The hunt begins.

Wisconsin’s fall hunting season commenced Sept. 1 as the first waterfowl seasons opened. Matt Modjeski, Department of Natural Resources conservation warden, said early teal and early Canada goose hunters were out Labor Day weekend.

“I was actually working in the Black River State Forest, I caught up with some folks ... they said they shot at some birds but they missed,” he said.

Modjeski said he has spotted teal and Canada geese in and around the Lake Tomah area.

Dennis Schnitzler, owner of Schnitzler’s Sports Store, said he hasn’t seen or heard anything from hunters about early teal or goose. He expects to hear more from hunters as the bow/crossbow deer season and squirrel season begins on Sept. 14.

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In fishing news, Schnitzler said the bite is picking up now that the water temperature has started to drop.

“The water is cooling down, and it’s causing a little more of a feeding frenzy to go on,” he said.

Fishermen are heading out to Lake Onalaska, where the panfish are starting to bite, and Schnitzler reports that the cranberry bogs and Lake Tomah are producing panfish, bass and northern pike.

Live bait such as minnows and worms are working best, Schnitzler said.

“Those seem to be the most popular thing right now,” he said.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.

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