Big Game Hunting

2023 Gun Numbers Released - DNR is succeeding in reaching their goal!

11/28/23 @ 2:10 PM
User since 4/1/05


There are the numbers.  Why is southern farmland not affected as badly as the rest of the state?    

Displaying 16 to 30 of 154 posts
1/20/24 @ 5:30 PM
User since 3/17/09
Fin Bender.  The DNR is serving opportunities, has been that way for a long time.
1/19/24 @ 3:52 PM
User since 8/28/11
I always say that the hunters have the control in their hands they just don't have the restraint to enforce it.  Just because there are doe tags to be bought doesn't mean that you have to use them.  If everyone quit shooting doe's on their own there would be more deer - period.  We only shoot "a" doe every other year in our group and we have seen an increase of deer on our land.  Got to get everyone on the same page and that's the hard part.
1/19/24 @ 2:23 PM
Fin Bender
Fin Bender
User since 9/16/11
Thanks for the link Steelhead88. The DNR has been ignoring hunters for a long time. I absolutely will support the bill referenced in the article. If it makes it to the governors desk I hope he does too. Time for the people to take back control of the deer herd. I'm not sure who today's DNR thinks they're serving, but it sure as heck ain't the hunters of northern Wisconsin. 
1/19/24 @ 9:40 AM
User since 6/4/06
Don't forget 135" of snow last year , and 96" the winter before up in NW Wisconsin !

1/19/24 @ 9:01 AM
User since 10/3/12
My initial thought on that no doe legislation was and still is the same republicans voted 10 years ago to put the control of doe hunting into the hands of individual counties and now they are reneging on that already.
1/18/24 @ 9:59 PM
User since 4/13/22
As an avid longtime hunter of the north woods this is the best idea I’ve read / heard of in a long time .   
1/5/24 @ 12:34 PM
User since 5/19/06
From what I’ve read over the years white tailed deer numbered in 30-40 million range in North America pre-Columbus and were locally extirpated in many areas and nearly hunted to extinction with a few hundred thousand remaining in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.

White Tailed Deer in Early Wisconsin

This is an interesting read as well…👆
1/4/24 @ 5:38 PM
User since 4/8/02
does anybody know what the wolf numbers were before humans interfered? Also does anyone know what the population goal for deer is it the north woods (deer per sq mile)?

I have a hard time with the wolf issue….. humans killed them off, kind of greedy of us to exterminate a species just because we don’t like them. Does the at mean the deer population was out of whack forever? I mean that kind of stuff throws a whole ecosystem out of balance…. 
1/4/24 @ 3:59 PM
User since 4/1/05
"Question for those who hunt the big woods- what was the landscape like when you saw a ton of deer back in the day? We’re there more clear cuts? Logging? Young forest? just curious…"

The areas I have hunted for the past 35-40 years on public land in NC and NW WI....less clear cuts back then, and one would guess there should have been fewer deer then (early 80s to mid 90s) compared to now as I have seen extensive logging in these areas over the past 10-15 years.  As noted by others, I'm seeing County land getting completely clearcut.....200+ acres per clear cut which to me ruins large areas of hunting for a couple of decades.  Hard to hunt in a clearcut and most of my treestands don't work on 2" diameter aspen.  Forced to hunt the edges which often times are not accessible due to private land bordering the public land.  I also wish foresters would prescribe 20-40 acre logging operations instead of wiping out hundreds of acres at a time. 

Long story short....I feel logging has little impact on what we are seeing in the north.  Pretty obvious that giving out ridiculous numbers of bonus tags and letting wolves run wild has had more of an impact than anything else.
1/4/24 @ 10:37 AM
User since 5/19/06
Rumen Acidosis

A few years ago I found three fresh deer carcasses in our neighborhood with stomachs stuffed with corn in early March. Neighbors who thought they were helping probably killed these deer. 

