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Deer hunting in WI: info sources for a "newbie"

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Deer hunting in WI: info sources for a "newbie"

Old 05-02-2010, 05:30 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Deer hunting in WI: info sources for a "newbie"

Howdy all, my first post here. I've been searching the net for info and found this forum, which seems to be a very nice source of info! I have a couple of question, but first I'll introduce myself.

I grew up in Texas. Did a lot of dove hunting, some deer hunting and a ton of bass fishing. About 15 years ago due to a career change I sold all my guns and moved to WI. Now I'm on a bit of a quest to get back into the swing of things. Trying to rebuild my basic firearms library, bought a 9mm handgun and a .22 Ruger Mark II. I also now have a nice Tikka T3 Lite in .270 WIN with a Leupold 2-4x40 on layaway. Up next will be a good shotgun and a lever action .30-30. Long range I hope to acquire a nice 1911 style .45 ACP of some sort.

Anyway, on to my problem(s)...

All my experience with deer hunting came growing up in Texas, and a typical season went like this...

1. Buy license at Walmart
2. Go to friend's 300+ acre ranch.
3. Shoot a couple deer.

Easy right? Now this year I was hoping to do some hunting up here in WI so I start looking for info. After a few hours of reading the DNR website and trying to puzzle out the bazillion laws/rules/regulations/zones/exceptions/etc I had a nice headache brewing.

I don't know anyone with private land, and from everything I can tell I wouldn't be able to afford a guided hunt or to lease some land for a season. That leaves me with hunting public land.

Are there any solid, easy to use sources of info that will spell out everything for me? Anywhere to easily find info on public land, paper company land, a source for lease classifieds, etc?

Basically I need to find a place to hunt that fits a few criteria...

1. Public land
2. Rifle hunting allowed
3. Not overrun with a million other guys? (fat chance, from all that I've read! Hehehe)

Anyone who can provide some guidance and info to this very confused ex-Texan, I'd be very grateful!
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:23 AM
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which county are you planning on hunting in? Anything in Dane is all shotgun or ML only. You will need to look west my friend.I used to live in Richland county and there are plenty of farmers looking to reduce their deer numbers around because of the crop damage. PM me if you still need some areas.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:29 AM
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My vague plan at this point is to go WAY north somewhere. I was told that some of the public land up there is under less hunting pressure because it's not an area that has as big of a deer population, and because it's not as accessible. I don't mind hiking some miles in to hunt if it gets me away from the crowds.
Seeing allot of deer is secondary to me next to just having a nice time outdoors.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:03 AM
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If it were me, I'd look to the Buffalo, Trempeleau, Jackson country area. Good deer populations and I'd bet your best bet at a real big buck. Those areas should all be rifle anyway, and you'll probably get multiple antlerless tags.

Any other questions let me know.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:25 AM
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Thanks for that tip... I actually have in-laws in that area (Trempeleau county). I should check in with them and see if they have some insight...
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:14 PM
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Been reading through older threads around here regarding deer hunting in WI. Pretty darn depressing. From what I'm reading on this forum it's pretty much doom-n-gloom and I might as well forget getting out to hunt this year.
Someone tell me it's not really THAT bad? Come on now, it's been over 15 years since I last hunted, I'll be picking up my shiny Tikka T3 .270WIN next week and I'm having all my excitement dashed here.
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:22 PM
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It's not THAT bad where I am (near Alma Center), though I'm sure others are worse. I mean, we're not seeing as many as in years past but it isn't like there are NO deer. I got three last year, 2 does and this one:

Might be a little slow, depending what you're used to, but in no way is it bad enough for me to take a year off or anything. I'm not super familiar with Trempeleau county but I know its good hunting. See what they have for you, or else look for some public hunting ground up there-- Im guessing thats your best bet.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:20 PM
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Ain't nothing wrong with that deer!
Yeah, I don't mind slow hunting. I'm a patient guy and I generally just like being outdoors.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:10 PM
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I would agree with H80Hunter.. It's not really THAT bad. I mean sure it's gotten worse and numbers are definitely down, there's no hiding that fact. But it doesn't mean there are NO deer in WI. It just means you gotta work harder for them and be more patient. I believe that anyone who wants to complain will most likely do it on the internet, hence all the negativity surrounding WI deer hunting. I know a lot of guys aren't happy but a lot of us are still doing pretty good... We did good where we hunt (Dunn County).. Also, I shot a good buck in Iowa county.
I WOULD NOT say hang the bow or gun up. Just get out there and work for 'em! You should do alright.
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:33 PM
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If you find a place that looks inviting just make sure you ask the locals if they have seen any wolves in the area. Good chance the deer won't be there if so. Just my two cents.
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