Warm weather frustrates some creates opportunities for others

The unseasonably warm weather has continued another week. Snow that had fallen has melted, with the exception of a little on the ground in shaded areas of the far north.

Most lakes and rivers through southern and central Wisconsin remain ice free, including the Winnebago system and the Mississippi River.

Northern lakes that had frozen have open water areas redeveloping along many shorelines and inlet and outlets. Most early-season anglers that had been out trying their luck have now backed off and are waiting for cold temperatures to re-establish a solid 3 to 4 inches of ice.

While the unseasonably warm weather has ice anglers and snowmobilers contemplating trading their gear for boats and ATVs, it has created opportunities for others.

While there’s no snow for skiing, trails around the state remain in excellent condition for hiking, and many mountain bike and horse trails remain open.

Grouse hunters report still flushing good numbers of birds while hunting in 40-50 degree days with no snow.

Turkeys have been very talkative on the roost, including some gobbling.

Trappers have easy access to trap lines and are starting to catch a few more furbearers.

The last pheasant stocking of the season is wrapping up but there are still opportunities on many wildlife areas.

The southern duck hunting season ended last weekend, but goose hunting is still open and runs through Dec. 16 in the Horicon Zone and through Dec. 21 in the southern Exterior Zone south.

Canada geese are still common throughout these areas thanks to the lack of snow and unfrozen conditions.

These conditions also made it easy for hunters to endure longer hours afield for the four-day antlerless hunt that began Dec. 10 and ran through Sunday, Dec. 13. This hunt was open statewide in counties open to antlerless hunting.

Many northern counties are buck only, which means bucks could not be harvested during this time. The archery and crossbow seasons remain open, but harvest is restricted to antlerless only, including the buck-only counties. People can check the DNR website to see where additional antlerless carcass tags are available.

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