Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wisconsin Outdoor Report

Wisconsin Great River Road, Mississippi River,...
Wisconsin Great River Road, Mississippi River, and bluffs. 
Archery deer, fall turkey season open this weekend; heavy rains have river systems running high
Numerous hunting seasons have either opened in the last week, or will open this Saturday. Mourning dove and early Canada goose are open and the early teal season has already come to a close. The bear season opened Wednesday and archery deer, fall turkey and various small game seasons open this Saturday, September 12.
There were many teal seen along the Mississippi River but hunters reported the weather was almost too hot to hunt them. Geese are still feeding heavily in stubble fields but goose hunters have been seeing low success so far.
Turkeys and deer are being seen eating acorns in the woods and aren't moving as much out in the open during daylight hours. White and burr oaks have heavy acorn crops and may be worth targeting for the next two weeks in the early portion of the hunting season. A big change for deer hunters this year is that they can register their deer on line or by phone. For details search the DNR website for "electronic registration."
Wisconsin experienced some heavy rains in the last week and water levels on many river systems are markedly higher. Sandbars on the Lower Wisconsin Riverway will be difficult to find until water levels decrease. The rains washed out bridges on the Buffalo River State Trail, which remains closed until further notice.
The warm and humid weather made it nice to be around the water and provided some pleasant angling and boating conditions for the Labor Day weekend. The sunny skies also bumped water temperatures up a bit, which increased action for most game fish species. Musky success showed a nice surge and anglers reported some good action. Action for both largemouth and smallmouth bass was also a little more consistent and some very nice fish have been caught and released in the last week. Walleye action also picked up a notch and a few anglers have been reporting some decent catches. Panfish action continues to be fair.
Fishing also picked up in Pools 6 and 7 of the Mississippi River. Bass, panfish, and walleye have been biting some good-sized walleye and bass caught. Fishermen have had good luck fishing below wing dams and from the shore.
The perch bite remained good at locations along the east shore of Green Bay and the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal. Chinook salmon have been staging at the mouth of the Milwaukee River and near other Lake Michigan tributaries but no fish have been seen moving up rivers yet.
Mushroom hunting has been very good this year, with all the ample moisture bringing out a wide variety of fungi. Make sure that you take the time educate yourself on mushroom identification before you go foraging. With hunting seasons opening, mushroom hunters, hikers and others out in the woods are encouraged to wear bright colors while walking on trails.
Songbird migration is peaking with multiple reports of 10-plus warbler species along with vireos, thrushes, hummingbirds and tanagers. The slow but steady southward raptor migration has begun. Numerous red-tailed hawks, broad-winged hawks, and kestrels are moving through western Wisconsin. Also in peak migration are monarch butterflies.
Look for asters, goldenrod and other late bloomers on your next walk in the woods or on the prairie and more intense reds are showing up in maples across the Northwoods.