Nearly a month after first celebrating the year’s second season, spring is again knocking and this is no April Fool.
We’ll hear, see, smell, feel and taste spring this time around for sure. Changes will be fast and difficult to keep up with now that May is fast approaching.
Turkey fanatics are finally likely to receive pleasant, spring weather. And snow will not hinder those walks in the woods. No more sounding as though we’re walking on sheet metal (crusty snow). Damp leaves will help intruders remain nearly invisible.
But the prey, too, will be silent walkers, so it’s not a complete advantage for hunters.
Hunters’ helpers, the “who cooks for you” barred owls, are vocal this time around, and still well-camouflaged, silent fliers.
Migrants continue to fly through. Stopping momentarily are warblers and an occasional crowned kinglet. So small this flier is that some refer to the insect picker as a birdlet. No wonder it was named a kinglet.
More common are birds who stick with us throughout this season and next - yellow-bellied sapsuckers, killdeers, timberdoodlers, and many more.
Window boxing cardinals and robins let us know our windows reflect, and probably have to be cleaned again. Tom turkeys have also gotten into the habit.
Thick, limey shoots of Mayapples are appearing in the oak forests.
Depredation of calves continue to be reported due to wolves and coyotes.
Some old news, some new news, of chronic wasting disease confirmations are bringing with them baiting and feeding bans.
Votes from the recent spring hearings are likely to initiate some changes, but several asks, which are less likely to turn into rule and regulation changes, are the elimination of the group deer hunting law, adjusting the length of the crossbow season and rules regarding large caliber pneumatic rifles and bows.
The 2017 Wisconsin field warden of the year is Ed McCann, who was presented the Haskell Noyes gold watch at a banquet in La Crosse recently. This prestigious award was initialed in 1930 by Milwaukee businessman Haskell Noyes, as the conservation warden efficiency award and is presented annually to a field warden.
The Noyes family has continued to present this award and gold watch to a warden selected by Wisconsin administrative wardens. They continue to support numerous conservation causes.
News from Decorah, Iowa, where a now-famous eagle pair has been on a nest camera for several years, is that the male eagle is missing. The eggs, three, hatched and are being cared for by the female. There is a fish hatchery across the road and plenty of easy, close food for the female eagle to pick up without much hunting and quickly return. At least one other male eagle is hanging around the area, but is encouraged to leave and stay away by the eaglet-tending female.
Trout anglers continue to cast flies and spinners in preparation for the May 5 regular trout season opener. It’s this season that allows the taking of trout from many streams and sections of streams throughout the state.
Food finding foraging is beginning, too, with garlic mustard greens, watercress salad, and some leeks and chives showing green. Can fungi be far behind?
Last year morels began appearing about April 20, during that normal spring. Given that, don’t be surprised if someone reports this mushroom appearing by April’s end.