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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.

One last chance to stop statewide trolling
The Natural Resources Board is poised to legalize motor trolling on every lake in 2015 unless opponents can rally for a final vote on the plan at the spring hearings in every county on Monday, April 14.      —STAFF?PHOTO
By Kurt Krueger

IN?THE hard-fought battle to stop the legalization of motor trolling in Vilas and Oneida counties, we’re down to the ninth inn­ing, two outs and nobody is on base.

It will take one heck of a rally to stop the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its oversight board from shoving this regulation down the throats of its many opponents.

Even last spring’s impressive no vote at the spring hearings in Vilas,

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:58 AM
A little memory jerker from the freezer
Dining on grouse in the dead of winter is great, but it’s even better when I can reflect on a memorable fall outing with Gracie.  —Photo By The Author
By Kurt Krueger

DIGGING around in the chest freezer the other day, the scribbler was sifting through packs of venison and pheasant breasts when I came across a thick package marked “twin cities.”
My mind instantly returned to an evening hunt in Alvin-Nelma country deep in the national forest, a day I snuck out of work an hour early because conditions seemed perfect for chasing grouse.
It was early October and the leaves were just beginning to fall from the short bushes that lined the old two-track,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 2:36 PM
Walleye slot limit not tourism-friendly

By Kurt Krueger

IT’S NO secret that many walleye anglers and fishing guides, the scribbler included, don’t like the walleye slot limit that is severely regulating hook-and-line harvest on the Eagle River Chain.

Few regulations the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) ever conceived are as unpopular as a slot limit that forces anglers to throw back every walleye from 14 to 18 inches in length.

Adding fuel to the fire is the Chain’s slow-growth fishery, where virtually no male walleyes will ever reach 18 inches and be available for legal harvest above the slot. Apparently we are saving those for spearers and poachers, because law-abiding anglers have no access to them.

Anglers fishing the Three Lakes side of the 28-lake chain

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:50 PM
It’s a tough winter for staying active
Like snowmobilers, cross-country skiers are having a banner winter for great trail conditions with the abundant snow cover.  —Contributed Photo

By Kurt Krueger
News-Review Publisher

NEVER is the challenge of dealing with long-winter syndrome — referred to most often as  cabin fever — more difficult than in years like this.
After two months of below-average temperatures and way too many days when the mercury barely hit zero, we fell into a February with little relief in sight.
The good news is that the snowmobile and cross-country ski trails are in excellent condition, as are the resorts that offer downhill skiing. With today’s clothing and equipment, these sports can be enjoyed in the coldest of conditions.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 3:03 PM
Northerns: the tastiest, most versatile fish?
Though notorious for slime and extra bones, the northern pike is an aggressive and abundant fish that when cleaned properly, provides some of the best fillets of any fish found in Wisconsin.              —Photo By The Author

By Kurt Krueger

MOST PEOPLE would see no delight in fileting a bunch of small, slimy, half-frozen northern pike after a long and rather cold day on the ice.
I’ll admit it is no picnic. There you are trying to cut fish that slide all over the cleaning table, using hands and fingers that are so numb they sting.
A lot of anglers don’t care for that part of the sport and would much prefer to either throw the fish back or talk somebody else into cleaning while they cook, grab refreshments or whatever.


Tuesday, February 04, 2014 2:41 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 04, 2014 2:46 PM )
New rules: gut shot to deer management
By Kurt Krueger

THE TWO main problems the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had with its deer management system, setting goals too low and struggling to provide accurate deer population estimates, could get a lot worse now that some of the deer czar’s craziest recommendations have been adopted.

Last week, the Natural Resources Board approved a package of regulations that will reconfigure the state’s deer management units, discontinue numeric population goals and do away with in-person deer registration requirements.

They were chosen items from the recommendations of Texas researcher James Kroll, aka the deer czar, who was contracted by Gov. Scott Walker to review the system and make suggestions on how to improve deer hunting in Wisconsin.

Agency officials tossed out a lot of those suggestions,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 12:29 PM
Will deadly crossbows take the sport down?

By Kurt Krueger

SOME?PEOPLE are questioning whether archery in Wisconsin, a sport acclaimed as the last bastion of genuine fair-chase hunting, will suffer some sort of long-term ethical deterioration and slowly lose its popularity now that high-tech crossbows have been legalized.

That was the gist of an article in The Economist magazine last month, a copy of which was forwarded by longtime reader Jim Flanders of Mississippi and Three Lakes.

The story made it clear that while hunter numbers are slowly dwindling in Wisconsin and across the nation, bow hunting has experienced the opposite with 10-fold increases the past 40 years.

Credited with the turnaround are many issues,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 11:53 AM
Rhinelander businessman sentenced in district court

John Henricks III, 43, of Amherst and formerly of Rhinelander, was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to 10 years, one month in prison for using the U.S. mail to defraud several insurance companies.

Henricks pleaded guilty to the charge Aug. 14.

At sentencing, Crabb found Henricks criminally responsible for using his prior business, Custom Collision, a body repair shop in Rhinelander, to defraud 19 auto insurance companies out of more than $1.3 million by staging accidents and creating false work invoices.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 2:50 PM
Fishing: a great tradition worth sharing
By Kurt Krueger

BRILLIANT would be an appropriate word to describe the first anglers who invited friends and family to the North Woods to spend time on the water.

The people who started that tradition did an enormous favor for those of us who love the great outdoors, providing the perfect excuse for an escape from work and the routine of daily life.

So it was last weekend on our annual post-New Year’s ice fishing adventure with son Steve and his old basketball buddies from UW-Stout, a group of 30-something youngsters who cherish time with the boys.

Some came a day early to take advantage of the warm-up but by Friday evening,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:12 PM
Walleye plan needs more than two years

By Kurt Krueger

DON’T BUY that extra chest freezer just yet, even though the state’s new Walleye Initiative promises to improve walleye populations in many lakes where natural reproduction has failed or is far below sustainable levels.

Despite what might be a 10-fold increase in the stocking of large walleye fingerlings that are 6 to 8 inches in length and a significant improvement in survival rates, there is no telling whether the program will be funded beyond its current two-year stint.

The budget-bill initiative provided an extra $870,000 in funding for 2013 and an added $1.3 million for next year’s stocking efforts. It allows the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to buy minnows for the walleye to eat and allows them to put more pounds into fingerling production.

With short notice, the agency went from the production of

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:14 PM

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