Damage sustained in summer from powerful straight-line winds could affect hunting this fall. Photo courtesy Department of Natural Resources.

The Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to scout ahead this gun deer season as summer storm damage could impede access to favorite hunting locations this fall.

Though there has been significant cleanup, damage from a July wind storm was extensive, according to the DNR. As a result, hunters’ favorite hunting spots might be unrecognizable and inaccessible, and scouting for a new location might be needed.

In Langlade County, straight-line winds impacted about 1,800 acres of state-owned land, including portions of Peters Marsh Wildlife Area and the Upper Wolf River Fishery Area. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest also sustained significant damage as did other properties in the greater White Lake and Mountain areas. Salvage timber sale establishment is in progress on both state properties, according to the DNR.

The Langlade County Forest reported 30,000 acres of public land affected by this storm. The county forest department cleared trails to make them safe for users with help from the DNR, area clubs and other agencies, but access into the forest remains challenging in some areas.

The county has set up numerous salvage timber harvests to clean up where possible, recover value from downed timber and prevent the spread of tree disease and parasites. The county’s ATV/UTV trails are open, but visitors should be aware of numerous ongoing logging operations throughout the trail system. The public is advised to use caution and stay on the designated trail system.

The DNR also encourages the public to keep in mind that with continued rain, access roads could be too wet to travel. Additional caution is advised as saturated ground may cause weakened trees to fall.