Out and About with Bob

Bob Lamb

I finally wet a line late last week. However, I wasn't prepared for what happened.
It all began when the sun came up, and I decided "Today is the day."
I tossed one fishing pole in our Jeep, grabbed a box of crawlers from the garage fridge and drove down to Veterans Point on the the south end of French Island.
I baited my hook with half a crawler and tossed my line into the water. The bobber danced up and down, I jerked and reeled in a beautiful lunker bluegill. Tossing it back in, I pitched out my line again. The bobber bobbed, but I lost the fish. It happened again before I reeled in and re-baited with the other half of crawler.
I tossed the line out once more. Only this time the bobber did more than a little dance. It quickly disappeared beneath the water. I yanked and hooked into a very large fish. I played it as best as I could for the next minute or so, realizing my 8-pound test line was working overtime. Then, as I brought the fish closer to shore, it snapped the line, leaving me with nothing but line. My guess is it was a northern pike.  
With no more hooks, bobbers or split shot, my day was ended. I learned my lesson the hard way.
Rivers are receding quickly now. Junior and I should be able to walk out to the boathouse by this weekend and fish from the deck.
Meanwhile, more deer are showing their summer coats. While working in my study last Monday, a yearling ran right past the window in the middle of the day. Does are still dropping fawns, too.
Minnesota DNR conservation officer Mitch Boyum, stationed in Rushford, has received multiple calls throughout the week about fawns.
Boyum also spent time checking anglers and boaters along the Mississippi River. He said success was fair.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.


Jerry Davis

From Southern Wisconsin

More tallying of outdoors activities and population estimates are finding their ways from field notes, registration files and listening sessions.
The five-year Southwest Wisconsin Chronic Wasting Disease Deer and Predator Study has completed its spring fawn capture in Dane, Grant and Iowa counties and reached their goal by collaring 128 fawns. A few more were captured, but known twins are not both collared.
Not everything is clear cut. For example, one doe, born May 24, 2017, then re-collared as an adult Feb. 1, 2018, died on March 7, 2019 of unknown causes. It was not CWD, not starvation, no broken bones or neck trauma, and apparently not taken down by coyotes, either. Cause unknown.
While 2019 spring turkey hunters had some stretches of poor hunting weather, 38,556 birds were registered, compared to 38,885 in spring 2018. Youth and learn-to-hunt hunters registered 2,276 birds in 2019.
Ruffed grouse drumming counts are being anxiously awaited and likely released within days, The 100 former Wisconsin ruffed grouse, now calling Missouri home, were not detected during drumming counts, but some were observed during Missouri field work.
The “Show Me” state biologists will be coming north for a second round of trapping 100 birds later this year, as well as assessing those on the ground in Missouri.
West Nile Virus test results are still being analyzed and will be released as a full batch in late July.
Speaking of numbers no one can count, the tiny black flies continue to be assessed by swarms, not individuals. There is some good news here, though. This species develops in high quality, moving water, not stagnant pools like some mosquitoes. Think trout  streams, but probably not trout fishing!
Turkey head nets (who cares how we look), insect repellents and long sleeves top the list of keep-em-aways. Birds also are bothered, and killed, by these “buffalo gnats.” Bald eagle eaglets in Iowa, whooping cranes at Necedah, and bluebird nest box young have been bitten repeatedly by black flies. Enough so that some have died.
PROVEN, a new 12-hour repellent, has shown “keep away” potential, as has Icy Hot, with up to 16 percent menthol (Vick’s has 4 percent) is one outdoorsman’s answer.
After the agony of the biting, some people have complained of persisting rashes and irritations, too, which prolongs the memory.     
Black locust and tulip poplars are trees in full bloom presently. Basswood is close behind. The tulip-tree (pictured) is a common horticultural planting in southern Wisconsin, which has large flowers resembling tulips, but unrelated.
Virtually all deer are now in full summer attire, looking extremely attractive, but active enough to cause highway problems for motorists of all types.
Garden potatoes and tomatoes are beginning to flower and because they are related, the flowers and young fruits resemble one another.
Some ginseng appears to be showing deer damage (maybe) with one or more of the compound leaves missing. If all leaves are removed, the plant usually does not emerge the following year.
Preliminary nut assessment looks promising, but time will tell.
Camping, fishing, counting turkey poults and watching for second nest box clutches are ahead.

Contact Jerry Davis, a freelance writer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 608-924-1112

Wild Birds Unlimited

Karen Perry from Wild Birds Unlimited

There's plenty of things happening in nature during June.
For example:
* June is Perennial Garden Month & National Rivers Month.
* Bird migration is finished. Birds that are here now are summer residents that nest.
* As the month progresses, feeders can become busy with visiting parents and fledglings.
* House wrens are nesting.
* Canada goose molting period begins in mid-June. They cannot fly during this time.
* Raccoon young are born.
* Titmice and chickadees will start a second nesting.
* Water perennial gardens for longer time and less often to force roots to grow down.
* White-tailed deer fawns continue to be born this month.
* Bats are active at night seeking insects.
Meanwhile, add suet dough to your feeding station during the hot summer. Keep your feeders and bird baths clean and your seed fresh.
Don't forget Father's Day is this weekend. We have GREAT gifts for the "dad's" on your list, plus we're offering 20% off any one item.
Stop in and see us at Wild Birds Unlimited in Onalaska at 608-781-5088, and check out our web site at https://onalaska.wbu.com/.
Happy Birding, Happy Father's Day!
Karen Perry - Wild Birds Unlimited