WNR magazine NEWS & REVIEWS December 2019

december mast

News & Reviews

December 2019

Gun deer season complete

That's a wrap on the nine-day gun deer hunting season, which closed on Dec. 1. Click here for a preseason video message on this time-honored Wisconsin tradition from DNR Secretary-designee Preston D. Cole and Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar. Hunters who may have gotten a deer on the final day are reminded they have until 5 p.m. the day after recovery to register the harvest. Statistics for the state's 2019 deer harvest are found here, with complete numbers available as they are finalized.


Sure-shot Florence bags a buck 

Perhaps the most amazing story from the just-finished gun deer season comes from Phillips, in Price County, where Florence Teeters bagged her first deer ever, a buck no less, on opening day. Not too unusual, maybe, except for Florence's age — 104 years young! Even national news took notice. Read all about this wonderful Wisconsin tale here.

bird feeding

Top tips for feeding birds

Like all animals, birds require food, water and shelter to survive. While providing quality habitat with native plants is best, you can help our feathered friends and bring the joy of watching them to your backyard with a good bird feeding station, especially in winter when energy demands are higher and natural foods scarcer. What’s the single best seed type to offer? Are your feeders in the deadliest window collision zone? What are best practices for cleaning feeders? Get answers to these and other key questions in DNR’s Ten Tips for Winter Bird Feeding.

bird atlas

Survey tracks bird trends

A recent study documented an alarming decline of nearly 3 billion breeding birds across North America since 1970. Here in Wisconsin, over 2,000 citizen scientists just completed a five-year, DNR-led survey known as the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. Repeating a similar effort conducted two decades ago, preliminary results show a mixed bag of trends for 200-plus bird species. Many backyard feeder birds appear to have stable or increasing populations here, including rising numbers of southern species like tufted titmouse, Carolina wren and orchard oriole. The biggest exception? Evening grosbeaks were down nearly 90%, for reasons that remain unclear. Click here to learn more about project results.
KWW poster

Keep Wildlife Wild
poster contest for kids

DNR’s second annual Keep Wildlife Wild poster contest is under way, with students in fourth through sixth grade invited to create artwork celebrating the initiative. Keep Wildlife Wild is meant to ensure Wisconsin's wildlife stays healthy, safe and, most of all, wild. Last year’s poster contest featured more than 200 entries. “We are excited to see the students' creativity again and look forward to their help spreading the Keep Wildlife Wild message,” said Amanda Kamps, a wildlife health conservation specialist and contest chair. Posters must:

  • Contain the words “Keep Wildlife Wild 2020” and follow the theme, “A young wild animal's best chance for survival is with its mother!”
  • Consist of original art of Wisconsin native wildlife.
  • Fit an 8 ½" x 11" sheet of paper.
  • Be submitted individually; no team creations.
Entries will be accepted until Feb. 14. First-, second- and third-place winners will be selected for each grade level, announced April 5-11 during Keep Wildlife Wild week. To see winning posters from last year's contest and additional details, check dnr.wi.gov, keywords “Keep Wildlife Wild.”
park sticker

Park stickers available now

Need a good holiday gift idea? Consider a 2020 Wisconsin State Park System vehicle admission sticker, which can be purchased from the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks online store. The store offers packages including subscriptions to Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. Check it out at FWSP.org. Admission stickers and state trail passes also are available at state park facilities and DNR service centers. Park properties already have begun to honor 2020 stickers and passes for admission to parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. The 2020 sticker features a design from Mikaila Garcia, a senior at Kenosha Indian Trail High School, chosen in a contest featuring entries from high school students around the state. Annual vehicle admission stickers are just $28 for state residents. Get your sticker now and get ready to enjoy Wisconsin's beautiful state properties all year long!
Winter cover

Time for Winter!

December is here and that means another print issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources, available mid-month. While winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 21, coping with it has commenced. The Winter cover story outlines interesting ways plants and animals weather winter. Other stories focus on clean drinking water, wetland mitigation and wildlife rehabilitation, plus there’s a look at how conservation efforts are aiding at-risk species. DNR Secretary-designee Preston D. Cole offers his input in this issue with opening remarks and a message on climate change. Special inserts include the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks 2020 Calendar and the Natural Heritage Conservation Program’s 2019 Field Notes. The report highlights NHC’s hard work and many success stories around the state. Subscribe to the print edition by calling 1-800-678-9472 or check wnrmag.com.
ski trail

Ski trail report
ready to roll

As fans of cross-country skiing know, all it takes is one good snowfall and it's off to the races! The DNR's ski trail conditions website is poised to offer updates all season long. For details, check dnr.wi.gov, keywords "ski trail conditions."


Cut your own tree
at a state forest

People interested in harvesting a Christmas tree for their home can obtain a DNR permit to cut a tree at a northern state forest. This service is available in the Black River, Brule River, Flambeau River, Governor Earl Peshtigo River, Governor Knowles and Northern Highland-American Legion state forests. Permits are issued as available by property managers at forest headquarters; fees vary but generally are about $5. Permits for trees and other forest products enable the DNR to better manage and regulate the harvest of these products, protecting resources and reducing possible environmental impacts. Tree harvest is prohibited within 100 feet of visual distance of roads, trails and water, and there is no harvesting from campgrounds or day use areas. Trees must be cut at ground level with a maximum height of 30 feet. Once taken from state forests, trees cannot be resold. And trees cut inside the gypsy moth quarantine area (PDF) cannot be moved outside the quarantine zone. Click here for locations and contact information of northern state forests, and check in advance to ensure availability. Many county forests also allow non-commercial harvest of Christmas trees, and permits are available at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.