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  1. Madison attorney Jim Olson prepares to go row-trolling for muskies on Crab Lake in northern Vilas County near Presque Isle. Patrick Durkin photo

    Patrick Durkin column: Mysterious fish has Olson family hooked

    The one sure highlight of fishing in the Bob Ellis Classic row-trolling tournament each summer is hanging out at Jim Olson's cabin on Crab Lake when not chasing muskies.

    • Jun. 20, 2014
  2. John Taylor, a DNR fish technician, releases a Great Lakes muskie after collecting its eggs during a recent spring spawn. Wisconsin DNR

    Pat Durkin column: Muskies still aren't thriving

    Green Bay's famous muskies received more than double the fishing pressure in 2013 than they did in 2012, jumping from a minimum of 22,595 hours to 52,266 hours of effort as success rates increased at similar rates.

    • Jun. 20, 2014
  3. DNR researchers hold down a deer and cover its eyes to calm it while attaching a radio-collar. DNR photo

    Pat Durkin column: Wolves aren't biggest threat for deer

    Two surprises have emerged from the Department of Natural Resources' research into deer predation and fawn survival the past three springs: Wolves were not linked to any fawn deaths in the Northern Forest study area near Winter, and starvation was the top

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  4. Milton Collins, 86, of Green Bay holds his first wild turkey, which he shot May 14 in northern Brown County while hunting with his son-in-law, Gregg Maes of Suamico. Patrick Durkin/Correspondent

    Patrick Durkin column: Son-in-law sees 86-year-old hunter bag his first turkey

    When the alarm clock in Carol Collins' home in Green Bay sounded at 3:45 a.m. May 14, she was soon swept out of bed by her husband Milton's eagerness to hunt turkeys.

    • Jun. 6, 2014
  5. Jim Dawalt of Waupaca cuts lumber from a log that Patrick Durkin salvaged from a dead ash tree in his yard. Patrick Durkin/For

    Patrick Durkin column: Ash lumber can be much more than mulch

    First they came after our firewood, saying we couldn't move it beyond our county line. Now they're coming after entire ash trees, chipping their beautiful wood into worthless mulch.

    • Jun. 6, 2014
  6. No deer recovers once infected by CWD. This 31/2-year-old buck from Sauk County was dispatched by Wisconsin DNR staff after it was seen struggling in September 2012. Wisconsin DNR

    Patrick Durkin column: Doing nothing about CWD means nothing

    For 12 years we've watched and listened as a group of deer hunting faith-healers in southwestern Wisconsin criticized and blocked scientific efforts to manage chronic wasting disease.

    • May 30, 2014
  7. Captured smallmouth bass wait to be inspected, measured and marked by DNR biologists before being released into Detroit Harbor. Patrick Durkin/For

    'Smallies' survive harsh conditions around Washington Island

    Life's never easy for smallmouth bass around Washington Island at the tip of Door County, but this stalwart fish seems to be weathering the toughest challenges Lake Michigan can summon.

    • May 23, 2014
  8. Preston Cole, chairman of the state's seven-citizen Natural Resources Board, addresses the Wisconsin Conservation Congress at its 80th anniversary convention May 9 in Rothschild. Patrick Durkin/For

    Patrick Durkin column: Meyer makes history as first woman on Conservation Congress' executive committee

    One day after hearing a high-level challenge to broaden its delegation beyond 'gray-hairs' and 'no-hairs,' the Wisconsin Conservation Congress elected a woman to its five-member executive committee for the first time in its 80-year history.

    • May 16, 2014
  9. Dennis and Julie Mullen of Green Bay, members of the Neptune Dive Club, view Lake Michigan from the bluffs of Porte des Morts Park at the tip of Door County. Submitted by John Touscany

    Patrick Durkin column: De Pere's Touscany spurs access for all at Porte des Morts

    When John Touscany of De Pere stands atop the bluff at Porte des Morts Park on Door County's northern tip, he envisions anglers, kayakers, scuba divers and paddleboarders enjoying the waters beyond the rocky beach below.

    • May 14, 2014
  10. Shallow, slack-water areas of the Petenwell Flowage in central Wisconsin suffered fish die-offs this winter when oxygen levels plunged. Wisconsin DNR

    Pat Durkin column: DNR says fish in most lakes survive the brutal winter

    At least two anglers illustrated Wisconsin's endless winter when on May 4 they cut holes into Vilas County's Big Arbor Vitae Lake to fish with tip-ups and stubby jigging poles on the third day of fishing season.

    • May 9, 2014
  11. A report by the Bureau of Land Management estimated that grazing livestock had damaged 80 percent of the West's riparian areas by 1994. Patrick Durkin/Press-Gazette Media correspondent

    Pat Durkin column: Livestock grazing inflicts damage on Western ecosystems

    A teachable moment about government-subsidized livestock grazing vanished last week when Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy proved himself not only a law-breaking debtor but also a self-pitying racist.

    • May 2, 2014
  12. Patrick Durkin interviews Deer & Turkey Expo organizer

    Patrick Durkin interviewed Glenn Helgeland, organizer of the Field & Stream Deer & Turkey Expo, in a recent column in the Wisconsin State Journal.

    • Apr. 30, 2014
  13. Although their waters remain cold, rivers and streams statewide are free of ice. Patrick Durkin/For

    Pat Durkin column: Tip for fishing opener ó be flexible

    Anglers planning trips to northern Wisconsin for the fishing season opener May 3-4 should review what worked or failed on opening weekend in 2013, because a repeat awaits.

