Always up-to-date and accurate…reports on trail conditions and recreational opportunities in Price County.
Snowmobile Trail Report – 11/21/14
There is over one (1) foot of snow on the ground. Conditions permitting, the snowmobile trails will open December 11, following the muzzleloader deer hunting season. Due to agreements with private landowners, the snowmobile trails will remain closed until that time and unauthorized use may result in fines.
Cross Country Ski Trail Report – 11/21/14
We have approximately 12 inches of snow on the ground and some trails are open for early-season skiing. The next anticipated grooming of the Phillips School Forest Trail is the evening of 11/21/14; it was last groomed 11/14/14 but only the beginner loop has been tracked and the conditions is good to very good (skiers can feel comfortable using their good skis); hunting is not allowed in the school forest. The Holy Cross ski trail has been packed with a snowmobile with plans to groom and set track as soon as a few wet areas freeze up. The trail has approximately a 4 inch base. Rock skis would be recommended for now. Loop A and E at Newman Springs were both packed down 11-20-14. Both loops are in good condition for snowshoeing and fat bikes; however, cross country skiers that require a track will want to wait until the trail is groomed and tracks are set. The trail, including Loop D, will be groomed & tracked after November 30, conditions permitting. The Flambeau Hills Trail was packed with a snowmobile and rolled 11-12-14 but the condition is poor for skiing; it is open to skiers and hunters alike; ski trail grooming will begin after the regular gun deer season ends on November 30 with plans to have the trail ready to ski on December 5. The Timm’s Hill Trail will open December 1, following the regular gun deer season. The Wintergreen Ski Trail is tentatively scheduled to open December 12, following muzzleloader deer season. The Wintergreen Ski and Hiking Trail System and Hwy. 70 trailhead currently remain closed as part of a storm damage timber harvest. The CNNF anticipates that all salvage sale operations will be finished by the end of this week. Following the timber harvest, the trail system will be evaluated to see if it can be used during the 2014-2015 ski season.
Snowshoe Trail Report – 11/20/14
Trails currently have 12 – 14 inches of snow. Be aware of current hunting seasons taking place and wear blaze orange for safety.
ATV, UTV & Off Road Motorcycle Trail Report – 11/20/14
All trails currently have 12-14 inches of snow cover making riding difficult to impossible.
The Georgetown Trail and Solberg Trail are open. The Georgetown Trail was to be dragged the weekend of November. 15-16.
The Flambeau River State Forest Trail and the Price County section of the Tuscobia State Trail closed to ATV & UTV use for this season on Sunday, November 16, 2014.
Most of the Flambeau Trail System is open; however, the Wintergreen Trailhead and the Wintergreen Salvage Closure Area are closed due to storm damage. Closed trail sections include Trail 102 from Hwy 70 south 2.5 miles to Forest Road 653, Trail 103 from Hwy 70 south 1 mile to where it intersects with Flambeau Motorized Trail 102, and Trail 101 from Hwy 70 north and west 2.5 miles to where it intersects with Forest Road 549E (Wintergreen Road). The CNNF anticipated that all salvage sale operations would be completed by November 21.
Fishing Report – 11/20/14
The unseasonably cold fall weather has resulted in most lakes becoming iced up in the last week, though many of the larger and deeper lakes still have areas of open water. The lakes that have become iced over have real variable ice thicknesses, with about 3” in near shore areas and only 1” to 2” out towards the deeper water. Even with several nights of single-digit low temperatures, ice thickness has been slow to increase and potential early-season anglers should wait another week or so until the ice depths reach the 4” level. But – there have been the first few reports of adventurous anglers getting out on the 3” of ice in the shallow bays and near-shore areas. These early-season anglers have mostly been targeting walleye and success has been just fair, with most of the fish running small and in the 10” to 14” size. DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist Thomas “Skip” Sommerfeldt
Fishing/Hunting Guide Reports
Guides are on the water and in the woods on a regular basis and will put you on the right track in order to make your fishing or hunting trip successful and FUN. For more information on guide services, please see http://www.pricecountywi.net/recreation/hunting/guides/.
