Fall colors will be peaking in southern Wisconsin within the next week, with only some stubborn maples and oaks hanging on to their summer colors. In northern Wisconsin the recent rain and heavy wind has all but nearly knocked most leaves off of trees, but the tamarack trees are making up for them with their increasing gold color. Leaf drop is providing for some better archery hunting and upland bird hunting. Morning frost in forecast for some areas of the state will provide for more leaf drop, along with the oaks beginning to turn to their fall reds and bronze.
The reopening of the southern zone duck season proved successful for many hunters last weekend with ducks in nearly everyone’s bag. Some diving ducks, mostly ring-necks and canvasbacks have been seen throughout the state. Diving duck migration should continue as more seasonal temperatures arrive. Some more exotic birds such as trumpeter swans, egrets, and large flocks of cormorants have been seen around the Mississippi River.
Last weekend brought several hunting season openers. On Saturday Oct. 19 the pheasant and bobwhite quail season will be opening statewide at noon. Many state properties are going to be stocked of pheasant for the opener. Southern area cottontail, statewide raccoon and fox seasons will also be opening. Several trapping seasons will be opening this Saturday as well. isconsin’s second wolf season kicked of Tuesday morning, with a few successful hunts being confirmed in northern Wisconsin and also one in Columbia County.
Wardens and biologists from across the state are reporting that the classic signs of the pre rut are starting to show with many rubs and scrapes are beginning to cover Wisconsin’s landscape. Smaller bucks are reported to be chasing doe, and there has been many large bucks harvested. In Sauk County, a buck harvested by bow and arrow was unofficially scored at 196. Look for cooler temperatures and the harvesting of crops to create more deer movement.
The Lake Michigan tributaries have been host to some heavy action for salmon. Perch and walleye have also been providing for good fishing across the state as water temperatures drop.
Anglers fishing the structure below the dam at Stiles caught some bluegill and crappies using slip bobbers and minnows or leaf worms. Chinook were caught near the Iron Bridge on the Oconto River using spawn sacks, spoons and stick baits and wooly buggers. Perch were caught in the Breakwater Park and Oconto Park II landings using minnows or chunks of crawlers. – Kevin King, creel clerk