It has been difficult to spend time outdoors since shortly after Christmas. Not only have we had very low temperatures to put up with but also the winds have been continuous. One recent evening we went to bed with the plan to get up, have a good breakfast and head onto the ice. Our target was several crappies – enough for two meals.
A good friend had told us about some successful anglers who had been fishing on the Three Lakes Chain of Lakes. When we pulled up to an access point we could see several friends from Rhinelander who were setting up. It has been my policy to never make the first set of tracks on snow-covered lakes.
The friends were drilling holes and setting up their tip downs. The walk out to them was over one quarter of a mile but that is much better than calling a tow truck to retrieve the pick up and then going home to tell your wife that the truck went through the ice.
We piled our auger, poles, jigging poles and several items of fishing tackle on the base of our pop-up tent and pulled the load onto the ice. With all the very cold weather we have had we anticipated that the ice would be thick. At this point “The Jinx” (Tom Twesme) and I discussed the potential for poor ice. We talked about early ice that was a thin layer of ice. At that time it looked like we would have good smooth ice but along came a layer of heavy, wet snow. The weight of the heavy snow forced the ice down creating layers. This process forced water through cracks in the ice that froze as another layer of ice. When we drilled a hole the water flowed up onto the ice and we again had another layer of ice.
We had to work to get the equipment where we wanted it. As we walked on the ice pulling our sled we would sink in two to five inches of ice and water. Tom had a crappie on the ice before I was able to get a line in the water. We fished that lake for four hours and the four of us did not catch any more fish.
We decided to come back to Boom Lake and fished for four more hours catching enough crappies for two meals. Oh yes, as we fished the temperature continued to drop. Of course I should be prepared for that kind of a day when the “Osseo Jinx” comes to fish.
The most carefully studied wild animal in Wisconsin is white tailed deer. There are volumes of data available detailing deer behavior. The white tailed deer is attractive to hunters as well as those who simply enjoy watching deer. Recently the timber wolf has been studied and is drawing a lot of attention.
As previously discussed in this column a committee has been formed for each county in the state. The purpose of those committees is to provide hunters and deer observers with an avenue to inform DNR game managers with the observations of deer movements. The committees were formed as a result of the report offered by Dr. Deer. These committees, known as the County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC), represent the following areas: agriculture, DMAP, forestry, tourism, transportation, urban areas, hunting and conservation clubs and two members of the Conservation Congress. The next meeting of the Oneida County Advisory Council is scheduled for January 27th at the James Williams Middle School at 6:00 p.m. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend.
Thus far hunters and wild life observers have forwarded comments to the council for consideration. The council will consider those comments and the comments offered by council members and others who attend the Council meeting.
Native Americans representatives from Wisconsin Tribes have been invited to share information to the CDAC regarding deer management practices by the Tribes on Tribal land. A responsibility of the CDAC is to determine the final 3-year deer population objectives. The 2014 nine-day antlered season in Oneida County saw a reduction of 34.62% in the antlered kill by firearms and a reduction of 203.45% antlerless deer killed by firearms. This reduction in the number of antlerless deer was expected since they were protected in Oneida County.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.