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Kurt Krueger

In the Outdoors

Kurt Krueger can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521.

Don’t be afraid to eat fish from these waters
Deep-fried chunks of northern pike and crappie, fresh out of 350-degree peanut oil, are a healthy, tasty North Woods treat.           —STAFF?PHOTO
By Kurt Krueger

GOOD NEWS crossed my desk recently on the subject of eating fish from North Woods lakes and rivers, which many of us consumptive anglers take very seriously.
The scribbler makes no apologizes for the fact that much of my fishing is focused on the next fish fry, both in terms of species and necessary volume.
And the people I cook those fish fries for, whether it’s the News-Review crew or six couples gathered at someone’s house, just can’t seem to get enough of that real Wisconsin fish.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:09 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:14 PM )
Trees: Benefits don’t stop at resources education
Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River introduces some 5,000 students to the North Woods every year through its outdoor education workshops, one of many local benefits from this nonprofit specialty school.  —Contributed Photo
By Kurt Krueger

COULD IT BE that those of us who live, work and play in this natural resources paradise are too far-sighted to clearly see the benefits of our own nonprofit conservation specialty school?
Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River has been using field studies and classroom presentations to teach students and their instructors since 1944.
It has demonstrated the benefits of contemporary resource management to thousands while introducing first-time visitors to an area many will visit again — first as a vacationer and then quite possibly as a seasonal resident or a retiree.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 11:41 AM
Wolves belong here, but they aren’t sacred
Just because the native gray wolf belongs in Wisconsin doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aggressively manage their numbers.           —Contributed Photo
By Kurt Krueger

IT’S A VIRTUAL no-brainer that Wisconsin should establish an effective, well-monitored wolf harvest season for hunters and trappers, a bill for which has been introduced into the Legislature.
Wolf numbers are now more than eight times higher than the federal recovery goal of 100 animals, with conservative estimates showing more than 850 wolves are roaming in the state’s fields and forests.
The state’s Wolf Management Plan, which calls for sustaining 350 wolves outside of Indian reservations, should be the guiding document moving forward. And we should get wolf numbers down to a manageable level as soon as possible.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:42 PM
The frozen package said simply ‘twin cities’
Here’s a sight that I never tire of seeing — Gracie emerging from heavy cover with a bird in her mouth.                                  —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

AS WE DINED on partridge pie one evening last week, a meal fit for kings and queens, it was hard to imagine that life could be any better.
The scribbler had managed to please his bride with a mouth-watering meal you can’t buy in any store or restaurant, an accomplishment that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Lying across both of my feet was the lovable little Lab that made it all possible, Gracie, for without her there would be no tender grouse chunks tucked into crusts filled with potatoes, carrots, peas and a rich mushroom and celery gravy.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:05 AM | Updated ( Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:08 AM )
Winter sports: surefire cure for cabin fever
Mike Krueger of Winneconne hoists a 28-inch northern pike, a memorable event from a sport that makes winter go quicker.      —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

CABIN FEVER may not have much impact this year if the mild winter continues, but even light snow levels can take a toll on people who don’t find a way to enjoy this colder season.
Short days, snow-covered yards and icy sidewalks can be depressing to some, especially if they are locked up at home for days on end.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 11:26 AM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 07, 2012 12:22 PM )
It’s mighty hard to say goodbye to a friend
This is the last time you’ll see my father-in-law, Lyle Austreng, on these pages. He died last week. He will be sorely missed.  —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

IT’S NEVER good news when the scribbler has to remove the photos of a certain individual from the newspaper archives, and this time the bad news hit really close to home.
One of the best and closest fishing buddies I ever had, died last week. His photo has graced this space many times the past 30 years, and he was usually holding some big walleye or northern pike as yet another fishing tale unfolded.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012 7:26 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 07, 2012 3:01 PM )
Northern pike gaining ground in popularity
As more and more people learn how to filet the bones out of northern pike, they are discovering just how good they taste. — Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

THE LOWLY northern pike, that scrappy fighter that was once labeled “snake” and cursed by many as a nuisance fish with too many bones in its flesh, is finally gaining popularity as the staple fish of winter anglers.
I can’t remember another winter when more people told me of their pursuit of pike and how much they enjoy eating them. One of those anglers said he never bothered with northerns until someone showed him how to remove all the bones, including the Y-bones.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 6:25 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, January 24, 2012 6:28 PM )
Let's hope the 'new DNR' remembers its legacy
Forty years of resource protection, including natural shoreline habitat, will hopefully guide future actions of the

By Kurt Krueger

PRESERVING wildlife and special places has been a major focus of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for 40 years, ever since legislators passed Wisconsin’s own Endangered Species Act.
Throughout 2012, the agency plans to celebrate its legacy of caring for the state’s natural heritage. On its website, the department will showcase videos, slide shows and the story behind many of the restoration efforts.
That’s all great, except that the scribbler still isn’t convinced that in the years ahead, the “new DNR” will pay the same attention to key environmental factors like water quality and wildlife habitat.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:05 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:08 PM )
Outdoor traditions are meant to be passed on
Son Steve shows Alexander, age 2, the fish that was pulling so hard on his pole before it appeared from a hold in the ice. -- Photo By The Author

THE DEBT for being introduced by my parents to fishing and the great outdoors comes with an easy payoff, one that requires simply passing along one of Wisconsin’s greatest family traditions.
And so it was on a warm afternoon in late December that I got a chance — the privilege, I should say — of taking my grandson, Alexander, on a short but memorable outing for his first fishing trip on hard water.
Being just a little better than 2 years old, he’s not ready for a long or serious adventure in cold weather. So we were thinking something quick, on a warm afternoon, might be just enough to plant a seed.
As son Steve and I got out the auger and started drilling holes, you could tell the youngster was intrigued by the dark water, the perfectly round holes and our promise that fish not only lived under the ice cover — but that they might take a bait.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:48 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:50 PM )
Final retrieve, in snow, closes another chapter
Gracie holds a snow-covered bird she retrieved on the final outing of the season on a mild December afternoon. --Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

IT WAS on one of those warm, calm afternoons just before Christmas when the urge hit to leave work while there was still some daylight left, a rare two-hour window of opportunity to get outdoors.
Ice fishing would normally be the choice, but the equipment wasn’t in the grab-and-go condition it should have been. So I opted for a walk in the grouse woods with Gracie, our youngest black Lab.
It’s seldom that the scribbler hunts ruffed grouse after winter arrives for good, but snow levels were poor and most balsam trees still protected bare ground — a great hiding spot for grouse.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012 7:16 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, January 03, 2012 7:22 PM )

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