Green Bay Press-Gazette from Green Bay, Wisconsin on January 28, 1973 · Page 27
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Green Bay Press-Gazette from Green Bay, Wisconsin · Page 27

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Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Sunday, January 28, 1973
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Page 27
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Green Bay ft 4 Not always f 'lit ' 1 - i Lady sturgeon spearers are rare, but not unknown on ,vn on Golden Eagle sets aside nest space for golden agers By JOHN LEE Press-GantM Staff Writer Wisconsin tourists planning a winter trip that includes pit stops at a national park or national forest are advised that the 1973 Golden Eagle and Golden Age passports are obtainable at local post offices. The Golden Eagle passport costs S10 and provides entry for the holder and all persons accompanying him in a single non-commercial vehicle to all federal parks and forest recreation areas for the calender year. Trail talk set Feb. 6 Proposed acquisition of the abandoned railroad grade between Heafford Junction and Woodruff by the Dept. of Natural Resources for establishment of a new state park trail will be considered in a public informational meeting at Rhinelander on Feb. 6. The Milwaukee Road grade, passing through the communities of Harshaw, Goodnow, Hazelhurst and Minocqua, could provide a 28-mile trail facility for snowmobiling, hiking and bicycling. DNR personnel will explain the proposal and invite citizen comment. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in Rhinelander High school. Black powder making over in Daniel Boone and his Kentucky rifle today might not be able to get off a shot. America's powder horn is empty. Black powder production has been stopped by the last American factory to make it. Not enough business from fireworks makers or the 30,000 or so muzzleloader marksmen in the United States, says the Du Pont Company, and modern explosives have taken over blasting and military uses. Now black powder is made only abroad. Without black powder, much of the world's more spectacular history would have fizzled. For 600 years, until smokeless powder and dynamite became available in the late 1800's, black powder was man's only explosive. It smashed down castle walls and What do you mean, you By TOM HORTON Coolty News Servlc ' LAS VEGAS - It was a bright, warm desert afternoon about 62 degrees but a generous sun and the invigorating desert air made it seem warmer so Mr. and Mrs. W.M. Dickinson of Carlsbad, N.M., were in their swimming suits and terry cloth robes and on their way to the Stardust's olympic-sized pool. ' Fully clothed, wearing their best stepping-out duds( were O'Neil Viltz and his wife, from Los Angeles, on their way to the casino for some gaming and, maybe later, a fancy dinner before catching the- Press-Gazette Sunday, Jan. 28, 1973 B 15 FT Ski ' jt-V WHL P-G photo man's work Winnebago vvinneDago , ., The Golden Age passport serves a similar purpose and is issued free of charge to persons age 62 and over. This passport has multiple uses as it also entitles the bearer to a 50 percent reduction in posted user-fees where federal charges are in force for over-night camping, boat launching, etc. - According to Green Bay Postmaster George Farah, eligible applicants for the Golden Age passport need only provide proof of age. A driver's license or birth certificate will suffice. Lacking either document, an affadavit form, available at first and second class post offices, may be signed to satisfy the requirement. Summer tourists in Wisconsin may secure passports at ranger stations in the Nicolet and Chequamegon national forests. Chip Sossa, Lakewood, district recreation manager on the Nicolet, explains that while these forests do not require admission fees as do most national parks, the Golden Age passport will entitle the holder to the discount on standard facility fees such as for over-night camping. Last year, Sossa reports, the Lakewood district recorded 15,000 camper-days. Despite construction of 21 additional sites at Boulder Lake, this camp and the equally popular Boot Lake campground will continue to attract more patrons than they can accomodate. In the past, he notes, with them the Age of Chivalry. It provided new might and menace to warring armies and wandering marauders alike. And, in the New World, black powder lifted stumps and split rocks by the millions as a new nation cleared the wilderness. No one knows who invented black powder, or gunpowder as it was soon called. Some believe the Chinese thought it up, or, more likely, got it from early European visitors and then invented the firecracker. Berthold Schwartz, a German monk who lived more in legend than in recorded history, has been called the father of gunpowder. But most think it was Roger Bacon, the 13th-century English genius. Bacon was the first to come up with the precise proportions of saltpeter, spectacular "Lido de Paris." The Dickinsons and the Viltzes, like millions who visit Las Vegas's Strip, were stepping out for glamorous entertainment and recreation the striking difference being that the Dickinsons and Viltzes were stepping out of campers. They are happy inhabitants of the hottest new idea to hit the Strip: Camperland. Camperland is a spacious, paved area directly behind the large Stardust resort hotel. There are spaces for 150 campers, trailers or motor homes. For only $4 a night, plus 4 '. Murky year By JOHN LEE Prtti-Ctnttt sun Wrtttf Pre-season conditions do not portend a vintage year for smoked sturgeon. Quite literally, the outlook for spearing on Lake Winnebago as the Saturday opening date nears is cloudy. Both the lake surface and water clarity are on the bizarre side this winter along with the weather in general. Veteran