Wild Things: The hunt is on for opening day spots

Whitetails’ main target as seasons begin Sept. 17

by KEVIN NAZE [email protected]

If you don’t own or rent hunting land, chances are good that you’re one of the many hunters vying for a prime spot to take a stand this season.

Although the percentage of public land on the peninsula is much less than in northern Wisconsin, there are still thousands of acres available to explore in Door and Kewaunee counties. The three largest public parcels, CD “Buzz” Besadny, Mud Lake, and Gardner Swamp Wildlife Areas, combine to offer more than 6,000 acres and are home to many animals, both large and small.

Many hunters have been scouting those and other publicly accessible properties in anticipation of opening day on September 17 in search of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, squirrels and other wild game.

As always, those willing to get into cover tend to see fewer hunters, but the edges of public and private lands can also be good, especially early in the season. However, it can be risky if you shoot something on public land that ends up running or flying onto private land because it is illegal to track or retrieve animals on private property without the owner’s permission.

In addition to the three large tracts already mentioned, there are thousands of acres of other land open to hunting, either entirely or for certain species at certain times of the year.

Many state and county parks have portions of their land available for hunting some species; so do most land trust and conservancy properties. There is also a lot of open land under the Managed Forests Act and other Department of Natural Resources programs.

The DNR’s Hunt Wild app, onX Hunt app, and other phone apps are extremely popular for finding public land holdings and owner names.

You can also search your computer. A good starting point is dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands, and there are search links at doorcountylandtrust.org and nature.org/en-us. For the latter, search for “Door Peninsula TNC,” click on the link, and scroll down below the images to just above the Northeast Wisconsin staff mentions. Click on a section that says, “For more information on hunting opportunities, see our hunting program web page.”

Meanwhile, early teal, goose and mourning dove hunts opened on September 1, and black bear hunts opened on September 7 in many areas. Early Teal closes on September 9 and Early Goose on September 15, although the regular goose hunt begins the following morning.

The Archery and Trigger Deer, Juvenile Waterfowl, Wild Turkey, Squirrel, Raven, Zone A Ruffed Grouse and North Zone Cottontail Rabbit hunts begin September 17.

Coyote hunting is allowed year-round. In addition, any nuisance species can be shot year-round, including starlings, English (house) sparrows, opossums, skunks, groundhogs, and porcupines, and can be hunted or trapped by owners and family members. rabbits, squirrels and foxes on your property year-round. , raccoon, groundhog, beaver and coyote.

See all regulations in the Hunt Wild app, or the print version is available where licenses are sold and online at widnr.widen.net/s/pdq5r2sdqc/2022wi_huntregulations.

Comment on storage

A three-hour public meeting on Lake Michigan fisheries and salmon and trout stocking plans for 2023-25 ​​drew dozens of anglers in person and more online on Aug. 30.

Anyone who missed the in-person or Zoom presentation can find links to everything on display at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Fishing/lakemichigan/LakeMichiganSalmonandTroutMeetings.html. A 30-day public comment period is underway, ending October 1.

Bonus Deer Tags

Local deer hunters are once again receiving free antlerless permits with each bow/crossbow and gun deer license, but not in the North or Central Forest areas. There, you will need to have purchased an additional antlerless permit for public or private land.

Some units are already sold out, but many permits remain in others. Bonus tags are $12 for residents, $20 for non-residents, or $5 for youth 11 and under. A list of units that still have additional antlerless harvest authorizations is available at dnr.wisconsin.gov/permits/bonusavailability.html.

it’s ladies night

The Northeast Wisconsin Ladies Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited will hold its annual banquet on September 22 at Stadium View Sports Bar & Grill in Green Bay. For tickets or more information, call Jan at 920.494.5291.

Meanwhile, the Kewaunee County Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited will hold its annual banquet on October 11 at the Rendezvous near Luxemburg. Credit card reservations can be made at whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets or by calling 800.274.5471. You can also get tickets and more information from Field Director Jay Newton at 920.960.9594, 9 am to 6 pm.

Weekly water levels

As of September 2, Lake Michigan water levels had dropped two inches since early August, nine inches since last September, and 24 inches below the monthly record set in 1986. Levels were nine inches above the average for 100 years. The lake level is forecast to drop another three inches in early October.