Huge Burnett County Buck Harvest!
Monster Buck shot in Burnett County Wisconsin!
Opening weekend of archery season in Wisconsin has started, and with that, many eager hunters hit the woods in anticipation on getting into the stand in hopes of having a shot at a monster buck! Well for this lucky hunter in Burnett County he sure had the hunt of a life time!
September 17th- Second day of season
With the first day of season in the books for Greg Widiker, he set out to his stand for another sit in hopes of seeing a buck he has been watching since 2014. According to Leader News Room, Widiker says, “I was definitely very aware of him and the last two years the focus was definitely on him. He was the only deer I was going to shoot.”
The morning of the 17th was more so an unsuccessful one. Widiker set his eyes that afternoon on a primary scouting mission around his property. Leader News Room says, with Widiker that bucks on his 80 acre piece of property usually doesn’t hold big bucks until later in the year. The bucks usually feed primarily on the neighboring bean fields that surround the parcel of land. Thats unless there is a nice acorn fall on his property.
Widiker says, “One thing I do have is white-oak acorns” so he scouted for another place to sit for his evening hunt.
Later That Evening
With a quick search of the property a white-oak acorn ridge was found with ample amount of sign including a fresh scrape, and rubs all around.
“It was a white-oak ridge and it was just raining white-oak acorns. The sign was hot, with fresh droppings. There was a fresh scrape and buck rubbings already. So, for September, it was like, hello!”
With his stand hung the wait began with the anticipation of what could happen next. Over the course of the hunt Widiker saw 15 deer in total many of which were small fawns and does. A quick snort wheeze call from Widiker allowed him to see a massive bodied deer working his way to him. Thats when it happened.
“I watched him in the binoculars for so long that I forgot I was hunting. I realized that my angle was right down when I was looking through my binoculars,” Widiker said. “I was just soaking it in and watching him. I could hear him sniffing the acorns and I could hear him crunching them, it’s amazing.”
The buck ended up only 15 yards away, sniffing the ground and eating those white-acorns. Widiker says, “I got buck fever and started shaking out of control,” he said. “I just closed my eyes and focused on my breathing and talked myself down, and it worked. And I regained my composure.”
He calmly drew back and settled his pin. He then let the arrow fly and THWAP! The smack of a Rage Hypodermic broadhead made contact. With excitement and an overwhelming amount of adrenaline, he made his way out to base camp where him and his buddy would begin the tracking process of the hunt. With a huge blood trail he found his buck only to have his friend say, “He’s right there!”
Widiker says, “It was overwhelming for me. It took me awhile to touch him. I just have tremendous respect for the animal. He’s just been what ruled my hunting for years. Part of me felt bad. Actually the first thing out of my mouth was that I apologize.”
With a huge range of emotion running through everyones veins Widiker finally bagged a buck of a lifetime. Through his patience, persistence, and knowledge Widiker walked away with a great story, meat in the freezer and a buck of a lifetime.
-For more to this story check out http://www.leadernewsroom.com/2017/09/21/burnett-county-hunter-arrows-buck-of-a-lifetime
Fall Bago Eyes
By: Kyle Sorensen
What a summer it has been! We have sure had some fun times here on the Winnebago System. The fish have been hungry this year, and the younger year classes have certainly been showing up in addition to the normal targeted sizes we find on the system. I have seen some big fish in the net, but I have also seen hundreds of the 10”- 13” Walters dangling on the end of my line. There are certainly some fantastic years of fishing ahead of us!
The dog days of summer have come, and they are now slowly slipping away into the cooler nights. The algae which had painted the surface of the water is now receding as we approach the last leg of the open water season. During this time, I’m sure some of you are making preparations in the woods as the buck bug grows and starts to nibble. While some have already switched out the open water gear for camo and their bow, keep those rods in the boat and at the ready as the fall walleye bite is here!
If we look at how the Winnebago System produces year round, we know fish can be caught in 30 FOW, all the way down to a couple feet, at any given time. Have you ever sight fished for walleyes under the ice in a few feet of water? It’s a blast, but it’s also a key area to take note. I am not going to tell you that to be successful you need to fish a reef during this time, and I’m not going to say you need to fish the deep mud flats. I’m going to tell you that you need to keep all of your options available and be prepared to sometimes switch things up when the current tactic or location isn’t producing.
