Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

08
Mar
10

Whitetail Deer: Last Year’s Fawn

With some snow still left on the ground the deer can be easily found.  However, sometimes they make it too easy, especially when they feed on some pine trees right at the park’s entrance.

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With the mother watching from what she believes to be a safe place, because she has gotten behind some thorny thickets, creating a thorny wall between her and I, her fawn from last year had been enjoying the sunshine.  I only got one shot of him while stomping around in the grass, because – this is so funny – ha ha – see I’m laughing – honest – because I hadn’t cleared the old pictures from my memory card.  So for about five agonizing minutes I watched the deer look on in confusion while my camera slowly erased the photos on a spare card.

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The youngster had fled to a similar safe place.  I’ve seen this young deer on several occasions.  I believe it is a buck, because it acts like a buck.  The fawns stay close to their mother the first year, so I have lots of pictures of him and his mother, but when he gets by himself like this, he acts like a buck.  In the photo above he had placed his head into some low branches and was twisting it around the same way a buck will do when it sharpens its antlers.

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I won’t know for sure until late spring, early summer when they begin to grow antlers.  In this photo he isn’t looking at his mother, who tells them what to do for the first year of their lives.  He’s looking toward his father, who has placed some distance between himself and I. 

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They get panicky when a human is around, especially the does.  Here he stares at me, tail down and doesn’t run away.  Not until his mother told him too.  There are somewhere between ten to twenty Whitetail Deer in this park and if I’m correct, there are now three bucks in the herd. 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be conducting a series of meetings this week and next about the DNR’s count of the size of Wisconsin’s deer herd.  This is a political hot button topic ‘round these parts because hunters believe, mostly because of last year’s low deer kill during hunting season, that the herd is much smaller than being reported and that the DNR is mismanaging the herd.  I won’t be able to attend any of the meetings because I have to work, but I will be following the story in the newspapers.

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08
Jan
10

01-08-2010: Snowshoeing

With a blast of fresh cold air from the north, I was reminded today, while snowshoeing, why winter is a close second to summer as my favorite season.  Early in December we had a major snowstorm that dumped a foot and a half of snow on us.  During Christmas we had rain which created a layer of ice on top of all that snow.  Since then we have had a couple of storms that brought more snow, creating a nice layer of powder on top of that ice, which, in turn made for great winter outdoor conditions.  But enough of that, I know you folks are here for the pictures not to listen to me blathering about the weather.

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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has opted not to groom ski trails through this part of the park.  Thank you.  That gives me a place to go snowshoeing without worrying about messing up the well groomed ski trails.  The tracks you see in the picture above are deer. 

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The completely frozen beaver habitat won’t house any birds for several months, but I still enjoy hiking through here.

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Whenever you’re at Lake Kegonsa State Park, keep an eye on the ridge in the background.  Generally there will be deer.  I counted nine today.

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More deer tracks in the snow, crossing this frozen section of the beaver habitat.

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And still more tracks.  Two sets of tracks cross this open section.  Thursday’s snowstorm must have been rough for the critters.  I found a set of goose prints in the snow.  The goose wandered around a bit, until it found a place under some snowed over branches to hide.  Then when the storm lifted, it flew away.

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Like I said, keep an eye on that ridge because deer usually hang out there.  See the doe in the center of the picture above?  Sometimes, even now with all their cover gone, they can still be hard to spot.

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This deer is easier to see.  Deer like being on top of the ridge because they can see everything else below, and because they are flight animals, it’s easier to run away when running downhill on the other side of the ridge.

21
Jun
09

Mississippi River From Wyalusing State Park

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The bluffs along the Mississippi River in southern Wisconsin offer some incredible views.

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Located on the bluffs above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, Wyalusing State Park offers spectacular views right from the doorway of your tent or camper with camping allowed right on the edge of the bluffs.

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I’ve seen people with motorboats, kayaks, and fishing boats, so no matter which recreational use of the river you prefer, it has plenty of room for all.

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But don’t forget to look up and to scan the trees, because the Mississippi River is home to many species of birds, including Turkey Vultures…

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and American Bald Eagles.

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08
Oct
08

Ontario, Wisconsin

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This image is a view of Ontario, Wisconsin from Wildcat Mountain State Park.

01
Oct
08

Early Morning Wildcat Mountain

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Bruce Hornsby:  The Way it is

 
How’s that silk suit fit now?
29
Sep
08

Hiking Wildcat Mountain State Park

Located near Ontario, Wisconsin Wildcat Mountain State Park offers over 25 miles of hiking trails some of which can be used by horses, and during the winter the park offers snowshoe and cross country ski trails.  The trails vary from the very scenic like the picture below:

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To the dark and wooded like the pictures below:

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The park also has an abundance of wildlife with many varieties of birds and of course…

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The parks gets its name Wildcat Mountain from a sheep killing bobcat that roamed the area in the late eighteen hundreds.  Local farmers tired of finding dead sheep banded together to track down and kill the bobcat.  After killing it they named the bluffs that dominate the park Wildcat Mountain.  There are bobcats in the park today, but they are very elusive and seeing one is rare.  Wildcat Mountain is an excellent place to go hiking and offers overnight camping, picnic areas and rentable shelters.

25
Sep
08

A View From Wildcat Mountain

A view from Wildcat Mountain State Park.

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I don’t know the church’s denomination but Amish predominate the area, so drive carefully if you decide to travel to Wildcat Mountain State Park.

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