    • Apr. 25, 2014
  14. Shed antlers are often difficult to spot on woodland floors. Patrick Durkin/For

    Patrick Durkin column: Joe Shead-Antler on A's, B's and C's of shed hunting

    Joe Shead of Superior thinks he was born to hunt shed antlers, even if he didn't discover this winter-spring hobby until he was in college.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  15. This large albino white-tailed buck was photographed in Wisconsin's Buffalo County about 10 years ago. Tom Indrebo/Submitted

    Patrick Durkin column: Albino deer hunting question a waste of time

    If you want to see a dead idea in search of a grave, read Question 35 in the pamphlet for Monday night's statewide fish and wildlife hearings.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  16. Anglers again will vote April 14 at the annual fish and wildlife hearings on whether to allow motor trolling statewide in Wisconsin. Patrick Durkin/Press-Gazette Media correspondent

    Pat Durkin column: Motor trolling on ballot ó again

    Depending on how you're scoring it, Wisconsin anglers will get their second, third or fourth (or more) chance to accept or reject motor trolling when they gather at 7 p.m. April 14 for the state's annual fish and wildlife hearings.

    • Apr. 4, 2014
  17. Tim Watson of Waunakee unhooks a yellow perch while fishing March 17 on Lake Mendota. Patrick Durkin/Press-Gazette Media correspondent

    Patrick Durkin column: St. Patrick's Day ice fishing one benefit of long winter

    Judging by their green flanks, orange fins and white bellies, even the yellow perch flopping atop the ice fit the St. Patrick's Day theme March 17 as I fished Lake Mendota with lifelong friend Tim Watson.

    • Mar. 28, 2014
  18. Patrick Durkin column: Too early to celebrate hunter participation survey

    Tom Heberlein flipped his newspaper aside, sipped his coffee and said skeptically, 'Someone needs to explain these higher hunter numbers rather than simply making happy dances about them.'

    • Mar. 21, 2014
  19. The blacklegged, or deer, tick. Submitted

    Pat Durkin column: Lyme disease risk grows across Wisconsin with deer tick's range

    With a record 3,609 cases of Lyme disease in 2011, the tick-borne illness has become Wisconsin's third-most-reported ailment, behind only chlamydia (24,254) and gonorrhea (4,761).

    • Mar. 14, 2014
  20. Once CWD infects deer, they have about 18 months to live. They'll look healthy until the final two months of life, at which point they lose weight, stagger and incessantly drool. Patrick Durkin/For

    Pat Durkin column: Put CWD ugliness to use

    What would deer hunters do if roaming dog packs were killing 25 percent of the deer herd, including 35 percent of its adult bucks, each year in the area they hunt?

    • Mar. 7, 2014
  21. A young sharp-shinned hawk rests near several backyard birdfeeders. Patrick Durkin/For

    Just accept them: Feeders will attract hawks, too

    If you put out seeds to attract songbirds, don't be surprised if you accidentally turn your backyard into a target-rich environment for Cooper's hawks and sharp-shinned hawks.

    • Mar. 2, 2014
  22. During 2013, CWD's infection rates increased in the state's core disease areas and spread farther. Patrick Durkin/For

    Pat Durkin column: CWD-positive cases continue to escalate

    Despite testing a record-low number of deer for chronic wasting disease in 2013, the Department of Natural Resources has verified a record-350 CWD-positive cases during the annual collection period that ends March 31.

    • Feb. 28, 2014
  23. New federal guidelines on chronic wasting disease could increase CWD's spread in Wisconsin and the rest of the country. Patrick Durkin/For

    Pat Durkin column: New chronic wasting disease rules enhance risks

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new CWD certification program for captive elk and deer herds could hasten the disease's spread, whether the animals are privately owned 'livestock' inside fences or publicly owned resources living in the wild.

    • Feb. 21, 2014
  24. Patrick Durkin column: Expert angler returns to Madison Fishing Expo

    Patrick Durkin previews the Madison Fishing Expo in a recent column on

    • Feb. 18, 2014
  25. Patrick Durkin column: Ice caves are worth the cold journey

    When stepping onto Lake Superiorís ice at Meyers Beach and looking northeast, you realize no one strolls, saunters or leisurely jogs to the lakeís famous sea caves over a mile away.

    • Feb. 15, 2014
  26. Even though hunters will soon be able to register deer electronically from the field, the DNR will probably have to keep offering in-person registration as an option. Patrick Durkin/For

    Patrick Durkin column: Look next door for a glimpse into hunting's future in Wisconsin

    To preview what Wisconsinís new deer-registration process might look like this fall and beyond, we could look next door to Minnesota, which switched to 100 percent electronic registration in 2008.

    • Feb. 15, 2014
  27. Pheasants Forever has 140,000 members nationwide, including 9,000 in Wisconsin. Badger State hunters travel often to Iowa and the Dakotas to hunt pheasants, and work closer to home with Pheasants Forever to improve pheasant habitat in Wisconsin. Pheasants Forever

    Pat Durkin column: Pheasant Fest not just for bird hunters

    Whether you want to ogle nearly 40 breeds of sporting dogs, introduce your kids to Rudy the Rooster or seek professional advice on managing your land's pheasant habitat, you'll find plenty of ways to busy yourself this coming weekend at the National Pheas

    • Feb. 8, 2014
  28. Wisconsin's new deer hunting rules are neither sweeping nor exciting. File photo

    Pat Durkin column: Deer hunting rules package ignores more than it tweaks

    You have to love DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's spontaneous 'Yes!' outburst when the Natural Resources Board unanimously passed a rules package Jan. 22 that tweaks Wisconsin's deer hunting regulations.

    • Feb. 1, 2014
  29. Jeff Walters, Scott Walters, Michael Gilson and Steve Walters pose with the black bear Gilson shot while hunting with the Walters and their hounds in September in Marinette County. Submitted

    Patrick Durkin column: Cold? These hunting stories will warm your heart

    Hunters tend to view other hunters as competitors for game they pursue.

    • Jan. 27, 2014

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