If you saw the live broadcast I did on the OB Outdoors Facebook page while on the Fox River in Oshkosh, you saw a very nice two-man limit in the livewell. You also saw something that sums up fishing on the Winnebago System – a ton of rods with a lot of different rigs. Some days, fish are holding to weedbeds while sometimes the mud bite is phenomenal. This can go back and forth so we need to be ready. Let’s look at some important aspects of the range of bites on the Winnebago System during the fall time as each area can be useful at any given time. An important area to start on is the weed bite.
Whether you target submerged weeds or emergent weeds, it’s no secret; walleyes relate to both types here on our system. Some of the factors involved with a successful weed bite depend on forage, wind, temperature and oxygen levels. As we transition into the fall bite and the temperatures begin to drop, weedbeds that can normally hold fish begin to die off. As they die, they begin emitting less and less oxygen into the water. With less oxygen, the small bugs that the forage base consumes begin to die off and/or they move in search of a more desirable environment. With the bugs and forage moving, so do the ‘eyes. Knowing this, the only thing left to assume is that we need to target live, active weedbeds. This, however, can sometimes be a trick in itself as the season gets later and later.
When we fish weeds, jigging crawlers and leeches on the lightest possible jig head can certainly produce some great results while running the edges with the bow-mount. Plastics have their time and place in the weedbeds and due to their composition, they can allow us to rig the worm, leech, grub, whatever, in a way in which it produces less hookups with weeds. Depending on fish activity, sometimes anchoring and running slips on the outside edges can work. On a totally different side note, I have sometimes switched gears completely from ‘eyes to pannies while running slips on the edges. This becomes an absolute treat after a few hearty gills start dropping corks…
The next area of focus is the river systems. There are walleye on the system that never leave the river of their choosing during their entire life. As with springtime tactics, jigging minnows, crawlers, even leeches, all hold value in this topic. As I mentioned in a river jigging video I did this spring, looking for contours in the river channels is an integral part while targeting these fish. When I am jigging, you will always see me using the lightest jig possible to present my bait. By utilizing my bow-mount, I am able to slow down my drift speed and work each area longer before the full drift of the specific area has been completed.
The rivers are a unique environment by themselves. Some species spawn in the rivers, which in turn offers a hatch ripe for the chomping. With this happening, it not only brings in the jigging aspect but also the fly pulling tactics of springtime fishing. When we pull or pump flies, we are mimicking baitfish. With some hatches happening at any time into the fall bite, pulling flies yet again can create some amazing results. Our electronics can show these baitfish balls or clouds, and in a river system, you would be hard pressed to not see strong marks under and around these sometimes massive collections of forage. When you see one, it’s time to mark it and fish it good!
During the start of the fall bite, a lot of the spring forage has grown but some species have continued to spawn throughout the summer months as previously discussed. While crankbaits work throughout the year on our system, and crawler harnesses are a killer tactic on the system during the summer months, more and more anglers trade in the harnesses for cranks during this time. This coincides with a primary source of food for our walleye: the gizzard shad.
Gizzard shad have a very high fat content, and they are a slower moving object of prey. It’s a perfect combination for these ‘eyes as they begin to stock up. As with other species of fish in the system, the shad have a variety of year classes (many sizes) which allows for the various year classes of walleye to pick and choose what they want to fill their guts with. Because of the forage, the crankbait trolling bite sees an absolute spike during this time, and as always, we match the hatch. By doing this, we can select shad patterned cranks and run them slow to mimic the movements of the shad. Because Berkley’s Flicker Shad somewhat matches this movement, these are always a good starting point!
In my last article, we talked about trolling cranks out in the mud on Winnebago. This is still a tactic that will produce into the late fall so be sure to keep it in your arsenal. If you want to check out that article, it’s available for free on Badger Sportsman’s online archive at www.BadgerSportsman.com for all of you subscribers!
The mud is not the only place on the Winnebago System that shows results while trolling cranks. The shorelines (especially around active weedbeds), mid-lake structures (reefs, humps, breaks) and rocky points all show great promise. With the cooling temperatures, fish remain in all areas of the water column as turnover takes place. Turnover is when the different temperatures collide in the water column and the water column becomes one… in so many words. As I previously stated, walleyes on our system can be had year round in the shallows to the deep trenches of our rivers. Because of this, I certainly do not see a huge impact that turnover presents to our walleye fishery here on the Winnebago System as there are always active fish here somewhere.
