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Old 08-13-2012, 03:00 PM
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CarrieZ
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Slinger, Wisconsin
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You asked “what is everything I need to bow hunt whitetails in Wisconsin”.
I am going to assume you are from out of state, even if you are a resident these tips can apply to you as well.

#1. A legal hunting license. A general resident license will cost $24.00, non-resident is $160.00 (a steal for the leading trophy state). You can get additional unlimited doe tags for $2.00 if you hunt the right areas.

#2. Somewhere to hunt. If you do not have private land to hunt on you will need to find quality public land - yes there’s actually a ton of it. Almost 50% of the record book bucks taken in the last 5 years have come from public land.

I successfully hunt public exclusively, one of my all-time favorite past times is looking for that “new place to hunt”. One of the draws to public land for me is the need to try new places. Hooray for Google! All you have to do is go to Google Maps, search around for the green segments and zoom in a little; they will be listed as State Natural Areas or Public hunting Land, once you’ve found a few you can check them out on the DNR website to see if it’s suitable for the type of hunting you prefer. Most State Natural Areas are groomed and managed for hunting purposes.

It is a bit more challenging and you do have to know the rules, I hunt CWD - simply because that’s where the deer are. I could care less if it’s a buck or a doe, you said “what is everything I need to bow hunt whitetails in Wisconsin”, you did not specify trophy hunting so the lower of the state is going to be the most beneficial.

Many state parks allow hunting during the late season. Seriously prime hunting, those deer are barely pressured, they eat well and are somewhat used to humans. I know a guy that took a 170” out of Devil’s Lake two years ago in December.

#3. Equipment. While the fancy, expensive equipment can give you a leg up, hunt with basic equipment can yield just as many kill shots.

Bow - buy the best bow you can afford, if you buy used, I would suggest having the bow looked at by a professional for cracks or stress fissures. The last thing you want to do is buy a bow only to have it explode in your face when you shoot it. Depending on your budget, there are some spectacular bows out there at a mid-point, check out Mission Archery or Quest. My first bow was a Parker Wildfire, nckrump got a steal for $150.00. Check consignment shops too. Or even just call an archery shop and let them know you’re looking for a nice used bow for $$$ amount of dollars.

Arrows - once you’ve determined your draw length you can search on EBay or Craig’s List, I highly suggest carbon if you can afford them.

Camo - if you’re not a brand whore you can find killer deals on camo at farm stores like Fleet Farm. If you are a brand whore (and I admittedly am!) checking classifieds on forums can yield inexpensive deals in the pattern you’re looking for. I’ve used Ebay and Google Shopping to find my Realtree AP at a steal sometimes.

Scent - I’ve never really worried about purchasing overpriced garments that claim they can block my scent from the most wily mature bucks. I just carry some Dead Down Wind with me.

Guides - if you’re going to go with a guide - DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Seriously, there are some really good ones that don’t charge an arm and a leg and some really bad ones that will charge you your first born.

That’s really about it - other than a good attitude (it’s called hunting not killing for a reason) normal whitetail hunting skill. I’m sure anyone on the forums would be happy to answer additional questions or help you out with whatever you need.
Good luck!!

Last edited by CarrieZ; 08-13-2012 at 04:05 PM.
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