Mild weather favors outdoor activities

DNR REPORT - Most of the state has enjoyed beautiful weather over the past week and weekend. With no rain, sunny skies, and warmer than normal temperatures forecast for the next few days, it should be excellent weather to be outdoors.

The mild temperatures have people still enjoying canoeing and kayaking on rivers. It's a very unusual November when paddlers can comfortably float without a coat. The lower Wisconsin River continues to run a bit above normal flows for this time of year.

The gun deer season is right around the corner, so if you haven't already now is the time to make sure firearms are sighted in and ready. The season starts on Saturday, Nov. 19th and runs through the 27th. Most trees are free of the leaves so visibility is very good. Deer are mobile during the day and warm weather has made it comfortable for bow hunters, who are reporting the rut is continuing in full swing.

While waterfowl hunting pressure remains light; those after ducks and geese are reporting decent success from the Theresa Marsh area.

Strong grouse numbers are being reported from the Flambeau River State Forest, though birds have moved to deeper woods as a result of hunting activity.

Even with the beautiful fall weather, fishing activity has continued to diminish on waters in the Northwoods. Despite a slow cool down for state waters, fishing pressure continues to drop. For those anglers still out, walleye success has picked up on rives, including the Flambeau, Wolf and Wisconsin, with sporadic catches reported from Northwoods flowages. Musky anglers are having more success, with anglers continuing to find targets suspended over deep water and along the weedy edges of the shore. A little surge in panfish action has also been noted, with some decent crappie and perch showing up in the creel.

The mild fall has slowed bird migrations. The sandhill crane population remains near peak at the Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area. The estimated population this year is approximately 14,000 to 15,000 cranes between Crex Meadows and Fish Lake wildlife areas. They fly in each evening to the wildlife until about sunset.

In the morning, they fly out sometime after the sun rises, with several thousand cranes moving out over a two-hour period.

The waterfowl population remains high at Horicon Marsh, with a recent survey finding approximately 21,000 mallards, more than 48,000 Canada geese and just under 3,000 sandhill cranes.

Barred owls have been very vocal.

Horned larks, snow buntings, tree sparrows, juncos, tufted titmice and the occasional Lapland longspurn have been observed in different areas of the state.


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