The last area I will cover is live bait rigging off of bottom bouncers. I love using bottom bouncers because they stir up the bottom and I also know exactly where my rig is running. The one aspect I do not like is the efficiency: usually only using one rod to cover the water area. This is a tactic that usually emerges in the early summer and pushes into mid-fall in my boat.
Growing up I was doing this in northern Minnesota, and now, I am continuing to utilize this technique here on our system. A leech or crawler “harness” can be deadly when all else seems to fail. As the rig options are endless and constantly changing, I will say that more often than not you will see some type of float on my setup. While sharp breaks coming from the shoreline, various reefs, or even rocky points are some great areas to target for this tactic, do not limit it to just those. This is a very versatile technique because it allows the angler to slow down and work a specific area in great detail while trying to coax a timid eye into snatching up the rig. With that said, my favorite area to start in is water around reefs that hold deep water.
As we all know, wind plays a huge role on fish location and activity. When running one of these rigs, you will see me starting on the windblown side, making an elongated “S” as I creep deeper and deeper into the main portion of the lake before restarting or jumping to a new structure. As the bouncer ticks bottom, I usually keep the speed between .5 – .8mph, sometimes even a slower drag. This is all dependent on the blade of the rig (if I even use one), the hardware, etc. A little pulse of the rod can sometimes warrant a strike, while other times the “S” turns being made suffice within themselves.
I have heard of some letting line out when a fish hits or even just waiting to set the hook. In my opinion, this is not good in any way shape or form, unless you are fishing with a single hook rig (leech, slow death, etc.). We have so many smaller ‘eyes (and goats) in our system that if you are running a two or three hook harness, those guys are going to swallow at least one of them. Are you going to keep a 10” ‘eye (or the bigger ones that are hooked badly), or do you mind having to clip a hook off of your harness? I don’t like the thought of those scenarios so I set the hook with a nice sweeping style when I feel the fish hit… No ifs ands or buts!
We briefly covered A LOT of different areas and topics here. Why? Because, like I have said over and over, the Lake Winnebago System is so versatile in the fact that any of these tactics (and more) could be the golden goose at any given time. When you fish the fall walleye bite on our system, be sure to come prepared for anything and keep trying different locations and tactics until you find the one that’s working for that specific day… or even hour! Before we know it, ice will be here and so will some fun videos that I can’t hardly wait to release! I hope you are able to finish the season off with a bang, and as always, until next time, “Tight Lines. Stay Dry.”
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5 Things You May Not Have Known About Coyotes
Coyotes may look like wolves but are quite different. They are one of the most clever animals out in the wild. Everyone knows that they have a heightened sense of smell and enjoy eating smaller animals like rabbits and other rodents. However, did you know that:
They communicate well with each other
Coyotes are quite communicative with one another. Like wolves, they may travel in packs and communicate through sounds. Depending on the situation they may howl, bark, wail, squeal, growl, or even make high-pitched cries. Each sound has its own distinct meaning. If you are out in the wild it is likely you may hear them either at dawn or dusk. If you want to get their attention and respond to you, you may consider using a fire whistle or a siren. They respond to those quite well at almost anytime of the day.
They have a keen eye for predators
What do you do when you try to sneak by someone? Most of us when we try to go undetected walk on our toes. Well so do coyotes. These smart animals have a keen sense of smell and eyesight which helps in detecting predators. Once, they spot a predator they go into stealth mode and walk on their toes so they go undetected.
They can swim
In the wild, coyotes main predators are bears and wolves. Humans are also climbing up the predator list as coyote hunting has become quite common. To escape from their predators coyotes employ swimming as a tactic and they do it quite well. This allows them to use a body of water to separate themselves from their predator as bears and wolves tend to not be the best of swimmers.
They can outrun you
Coyotes are no cheetahs but they are pretty fast. Coyotes can run up to 40 miles per hour (mph). Compare that to an average human speed which tops at 28 mph, coyotes are pretty fast. Their speed allows them to run from predators and catch smaller preys. They use different panting techniques to ensure that they can run in bursts when needed and for longer runs they regulate their speeds well. However, you won’t find coyotes run for a longer period of time too much.
They eat fruits and vegetables too
Coyotes are omnivores, they enjoy their meat along with vegetables, berries, and fruits. They diet is quite wholesome and consists of a lot of fruits and berries they can find in the wild along with meat. Vegetables are fairly harder for them to find in the wild but they eat them also whenever they come across them. You can find out more about what coyotes eat here.
