Wild Things: Deer Hunters Can Assist in CWD Monitoring Effort
Whitetail hunters in northeastern Wisconsin have an opportunity to help with chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance this season. Although the fatal whitetail disease has not been found in Door or Kewaunee counties, the DNR – in cooperation with local businesses and sporting groups – is collecting deer heads to test across the state.
Locally, self-service kiosks for CWD sampling are located at the Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center, Door County Rod & Gun Club, Gardner Rifle Club, and Harbor Express in Kewaunee.
They’s Venison Processing, E1829 River Road in Casco, is offering CWD sampling with assistance, but call 920.609.0309 in advance to schedule a time to drop off a sample. You can also leave a sample at Wild Ridge Taxidermy, N6495 Hillside Road in Casco, but call 920.609.4550 first.
Looking for a place to get rid of a boned-out carcass? Riverview Transfer, E3726 Cty L in Kewaunee, is accepting deer carcass waste. Call 920.388.3553 for more details.
Full Moon Weekend
The annual whitetail deer mating season is heating up, which makes it the best time of the year for bow and crossbow hunters – but not for motorists. Chases can occur any time, but most collisions happen between dusk and dawn.
Travel cautiously, and honk your horn and brake if you spot whitetails near the road. Typically, collisions occur when deer suddenly appear out of ditches. If one crosses, be ready: More will often follow.
As of earlier this week, this season’s hunters had already taken more than 1,000 deer from the Kewaunee/Door peninsula. The antlerless harvest was nearly double the bucks taken, but that will change quickly during the next few weeks.
October’s second full or “blue” moon will rise around 6 pm on Oct. 31. If it’s clear, the moon will already rise big and bright minutes before shooting hours close Oct. 30.
Daylight saving time will end at 2 am Nov. 1, offering an extra hour’s sleep overnight. But sunrise will arrive earlier on the clock, so plan accordingly if you want to be afield at dawn.
Find a list of legal shooting hours by zone (Door County is in the northern zone; Kewaunee County is in the southern) in the 2020-21 hunting regulations pamphlet, on the DNR’s GoWild app or online at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/hunt/regulations.
Spawning on Target
Despite the ongoing pandemic, DNR staff members have been able to collect enough chinook salmon eggs this fall for hatchery use. Chinook spawning is complete, and coho and brown trout collection is underway on the Kewaunee River.
The agency is on track to meet recently revised stocking goals for Lake Michigan’s 2020-22 quotas, including approximately 1.2 million chinook, 500,000 coho, 460,000 steelhead (rainbow trout), 450,000 brown trout and 50,000 brook trout.
Healthy Lives Resource
The Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives website (healthytreeshealthylives.org) is an excellent source of information about the health benefits of trees.
One section of the website divides benefits into four categories: physical (skin, heart, lungs, pregnancies/newborns, comfort/heat reduction, nutrition, fitness); mental (peace of mind, vitality, brain); healing (fighting power, healing, health); and financial (health care savings).
Each benefit is described in a sentence or two, and links to published research papers on each benefit are included. There’s also a library of published journal articles, a blog and sections called Stories and Get Involved.
The group hopes to lead social change by significantly altering behavior patterns, cultural values and norms through an increased collective understanding of and appreciation for the ways in which forests and the trees in our communities improve our health.
SCI Cancels Convention
COVID-19 restrictions have forced Safari Club International (SCI) to cancel its annual Hunters’ Convention for the first time in 50 years.
The event – which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for hunter education, conservation and defense of legal hunting – was scheduled for Feb. 3-6 in Las Vegas.
The Archery Trade Association has also canceled its annual show, planned for Jan. 7-9 in Indianapolis, but the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show scheduled for Jan. 19-22 in Las Vegas was still on as of earlier this week.
Lake Sturgeon News
Saturday is the deadline for most sturgeon spearers to purchase a license for the 2021 season on Lake Winnebago. The only exceptions are for military personnel who are home on leave and youth who will turn 12 between Nov. 1 and the last day of the season.
A video of a lake sturgeon restoration effort between the DNR and the Menominee Tribe on the upper Wolf River shows the positive effect that partnerships can have. Check it out at youtube.com/watch?v=kybUlJGRwFM&feature=youtu.be.
Weekly Water Levels
As of Oct. 23, Lake Michigan was down three inches from late September and is expected to drop another three inches during the next month. Though lake levels were still 30 inches above the long-term monthly average, they were 11 inches below the record high, set in 1986.