Turkeys abundant, early ice reported

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Deer hunters are reporting good populations of wild turkeys, with the fall turkey hunt having ended Nov. 14.

“Some people are seeing 40-some, 50-some birds from their blinds,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township.

As for deer, a fair number of six-pointers and eight-pointers have been harvested, Grier said. “Most people are seeing deer, though not always bucks,” he said. “It seems to be OK.”

Michigan’s 16-day firearm season runs through Friday, while Wisconsin’s nine-day gun hunt wraps up this weekend. The opening weekend buck harvest was down from a year ago in Florence County and northern Marinette County, possibly due to baiting bans instituted to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease.

Prior to Friday’s warm-up, a few anglers were going out on the ice, though conditions are variable and risky.

As a rule, no one should venture out on any ice when it is less than 2 inches thick. Four inches of clear, solid ice is generally needed to support a person on foot.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula fishing conditions:

Little Bay De Noc: Had walleye anglers. The bay is starting to ice up but there is no safe ice yet. The only boat launches being used are Kipling and Gladstone Harbor. Walleye anglers reported fair to good catches with most fishing the reefs in the north end. There were some shallow water catches reported but most were trolling stick baits between the Second and the Center Reefs in 35 feet. Good numbers of baitfish were still being reported throughout the area. Those putting in the time caught more fish.

Two Hearted River: More snow had fallen in northern Luce County. Those braving the conditions have caught a couple steelhead near the mouth.