Outdoor Notebook: Fishing, bear hunting, moose sightings
Bear season just around the corner; moose season? Unlikely
BY ROGER SABOTA
Special to the Star Journal
Recently while with a group of hunters the question was asked about when bear hunters who are planning to use bait can begin to place bait in the area they plan to hunt. A quick check on the DNR website states that bait can be placed from April 15 through the end of bear season, Oct. 10, 2017.
Most bear hunters are aware of this and other regulations but others may find some of the information interesting.
The amount of bait that can be put out at one bait site is up to 10 gallons. It must be totally enclosed in a hollow log, a hole in the ground or a stump. That bait site must be covered with rocks, logs or other naturally occurring materials so deer cannot get at the food. Speaking from experience, baiting is a lot of work. Once the bear begin to visit the bait site new bait needs to continuously be placed at the site and covered again with rocks and logs to keep the bear coming back.
There is a long list of what cannot be used to entice a bear to a bait site but most hunters use something that is sweet. Chocolate should never be used because it is toxic to bears, especially cubs and also other wildlife. No animal parts or by-products, such as honey can be used.
This year those hunting in zones A, B and D, where dogs are permitted, will have the first opportunity to hunt with the aid of dogs only, Sept. 6 – 12.
Beginning Sept. 13 through Oct. 3, 2017, hunters may hunt with the aid of dogs, with the aid of bait with all legal methods.
Hunters can hunt with the aid of bait with other legal methods not using dogs Oct. 4 – 10.
In zone C, which covers about the lower one-third of the state, hunters may use all legal methods not using dogs from Sept. 6 – Oct. 10.
Bear hunting in Wisconsin is very popular with more people applying each year than the number of licenses available. In 2016 109,000 hunters applied for permits or preference points for 11,520 available permits. The deadline for applying for the 2017 season this fall was Dec. 10, 2016.
The dog-training period is only July 1 – Aug. 31 this year.
A new rule allowing hunters to leave portable ground blinds, tree stands and elevated devices out overnight on DNR-managed land will be in effect for the fall of 2017. Many hunters are pleased with this change in rules. This is only in effect north of highway 64.
Sightings of moose in our area do not happen on a regular basis but they do occur. Over the years there
have been quite a few moose sightings in eastern Oneida County near Monico.
Probably the most well-known moose in the area was the “Monico Moose” as it was called by many. It was seen by quite a few people prior to it being killed east of Rhinelander near Monico in February 2013. Since then other moose have occasionally been seen in the Monico area.
In September 2013 a moose was seen in the area of Pioneer Park in Rhinelander that was then followed by a police officer as it headed away from town on Hwy. G. It finally headed into the woods.
About two weeks ago a friend of ours awoke to find a young bull moose wandering around their yard in Pine Lake near county W. It seemed to not be in any hurry as it sampled some leaves on the bushes in the yard and then slowly moved off into the woods.
Their hope is that it liked what it found in the yard and will sometime return.
Moose numbers in Wisconsin are very low, therefore they are on the protected species list. One moose calf has been observed every year since 2008 except in 2014, according to Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game biologist. He does not believe that there will ever be a huntable population of moose in Wisconsin.
In 2014 there were 22 reported moose sightings in nine counties of Wisconsin and seven of those reports were in Oneida County. The DNR encourages people to report moose sighting on their website.
Although I haven’t been doing a lot of fishing lately, I am looking forward to our annual walleye fishing trip to northwestern Ontario, Canada, and hope to have some “fish stories” to tell.
Some friends who fished from the same resort during the week of July 4 reported that they had very good walleye fishing and except for one day the weather was great. That day they had ventured by boat a long way from the resort on the huge body of water known as Umfreville Lake.
As often happens, a big rainstorm came up very quickly, and before they were able to get back to the resort, they were completely soaked in spite of the rain suits they had managed to put on; not an unusual happening for those who fish a lot. There is always the thought that the storm is not moving “that” fast and the lure of “one more cast” keeps anglers on the water just a little too long.
Just a note for those who might still be interested in planting some trees. Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River has five species of trees available for $1.50 each. They are two year old seedlings and are not bare root. Call 715-479-6456 between 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. if you are interested.
Longtime outdoor enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.