By Roger Sabota
Special to the Star Journal
Following the 2015 deer season in Wisconsin there is no shortage of hunters who are complaining. We have not talked to any groups who would say that their group of hunters did well. Among those hunters were those who hunted deer with rifles, archery equipment and cameras. Some of those who look forward to hunting all year long are talking about the possibility of not purchasing a license for the 2016 deer season. I will inject my personal feelings at this point. I will not be a part of those who protest by not buying a deer-hunting license in Wisconsin.
According to the Associated Press, “The Department of Natural Resources officials want to let hunters leave tree stands on agency-managed lands overnight.”
The DNR said in a memo to the Natural Resources Board that the agency’s current prohibition on overnight stands is designed to prevent people from staking out territory. But they say allowing overnight stands could be convenient for older hunters and hunters can leave stands out overnight on other public land.
The plan was to ask the Natural Resources Board on Wednesday of this week “to approve a scope statement allowing them to begin work on rules allowing tree stands overnight on DNR land.”
The statement says the rule “could include a trial period on DNR lands in northern Wisconsin and provisions stating stand placement doesn’t reserve a location.”
With the weather we have experienced recently it was easy to catch up on some reading. I don’t even feel guilty staying in the house on a weekend when temperatures and wind chills were well below zero. This has been an excellent time to read some of the books that have been accumulating on our bookshelves. Also, this is a good time of the year to start getting fishing equipment in shape for those early season fishing trips. As the fishing equipment catalogs begin arriving in the mail my thoughts obviously stray toward open water fishing.
Perhaps a good starting point to consider is the batteries on your boat. Those are in need of routine maintenance if they have not been checked. I like to connect a battery maintainer when the batteries are not in use for long periods.
In regard to ice fishing, finally anglers feel quite comfortable venturing onto the lakes across the area. This year it was extremely difficult to get started ice fishing.
Normally some anglers are out on the early ice and are comfortable. This year anglers have hesitated to fish until late in January. Remember that many anglers say that ice is never safe.
Another thing to be aware of when fishing from an ice fishing shack, is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. A recent television story reported that several fishermen had been overcome by the odorless gas in an airtight shack. Several were recovering in a hospital and one did not survive.
My major interest in lures has been musky lures. My lure collection is getting larger each season. As I started sorting the lures two things became evident. First, many of my musky lures have been in my collection for any years. Second, is that a majority of the musky lures are manufactured right here in Northern Wisconsin.
In my collection some of the oldest lures have the name Suick on them. The Suick lures have been catching muskies for just over 70 years. Most of my older Suicks were painted black and white. Also, in the past Suicks were made from pine. Today they are made from high impact plastic and come in a variety of colors. There are jerk baits as well as glide baits and are manufactured south of here in Antigo.
Another jerk bait manufactured in Wisconsin and made from soft wood is the Bobbie Bait. The Bobbie Bait comes in several sizes, as do the Suicks.
Lures made by the Bucher Tackle Company are available in a variety of colors, materials and types. Bucher Tackle is also a Wisconsin company and started with buck tails.
Also manufactured in Antigo are the Mepps lures. They, too, are available in a variety of types and colors. Those lures that are surface lures are manufactured in a wide variety of materials and actions.
Each month additional varieties of lures enter the market.
Remember, if you are unfamiliar with a lake and ice conditions check with a local sport shop before venturing out.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.