Northwoods receives 2 to 6 inches of snow Oct. 31
Madison, WI -(Ammoland.com)- Temperatures have dropped and that has continued to trigger rutting activity, which is now reaching peak in some areas.
White-tail bucks are running pretty hard with their noses to the ground. More bucks have been seen chasing does as the rut gets into full swing, and archers have reported some very good success in the last week.
In the Northwoods it went from autumn gold to winter white in just two weeks' time, with anywhere from 2-6-plus inches of snow falling Oct. 31. The fresh snow had many hunters excited for the upcoming deer season as it was much easier to see deer standing out against the white background.
The cooler weather also brought large flocks of ducks to south central Wisconsin, with one duck hunter noting thousands of scaup, or bluebills, coming into a Columbia County marsh he was hunting, flocks the size of which he hadn't seen in 40 years. Canada geese also continue to be abundant, offering waterfowl hunters some ample opportunities to harvest a bird. Goose numbers have now reached 30,000 at Horicon Marsh.
Very large numbers of pheasant hunters have been out on state wildlife areas throughout southern Wisconsin in recent weeks. Grouse hunters are reporting good success with observed bird numbers similar to last year in the Northwoods. While there are still some woodcock being seen in central Wisconsin, the season is now closed.
Trappers are reporting success catching coyote, fox, beaver and muskrats, though fur does not quite appear to be prime. Raccoon hunters have reported successful harvests over the last several weeks.
Overall, fishing has slowed down across the state. Inland some walleye and musky anglers continue to report some success. Along Lake Michigan, the chinook salmon are done with their run and the coho salmon are almost done as well. Numbers of brown trout were increasing as the salmon taper off. Pier and shore anglers were reporting some success for brown and rainbow trout.
People may be noticing smoke rising from some state wildlife areas as wildlife crews are taking advantage of the beautiful fall weather to conduct prescribed burning on select properties throughout the state.
Common loons are staging on the Great Lakes and large inland water bodies, with smaller numbers of red-throated loons reported. Tens of thousands of canvasbacks, gadwall, wigeon, ring-necked ducks, mallards, and coots can be seen from various vantages along the Mississippi River. Numbers of tundra swans are building but have not yet reached peak. More than 21,000 sandhill cranes were counted near Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in Burnett County this past week. The first snowy owls of the season were reported from northeast Wisconsin near Green Bay this week but it's too early to tell if that means another influx of the arctic visitors this winter.
There is still plenty of time to enjoy a fall hike on any of the state trails, with prairies still showing late fall colors of some asters, woodland sunflowers and fall grasses such as big bluestem. Hikers, bikers, skiers and even canoeists and kayakers are being encouraged to provide feedback on Wisconsin's nonmotorized and water trails to the Wisconsin Nonmotorized Recreation and Transportation Trails Council through a new online survey available through the WIDNR website.
About The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR)
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is charged with sustaining and enhancing Wisconsin’s natural resources and environment. A cornerstone of our mission is providing for outdoor recreation in our state. The WI DNR Facebook page is a place for the outdoor recreating community to share information about fun in Wisconsin’s outdoors.