Shared hunting experiences highlight fall issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

MADISON – “I never thought I’d say that my favorite year hunting was one when I didn’t shoot a trophy buck.”

Strange-sounding words for the lead story in the October issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, especially the fall issue that annually focuses on our state’s traditional deer hunt.

But if you read on those words make perfect sense as you listen to author Steve Pierce share his experiences as a parent taking his two sons on their first deer hunt last year.

That theme of honoring our fall hunting tradition holds true in “It’s worth the punishment” as author Matthew Peterson relates the up and down emotions that come with pursuing a big buck, even one you don’t get, as a hunter learns and grows from the experience.

Following that story you can read about how hunting and conservation go hand in hand in Ryan Theiler’s interview with Wildlife Management Program Director Tom Hauge, learn about hunting from a bygone era in “Back in the day” and read John Motoviloff’s “Great things in small packages” piece about delectable outdoor foods you can bag this fall that don’t have to be big game.

From hunting deer and other game to bird hunting of a different kind, October’s issue also focuses on the state of North America’s bird population in Wisconsin, following a 2016 report from the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. The report, conducted to commemorate the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial, paints a clear picture of accomplishments and the challenging work ahead.

In addition, “A graceful touchdown” provides an essay on the beautiful aerial displays of the cranes of Crex Meadows, and “An aerie of eagles” follows the curious story of bald eagles as they flock to Lake Onalaska to fest on waterfowl killed by invasive exotic species.

Urban coyotes provide a different twist to wildlife watching, and this month’s issue looks at what Wisconsin cities are doing to help citizens understand and coexist with them.

Finally, you can read about one man’s fat tire bike tour of Wisconsin’s highways and byways, clocking more than 5,000 miles in 2015, or read about how to build a Leopold bench, those funny-looking gray benches with backrests that defy the vertical plane, created by famed Wisconsin conservationist Aldo Leopold.