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White Water Rafting Adventure

If you ever want a thrill in your life, white water rafting should be on your list. This past weekend, a couple friends and I ventured up north to Kosir’s Rapid Rafting, between Lakewood and Crivitz.  The experts say that the early season rafting is always the best, due to melting ice and runoff.  The Peshtigo River is what we were on, and it was the highest it’s been in about 2 years.

photoAfter suiting up in our wetsuits, we entered the bus and made our way to the put-in area.  Since the river was so high the rapids were roaring.  They set us up in the big 6-person rafts to reduce the chance of flipping.  Once we got situated in our raft we pushed off towards the first rapid, which was a six-foot drop to nothing but fierce, cold water.  Coming up to the drop your heart starts pounding and once the guide yells “HARD FORWARD PADDLE” there is no turning back.  We smashed into the bottom of the drop, jolting everyone in the raft forward.  Once back in position the paddling continued until we made it through.  We headed to shore as the group behind us hit the rapid, and flipped their raft.  Once we got everyone back in the raft we carried on to the next section of rapids.

The river consisted of 6 major rapids, and about a mile of smaller rapids.  After the third big drop our arms started to grow weak, but we knew we had 3 more big sections to go and powered on.  The last rapid, the S-Curve, was the only time we almost flipped our raft.  We came into the first drop nice and straight making it through fine. Right after is a corner, and then the next drop.  Lets just say we were not the straightest going into this one.  Our guide started yelling, “LEFTSIDE BACK PADDLE” to get us turned.  We hit the bottom of the drop (close to a 45-degree angle) sending everyone tumbling.  Somehow we managed to all stay in the boat, and gave it all we had to get through the rest of the choppy waters.  Once through it was smooth sailing all the way to the take-out section.  Out of the couple times I went white water rafting, this one was definitely at the top of my list.


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Shined Up and Ready for the Trails

May 1st cannot come soon enough.  What is May 1st you ask?  It is the opening day of the Dust Trails for ATVs!  The Dusty trails are over 200 miles of dust that are located in Oconto County.  The map can be viewed here.

I currently own a 2004 TRX450R and love it!


The trail system offers tons of fun, and plenty of stops along the way.  A few of my favorites are the Schoolhouse Bar, the Play Area, and Scoopers.  For more information on local stops click here.  The people are the friendliest you will meet, that love giving you the time of day.  If you own an ATV come check out these trails, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Here is a video of me having some fun at the Play Area last year.

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Left Empty Handed

A couple weeks ago mphoto(1)y brother and I went out and shore-fished the Fox River at Voyageur Park in De Pere, WI.  When my brother and I arrived at the park we had no idea there was going to be so many people.  The dock/shoreline was filled with people fishing shoulder to shoulder.  I am not a fan of trying to cast when someone is standing a foot away from me, so we ventured down the river a little ways finding an open area with hardly anyone around.  We set up shop, and waited for the fish to start biting.

I had two poles set up, one with a wolf river rig, and the other was for casting.  Due to the rocks that covered the shoreline, casting did not work out the greatest, so I switched that rod to a wolf river rig as well.  We sat for a good hour not catching a thing (probably a good reason why no one was fishing this area) with only a few moments of excitement when my line was tugged on.  There had to be at least 20 boats in this area and we seen maybe two or three people catching walleyes.  The picture below is only a slim section of the boats we saw.photo(2)

There were stories on Lake-Link of people catching walleyes left and right a couple days before.  This is what got my brother and I excited to go try this spot out.  This excitement grew into disappointment as we realized that we were going to get skunked.  The joys of fishing; you lose some, and you win some.  This day we definitely lost.  The good thing is that the walleyes are on the move up the river and will soon hit lake Winnebago, which is one of my favorite times to fish.


Gobble Gobble Gobble!

eastern_turkeys3_300It’s hard to believe that the turkey season is upon us with ice still on the lakes, but this past weekend was the kick-start to the gobble hunt.  April 6th and 7th were dedicated to youngsters with their special youth hunt.  The regular season starts April 10th and ends on May 21st.

If you have applied for the preference-drawing permits you should have been notified.  If you have not been notified you can check your status here.  Even if you did not get the preference-drawing permit there are still leftover permits available.  They are served as one-day permits and will be sold until they are gone.  The count on left over tags per zone can be found here.

There are high hopes for this season.  Experts say that the turkey population in Wisconsin has been growing at a steady rate. I am hoping to find some free time from school and work this week so I can head out to Waushara County, where I am constantly seeing turkeys in every field I look at.

Here are a couple tips to help you land the big bird:

Finding the right habitat

Turkeys like to roost in trees, so scouting an area that has big enough trees for turkeys to roost in is essential.  They also like to hang out on land that is 10 to 50 percent open, un-wooded landscape.  Like any living animal, where there is food, water, and shelter, you will find turkeys.

Choosing the right gun

The most popular gun for turkey is the 12-gage shotgun.  This gun is big enough to pack a big punch, but it is not going to dislocate your shoulder.  Another popular choice is the 20-gage shotgun.  Being a lighter gun, this will make travel a little easier.

Upgrading our guns sights

Many of you will be in the woods looking down the barrel at a traditional bead sight.  By upgrading your sights, it will increase your accuracy greatly, making you comfortable in making that perfect shot.  Click here to find the best sight for you.

