Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Wild Stewardship

picture-for-merry-christmas-blog1It’s two days after Christmas, did you get everything you asked for this year? It’s time to get outside and test out all those new gadgets and gear that got unwrapped in the last few days. Maybe you got a new bird feeder to put out in the yard, or some new hiking socks, a GPS, or trekking poles to test out. No matter what your favorite outdoor gift was this year, make sure you put it to good use and get outside.

Now is also the time to think about New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. To be successful at keeping your resolution, make sure your goal is realistic. It may also help to write it down and put it somewhere visible so it is not forgotten about. Try setting your resolution as a task or reminder in your phone, we all know those go with us everywhere these days. Don’t forget, it is ok to have multiple smaller goals, not just one big one to work toward. In fact, having a list of resolutions can be a benefit because you are more likely to find some success, and crossing goals off your list can motivate you to complete even more. If you don’t get to all of them that is ok too, you can roll the rest of the list over to next year.

Need some help coming up with an outdoor resolution? Here is a short list of ideas to get your wheels turning:

  1. Try hiking a new trail each month. There are many smartphone apps out there to download that will show you the trails near you.
  2. Check out a state or county park that you haven’t visited yet.
  3. Take your running to another level and try trail running. We all know running is great exercise, but getting out in nature will help to boost your state of mind as well.
  4. Teach someone to hunt, fish, or trap. Passing on your knowledge helps to ensure a bright future for these outdoor sports.
  5. Put up a bird house or feeder in your yard. This is not just a good way to give back and help the birds in your area, but also allows for bird watching opportunities. Remember to check out www.wildstewardship.com when shopping for your bird house.
  6. Learn to process your own venison or other game meat this next hunting season. It is a wonderful feeling and connection to nature to know exactly where your food comes from, and what goes into it.
  7. Give kayaking a try. Lakes and rivers are everywhere, get out there and start paddling.
  8. Join a conservation group. There are lots of them ranging from local sportsman’s clubs to state and nation wide organizations.
  9. Plan a backcountry backpacking trip, either near you or out of state.
  10. Plan an out of state hunt. Maybe you are a Midwesterner who has always dreamed of going on a Moose, Elk, or Caribou hunt. Take a step this year toward making it a reality.

Merry Christmas to all, get outside and make your new year an exceptional one!

It’s Snowing Again…Time for Some Wisconsin Winter Fun!

The calendar says it’s a few days before winter officially begins, but here in East Central Wisconsin it already looks and feels a lot like winter. A few short weeks ago, there was no snow on the ground, and temperatures were still in the mid-forties. Then like turning on a light switch, temperatures have dropped, and there is almost a foot of snow on the ground. Many people dread winter, with its short days, cold temperatures, blustery winds, and deep snow, but many others have been waiting all year for the snow to come back. Here in Wisconsin, there is a plethora of outdoor winter activities for enthusiasts to enjoy.

Hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are some of the great ways to get out and enjoy nature in winter. Other than the crunch of the snow under your boots or snowshoes, or the swishing sound your skis make as you glide through the snow, these stealthy modes of transportation allow you to take your time, and enjoy all the sights and sounds that nature has to offer. Quietly trekking through a snow filled woods soon after a fresh snow fall, not only might you see some wildlife but the snow-covered trees make an awesome sight to behold. There are many miles of trails dedicated to these types of winter activities located on public lands throughout Wisconsin.

Snowshoeing or cross country skiing sound a little too slow paced for you? Do not fear, Wisconsin also offers faster paced winter fun too. Although maybe not the most peaceful winter pastime, riding snowmobiles is an excellent way to take in the beautiful snow covered scenery. With many hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails throughout the state you could literally ride for days on end. There are many hotels and resorts in the northern part of Wisconsin that cater to snowmobile enthusiasts. There is also downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding and tubing, with ski hills located within a couple hours drive for nearly everyone in the state.

For the anglers, Wisconsin has some great ice fishing opportunities. Although the ice in most areas is not yet thick enough, soon many people will be venturing out on the frozen lakes to try and catch some panfish, pike, and walleye. If you prefer going after furbearers rather than fish, hunters and trappers have a few more weeks to fill their tags as many of Wisconsin’s hunting and trapping seasons are open into January and February.

I’ve only touched on a few of the many great winter pursuits that get you outside and help to keep you active during the winter months, and there are many more to choose from. So whatever it is that you enjoy doing in winter, make sure you include some time to get outside and enjoy nature!

It’s out there!

That’s right it’s out there, I’ve seen it.  I’m not talking about Bigfoot or even the snow that is currently falling outside my window.  I’m talking about my new website www.wildstewardship.com.  It is now released.  On the site, you will see my current selection of blue bird, wood duck, and wren or chickadee houses.  These are all made of long lasting cedar to stand up to the elements for years to come.  In addition to the bird houses that I show on the site I welcome custom projects as well so don’t be afraid to contact me with the bird house or bird feeder that you have been dreaming of.

Why bird houses you ask?  Well bird houses are a great way to help conserve and give back to nature.  Adding bird houses to your back yard is also an excellent way to attract birds toimg_2946 watch and enjoy from home.  Putting up bird houses is a great opportunity to get kids involved in nature.  Having children help to pick the place and install bird houses in your yard helps not only to begin to teach conservation but gets them outside and into nature.  By providing nesting spaces for these species of birds we help to ensure that they will be around for a long time.  In the case of the wood duck nest boxes like my Simple Wood duck House shown here, these have helped wood ducks come back from dwindling population levels.  Long ago the wood duck was the most common duck in north America but over time the population began to drop and the installation of nest boxes like this by conservation groups and sportsmen across the wood duck’s range have helped bring them back.

So, what does this mean?  Well it means I’m ready to start building your bird houses so if you or someone you know is looking to add some bird houses to their back yard have them stop over at www.wildstewardship.com and fill out the order form.  In the future, you will see a variety of additional bird house designs and hand made bird feeders available as well, so make sure to check back often.  Most importantly make sure you take the time to get outside to enjoy the wild-lands and wildlife in your area, better yet take a child along and introduce them to the outdoors.

The beginning of something new

Welcome to The Wild Stewardship Blog.  This blog and my new business Wild Stewardship is a new adventure for me.  Using this blog I hope to enlighten readers by sharing the stories of my outdoor adventures as well as to educate and spread awareness of conservation related issues.

The definition of stewardship is the management or care of something.  In particular, I always think of the management of our natural resources.  This is something very important to think about whether it is management of a population of wildlife through hunting and trapping or the harvest of timber for lumber to build homes or maple sap to make syrup.  It is important to know the limits of the land to keep the ecosystem healthy and ensure these renewable resources are available for future generations to enjoy and use.  My love for wildlife and all of the outdoor activities is what led me to creating Wild Stewardship.  I am currently producing simple bluebird, wood duck, and bat houses that are not cost prohibitive yet are hand-made high quality products that will last for years to come.

Coming soon will be the launch of my website wildstewardship.com  where you will find more information on the products I make and sell.  Check back soon for my latest outdoor adventure or new product release.  Make sure to get outside and enjoy!