West-Central Wisconsin

VERNON COUNTY - Now that the nine-day gun deer season is behind us, many Crawford County upland hunters have shifted their focus to wild turkey, raccoon and rabbit hunting, all three species having strong numbers in the county.
Wild turkeys are especially fond of acorns, which still remain abundant in many woodlots, and harvested cornfields. Successful wild turkey hunters are incorporating these food sources into their hunting strategies.
Raccoon hunters have been focusing on large woodlots, and many raccoon hunters use hounds in their pursuit.
Rabbit hunters, with and without the assistance of hunting dogs, are concentrating their efforts along field, forest and marsh edges, and brushy hedgerows, all ideal rabbit habitats, according to Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua.

BLACK RIVER STATE FOREST - Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-20s this week with a chance of snow on Friday.
If you would like to cut a Christmas tree from the Black River State Forest, Forest Product permits can be purchased at the Castle Mound campground office. Please call ahead to verify office hours. Cross-country ski trails are open to hikers and bikers until we get snow.
Snowshoe trails are open to hiking. Snowshoers can enjoy the one- mile and 0.6-mile trails at the Smrekar parking lot, the three-mile trail that connects Pigeon Creek to Smrekar Road or the 1.5-mile loop around Castle Mound. Snowshoers are allowed anywhere on the state forest that is not a groomed trail.
Winter ATV and UTV trails are closed. Trails will re-open on Dec 15, weather permitting. UTVs are allowed on winter ATV trails, except for designated snowmobile only trails or any other trail that was previously closed to UTV use.
Jackson County Forestry and Parks maintains and grooms all of the state forest's snowmobile and winter ATV trails. Grooming updates are posted on the Jackson County website.
Castle Mound and Pigeon Creek campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. East Fork campground and Outdoor Group camp are closed and will re-open on April 15.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 3. The Black River Forest Trail Foundation will be holding its annual candlelight ski, hike and snowshoe event from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Smrekar warming shelter. Food and refreshments will be available as well as a raffle with great prizes, said Emily Alf, visitor services associate.

ADAMS COUNTY - Prospective hunters would have to purchase an Adams County central forest zone antlerless tag to hunt antlerless deer north of Hwy. 82 during the upcoming antlerless only hunt Dec. 7-10. As of Dec. 4, public land tags are gone, but there are more than 2,700 private land antlerless tags available, according to Wade Romberg, conservation warden, Friendship.

BUCKHORN STATE PARK - The group camp and gate are now closed for the season.
Dec. 7-10 is antlerless only deer for bow and gun. You must have a Juneau County/Central Forest/Public antlerless tag or Junior Antlerless tag for public land, said Heather Wolf, park manager.

ROCHE-A-CRI STATE PARK - Dec. 7-10 is antlerless only deer for bow and gun. You must have an Adams County/Central Forest/Public antlerless tag or Junior Antlerless tag for public land, said Wolf.