USA -(Ammoland.com)- Winter conditions continue to vary across the state after last weekend’s snowfall. Projections are for a couple inches this weekend, which will bring several more areas to levels at which trail grooming can occur.
As of Thursday, there were more than a dozen counties with open snowmobile trails on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR), mostly in the north central and northeast part of the state but with some central and southern counties also open.
Cross-country ski conditions are generally fair to good at most state parks and forests that have been able to groom trails. Some of the best conditions were in central Wisconsin but trails are groomed from the far north forests to the Kettle Moraine in the south.
Several areas of the state are reporting early ice anglers out, but ice conditions vary greatly from area to area. Many lakes had just begun freezing when snow fell last weekend, so many lakes have only a thin layer of ice, and snow cover and warmer temperatures are now hindering ice production.
Ice anglers were out on Monona Bay in Madison and up to 5 inches of ice was reported on some Marinette County lakes.
The Milwaukee marina and the Summerfest Lagoon are both locked up in ice and a few anglers were targeting and catching a few brown trout and steelhead. Open water anglers were still targeting brown trout and burbot at Port Washington.
Wild turkey hunters have been reporting recent good success. Since there was a widespread hard mast failure this year across southwestern Wisconsin, wild turkeys are concentrating their feeding efforts in open areas, seeking waste grains, weed seeds, and greens.
The fall season is open through Dec. 31.
A reminder that the archery and crossbow deer seasons continue until Jan. 8 and there is an antlerless-only holiday hunt that will be held in 13 counties Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.
Any legal firearm, crossbow or archery equipment may be used during these hunts. Hunters may fill any unused antlerless tags in their proper deer management zone, county and land type. Any unit where the holiday hunt is not offered will be open for archery and crossbow hunting, and bucks may be taken.
Bird feeders have been busy with dark-eyed juncos, goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches and many woodpeckers. With the deeper snow in the north grouse are snow roosting. The snow protects them from the frigid temps and predators and at dawn and dusk they feed on aspen buds on mature aspen trees.
As lakes freeze up eagles have also been more visible recently as they search out other sources of food. Road killed animals often attract hungry eagles, who are slow to take off and require a bit more space, so if you see an eagle feeding on the side of the road please slow down and give them time to take off.
On January 1, 12 state park system properties will be conducting First Day Hikes, many with other activities such as hot beverages and other refreshments. For a complete list of these and other activities search the DNR website for “get outdoors.”