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 that an increase in the commercial harvest of whitefish in Green Bay is warranted, but there’s been a big pushback by some sportfishing interests.
Bear hunters will be interested in the quota recommendations and permit numbers to be awarded per zone, and those for or against wolf management should find the update on the management plan and monitoring efforts very interesting.
The meeting will begin at 8:30 am. See the complete agenda, and find a link to watch via YouTube, at dnr.wisconsin.gov/About/NRB/2022/Jan.
2022 Deer Seasons
Even with the 2021 bow and crossbow deer seasons running through Jan. 31 in Door and Kewaunee counties, early planning for this fall’s hunts is underway.
County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC) are setting up dates for late March for preliminary season structure recommendations. Because of ongoing COVID-19 issues, Jeff Pritzl, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deer program specialist, said the meetings will be virtual (Zoom or phone) for the third straight year.
On Jan. 27, CDAC members are invited to a Zoom meeting to get a preview of what the process will look like this year, an early look at general harvest trends and hopefully, Pritzl said, a guest appearance by a DNR staff member. The second evening Zoom meeting is set for Feb. 24 and will be the last preseason training.
By mid-March, the Deer Metrics System will be updated with current data for review prior to the first CDAC meeting. Preliminary county recommendations must be made by April 1. The public will be able to provide feedback for a week in mid-April before the final CDAC meetings in late April or early May.
Learn more at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt/cdac.
The Show(s) Must Go On
If you like swapping hunting tales and checking out the latest outdoor equipment and trophy big-game and fish mounts, your time is coming. With few exceptions – the All-Canada Show in Green Bay being one of them – most winter and spring sport shows in Wisconsin are still on. However, with COVID-19 still very much on the radar, it’s best to check show websites for updates.
There are more than a dozen major shows in the state this winter, including the WBAY RV and Camping Show Jan. 27-30 at the Resch Expo Center in Green Bay. Thursday is free admission with three nonperishable food items per person, and Friday is Military Appreciation Day. Learn more at reschcomplex.com/events/detail/rv-camping-expo-1.
The Green Bay Boat Show will be at the Resch Expo Center Feb. 4-6, and Feb. 25-27, the Wisconsin State Hunting Expo and Safari Club Hunter Expo will team up at the Resch. Get more details at newisci.org/hunters_expo.html and wisconsinstatehuntingexpo.com.
Boone & Crockett
You don’t have to shoot a monster whitetail buck, bull elk, black bear or any other big-game species to be a member of the Boone & Crockett Club. Its Associates Program was created more than 30 years ago for individuals who support ethical, fair-chase hunting, as well as wildlife and habitat conservation.
Anyone may sign up. Your $35 supports the club’s ongoing efforts to ensure that wildlife and wildlife habitat are given the attention they deserve and that our sporting heritage is preserved for future generations by managing based on science and research.
Fair Chase Magazine, discounts on books and merchandise, and exclusive access to some portions of the website, including searchable trophy field photos, are among the benefits. Learn more at boone-crockett.org.
Wild Turkey Leftovers
If you want a fourth-period leftover spring wild turkey bonus permit for Zone 2, you’ll need to be quick on the trigger – and lucky – to snag one when they go on sale March 22 at 10 am. Only 23 leftovers are available for Period D.
The odds are much better at landing a fifth- or sixth-period tag. More than 7,700 bonus tags are available for Period E, and more than 8,100 for Period F. The limit is one per customer. Any remaining after that will go on sale March 26 at 10 am, with a limit of one per day until they’re sold out.
The first seven-day hunt period will run April 20-26; the last May 25-31. This year’s youth hunt will be April 16-17.
Weekly Water Levels
As of Jan. 14, Lake Michigan was 41 inches higher than the record monthly low set in 2013, and 26 inches below the monthly high, set in 2020. Lake levels have dropped 18 inches during the past 12 months, including four inches since mid-December. Overall, water levels are still one foot above the 100-year monthly average.