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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.


A deer herd that should be growing, is not

MYSTERY surrounds the dismal deer hunting seasons that many hunters experienced in recent months, for the herd has not rebounded at a normal pace, despite mild winters.

What’s happening in the deer range of northern Wisconsin is on a lot of people’s minds as the archery season enters its final weeks. There continue to be reports of low

Monday, December 24, 2012 6:20 PM | Updated ( Monday, December 24, 2012 6:30 PM )
 
Back tags, walleye limits on the wish list

By Kurt Krueger

IN THE HEART of the Christmas season, it is time once again to formulate a “wish list” in regard to some of the nagging issues that impact those of us who live to spend time in the great outdoors.

It’s the season of miracles and as we celebrate the greatest gift the world has ever known, it can’t hurt to ponder how we might help improve the future of Wisconsin’s outdoor traditions.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 8:08 PM
 
One last hunt with the traditional muzzy

 

By Kurt Krueger

IT WAS the last afternoon of the muzzleloader season that the scribbler climbed into a tree stand one last time, hoping to fill an antlerless tag for friends who cherish the taste of venison.

There was a steady wind out of the southeast cutting across my face, a perfect wind for hunting the swamp edge that was straight south of the tree.

Expectations were high because I had seen deer on previous outings — the exception being last Tuesday when 30-mile-an-hour wind gusts had me questioning my intelligence and sanity.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:41 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:48 PM )
 
A grand grouse season is winding down

 

By Kurt Krueger

ONE OF the grandest ruffed grouse seasons in recent decades was witnessed by many hunters this fall despite what appears to be the first year of a downswing in the population cycle.

In her third season, Gracie, my black Lab, retrieved more grouse than we’ve put in the game bag since the last peak in 1999. And I can guarantee you it was the opportunities we had, not my shooting, that made it happen.

 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012 4:57 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:48 PM )
 
Hunt club keeps family tradition alive

By Kurt Krueger

GRACIE turned her nose into the wind as her sleek, black frame slipped through the sorghum — a bird-hunting machine designed to follow whatever path her nose takes to locate hot bird scent.

Suddenly her pace quickened and her tail went into overdrive as she came across the track of rooster pheasant. It was back and forth in the heavy cover for some 20 seconds before the rooster exploded, cackling in alarm.

A single shot from a 20-gauge semi-auto put it on the ground, lightly, but it didn’t matter with Gracie hot on its tail. Moments later, son Steve was all smiles while accepting his first rooster of the day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:27 PM
 
Pine marten, buck top hunter’s reunion

IT HAPPENED just before 10 a.m. on opening day of the gun deer season last Saturday, deep in the national forest, when an old, gray-faced pine marten ran right under my ladder stand, jumped up on the side of the tree and stared me down eye to eye.

In fact, that marten was so old that its entire head, ears and all, was a white and gray mix. I’ve never seen anything like it before. The fur on its long, brown body had a yellow tinge to it, and its tail was so dark that it was nearly black.

And I wondered, for a moment, if there was any way possible that it was the same animal I photographed on my first deer hunt there in 1989. Probably not, of course, but very old.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:13 PM
 
The only good deer hunt is a safe one

By Kurt Krueger

AS THE GRANDEST single sporting event in Wisconsin history gets under way this Saturday, Nov. 17, it is hoped that hunters will be as safe as a year ago, when only seven people were injured — one of the safest gun deer seasons on record.

That’s an awesome safety record when you consider there are nearly 620,000 orange-clad hunters going afield on opening day, or at any time during the nine-day hunt.

Blaze-orange clothing and mandatory hunter safety certification, as promoted by the Depart­ment of Natural Resources (DNR), get the lion’s share of the credit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 3:11 PM
 
Hunting dogs fit our conservation ethic

By Kurt Krueger

THE SOUND of a distant flush stopped me on the grassy two-track last Sunday, a wall of hazel thicket and balsam trees on both sides of the road.

My dog had just started hitting scent on the edge of the trail when the place broke loose — ruffed grouse flushing from thickets, treetops and everywhere in between.

We heard about six of them before I actually saw one come out of a balsam tree, and the over/under barked twice to no avail. Then came the really good shot, while I was reloading, which is par for the course in the grouse woods.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:37 PM
 
Loka, 14, carries forward a family legacy

By Kurt Krueger

A FAMILY legacy in the age-old sport of trapping chronicled a unique event recently when 14-year-old Maegan Loka of Tomahawk caught her first wolf.

The youngster has been on the trap line with her dad for more years than she can remember, tagging along and learning the ropes while experiencing both the great outdoors and quality time with the most important man in her life.

Rhinelander native Mark Loka is a lifelong trapper who started as a kid with traps that were hanging on the side of grandpa’s shed collecting rust. With them he caught some squirrels, and then moved on to muskrats and other furbearers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:07 PM
 
Legislators expand hunting, trapping areas

By Kurt Krueger

THERE?IS more good news than just the state’s first wolf hunt coming from  Republicans who control state government, as legislators have passed a law that will expand hunting and trapping opportunities in Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR)?is preparing to implement Act 168, known as the Sporting Heritage Bill, legislation that was approved earlier this year.

The law allows hunting and trapping in Wisconsin state parks. If I lived anywhere else in the state and near one of those parks, I’d be dancing in the streets over the expanded opportunity to hunt and trap on public lands.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 2:46 PM
 
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