It’s Fall Y’all
Get out and explore all that fall in Wisconsin has to offer, including National Public Lands Day on Sept. 24.
Fall is officially here. The temps are dropping, leaves are starting to turn and the birds are migrating. Whether you’re interested in chasing the fall colors, hiking before the snow falls or getting out to hunt, there’s lots to explore across Wisconsin.
Keep track of the changing colors using Travel Wisconsin’s Fall Color Map. Currently, you’ll be able to see colors at about 30-40% of peak in areas of Ashland, Barron, Richland and Winnebago counties, with a few other pockets of color in between.
We have lots to explore at all of our state parks, including an all-new accessible playground at Nicolet Beach within Peninsula State Park. The playground is based on an accessible surface, and has accessible equipment, including a flush-mounted merry-go-round for users of all abilities and a universal swing. It also features universal interactive ground elements like a rain wheel and music elements.
Not sure what to do while you’re at the parks? Be sure to regularly check our event calendar to discover programming for the whole family across the state. From guided and themed hikes to educational lectures, fall fests and more, you’ll be sure to find some fun at a park near you.
Last but certainly not least, tomorrow (Sept. 24) is both National Public Lands Day and National Hunting And Fishing Day. Established in 1994, National Public Lands Day celebrates the connection between people and the environment while encouraging the use of public spaces for education, recreation and volunteering.
Here are just a few ways to celebrate National Public Lands Day:
- Adopt a Fish or Wildlife Area and provide hands-on assistance to protect wildlife and improve habitat at your local fisheries or wildlife area. Learn more about the program and how to get involved on the DNR’s Adopt a Fish or Wildlife Area webpage.
- Travel to a State Park System hidden gem property in all corners of the state: Governor Thompson State Park, Hartman Creek State Park, Pattison State Park, Point Beach State Forest and Wyalusing State Park.
- Go on a fishing adventure at one of the many fishing areas in the state including Bird Creek, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Plum Creek and White River Fisheries Area.
- Volunteer at a State Natural Area, State Wildlife Area or State Park to help protect and conserve Wisconsin’s natural resources. Find opportunities near you by visiting the DNR’s volunteer webpage.
- Learn about local wildlife, habitats, history and conservation at any Wisconsin state park, forest, recreation or wildlife area. Visit the DNR’s education and learning webpage for more details.
- Unable to make it out on National Public Lands Day? Protect rare wildlife and State Natural Areas by ordering an Endangered Resources license plate.
Autumn Adventures And More In Wisconsin Natural Resources
The fall issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine is now available in print and online.
Savor the season with a Wisconsin Fall Bucket List of activities, including everything from scenic drives and leaf peeping to apple picking, camping in the colors and more. This issue also includes suggestions for Fall Day Trips, such as Holy Hill near Milwaukee and central Wisconsin’s beautiful Rib Mountain State Park.
Aspiring photographers will find great advice on how to take picture-perfect fall photos using a smartphone. And it’s time to rethink fall cleanup with tips to save time and money on seasonal chores while still helping nature. Kids will love diving into the science behind autumn’s colorful glory to learn why leaves change color.
Fall means an array of hunting seasons in Wisconsin. That also means hunting safely. The fall issue shares important information to help you stay safe when heading out in the field this fall.
Meanwhile, learn about the history of Lizard Mound State Park, settle into the saddle with horseback riding in Wisconsin’s State Parks, and meet Elena Terry, a chef and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, who finds inspiration in her connections to land and community.
Subscribe now to receive four issues of the Wisconsin Natural Resources print edition for $8.97. Call 1-800-678-9472 or sign up online at wnrmag.com.
Photo Credit: Sam Li
Hunting Waterfowl? Wear Your Life Jacket
With more than 74,000 waterfowl hunters expected on waterways this year, we are reminding waterfowl hunters to follow best safety practices as they hit the water this upcoming season.
Wisconsin has had 19 boating accident deaths so far this year, according to DNR records. No matter your skill level or years of hunting, waterfowl hunters should always wear their life jackets. Things can happen quickly with dogs on board and other weather-related challenges.
Follow these safety tips to prevent boating accidents and deaths:
- Water temperatures are rapidly cooling at this time of year. A fall overboard can turn dangerous quickly as hypothermia sets in. Wearing a life jacket can keep individuals on the surface and allow energy to be used to keep warm rather than to stay above the water.
- Remember to protect canine companions on the water – they need life jackets, too.
- Never overload the boat. If you’re hunting on a large river or lake, use a boat that is big enough to handle rough water.
- Balance the boat evenly and keep weight low for stability.
- Be on the lookout for elements outside of your control, such as changing weather, or a slightly submerged stump, rock, sandbar or floating debris.
- If you’re in a boat or canoe with a hunting partner, establish and communicate a safe fire zone; do not stand to shoot if a partner is shooting from a seated position.
- Always carry a cell phone so communication can happen in case of an emergency.
Hunters should also be aware of the danger of waders on the water. If a boat capsizes and the hunter is ejected, waders can fill with water, creating suction around the hunter’s legs and feet, making it difficult to remove the waders. This added water weight greatly increases the risk of drowning. Wearing a life jacket can help keep hunters afloat.
One wearable life jacket is required for each person on board a boat and must fit properly. In addition to the wearable life jackets, a throwable personal flotation device, such as a ring buoy or standard seat cushion, is required for every boat longer than 16 feet.
For a complete guide to regulations and law changes, reference the 2022 Combined Wisconsin Hunting Regulations booklet.
Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR
Join Us For October Open House Events
Have you ever wanted to see how our fish egg collection facilities operate? Well, now’s your chance with open houses happening in Kewaunee and Racine this fall.
At Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility in Kewaunee, visitors can watch salmon egg collection demonstrations, enjoy fishing displays, take a guided tour of the facility and adopt a sturgeon for river release. The Algoma Kewaunee Great Lakes Sport Fisherman will be providing wagon rides, and food and drink will be available for sale.
The open house at the Root River Steelhead Facility in Racine will feature guided tours and fish spawning demonstrations. Volunteers from Salmon Unlimited, Trout Unlimited and the Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation Association will provide educational fishing stations where visitors can try casting techniques and receive knot- and fly-tying lessons.
Both of these Wisconsin DNR facilities are unique fish egg collection locations where the public can see fish up close and personal. They are the first step in stocking trout and salmon in Lake Michigan.
Learn more about the open house events on the DNR’s website.
WHAT: Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility Open House
WHEN: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1
WHERE: Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility
N3884 Ransom Moore Lane
Kewaunee, WI 54216
WHAT: Root River Steelhead Facility Open House
WHEN: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
WHERE: Root River Steelhead Facility
2200 Domanik Drive
Racine, WI 53404