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RAMBLINGS AFIELD

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Turkey alertA correction in the dates for purchasing over the counter permits for the upcoming spring wild turkey season.

The leftover permits for the spring season go on sale on Monday, March 15, starting with Zone One; Tuesday, March 16, Zone Two; Wednesday, March 17, Zone Three; Thursday, March 18, Zone Four; and Friday, March 19, Zones 5, 6, and 7. Then on Saturday, March 20, all zones can be applied for remaining permits. You can purchase one permit per day for $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. It should be noted that most of the permits for the first three hunting periods were gone through the initial drawing, while on the plus side, there are plenty left for the last two periods, except for Zones 5, 6 and 7.

In terms of spring turkey hunting opportunities, Wisconsin is one of the top destinations in the country, with the seven-day hunting periods. Hunters who are flexible in relation to time periods can put in for the drawing, and even if he draws a permit then, he can still hunt in the later time periods and deal with gobblers that are out there looking for hens, while in the last couple of periods, most of the hens are on their nests while the gobblers are still fired up for finding lonely hens.

Ramblings hither and yonAs these words are taking on life on Monday morning, March 1, it appears that the month is starting “lamb” rather than a “lion” and in the folklore world, that predicts an early spring. At any rate, the calendar date for the first day of spring is now only 19 days away.

Also, March 7 marks the closing of the inland game fish season in Wisconsin. Your best bet to find what waters you can still take game fish in is to have your regulation book on hand. Ice shacks also need to be removed on boundary waters between Wisconsin and Minnesota on March 1 and on March 7 on inland waters south of Hwy. 64 and on March 14 on Wisconsin/Michigan boundary waters and inland waters north of Hwy. 64.

In addition, fishing licenses expire on March 31 and new ones go into action on April 2021.

April is also the time for the spring hearings in all 72 counties, and while it still up in the air as to whether or not the hearings will be held in the normal locations, it is for certain they will be on the computers and also in a Zoom process on your television as the program has gone over very well and is getting more people involved in the annual meetings.

There is a local question in the statewide fisheries management rule changes in regards to Lake Tomah and the northern pike population and minimum length limit. It currently is 32 inches with a limit of one, and there has been lots of support of raising the legal size to 40 inches, as the lake is already becoming a pike trophy size fishery, with a 42-inch lunker caught by a young fisherman in the Tomah/Warrens Sportsman’s Alliance Fisheree held on Lake Tomah. There is lots of support for the change and to see the lake become a northern pike trophy site. The question on the questionnaire is as follows: “Do you favor a minimum length limit of 40 inches for northern pike on Lake Tomah in Monroe County?” It should be noted that the lake has been producing lots of pike in the 30-40 inch category and anglers have no problem in supporting the 40-inch minimum size limit.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic issues, most likely the hearings will be electronic, as the response last year with the television, and the computer was high and voter numbers much higher than when there was in-person attendance.

Once again, there are a number of important questions to be dealt with through these annual hearings which, incidentally, are unique to Wisconsin, where the citizens get to take part in rule making by the government in regards to our natural resources.

Now, as we head into March, wildlife is becoming more active, with robins showing up on grassy areas and small flocks of waterfowl zipping around open water areas, and up on the land, elk tracks showing up and antler shed time will be underway shortly, both with deer and elk.

Three Mouseketeers updateThe three continue to find new ways to communicate with us, especially when there is something they want, whether it be food, attention or a rub down. As always, they are a joy to have sharing the North Glendale Diggings with us.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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