Traveling Trails Less Traveled. By Buckshot Anderson

For May 4th, 2007 Edition.

I would imagine one of the prime reasons folks enjoy living and or vacationing in the spectacular north woods is the wide variety of flora and fauna old Ma Nature provides for our viewing pleasure. And I can name a quite a few persons who go to great lengths in attempting to improve on Ma's basic décor in an attempt to lure more winged and fur covered critters to live on or visit their property.

Wifee poo is a prime example. She plants many types of flowers and shrubs around our house that attracts numerous deer who come and dine on them, (much to her displeasure) as well as squirrels, chipmunks, and a multitude of birds. Bird feeders and birdhouses abound on our little sliver of heaven, which beckon species such as bluebirds, tree swallows, sparrows and wood ducks to come and raise their young.

Last summer one of my long time pals introduced me to a unique program, which is sponsored by the Department of Wildlife ecology at UW - Madison. The project name "Coverts" is a 14th century English word describing a dense thicket that provides shelter for wildlife.

My pal, Roger Stoeckmann, attended the 3-day workshop during the summer of 2006 and came away expounding glowing praise for the program. Currently he is developing his own personal program to improve his 40-acre parcel to enhance the wooded area to support more wildlife.

One species of game bird that was once very common in our area, as well as much of the northern regions of North America east of the Mississippi Rive is the woodcock, often referred to as a "timberdoodle." Continental populations of 'doodles has dropped steadily in the last few decades to the point that just sighting one is a somewhat rare occurrence.

The same can be said of our local ruffed grouse populations, although it appears their numbers are presently on an upswing after many seasons of lower than normal numbers of birds. These are but two species of wildlife the Coverts projects hopes to help recover their numbers and sustain greater population numbers.

The 3-day workshop is geared to show landowners how to manage their property to improve habitat, which will make a big difference in how many critters live on or visit your land. Tips will also be shared how you might benefit financially from your land's facelift. And you'll get a binder stuffed full of literature and other resources on how to manage your woodlands. You will also receive information on whom you might contact for additional information or help in developing your own personal woodlands improvement program.

The 3-day workshop is free, and includes lodging and meals, thanks to the following sponsors: The Ruffed Grouse Society, Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, the UW - Extension and UW - Madison, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology.

In exchange for the free workshop, participants agree to become Coverts Cooperators, implementing or reviewing their own written woodland management plan, reaching out to others in their communities, and encouraging sound land stewardship.

Since the WI Coverts Project's beginnings in 1994, 325 Coverts cooperators representing 297 properties have attended Wisconsin's 13 workshops. This has resulted in managing 299,000 acres of Wisconsin's woodlands!

Coverts Cooperators have reached out to over 5,750 other landowners in the state, which has accounted for an additional 261,000 acres being added to the total.

The 2007 Coverts Workshop will be held on August 23 - 26 at Bethel Horizons in Dodgeville, WI.

Bethel Horizons is located on 550 acres bordering Governor Dodge State Park. The Prairie Center has been reserved for use, which is a beautiful facility overlooking the rolling hills of the Driftless Area. The facility includes 16 rooms each with a mix of twin and bunk beds as well as a private bathroom. There is a spacious meeting and dining room, fireplace, nature center, trail system and much more!

There are but 25 spaces available and applications are due by June 15, 2007. There is no minimum acreage requirement, and the Coverts staff is most interested in persons with outreach potential and influence in their respective communities.

For more information on the WI Coverts Project you may visit the WI Coverts Project website ( or contact: Jamie Nack, WI Coverts Project Coordinator, UW - Madison Dept. of Wildlife Ecology, 211 Russell Labs, 1630 linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706.

Phone (608) 265-8264, or E-mail:

Mr. Leon "Buckshot" Anderson is one of the few old time hunting and fishing guides left in Northern Wisconsin.   Buckshot is a personal friend of the family and has known and worked with my grandfather, Howard "Pop" Dean,  both of whom are members of the fresh water fishing hall of fame, Legendary Guide.   Buckshot has authored 7 books on the great outdoors. All of his books can be purchased directly from him, at a discount, by email:  or by mail to: 2220 Deadman's Gulch Road, St. Germain, WI 54558.

Books by Leon "Buckshot" Anderson Click Here

Yes; Deadman's Gulch is the correct name, I have been on that road many times. Sincerely David D. Cruger

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