spearmen are more concerned with under-water"visibility than with stability of the ice. There is a lot of winter left and the season runs through March 1. Some spearmen traditionally take an unhurried approach to the sport anyway and travel conditions that may exist or develop on the lake can usually be overcome. Water beneath the ice is another matter. Spearmen like to see bottom at 14 to 16 feet. Walleye fishermen last week reported visibility was less than 10 feet. The murky quality is attributed to silted runoff rather than to eruption of algae. Stable winter temperatures in February could rectify this potential problem of visibility. Spearing the leathery fish, holdover from a prehistoric era and largest fresh-water species to inhabit Wisconsin waters, is lonely sport even when Winnebago's 138.000 acres are dotted with 2,500 or more hunters. disappointed parties are advised of private campgrounds in the area and of potential openings at public and private sites elsewhere in northeastern Wisconsin. As amended last year by Congress, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act insures continuity of the Golden Eagle passport program at least until the congress voids it. Formerly congressional action was required periodically to renew the passport. Last year, the congress failed to get around to renewing the 1971 version until midway in the 1972 summer vacation season. When it did act. congress incorporated an entirely new concept relating to fees on federal lands by making the age 62 visitor eligible for free admission and reduced facility rates by creating the Golden Age passport. Persons who purchase the regular Golden Eagle passport are informed that revenue will continue to go into federal outdoor recreation programs geared to meet the growing recreation needs of the nation. With no Congressional Record at hand to explain motivation for devising the Golden Age passport, it may be presumed to stem from the Social Security philsophy. Many of our senior citizens have put their share in the pot, are considered paid-up members and are entitled now to special consideration. charcoal, and sulphur to make a re?.! explosion. Early gunpowder was ground almost to a floury dust. Cannoneers commanded high pay for knowing how to pack it into a gun barrel: too tightly and it would bum without exploding; too closely and it would merely toss the cannonball out the muzzle. Bringing up the rear of an army, powder wagons were likely to be enveloped in a cloud of explosive dust that required only a roadside campfire to accelerate wagons and soldiers to ultimate destinations. Wetting down gunpowder with wine or other fluids, packing it into cakes, then breaking up the dried cake into coarser grains provided a much more reliable and safely handled explosive. But accidents still happened. Early Du Pont powder mills along the Bran- 50 cents for utility hookups, camper owners can stay right on the Strip, enjoy the glamor of Las Vegas. The Stardust Camperland opened in September and has been full most of the time. Before December, one of Las Vegas' slower months, there were great numbers of campers turned away. The idea of combining the lure of Las Vegas with the popularity of camper and motor home travel has caught on so quickly, the Stardust is already at work on expanding Camperland. An adjacent area will be converted to Camperland and by next summer That's because each licensed spearman is in an isolation booth called a shanty. Within its black-out confines, the hunter monitors a segment of Lake Winnebago's aquatic traffic through a door-size hole in the ice. In anticipation of the long, gliding black shadow that is the quarry, spear tines are poised in the water, suspended on a handle pegged to the ceiling with attached bull-dozing line coiled and clear, weaponry at hand for instant use. Once utilized by the American Indian as an aquatic alter-ego to the whltetail deer, sturgeon provided nourishing food, fine yet tough leather for clothing and accessories and . .'-' ..- J i' ' " ' '' N' ' J , l h F V t A K 'i v in v M I r i- . f Nature Where By CLARA HUSSONG "Where are all the birds," was the question I was asked most often via phone, calls and letters last fall by those who were starting their winter bird feeding programs. The questions came mostly from those who had first started feeding birds dining the fall and winter season of 1971-72, the year of the "great invasion," when more birds, counting both species and individuals, came to feeders than any of us oldtimers in birding had ever seen before. All last winter I had warned those who called me or wrote to me that such an abundance of birds, and the great variety, was something they the U.S. dywine River in Delaware were walled in stone, but had special blow-off wooden roofs. Gunpowder blasted out the Erie Canal and other waterways, then helped railroaders dig tunnels and cut down mountains. Irish and Chinese working on the railroad used 200 to 300 kegs of blasting powder a day as they pushed toward a meeting of iron horses at Promontory Point, Utah. On Bunker Hill, "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes" was an order aimed at saving gunpowder as much as assuring a telling toll among the attacking Redcoats. In the War of 1812 during the British attack on Baltimore, black powder produced "the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air" that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem. camped in Las the Stardust hopes to have a total of 400 spaces. "This is the first time a major resort hotel has included complete camping facilities as an integral part of its operation, and the first time ever that recreational vehicles have been able to park right on the Strip," said Dick Odeskky, Stardust public relations director.' He added with a smile, "There were a lot of noses turned