Area Report

West-Central Wisconsin

West-Central Wisconsin

 VERNON COUNTY - Toads and gray tree frogs are calling, although cooling temperatures will depress their calling over the short-term.
House wrens, upland sandpipers, brown creepers, and rose-breasted grosbeaks, are some of the recent songbird arrivals. Hummingbirds, orioles, catbirds, bobolinks, and many warblers will be arriving soon.
Turkey hunters are reporting moderate gobbler numbers and success, said Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist in Viroqua.
HOFFMAN HILLS STATE RECREATION AREA - Our area is seeing a few of the large flowered trilliums, just starting to pop out. The other woodland flowering plants are out, the birds are migrating through, the snakes have been seen on the trail areas and everything is looking lush and green with this wet weather, said Penny L. Thiede-Klish,…

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Jerry Davis

Jerry Davis

Jerry DavisFROM SOUTHERN WISCONSIN -  Leave it to the weather to put smiles on the faces of anyone outside during calm, clear, crisp April mornings, and beyond.
The weather is aggrandizing seeing the first morel mushroom, hearing a tom turkey or focusing on the arch of a ginseng plant getting its first sun of 2017.
Gauging the morel season is useless and unnecessary. Now it’s entirely up to the daily high temperatures to make the season a banner or bust. The moisture has fallen aplenty so neither we nor Mother Nature can embellish what the morel hyphae have been doing since last June, when they began drawing nutrients from dying elms, living apples and sick aspen trees.
Unusually warm days earlier this spring hastened the morel’s beginning, but slowing that of late has made pickers…

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Out and About with Bob

Out and About with Bob

Bob LambSitting in front of my computer and watching light rain fall outside my study window Wednesday morning, I couldn't help but think it would be a great day for turkey hunting.
A few minutes later, I walked into the kitchen for a coffee refill. I glanced through the window overlooking a huge alfalfa field next to our condo in the valley, and sure enough, there were three gobblers displaying their huge tail feathers for all hens to see.
I was going to grab my turkey calls, open the front door and call to the birds, but remembered it was a little too early in the morning to startle the neighbors. At least that's what my better half always tells me... and I always listen to her... well sort of.
The three toms remained in the alfalfa field, eating and strutting, for the next hour or so.…

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Shep's Thunder Valley Taxidermy

Shep's Thunder Valley Taxidermy

Rick TullyIt seems many turkey hunters have been having success, according to what's been getting brought in to me.
Many successful hunters have been bringing me big toms to have anything done from a beard board to a full body mount!
I took one in today that had a 10-inch beard with 1-inch spurs that was shot about 20 minutes after fly down. As impressive as that bird was the hunter stated that, "The bigger one wouldn't get any closer so I took the sure shot." Sounds like he had a hunt never to forget, especially when he harvested the "small" one. After his hunt, the hunter gathered a good bunch of morels that he showed off to me. What a morning!
I had some luck during my first-season hunt. Friday morning was really slow and I stayed in the woods until 1 p.m. After that it was nap time for…

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Schafer's River Rentals

SCHAFER'S RIVER RENTALS ON BRICE PRAIRIE
Chad Knapmiller

Crappies had started biting pretty good, but with this cold snap they will be slowing down. Most guys were saying that once they found active fish they were catching between 10- and 14-inch crappies consistently. Once we get a few days of closer to average temps, they will be picking back up.  
Bass have been biting really well if you know what to use. Spoons and spinners seem to be key for them right now, heavily outfishing soft plastics.  
Stop in and I can show you what has been working!

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Wild Birds Unlimited

Wild Birds Unlimited
WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED IN LA CROSSE

We had our first report of a male rose-breasted grosbeak sighting, so be on the lookout.  
I have had my oriole and hummingbird feeders up for about four days now, I have not seen either one. I expect we may see orioles by the weekend, but with the frigid temps, they just may stay where they are for now before moving further up north.  
I do not expect to see a hummingbird yet, I normally see them either the first weekend of May or Mother's Day weekend, which is the second weekend.I do have a lot of goldfinches in my yard right now along with chipping sparrows and white throated and white crowned sparrows. The "dawn's song" in the mornings is a delight, especially with the colder temps. At least I know spring is really here.
Remember, a number of…

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Wisconsin Birds

Wisconsin Birds

FROM WISCONSIN DNR

Baltimore orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks have arrived in numbers, along with a few orchard orioles and ruby-throated hummingbirds. The next one to two good migration nights (often under clear skies with calm or south winds) should bring a wave of these colorful favorites to many backyards in the southern tier of the state.
Warblers are also beginning their push. Yellow-rumped and palm warblers dominate, with a few pine, orange-crowned, Nashville, black-throated green, northern and Lousiana waterthrushes, and common yellowthroats. Other arrivals this week included hooded warbler and an early blackburnian in Green Bay.
Warbling and blue-headed vireos are being seen now, as well as the first eastern kingbirds, least and great crested flycatchers. Gray catbirds and…

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Around the Badger State

Around the Badger State

FROM WISCONSIN DNR

The green-up is still in full swing this week, with the help of consistent rain events and temperatures between the 50s and 70s. This, combined with recent snow in the northern portions of the state continues to put a damper on recently high fire danger across and has brought us to "Low" fire danger throughout the counties.
Water levels are still running above normal, and the Wisconsin River is above flood stage. Trails across the state are likely to feature more than a few hints of mud. Bring your rubber boots or waterproof hikers and enjoy the scenery as the banks, forests, marshes and prairies respond to the influx of moisture.
Challenging weather made for tough angling across the board this past week. Anglers from Marinette County to Brown County reported numerous…

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Island Outdoors on French Island

Island Outdoors on French Island
ISLAND OUTDOORS ON FRENCH ISLAND

Billy Isbell

Well, we can start with the walleye and bass since there are a few tournaments in town and the area.
Walleye have been really shallow on current breaks and rocky bottoms. Dragging minnows has been doing well. Thumper tail plastics have been doing really well also. Willow cats are performing for your usual bigger eyes.
Bass are up hugging the banks with the high water. Anything from swim jigs to crank baits have been catching the hungry fiends.
Northern pike are still doing well in the shallows, using pretty much anything you wanna throw out there, with one report of bluegills giving you the time of your life.
Catfish have been caught as well using bluegills as bait. I haven't heard about anyone catching them on anything else yet. But I did see…

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