Anyway, our group hunts public land near the Winter area in Sawyer county. We try to follow the logging, focusing on select cut hardwood stands adjacent to clear cuts. Further from the road the better the hunting. We kill deer every year, mostly between 9:00 and 2:00. We’ve found when there’s active baiting nearby, we don’t see the daytime movements. With few exceptions, these daytime deer have had no corn in their stomachs. The clear cuts are the corn field of the north. Five years post cutting, these are the most productive areas, providing accessible browse and refuge/bedding cover. People gripe about clear cuts because they aren’t huntable two years post cutting. Mature hardwood stands don’t offer much outside of acorn season when there’s little sunlight penetration. Bring wolves into the mix, these northern deer don’t venture far from cover as they’re more apt to be run down and killed in an open hardwood stand vs. a dense five year old clear cut. More logging is better for deer and almost everything else. County Land>State Land>Federal Land. 
1/4/24 @ 7:47 AM
User since 11/29/01
Baiting is a two edged sword... I will go with that. There are likely more deer make it through a tough winter with someone handing out some food. I think  some get carried away though.   As for what was different 30 yrs, ago when there were a "ton " of deer? The woods was eaten up real bad, and therefore a tough winter likely killed them cause they didnt go into winter in real good condition.. 1995 was a prime example. The only difference is there are wolves now.  Matter of fact. Price co. is logging way too much in my area and in the Flambeau River State Forest they refused to log until they decided it helps the elk. Now they are clear cutting hardwood. I think they went too far. Like Samfox mentioned "I'd rather see 5 40's cut instead of 200 ac . Now they are cutting huge chunks of  hardwoods and not even leaving a tree. Makes me mad that they cant cut 200 ac. and leave 20 1 ac chunks  scattered . They are over doing it. If ya drive from Phillips to Winter, a spot in the State forest by the Connors Lake and Reds bar on W will be an example. Almost like the DNR forgot that deer are important.  They just dont get anything right . Im sure it helps the deer a little but the clear cuts seem huge.
1/4/24 @ 4:38 AM
User since 3/17/09
steinerrecliner,  first off, I don’t bait. I’m a still hunter, tracker or jump shooter, have been for 54 seasons.  Not sure if I ever saw a ton of deer. I hunt public land.
  Logging, it does happen but not enough and when it does it is to large of an area. Instead of a 200 acre chunk, l would rather see 5- 40’s cut. The chunk I hunt has been put out for bid 3 times in the last 6 years, no bidders. Out for bid now.
  What is different now, less hunters with better equipment and clothing that move less.
 I’m part of the generation that is giving the game up, it’s hard to get deer out at my age. When we get snow it helps but also hurts as the deer have a harder time getting food.  No crop fields within 20 miles by me. The buck I shot this year as probably 175# gutted, but at least he ran towards the road. Will see what happens next November.
1/3/24 @ 10:18 PM
User since 4/8/02
ihookem, good for you still getting after them back there!! I know it’s not easy! I hunt the central part of the state, I’m probably walked more public land since gun season closed than most have in the last 3 season, I enjoy the scout and the challenge. Hope you got more seasons in ya! 

Samfox, unless your feeding a variety your not doing them any favors, straight corn ain’t good, these formulated mixes you buy at fleet ​isn’t good either…. They are natural grazers not ​pets they need variety. I find bait in the central part of the state too… it’s ridiculous. Way back when I started hunting we had bait piles, feeders, didn’t see very many deer, then they banned baiting in our area and man did we see more deer….. 

​to each their own on the baiting and I know ​every property is different and maybe people bait and don’t hunt the bait sites. Personally I despise hunting over placed bait, but to many it’s the norm. Be a woodsman, get out there and read the sign, find the animals, and figure out a way to kill them. 

If you own the property you hunt, ​do what you can to improve the property!!! It’s amazing what cutting trees can do for deer! Best bait pile out there!!!

​Just my opinion. I’m ​far from an expert, but many people complaining about deer populations don’t know anything about whitetails…..

Question for those who hunt the big woods- what was the landscape like when you saw a ton of deer back in the day? We’re there more clear cuts? Logging? Young forest? ​just curious…

1/3/24 @ 8:54 PM
User since 3/17/09
Steinerrecliner,   Likely the baiting/ feeding in the north is a double edged sword, yes it may condition some wolves, but the feeding especially cabin feeding is what gets the deer through the winter. This year is not a good example, no snow. Last year we had snow on the ground 11/6 and when I pulled my sap buckets on 4/15 the snow was still 30+ inches. Opening weekend of fishing still was snow on the ground. That’s why you see bait at the gas stations 
1/3/24 @ 7:57 PM
User since 11/29/01
Steinerrecliner  , I too see most of the public land hunters very close to the road. Some puzzle me when I see them coming out . They are 6' tall, in their 30's and very physical... Some however, are old, and likely just want to see a deer and that would make them happy. I am 60 this year and the cat tail marshes tire me out but I refuse to quit just yet. I shot a doe in Tues. of gun season,, could have shot one  Friday and Saturday . Only one sit in four  I hunted on public in SE WIs. that I didnt have a 95% chance of killing a deer.  I imagine you hunt SW WIs. and is better there, but public can be very good. I have a stand that I hunted 4 times last year and 5 times this year. I saw deer every time except once. As for people still baiting, yes, I'm sure at least half still bait in the no bait counties but Lakeshiner posted a map of no bait counties and it is just plain stupid to have Clark , Price and Ozaukee county ok to bait but not legal everywhere else. Just ban it already . That's what they wanted all along anyway. 
Displaying 16 to 30 of 154 posts
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