Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Report Update
Outdoor Report Summary for September 22, 2011
MADISON, WI –-(Ammoland.com)- Temperatures were comfortable for the first few days of the archery deer, squirrel, turkey, and exterior goose seasons last Saturday, but rain on Sunday made many hunters stay home.
Youth waterfowl hunters reported good success during their two-day hunt, with mostly blue-wing teal, mallards and wood ducks harvested, along with some geese.
Turkey hunters report turkeys are still flocked up in family groups.
Archery hunters had some success on opening weekend in southern Wisconsin, with a number of registration stations having some deer brought in, with most of the bucks having polished antlers and gray winter coats. Bucks are still grouped up and many are still in summer patterns, but the cooler weather is starting to get deer moving, so drivers should start being more aware of deer crossing roads.
The northern duck zone and new Mississippi duck and Canada goose zone seasons open this Saturday, and waterfowlers out scouting are reporting increasing numbers of migratory geese moving into the state and just a few northern ducks starting to show up. Wildlife crews have been out activating banding locally breeding ducks at major wildlife areas, and are reporting good numbers of mallards and wood ducks. Hunters that shoot a banded duck are asked to go online to www.reportband.gov and report the band number and where the bird was harvested.
With so many hunting seasons open, fishing pressure showed a sharp drop on many waters. In the north, there have still been quite a few musky anglers out and they have been seeing quite a bit of action along the deep weed edges. Some anglers have started dragging suckers with only mediocre success due to the warm early fall water temperatures. Walleye fishing has been steadily improving. Bass continue to be found in relatively shallow water with the best action late afternoons after the water has warmed up.
Bluegills were being caught throughout the Mississippi River backwaters. White bass and walleye were being caught below dams on the Rock River and catfishing has been good on the Crawfish River.
Strong southeast winds in the last week have made fishing on Green Bay and Lake Michigan difficult. Anglers continued to report some walleye and perch on the west shore off Oconto and some perch action at Little Sturgeon Bay on the Door County. Salmon were scattered up the Manitowoc and Twin rivers, but only a small number were seen by the dams with few caught. Similarly, despite some rain in the last week, water levels remain low on southeastern Lake Michigan tributaries, and few salmon have started to move upstream yet, though some were reported on the Sheboygan and Root rivers.
Sandhill cranes are flocking up and some large groups are being seen. Blackbirds are forming some very large flocks also. There have been several reports in southern Wisconsin of collared whooping cranes being seen. Waterfowl hunters are being cautioned to make sure they watch out for whooping cranes and trumpeter swans.
Fall color is really starting to come on in the north, with about a dozen counties now reporting colors at 25 to 50 percent and Vilas County reporting color at 50 to 75 percent on the Department of Tourism’s Fall Color Report (exit DNR).