Outdoors: Youth deer hunting adds more fall color

By Kevin Naze

BROWN COUNTY – Fall is here and with it the cooler temperatures that keep hunters excited for the change of seasons.

The greenery of northern Wisconsin already mixes with plenty of reds, oranges, yellows and rusty browns, with a color likely to peak in many areas in the first week of October.

Closer to home, colors are expected to be at least 50% by October 9-10, Wisconsin’s annual youth deer hunting weekend.

In addition to the shades already mentioned, the young cocked deer season means you might see some blazing orange and blazing pink scattered throughout the countryside.

White-tailed deer hunting for young people gives those 15 and under the opportunity to quickly get acquainted with a white-tailed deer, learning under the watchful eye of an experienced mentor.

In our region, all properties open to deer hunting are open to youth hunting, with the exception of state parks.

As a reminder, all hunters – with the exception of those who hunt waterfowl – are subject to burning dress requirements during any deer hunting season.

Young residents and non-residents are eligible and can hunt deer with a firearm, bow or crossbow.

The bag limit is one buck with a deer harvesting authorization, plus one additional antlerless deer valid for the county and type of land (public or private access).

Young people must be supervised by a parent, guardian or other adult who has received permission from the hunter’s parent or guardian.

For hunters under the age of 12 and those who have not completed hunting training, the mentor must also be a graduate of hunting training and hold a valid hunting license.

Adults accompanying young hunters may own a bow, crossbow, or rifle to hunt any open game species at that time, including deer with a bow or crossbow only.

An adult cannot accompany more than two young hunters on the deer hunt at any one time, and those supervised must be on hand at all times.

Youth aged 11 and under should benefit from one-on-one mentoring.

Mentors are encouraged to review the four basic rules of gun safety with youth before hunting:

• Treat each weapon as if it were loaded.
• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
• Be sure of your target and beyond.
• Keep your finger off the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

The salmon race is on

If you want to try a big chinook or coho salmon or a brown trout trophy, the next few weeks will give you the best opportunities.

Rivers on the west shore of Green Bay like the Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee are good choices, while lakeside rivers like the Ahnapee, Kewaunee, East Twin, West Twin, the Manitowoc and the Branch are peaks on the western shore of Lake Michigan.

The CD “Buzz” Besadny Fishing Facility on the Kewaunee River and the Strawberry Creek Chinook Salmon Facility near Sturgeon Bay are two excellent viewing areas.

Pumps will be turned on at both locations next week, attracting thousands of fish to retention ponds.

Sorting of chinooks and coho in Kewaunee will likely begin by Saturday, October 2.

Sorting was closed to the public due to COVID-19 last year, but viewing is expected to be allowed again this season.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Nick Legler said even with the pumps turned off, chinooks have already been spotted well upstream in the Strawberry Creek Refuge.

No fishing is permitted there or at the site of the Kewaunee facility.

The public can visit Strawberry Creek and the Besadny facilities during the day.

There are two underwater viewing windows at the Kewaunee site, offering a unique glimpse of chinook, coho, brown trout, and rainbows.

Mosquitoes still thick

Hunters and fishermen are lamenting an invasion of mosquitoes this year, and there is no relief in sight.

By the time you read this, we will have experienced our coldest nightly lows since spring.

Unfortunately, 40 years is not enough to freeze biting insects.

There is also no freeze in the 15-day forecast.

Elsewhere, the duck and goose seasons are closed from October 11 to 15 in the southern zone, and pheasant hunting begins at 9 a.m. on October 16.

Editor’s Note: To read another In the Outdoors by Kevin Naze, CLICK HERE.

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