To all you turkey hunters out there, I wish you the best of luck in bagging your big bearded friend.

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Survival of the “Ice Blanket”


Have you ever wondered how fish survive the harsh winters when the lakes freeze over?  Adaptation is the key when it comes to living in frigid waters.  Wisconsin waters are fairly good habitats for fish.  The water does not drop below freezing, and in the summer it will maybe reach seventy degrees, depending on the lake.


As an avid ice fisher, one thing I know about fishing during the winter is you have to move to find the fish.  During the winter, fish are preserving as much energy as they possibly can.  So this means they will not travel a large distance in search for food.  Fish will also modify their metabolism so it takes longer for their food to digest.  During the warmer seasons fish tend to only take 24 hours to digest their food, but during winter it can take up to a week.


Normally in the summer you will find that the deeper you go into a lake, the colder the water becomes.   The winter is the complete opposite.  The top layers of water are colder than the deeper sections.  This plays a big role when it comes to locating fish because most will migrate to the deeper waters in search of warmth.

Most fish will find shelter in the vegetation below.  Their goal is to eat, and not be eaten.  Cribs play a big role in fish’s lives during the winter.  Pan fish will gather in these cribs to be sheltered from predators.  The downfall is that predators will use these areas to find food because they know that is where the little fish will go.  So if you know of any cribs in a lake, my suggestion to you is fish it!  You will get the best of both worlds knowing their location. crib


Fish need dissolved oxygen in the waters to breath.  This comes from photosynthesis.  This task does not work well during the winter due to the fact that the ice on the lake is reflecting all the sunlight.  This forces fish to move upward in search of a more high-enriched water level.  If the level of oxygen continues to stay low it will result in winter-kill or “freeze-out”.

So if you go out ice fishing be prepared to drill a lot of holes searching for the fish.  If one jig is not working, switch the color, or switch the bait on the hook.  Fish are picky about what they eat during the winter so be patient.

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Food Plotting: Bring on the deer!

Deer season is right around the corner.  Getting a jump start on your food plot will increase your chances greatly for landing that monster buck.  What if you never made a food plot. What do you need to plant? Where do you need to plant it? These are all questions I will hopefully cover in this posting.

Step one: Location, location, location!

Finding the right location is key when it comes to feeding deer.  Walk your land looking for edges of fields, wetlands, or any wind breaking features.  Also make sure the area you chose is big enough.  The typical food plot is about half an acre per twenty acres.

Step two: Checking the soil

Making sure you have good soil is going to play a huge factor in your feed growth.  One way you can check is looking at your soil and conservation district to see surveys from your county.  Also picking up a soil test kit is a good idea.  Follow this link to have the UW Madison Soil Testing Lab test your soil and tell you what you need for your food plot.  This will give you a definite answer on if you soil is good for growth or not.

Step three: Choosing your feed

Choosing your feed is a tough decision.  There are hundreds of feed brands and seed out there.  I found that Cabela’s has a good selection of seed and helps narrow it down to what you are specifically looking for.  Start out by asking yourself what you wish to do.  Do you want to provide cover for the deer? Do you want to grow that monster buck?  Or do you wish to just attract deer in general?

Step four: Laying the seed

Now that you have your seed picked out you are now ready to prepare the land for planting.  If you have a large area to plant I would recommend renting agriculture equipment.  You can also see if a local farmer would be able to lend you a hand for a fee.  If you are doing a small area the use of an ATV, and hand planting is probably the best money saving option.

Step five: Maintaining your plot

Maintaining your plot is a must.  Over time deer will become dependent on your plot for their main food supply.  Not only will your plot attract deer, it will bring in other wildlife as well.  Making sure your plot is growing healthy will keep your wildlife is healthy, and will keep them around.

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Wolves in Wisconisn: Hunting Dogs Join the Pack


Standing around three feet tall and weighing on average, 80 pounds, wolves are not a force to be messed with.  If you have ever experienced hearing a howling wolf in the woods you know the deep chill it sends down your back.  The wolf population is growing in Wisconsin and due to this growth other wildlife population’s decrease.  Wisconsin opened up wolf hunting last year in order to take the number of wolves that was around 850 down to 350.  The DNR reported that the total number of wolves killed was 238, which included 117 by hunting, 75 for depredation, 19 illegally and 22 in car collisions.  The 2012 hunt was cut two months short due to the cap being reached so quickly.

One topic that has sparked a lot of controversy is the use of dogs.  The DNR has stated that the use of dogs is now legal in hunting wolves.  They say that, “the owner’s must have their dog’s rabies and dog license tags, cannot use the dog to kill any wildlife, and cannot use more then six dogs in a single pack.”  The main concern is that wolves cannot climb trees, so when cornered, it will turn and fight.  A lot of people perceive this as “dog fighting” but the DNR is all for training dogs to hunt wolves.  They say that if a dog is injured during a wolf pursuit the owner will be paid a maximum of $2500 depending on the circumstance.  I personally believe that dogs should not be used in these hunts.  Most hunting dogs are half the size of a wolf and if cornered by a pack of wolves, there is not much hope for the dog.

If you wish to get in on the hunt in the 2013 season the deadline for signing up is August 1st.  For more information on regulations and how to receive your wolf permit Click Here.