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Update: April 14th 2016
Just a quick turkey hunting update. I was out in my new fake rock turkey hunting blind this morning. Hear lots of gobbling and had one coming in but it never got in range. I love the artificial boulder blind, but it is a bit noisy inside. It should be perfect once I spray foam the interior. I’ll keep you posted. And to all you turkey hunters out there, good luck!
Update: April 13th 2016
It’s turkey hunting season and hunting turkey rocks big time! I lucked out and got the first season this year so the landscape should be quite bare, allowing me to creep along the rocky ridges to hopefully get a long shot on a bird. Last spring I had a later season and the bushes and plants were grown in and it made seeing things a bit of a challenge. Although all the plants, bushes and foliage in the landscape does make stalking easier.
Since natural cover will be sparse, I plan on using a special blind I had custom made to match the rocks around the hunting area. It’s actually one of those big DekoRRa fake rocks that has been converted to hunt in. That’s right, I’ll be turkey hunting in a big artificial rock this spring! How cool is that? Anyways, I’ll let you know how it goes.
Update: March 10, 2016
Well, we survived the winter here in Wisconsin! Thank goodness that’s over with. Ice fishing was pretty lame this year due to the late ice we had. Now turkey season is just around the corner. If you didn’t get your tag yet be sure to mark MARCH 26th on your calendar as this is when bonus tags go on sale.
And don’t forget the youth hunt coming up early April. In Wisconsin, a child on needs to be 10 years old in order to take advantage of the early Learn To Hunt program. It’s a great way for kids to get out there and learn how to handle firearms safely and how to hunt responsibly. The hunter safety course is going to be held just east of Portage, WI off of Hwy 16.
Also, as many of you know I’m a big fan of supporting veterans. Check out this post about this guy who hunts in a motorized wheel chair equipped with treads. Very cool.
Update: December 23rd, 2015
This winter really stinks so far here in central Wisconsin! No ice on the lakes for ice fishing, no snow on the ground for tracking deer or snowmobiles. It’s down right unseasonable!
And there’s bad news about blue tongue disease getting closer to the Madison area. Friends of mine near Briggsville are reporting more and more deer found dead after being infected by the virus. The telltale sign is finding the deer dead near water, and many land owners are reporting finding dead deer along creeks, rivers, ponds and streams.
What makes matters worse is this warm weather we are having. Apparently blue tongue is a virus carried by gnats and midges living in the soil. Warm weather helps them thrive. When they bite a deer it becomes infected and most die within 2 weeks.
If you have hunting land for sale in Wisconsin or currently own hunting land, the word on the street is land prices could come down if the deer population continues to be negatively affected by this virus.
The good news is, unlike CWD which shows a 100% kill rate, some deer can survive blue tongu, so there’s hope the herd will evolve to overcome the virus. This may be why the disease is seen in pockets of Wisconsin hunting land throughout the state. Different deer herds may be more or less susceptible to the virus.
What’s new for the 2015 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Season?
- Electric Deer Registration in Wisconsin – WOW! Now this is cool! No more having to drive around with a dead deer in your trunk or pickup bed searching for one of the few deer registration stations in your neck of the woods. The future is here! The new E registration means Wisconsin Hunters can now call in their trophy bucks or register them using their smart phones. This is not only a huge time saver but will save on gas money as well. In some counties like Sauk, Columbia, Adams, Marquette finding a deer registration station was a big pain in the rear. Now it’s fast and easy! And for hunters like us in the suburbs around Madison it’s going to mean less driving around town looking for registration stations while getting dirty looks from all the tree huggers disgusted by the sight of a dead deer hanging out of the trunk. It’s win-win for everyone! Some say this may encourage poaching, but states like IL have been using electronic deer hunting registration for several years without any real negatives.
- Funky new doe tag system. In the past WI deer hunters could purchase antlerless deer bonus tags and use them to hunt anywhere where they were permitted. Starting in 2015 hunters need to state the specific deer management zone, county and type of land (public or private) they intend to harvest an anterless deer on. So even though I have an anterless deer tag for Dane county, I can’t hunt just anywhere with it. I need to specify public or private land as well. Apparently this is an attempt by the DNR to relieve hunting pressure on public lands. Most of the deer hunters in the Madison area that I have spoken with think it’s going to be a real pain in the toosh. Consider deer drives for example. During previous deer seasons we could get a group of hunters together who had valid doe tags for the management zone we were hunting in and organize a quick deer drive on a particular portion of private or public hunting property. Now with these new regulations, organizing these drives is going to be much more difficult. Eesh.
To Crossbow Or Not To Crossbow?
I’ve been getting lots of emails from hunters asking about crossbows. As you know, it’s now legal to hunt deer with crossbows in Wisconsin during the traditional archery deer season. Since a lot of areas in and around the suburbs of Madison and other WI cities are bow only, many hunters are looking into the possibility of hanging up their traditional archery and compound bows for the more rifle-like appeal of the crossbow.
My Advice: Do Your Research!
I’ve shot several crossbows in the past and loved them all. Fast, and super accurate. And the thought having the weapon ready to fire just like a rifle or shotgun is very tempting indeed.
But I’ve been getting lots of reports of injured deer from hunters using crossbows. Bolts not passing through the animals, being deflected off of ribs etc. From what I gather a broadside shot that doesn’t hit the shoulder is a dead ringer with a crossbow. But when a deer is quartering away or towards a hunter, the shorter and lighter weight crossbow bolts have a tendency to fly off course when contacting rib bones. And shoot a deer in the shoulder with a crossbow and your practically guaranteed an injury, where an arrow flung from a compound carrying more weight and kinetic energy at least has a chance of punching through the bone and into the vitals.
As I speak with more hunters who are using crossbows in an around Madison I’ll keep this information updated.
That’s all for now. Keep checking back for updates and don’t forget to contact us with your email address to subscribe to the Sub-Club hunters newsletter so we can keep you posted on future events.
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