Talk about walleyes, whitetails and all critters great and small is a daily topic at the End Stool.
The tone of those discussions varies greatly, and often are about the future of the species on land, water and air.
On the positive side, is the Winnebago fishery of which the Wolf River is a primary spawning area for walleye, sturgeon, white bass and other species. It is also a haven for waterfowl and other creatures depending on water and wetlands.
The system thrives despite the meals of fish taken from its waters year round.
The white bass season was at its peak last week and over the weekend as the sun was bright and temperatures were in the 70s. Lilac and fruit trees finally blossomed, an event closely tied to white bass season.
Dave Herzfeldt said Fremont, a destination for white bass fishermen, especially from Illinois, was crowded with boats Sunday.
“They were catching fish by the cooler full,” he said. “This river holds an unbelievable number of fish.”
The effect of the devastating winter had many concerned about the deer, turkey and other species.
Reports by those harvesting trees during a record cold and snow winter were pessimistic.
As the snow receded, those reports proved to be understated.
Several turkey hunters reported finding both deer and turkey carcasses of deer and turkey that did not survive winter.
“It was a bad winter for both species,” said Phil Anunson.
The state Department of Natural Resources silenced some of the usual controversy involving antlerless hunting by using tracking devices on more than 200 fawns in the Northern Forest and Eastern Farmland areas. The data was startling and an excellent measure of the severity of winter as 30 percent of the collared fawns in the northern forest and 15 percent in the eastern area died.
A concern is how many doe who survived the winter will deliver healthy fawns.
Last week two does still with fawn were laying along State 54 between Royalton and New London on my drive to the End Stool.
Jim Binder said five collared fawns were found dead on his property northeast of New London.
Binder also expressed the concern of many people about the potential to rebuild the herd this spring, having seen only one new fawn this spring nursing its mother.
“I have seen several doe and some are with fawn, while many others don’t appear to be,” he said.
Adults fared better with 6 percent losses in the north and 2 percent losses in the farmlands.
Causes of death include predation, care crashes and starvation.
A “no doe” zone in 19 counties in 2014 will be the largest in more than two decades.
The action comes after consecutive severe winters and in response to requests of many hunters concerned about the future of the deer herd, according to Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist.
“More than any I can remember, this is a year of change,” Wallenfang said. “We are trying to make sure the northern deer herd recovers.”
The proposal covers the entire northern forest zone and part of the central forest in Jackson and Wood counties.
Changes voted on by the state Natural Resources Board this week for the 2014 deer hunt include: No herd control tags and each deer license will include one antlerless permit for use in a farmland zone.
A tom was in full display – celebrating Memorial Day and the close of the spring turkey season – Monday in a field below the railroad overpass in Royalton. His show was observed by a couple turkeys – gender unknown.