Home » In the Outdoors » National H&F Day celebrates 50thCountry star Luke Combs is 2022 honorary chair

National H&F Day celebrates 50th
Country star Luke Combs is 2022 honorary chair


Country music superstar Luke Combs is the honorary chairman for the 50th annual National Hunting & Fishing Day Saturday.

Combs, the reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, is an avid outdoorsman who encourages everyone to get involved in the great outdoors.

Established in 1972, National Hunting & Fishing Day celebrates and recognizes hunters, anglers and recreational shooters for their contributions to fish and wildlife conservation and to society.

More than 50 million Americans fish and hunt, contributing billions to both economic activity and conservation efforts through license fees and taxes paid on fuel and gear.

Many outdoorspeople are also directly involved in conservation organizations that help protect, improve or purchase habitat that benefit both game and nongame species.

More than $57 billion has been raised for conservation through license fees and excise taxes since the Pittman-Robertson (P-R) wildlife restoration (1937) and Dingell-Johnson fish restoration (1950) acts.

The funds are collected nationally before being distributed back to states based on a formula that takes into account the number of paid fishing and hunting license holders and the total land and water area.

The money comes from excise taxes on guns, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing tackle and motorboat and small engine fuel.

The P-R Act has been amended over the years to allow some of the funding to be used for hunter education, public access and recruitment, retention and reactivation programs.

Hunting and fishing brings family and friends together in healthy pursuits that not only can produce positive mental, physical and emotional benefits, but also healthy meals of free-range wild fish and game.

Hunting is the wildlife manager’s best tool for reducing booming populations of species such as deer, wild turkey and Canada geese.

Learn more about NHF Day and enter to win prizes at nhfday.org/pledge.

Wolf Count Expected
DNR large carnivore specialist Randy Johnson could be in the hot seat at Wednesday’s state Natural Resources Board meeting in Ashland.

He’s expected to provide an estimate on the state’s number of wolves more than six months after the agency wrapped up its 2021-2022 winter tracking effort.

The number is likely to be a range of wolves estimated to be on the ground before nearly 300 packs had new pups this spring.

Litters of four to six are common, so it’s hard to believe the count won’t still be three to four times larger than the current minimum goal of 350 wolves.

In the winter of 2020-21, the DNR estimated there were between 937 and 1,364 wolves in 292 packs.
That was before a February 2021 harvest season resulted in hunters and trappers killing 218, but also before new litters were recruited.

He might also field questions on when the agency will release an updated wolf-management plan.
A 29-member committee representing a diverse group of stakeholders both for and against wolf management met four times between July and October last year.

A first draft of the new plan was anticipated more than six months ago.

Many wolf management advocates believe that in-state and out-of-state animal activist groups are using fuzzy math and questionable science to try and sway the DNR to drastically increase the minimum wolf population goal.

Meanwhile, as of Sept. 19, wolves had killed at least 37 livestock and 14 dogs in 12 Wisconsin counties this year.

In addition, there were verified wolf harassment complaints involving 250 livestock and dogs in seven counties, including four counties not included in the dozen with confirmed depredations.

There were more than 80 other unconfirmed depredations or conflicts.

Check out the salmon
After taking two years off due to COVID restrictions, the DNR is back to promoting a fall open house at the Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility west of Kewaunee.

It’s scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 1 at the facility, N3884 Ransom Moore Lane.

There will be guided tours, egg collection demonstrations, fishing displays and an opportunity to adopt a sturgeon for river release.

The Algoma-Kewaunee Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen will provide wagon rides, and food and drink will be available for sale.

Fall Bass Tournament
Sturgeon Bay’s Travis Stangel and Ron Hedsand placed second in the Sturgeon Bay Fall Open Team Bass Fishing Tournament Sept. 11, earning $1,300 for a five-fish, 21-pound, 10-ounce catch.

The Stevens Point team of Jay Przekurat and Dylan Minch won the top prize worth $3,000 with 22 pounds, 8 ounces.

Steve Nooyen of Sturgeon Bay and Neil Vandervest of Oneida were third with 21 pounds, nine ounces.
Adam Neu of Sturgeon Bay won $1,500 for big bass at four pounds, 15 ounces.

Weekly Water Levels
Though still eight inches above the 100-year average, Lake Michigan water levels (as of Sept. 16) were down two inches from mid-August, seven inches from last September and 25 inches below the monthly record.

Lake levels were still 39 inches above the all-time monthly low, set in 1964.

Fishing Report

The three day blow
Mother Nature dominated the walleye fishing scene over the last week, as three days of heavy northeast winds along with up to three inches of rain cooled water temperatures eight to 10 degrees and shut off a great bite.

It took a few days to rebound, but by Friday walleyes were once again being caught in their normal haunts.

The slowest bite to return to normal was on the mud flats out near the Spark Plug and the Sharkfin.

Over the weekend, good catches were found on Oconto Shoal, Vincent Point, Bayshore Park, Vokes Reef, Macco’s Reef, and 2 Mile Reef.

Trolling crankbaits, casting Ripper Minnows and jigging Tyrant Jigg’n Raz and Binks spoons are taking the most fish.

Perch fishing has picked up nicely, with good catches in Deadhorse Bay, Suamico, Vincent Point, Vokes Reef, off Dykesville, near Macos Reef, North-South Reef and Oconto Shoal.

Minnows, crawler pieces and redworms are the best baits on Smokey’s own perch rigs.

Musky fishing is good, as cooling water temperatures have raised activity of these big predators.

Trolling Tyrant Raz Shads, Super Shad Raps, bucktails, Shallow Invaders, and Tyrant Czars are taking the most fish.

Shore fishing has been getting much better as the bait fish move into the Fox River system. Metro launch, Voyager Park and under the west side of the 172 bridge are good shore spots.

If you get the chance to go, please be safe, and take a kid fishing.

For more information on what to use and where to go, give us a call at 920-593-1749.

Yah, only at Smokeys!
Capt Jerry Ruffolo
Anglers Plus Guide Service LLC

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