars showing. The mosquitos seem to be loving this weather, remember to bring bug spray with you to the woods this weekend. - Sara Kehrli, wildlife biologist, Poynette

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West Central Region

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

Vernon County - September is the month in which white-tailed deer shed their summer hair and replace it with winter hair. Summer hair is reddish-brown and rather short and thin. Winter hair, on the other hand, is brownish-gray, dense, and long. Deer hair is hollow, trapping more insulating air than non-hollow hair. Winter deer hair insulates so well that a deer may become covered with a layer of snow during a snowstorm that does not melt. Watch for this transition to occur over the next several weeks. The slow but steady southward raptor migration has begun. Numerous red-tailed hawks, broad-winged hawks, and kestrels are moving through the area on their way to wintering regions. Keep your eyes open for different color phases of these birds and for less frequently observed raptors, such as rough-legged hawks and harriers (marsh hawks). A birding field guide may be useful to assist with raptor identification. Red-tailed hawks are on their way to areas of the central and southern US. Broad-winged hawks migrate all the way to Central and South America, with some birds going as far as Argentina and Chile. Kestrels head to the southern US and as far south as Central America. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua

Black River Falls DNR Service Center area

Monroe County - Bluegills are biting at Lake Tomah small- to medium-sized fish were being caught from shore. Hunters have been successful in the early Canada Goose season in the northeastern part of the county. Duck hunters have also had some success. A couple of teal were harvested on Lake Tomah about a week ago. - Matt Modjeski, conservation warden, Tomah

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - There have been fewer sightings of blue-green algae around the park. Waterfowl hunting has started in the Yellow River and Buckhorn Wildlife Areas and small game hunting starts Sept 17. Fall turkey will be in the Yellow River Wildlife Area. Bow hunting for deer starts Sept 17 and is allowed in open areas of the state park and both wildlife areas and are in Central Forest, Public, Buck only. Small game hunting and trapping in the state park do not start until Nov. 15. Hunting maps are available online or at the park office. - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - Hunting in the state park does not start until Nov. 15. Hunting maps to check out areas for after Nov. 15 can be found online or at the park office. - Heather Wolf, park manager



Last Revised: Thursday, September 15, 2016

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