Antlers waiting to be found

Some northern areas received additional snowfall as recently as January 30. About 20 northern counties are now rating snowmobile conditions as fair to good on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report

The same is largely true for those looking to ski or snowshoe, with many counties in the northern sections of the state ready with groomed trails for cross-country skiing and trails with enough snow pack for snowshoeing.

Be aware that the recent warmth and following cold may have made trails icy in areas. People can now check on cross-country ski conditions at a number of state park and forest properties through the DNR from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website by searching keywords “trail conditions.”

People can now check on cross-country ski conditions through the DNR website. These freshly groomed trails are at Pattison State Park.

With the rain and wind in late January came huge ice shoves on the Bay of Green Bay at the Oconto breakwater stacking up ice and creating difficult travel conditions.

Anglers who are venturing out are staying away from larger cracks and staying close to the breakwater and are reporting limits of whitefish, smaller perch and variable sizes of northern.

Anglers at the Peshtigo harbor in Marinette County have been catching smaller northern pike on tip-ups. Anglers off Voyageur’s Park are landing good numbers of walleye, along with fewer whitefish and northern. Those fishing out at Bay- shore and Volk’s Landing were targeting whitefish, but having a tougher time of it.

Hunting seasons for squirrel, grouse and bobcat closed on January 31.

Shed hunters are beginning to travel through cornfields and swamps in search of antlers that most bucks will have shed by now.

While hunting seasons may have closed, expect to see tracks for active otters, fisher and bobcats as they traverse the landscape, particularly on warmer days.

There are a number of songbirds active and singing despite the weather, with sightings of juncos, cardinals, horned larks, goldfinches and common redpolls continue to be numerous this winter.

Several robin sightings have also come in. Those who regularly feed birds are noticing only sporadic attendance, as warmer bouts in this winter have allowed birds to forage in the fields and forests. A large number of eagles are also being reported by those observing the Wisconsin River at the Petenwell Dam. Northern shrike, rough-legged hawk and tree sparrows were present this week at Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area where a golden eagle and great gray owl were also seen.

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