11/21/14 - Pretty dicey out there as of today. I did find some 4 inch solid ice and able to fish but I was well limited by the patchwork of ice. Large areas are soft, mushy, even on the smaller lakes. The entire week was subzero windchills, no shelter, so 3 hrs a day was my limit. Lake Link Report for Price County by river_chaser
11/17/14 - With 3 to 6 inches of ice being reported on most area waters the Open Water fishing season has come to a screeching halt. There were mixed reviews on 2014 season, Walleye seemed to be a little tough but it was a great panfish season for most area anglers. Musky fishermen were torn, some reported a great season while others said it was a tough bite, I think that was depending on your style of fishing. Reports are coming in from the first ice anglers of the season already. They are reporting some okay catches of Walleye in the shallow flats and bays. Pike action has also been okay. There are no reports of panfish yet as most of the fishermen haven’t felt that the ice is save enough to venture out onto ice that covers the deeper water and yet. This fall I caught my largest fish of the 2014 season, which also was my largest fish of the 2013 season!!!! This just goes to show you that proper handling of fish and Catch and Release works; the fish visited my boat about 350 days apart in the fall of 2013 and then again this fall. Both times I caught it on a quick set and a sucker in about the same area. John Carlson, Ross’s Sport Shop, Phillips – www.facebook.com/RosssSportShop
11/17/14 - It appears that unless you are fishing one of our river systems the open water season is now closed for business. Many of our area lakes are frozen and some of the smaller lakes are producing walleyes. The fish are shallow and small shinners on tip ups are catching fish. With the air temperatures remaining below normal ice conditions should improve this week. Anglers should find many lakes to themselves as the opening gun season is this weekend. As always care should be taken when going out on the ice this time of year. Please don’t go alone and bring emergency gear in case something bad happens. This can be one of the best times to be fishing and with a little caution can make for some nice catches. For those of us who are hunting be careful and good luck in bagging a buck! Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service, Butternut – www.northlandguideservice.net/
11/11/14 – Lake ice is NOT safe. Most bears are in their winter dens but may venture out on a warm day. Sows with cubs are more than likely holed up for the winter unless disturbed. I have seen increased deer activity and while I have not been out, I have seen some really nice bucks on vehicles at or near the registration stations. This deep snow will raise issues with the turkeys; with the light crust on top if we get the really cold temps by the weekend it will hurt them a lot. Bryan Vergin
11/11/14 – The bucks were rutting pretty good it will be intersting to see what the upcomming cold weather does As far as bear go. The bread sows went in hibernation in early oct next came the sows with this years cubs every body else goes into hibernation depending on if they can maintain their weight or gain they will stay up. A coupleof nice bucks were harvested the past couple of days by bowhunters. 11/10/14 - Whitetail rut is starting to shift into gear. Lots of scrapes showing up and some rubs. Grouse have taken to hiding in thick cover till they get used to the snow. Trapping of muskrats was pretty good until the cold and all my sets in bays or non-moving water froze in 3/4 to 1 inch of ice. Not fun. Been helping 2 guys with wolf trapping which hasn’t been going the best. The wolves haven’t been moving on regular routes. I think they know we are after them. Rich Kirchmeyer, Black Creature Guides, Prentice (715-428-2321) – email@example.com
Outdoor Report – 11/20/14
Deer Hunting: White-tailed deer bow season is September 13 – January 4, 2015; Gun season is November 22 – 30, 2014; Muzzleloader season is December 1 – 10, 2014. New this year is a crossbow deer hunting season which runs concurrent with the regular archery season; during the regular gun deer season, a gun deer license will authorize bow and crossbow use. It is important to note that persons purchasing a traditional bow and a crossbow license will receive only one set of tags.The Wisconsin DNR asks that hunters keep logging their hunting activity on the Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey. For hunters new to the survey, participating is easy; start by clicking this Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey link. The survey runs until January 2015, all participants who enter an email address will receive a personalized report at the end of the season detailing their recorded hunts and wildlife observations.
Grouse & Woodcock Hunting: Grouse season opened September 13, 2014 and runs through January 31, 2015. Woodcock season ended November 3, 2014. Most hunters have reported seeing decent numbers of grouse in the area. The WI DNR produced an interactive mapping system to identify bird habitat. View the Fields and Forest Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool (FFLIGHT) tool.
Turkey Hunting: The Fall Wild Turkey season is September 13 – November 20, 2014 and December 1 – 30 in Zone 4. There are many turkeys in the area, and fall hunters should have a good chance at harvesting one.
Waterfowl Hunting: The Canada Goose Northern Exterior Zone season is September 16 – December 16, 2014, with a daily bag limit of two geese. The Duck Hunting Season in the Northern Zone is Septemer 27 – November 25, 2014. Bag limits vary by type of duck. View Migratory Bird Regulations. There are many geese in the area, and duck hunters have reported seeing a fair number of birds as well.
Black Bear: The season closed October 7, 2014.
Wolf Hunting: Once the Statewide quota of 150 is reached the season will close. Visit DNR Wolf Hunting & Trapping for details.
Other: Opossum, skunk, weasel and snowshoe hare hunting has no season limits, bags limits size limits or possession limits. Coyote hunting is a continuous open season except during gun deer hunting seasons. To view a list of all hunting and trapping season dates, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website at http://ua.dnr.wi.gov/topic/trap/.
Fall Color Report – Final 2014 Report
Fall color peaked September 27-28, 2014. Make plans now to visit next September & October for the fall color season.
Paddling / River Report – Final 2014 Report
The 2014 paddling season on both the North and South Forks of the Flambeau River were excellent due to the higher than average amount of rain that our region received this year. The river will begin to freeze in November. Spring paddling reports will begin in late April 2015. Check with an area rental/shuttle/guide service for the most current conditions and to select a suitable stretch of river based on your experience.