Thursday, February 25, 2016

A New Permission

In the wisdom of Wisconsin state law, the groundhog is a protected species.  It can not be hunted on public land and only a landowner or his "agent" may kill them if they are a nuance.

In other words, my hunting is limited to private property and Wisconsin's vast public hunting grounds do me little good are as good as refuges from human predators.

I contacted three land owners this winter and was denied access to about 5/6 of the land I requested access to.  Part of the problem seems to have been a rookie mistake.  In one sentence I mentioned shed antlers.  Shed antlers are not my thing but I would like permission to keep one if I find it.  For future reference, stick to the issue at hand, take any found shed antlers to the land owner after finding them, let them decide if you can keep it or use it for the dog to chew on.

The weather has warmed enough that the part of the new permission with southern exposure was clear for the walking, including the two most promising fence rows.

An eagle circled overhead letting me know that s/he did not appreciate our presence.  I found the pelvis and backbone of an animal, probably a first winter raccoon.  I rarely see opossum outside of city limits, it was a little large to be a skunk, and small to be a groundhog.

It is all guesswork.

A short while later we kicked up a couple grouse and I barely caught sight of two fox, grey fox I think, slipping away from us.  Owing to the time of year and the fact that left as a pair, I would guess a natal den is hidden in that fence row.  I did not press the investigation

I will go back when I think fox kits will be mobile and the whole parcel is more easily accessible.  With so many predators about, I doubt my new permission will result in good spring hunting.  We will want to go back, however, in mid to late summer when young groundhogs have left their mothers and are striking out on their own.

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