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From The Secretary

FROM THE SECRETARY

Wisconsin is a magical place during winter. And while many living things go dormant this season, that doesn’t mean you have to.

During the pandemic, millions of you found solace in the outdoors from our state parks and forests to trails and everything in between. Getting out and enjoying public lands is something I encourage you to continue to do this winter. Our public lands provide a necessary outlet for individuals and families, and also help support our local communities across the state.

This time of year, we recognize the state’s famed history of hunting as Wisconsin continues to be a destination location for hunting whitetailed deer.

Safety is an important part of the hunt. Did you know Wisconsin's 10-year average is approximately six hunting incidents for the nine-day gun deer hunt?

The decline in incidents is the direct result of hunter safety education given by Wisconsin's volunteer instructors and DNR conservation wardens. We thank everyone for reviewing and thinking about firearm safety each and every time you head out and for taking hunter education courses.

Don’t worry, this issue isn’t only about deer hunting. Rather, it is dedicated to Wisconsin’s wondrous winter and features mesmerizing images of landscapes and ice formations, plus a number of ideas for finding your adventure across the state.

As I have said before, getting outdoors is good for both the mind and the body. Although winter may be tough for those experiencing seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, the cover story, “Prescription Outdoors,” focuses on tips from area experts for beating the winter blues.

With thousands of acres of adventure across our state properties, there’s space for everyone — even in winter. Across these pages, we provide ideas for how to explore Door County in winter, give a round-up of ideas for winter day trips and offer pint-sized tips for tracking down wildlife for kids.

If you prefer the indoors, check out the DIY bat house project that helps protect Wisconsin’s important bat species.

Even though this issue isn’t all about hunting, there’s a little something about it. Hunting is woven into the fabric of life in Wisconsin. In “Hunt to Eat,” meet new hunter Claire Weslaski of Racine, who was part of the recordsetting number of women who went hunting last year.

This winter, make memories with those who matter most. Take the time to step outside and go wild in Wisconsin.

As always, thanks for reading.