Outdoor Report: Spring is finally here
Spring weather showed up this week and took some hard shots at the remnants of winter. This is the first week that we have really had what passes for true spring weather. The remaining snow (and make no mistake, there is snow remaining) settled and melted, and south-facing slopes are now mostly bare. There are some areas of open water on rivers where there was only ice a week ago. Change, finally, seems at hand.
Ice fishing is heating up. Crappies are very active now and bluegills are right behind. Perch are so-so at best and there is some early walleye action downriver on the Wisconsin River where they are legal game. Access on most lakes is much improved over a few weeks ago and anglers are able to get out. We expect good action to continue.
While ice is still thick on many lakes, there are already areas that may be of concern. It’s not too early to start to exercise some caution when you leave firm ground for any ice-covered lakes or rivers. Things can really change quickly, especially as temperatures rise in the afternoon. That warmth, or a hard rain and strong wind, can break up lake ice overnight.
Turkey season is at hand with the Youth Hunt this weekend, the 12th and 13th, and the first of the regular periods starting on Wednesday the 16th. Birds are moving into spring areas now as snow melts and ground becomes exposed. We expect turkey numbers to be down after a harsh winter, but toms will be looking for hens and hunting may be better than many expect.
Bare ground means wood ticks! We have had a few reports of ticks already, so be prepared. A good repellant sprayed on pants legs is very effective. We always use it in the early season and all turkey hunters are advised to go with it.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.