There is a reason why coyotes are considered to be one of the most smartest animals. They adapt well to their environment and approach their daily matters in a clever way. This allows them to smartly catch their preys while also evade their predators.
The Boy Scouts got it right: “Be Prepared.” Same goes for your vehicle!
Do you love going on outdoor adventures? Whether you’re heading “up north” or to another part of beautiful Wisconsin, plan what vehicle you want to buy to get the most of your trek. Simply put, consider what activities you’re going to enjoy, and select the right vehicle. Hunters may want to store a deer in a separate area, away from passengers. Anglers may want enough maneuverability to drive to secluded fishing holes. Campers may need extra storage space.
We’ll help you do some of your planning right now … before you go hunting for a quality used car, truck, or SUV.
Let’s start with where you’re headed and the terrain on which you’ll be driving. If you know you’re going to Apple Valley Farms Off-Road Park, for instance, you may want to consider a vehicle with a shorter wheelbase, which provides the stability you’ll need. Having enough ground clearance keeps you riding above the tall brush, fallen tree limbs, etc. Knowing this, an all-wheel or 4-wheel drive car or truck could be a necessity. When you go test driving, keep an eye for tires with a deep tread, and listen for squeaks from the vehicle’s shock absorbers.
2. Towing Capacity and Control
What “toys” are you bringing along? Pulling a boat, a camper, a loaded trailer, or a small watercraft requires a plan. Obviously, the weight difference between these can be significant, so do your research. Knowing a vehicle’s maximum towing capacity and having the correct trailer hitch is vital. For instance, a 2011 Subaru Outback’s towing capacity is 2,700 lbs., while a 2010 Ford F150’s towing capacity is 9,600 lbs.
Let’s say your boat’s manufacturer lists a dry weight of 4,450 lbs. With gas, gear, and equipment, expect around 5,500 lbs. Now, add the weight of an aluminum trailer, around 1,200 lbs. See how a vehicle’s towing capacity can be used up quickly? And remember, for serious towing, a break controller for the trailer is a must.
Plus, consider not only what you’ll be towing this summer, but perhaps in the next few years. That bass boat you’ve been eyeing up will require different vehicle capabilities than the canoe you currently have.
If you’re going to spend the time and effort to get to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, you’ll want to bring enough supplies. Tents, fishing rods, life vests, rain gear, clothes and, of course, a loaded cooler. The list goes on and on. Just two Wisconsin adventurers can fill a vehicle quickly, not to mention a family of four. Handy fold-down seats are great, but will that be enough?
Also, hunters need to consider the space needed to bring a deer back home. Do you really want that stinky critter in the same cab as you, or would a separate storage area be best?
If you know you can’t fit everything in your vehicle, consider these options. A roof rack can hold an incredible amount of gear, as long as a couple kayaks don’t take up all your roof space. Cargo boxes and roof baskets of all shapes and sizes can ease your panic as you run out of interior storage room.
So, how much do you want to “rough it” exactly? Do you want plush interior amenities, such as heated/cooled seats? Or, do you prefer an interior that can be hosed out after a muddy outing?
A long road trip lends itself to separate passenger climate control, no matter what time of year you’re adventuring. If you want to feel even more connected to nature, consider a moon roof. Yet, no matter where you go, make sure you have reliable navigation, either through your smartphone or a separate GPS system.
What about outside the vehicle? Fog lights can help visibility, and a rear camera makes backing up effortless. A keypad entry system removes any worry about losing keys in the lake or woods. Sure, you may need to add many of these after you purchase your used vehicle, but if you see one that has what you need, so much the better.
Finding the right car, truck, or SUV for your outdoor plans isn’t easy. In the end, it has to work for you, so do your research on vehicle makes, models, and load designations.
Consider that a full-size pickup, for instance, can have up to six engine combinations, be available in manual or automatic, have ½-, ¾-, or 1-ton payload ratings, come in regular or extended cab, etc. It can boggle the mind. We suggest discussing your outdoor adventure needs with a reputable, ethical, and honest used vehicle dealer.
The post Used Car Buying Tips for Hunters, Anglers, and other Up North Adventurers appeared first on Morning Moss.
Weekly Morning Trail Mix 8-28
Whats up. Im Todd. I like my dog, boats, the open water, the American flag and guns. Some might describe me as a "basic bro", but I'm really just a down home country boy. And a country boy can survive! Im usually out on the water in my fishing boat or canoe with my dog drinking a beer. Stuff on here is stuff I like. Cheers.