up around here when we first announced we were putting in a Camperland. Now the same people who turned up their noses are talking about doing the same thing." Allan Sachs, Stardust president, for sturgeon transparent Isinglass for windows from the fish's air bladder. White settlers In Wisconsin showed an early preference for domestic meat, woven cloth and glass. The huge, ugly fish continued to thresh in waterways at spawning time like floudering whales and they foraged In lake and hay where nets for less rambunctious species were spread. So sturgeon became a nuisance and few people took alarm when damming of streams - denied them spawning grounds or mounting pollution threatened their existence. By natural chance, Lake Winnebago is the base pool of a watershed which still provided all the major requisites for sturgeon habitat. The species is relatively abundant Forty inches the minimum length It may take a sturgeon 25 years to grow that long, and some live to 75 years or more are all the probably would not witness again. I'm sure they didn't believe me, but just kept bubbling along, telling me about the happy winter they had had, and about all the extra feeders they were putting out for the fall of 1972. Well, the fall of 1972 came with its early cold weather and snowstorms. Long before Christmas the calls and letters came again, Yes, they had birds at their feeders, but maybe only half a dozen chickadees, a few nuthatches, including a few red-breasted ones, some junos, even a few evening grosbeaks and mourning doves. That's good, I told them, that's average, maylx? even better than average. But where are the dozens (or hundreds) of purple finches, the dozens (or hundreds) of sweet little redpolls, and the funny crossbills with their crooked bills, they had last year, they wanted to know. And there were too many sparrows around feeders, more than they had last year. I reminded them that in my column last winter I had said over and over again that the invasion to home grounds and feeders by both familiar and unusual birds in such great numbers was most likely a once in a lifetime experience. The invasion, incidientally, was not only in our area but all over the state. But worse was still to come. Later in December and in January when severe cold spells and more snow came along, birds at feeders, in general, became fewer and fewer. In my own case, my first five mourning doves dwindled down to one, chickadees and nuthatches became less and less obvious, and finally stopped coming altogether. Others had similar experiences, but some reported that their bird numbers remained the same, but did came up with the novel idea after noticing the increasing number of campers and motor homes sitting in hotel parking lots or in surrounding desert camper parks. Camperland is quite likely the biggest bargain in Las Vegas. The overnight charge is only $4 per vehicle, regardless of the number of occupants one camper arrived with a family of 11 and Camperland includes its own recreation room, heated swimming pool, children's playground, laundry room and rest rooms with shower compartments. Said Mrs. N.B. Shuter of Fort Collins, Colo., "These rest rooms are here and Winnebago is the only Wisconsin lake with an annual spearing season. Periodically, a season is presented for smaller, adjacent waters where fish generally run smaller. Sturgeon do not attain spawning maturity until age 25 and are known to live. 75 or more years. The 40-inch minimum size for legally taken fish is designed to protect the immature. Spearing regulations contained In the brochure given out with the purchase of a $2.50 sturgeon tag are carefully, structured to prevent abuse of a natural resource. According to Richard Harris. DNR district, fish manager, regulations will be strictly enforced as the sturgeon requires utmost protection. N birds? not build up as they expected. According to the reMi1s I received, evening grosbeaks appeared to be in numerous areas, but only in small flocks. Downy woodpeckers were numerous, some said, hut a number who had fed cardinals in previous years had not been visited by any this year. A number of people told me about seeing redpolls in their customary haunts, but only one reported them at her feeder. A few crossbills, pine grosbeaks, pine siskins, and goldfinches have been coming to home grounds, but nowhere near the number seen last year. Just the same it can be called an average winter as far as birds are concerned. When the severe cold came along, the gray squirrels more or less disappeared from my yard, and I see them only occasionally. I'm still puttng out seeds and suet, hoping that hungry birds will find this food. Ontario bow bid a success Bow hunting for deer was introduced in portions of southern Ontario last fall. So enthusiastic was the response that the provincial DNR projects a longer season over more deer range and inclusion of non-resident archery hunters in 1973. Estimated deer population in the areas opened to bowmen last year was 5,000 and the hunter success ratio was estimated at four per cent, prompting the conclusion that the kill, considered average by bowmen, made an insignificant dent in the deer population and served up considerably more recreation than venison. Vegas? the best we've seen since we left home. They're cleaner than the ones you find in some of the big casinos and hotels here." She was doing the family laundry at the time. Camperland has- become the pet project of Mickey Salerno, park manager, who watches over the residents of Camperland. "We've had very little trouble," Salerno said. "Everybody comes to Camperland to relax and enjoy themselves and we do everything possible to see that they do. The only problems we've had are all the campers who can't get in when we're full-up."

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