Column: Kevin Naze

  • Wild Things: Anglers Finding a Mix of Ice, Open Water to Try Their Luck

    Turkey leftovers served March 22 by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected] Mid- to late March means transition time for anglers, with both open water and hardwater fishing opportunities. Steelhead and suckers are moving into the Ahnapee River for spring spawning, and brown trout are available in the nearshore shallows of Lake Michigan. Yellow perch fishing in Green […]

  • Wild Things: Mild Winter for Whitetails Will Lead to Bumper Fawn Crop

    by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected] Heading into March, the Winter Severity Index (WSI) – an algorithm used by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to predict the impact of winter weather on deer survival – was in the mild category in all but Wisconsin’s five northernmost counties. Although the WSI can’t gauge the effects of freezing […]

  • Wild Things: Fishing Licenses Purchased Now Are Good through March 31, 2023

    by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected] If you’ve been wanting to join Wisconsin’s fishing family, now is as good of a time as any because 2022-23 fishing licenses went on sale March 1. They’re good for the remainder of this season (through March 31), as well as for the April 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023 license […]

  • Wild Things: Park Tower, More Wardens Not Eligible for WSFR Funds

    But gun ranges could see expanded grants by KEVIN NAZE, [email protected] Wisconsin’s record-setting kickback from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program has some strings attached. Thanks to strong purchases of firearms, ammunition, fishing tackle and fuel, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be receiving more than $43.6 […]

  • Wild Things: DNR Nets Record Windfall

    More than $43.6 million coming from feds by KEVIN NAZE [email protected] Record purchases of firearms, ammunition, fuel and fishing equipment have led to a jackpot for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Long underfunded from both sides of the political aisle, the DNR will have few excuses not to ramp up its efforts to […]

  • Wild Things: For Third Straight Year, DNR Meeting Vote Is Online Only

    by Kevin Naze, [email protected] COVID-19 has sacked the annual Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) fish and wildlife hearings and county Conservation Congress (CC) spring meetings for the third straight year.  Normally conducted in person, voting will again be done online. Members of the public will soon be able to submit citizen resolutions to be considered. […]

  • WILD THINGS: DNR Updating Wolf Management Plan

    More than 15,000 people completed a public survey on Wisconsin wolf management in 2021. Randy Johnson, large-carnivore specialist with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), told state Natural Resources Board members this week that the input – which is summarized and available on the DNR’s wolf-management page – wasn’t intended to represent attitudes of state […]

  • Wild Things: Whitefish, Wolves and Bears on NRB Meeting Agenda

    The state Natural Resources Board (NRB) meeting on Jan. 26 in Madison will include discussion of changes to the Green Bay whitefish commercial quota, the proposed number of black bear permits for the fall hunt and an update on gray wolves. It’ll be the first in-person NRB meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Data shows […]

  • WILD THINGS: Early-Season Ice Is No Time to Risk Offshore Exploring

    No ice is safe ice. No matter how many times that Department of Natural Resources mantra is repeated by agency safety specialists and conservation wardens, it still seems to fall on deaf ears. With most of central and northern Green Bay still open water last weekend, a powerful offshore wind blowing out of the south […]

  • WILD THINGS: Ice-Fishing Season Is Underway, but Anglers Can’t Go Everywhere

    With no January thaw in sight, ice anglers are getting a belated Christmas gift: hard-water fishing hot spots that are firming up fast. All the usual early-season access areas are worth a look, including out of Dyckesville, Sugar Creek, Little Sturgeon, Sawyer Harbor, Sturgeon Bay and on protected nearshore areas inside Northern Door bays and […]

  • Wild Things: One cold night not nearly enough for solid start to ice-fishing season

    The first single-digit temperatures of the season Tuesday put a thin skin of ice on some area fishing holes, but it’s nowhere near safe yet. It’s a different story in the far northern reaches of the state, where anglers have been able to walk on protected bays the past two weeks. High temperatures in the […]

  • WILD THINGS: One Cold Night Not Enough to Kick Off Ice Fishing

    The first single-digit temperatures of the season Tuesday put a thin skin of ice on some area fishing holes, but it’s nowhere near safe yet. It’s a different story in the far northern reaches of the state, where anglers have been able to walk on protected bays the past two weeks. High temperatures in the […]

  • WILD THINGS: Crossbows May Be Steering Big Drop in Gun Deer Harvest

    The rise in the popularity of crossbows looks to be driving a big decline in recent gun deer harvests, including a 7.9% drop in the nine-day season statewide this year. Preliminary figures showed 84,952 bucks and 90,715 antlerless, for a total of 175,667.  Locally, Door’s buck kill of 1,045 was up 11.8% over 2020, but […]

  • Tracking the 2021 Deer Harvest

    Through Nov. 15, Door County hunters had registered 586 bucks and 407 antlerless deer, for a total of 993. That included 652 with crossbow, 279 with bow and 62 during the youth gun hunt.  Kewaunee County hunters had reported 433 bucks and 298 antlerless, for a total of 731. That included 440 with crossbow, 229 […]

  • WILD THINGS: Fear the Deer? COVID-19 Hype Mars Gun Hunt Opener

    Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get more bizarre this hunting season, the state’s Department of Health Services (DHS) issued a press release Monday that went viral.  Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there’s no evidence that wildlife are a source of COVID-19 illness for people – or that people […]

  • WILD THINGS: No Shortage of Whitetails, but Ammo? That’s Another Story

    Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff members talked all things white-tailed deer and answered questions from reporters across the state last week during a virtual media briefing on the upcoming gun deer hunting season. Eric Lobner, director of the DNR’s Wildlife Management Program, said that somewhere around 875,000 licenses allowing bow, crossbow and gun deer […]

  • WILD THINGS: Deer Running Day and Night As Rutting Bucks Seek Mates

    There’s no better time to spot mature bucks than during the November whitetail breeding season. That’s exciting if you’re an archer or crossbow hunter with an open tag, but it’s far less so if you’re just trying to get somewhere safely on a rural roadway. Vehicle-deer collisions always peak during the first few weeks of […]

  • WILD THINGS: Deer Activity Picking Up As Mating Season Nears

    Pictures of mature whitetail bucks are appearing with increasing regularity on social media these days as the annual rut, or mating season, heats up. Though the peak tends to occur during the first two to three weeks of November, pre-rut activity can be very strong from mid-October on. Now’s the time to try a light […]

  • Wild Things: Time to Get Sighted In for Youth Gun Deer Hunt

    If you’ll be mentoring someone during this year’s youth gun deer hunt, now’s the time to dial in for a better shot at success.  Cooler air and the first hints of fall color are getting kids and adults excited for the Oct. 9-10 hunt, which offers those age 15 and younger an opportunity to get […]

  • DNR, NRB Playing Politics with State Fish, Wildlife

    Like it or not, politics is taking center stage on almost every controversial decision being made these days by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Wolves – and Natural Resources Board (NRB) chair Fred Prehn’s refusal to step down until his successor is confirmed by the Senate – are at the heart of the current […]