Year in Review: Taking a look at the outdoors

Sunrise on waters of Green Bay, November 10, 2017 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A look back at the outdoors in 2017 gives many a chance to reflect on the season. It was also a year of milestones.

The New Year kicked off in Jacksonport, as 800 polar bears took the plunge into Lake Michigan.

"It was good. I could say cross it off my bucket list. I've done it once, no need to do it again," said Cora Baudhuin, a polar bear.

In Marinette County, history took to the trails for the annual vintage snowmobile ride.

A month later, sturgeon spearers harvested 847 fish on the Lake Winnebago System. A mid-season melt forced many off the lakes early.

"The sun is our worst enemy in this kind of sport. When it comes out, it just takes a toll on the ice," said Scott Broehm of the Stockbridge Harbor Fishing Club.

Near Two Rivers, Zander's Maple Acres celebrated a century of making syrup.

"It's close, but not quite finished," said Karl Zander, Zander's Maple Acres owner.

Zander makes syrup the old-fashioned way of course.

In Oconto County, the search for a creature known as Bigfoot brought a cable televison crew to the Mountain area.

"It's a fun thing. That's the main thing. It puts a light heartedness in the area," said Karen Wirth, owner of Karen's Unique Gifts.

As spring took hold, northern pike and sturgeon made their annual spawning runs. The Mother's Day lake fly invasion wasn't far behind. Millions of the little bugs coated the area around Lake Winnebago.

"It can get pretty nasty. You just don't breathe through your mouth, that's all," said Brett Olson of the Town of Neenah.

In Door County, Whitefish Dunes State Park celebrated 75 years, while The Ridges Sanctuary turned 80 in 2017.

In late August, two sandhill cranes visited a De Pere bird feeder.

"They're huge. They kind of almost look like pterodactyls, but they're gorgeous," said Vicki Gilsoul of De Pere.

An October trip to Plum Island highlighted improvements to the area off the tip of Door County.

And in November, Deer Hunt 2017 saw fewer hunters take fewer total deer than last year, during the nine-day gun season.

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