Big Game Hunting

Does Wisconsin deer hunting really suck?

11/30/23 @ 7:48 PM
User since 11/29/01

 I hear so many people say when they went out west, Kentucky, Missouri , Iowa , Nebraska , Kansas and they say the hunting is great. Even North and South Dakota. Everyone says it is great. Is it really true? As for me , I never hunted out of state except Minnesota 20 yrs. ago for bear . 

Displaying 1 to 15 of 58 posts
12/12/23 @ 12:09 AM
User since 7/16/12
My 1966 regs ​say 3inch spikes, not sure when it changed
12/12/23 @ 12:01 AM
User since 7/16/12
Forkhorns through most of the 1940s and 1952 to 1956 also .  Regs 54 to 56 had methods for measuring legal deer shown. Taken from "A Century of Wisconsin Deer" and Wisconsin hunting regs 54 to 56. I started hunting in 1960 and thought it was 3 inch spikes, but not entirely sure.  DB
12/11/23 @ 6:22 PM
User since 3/1/15
Earlier there was mention of Wisconsin hunters and their lack of being helpful to others...  To some extent we all have encountered those bad apples, but it should be known that there are some great individuals out there as well.  Two specific instances stick out from my own experience where Wisconsin hunters showed what hunting should be all about.  

The first is pretty simple. I had been dragging a deer out of the woods and a complete stranger who I had encountered had helped me drag it out and sought nothing in return.  No reason for doing it, just volunteered to help because he knew it was a good deed to do.

The second example was in an area where my stand is 1.4 miles away from the gate where everyone parks their vehicles.  I had hunted until dark, so it took me quite some time to exit out of the woods.  Though I am usually the last one out to the parking area, to my surprise there was a small group of guys that were waiting at my truck for when I got out.  Apparently when I got out of my truck before daylight, I had inadvertently left my lights on (this is in the days before they automatically turned off).  These guys had seen the shining lights in the morning when they entered the woods themselves.  They knew whenever I got out, my battery would be dead, so they hung around long after their own hunt concluded just to give my truck a battery jump.  We have no cell reception in this part of the woods. This small act of kindness from these men saved me a ton of extra headache and who knows how long of a tiring walk to the nearest house.  

Wisconsin hunters are just like anywhere.  Some may need to make better choices, but there are some great human beings out there as well.

12/11/23 @ 5:31 PM
User since 9/3/11
Oldhunter...how far back did they research...who were you talking to.... sounds as you may have talked to customer service person not an actual DNR person...this was back about. 1955
I don't believe I'm wrong ...
But actually it doesn't matter no big deal 
Best wishes....
12/11/23 @ 3:48 PM
Swamp buck
User since 1/23/09
Same ole gripe every year and often by the same people. If you have been hunting for years in a spot ( Northern Wisconsin)  and you know the hunting is going to be tough you really have little to complain about. The DNR is not going to fix the Northern deer herd overnight if at all especially with the wolf situation. Everyone knows as much. So your reason to hunt there is more than just killing a deer. The hunting is great but the killing not so much. I've been lucky to hunt different areas in WI and in other states. If the hunting is tough, I look for a different area or tactic to try and if that doesn't work I keep moving. Long term success on deer or waterfowl takes time and effort. If your not willing to give that then your results will reflect the effort you gave. Did you scout different areas? Do you watch the wind or just set up where ever? Do you harvest what you need or do you give the deer away because you had an extra tag? This state is full of meat hogs that will shoot a doe just because they aren't seeing much. Smart. I would love to see a one buck only in this state. We have great genetics and it would be awesome to see what would happen. Hunting to me is a lifestyle and I put a ton of effort and time to be successful and I have been. Its really not that difficult its just how bad do you want it. JMHO
12/11/23 @ 2:38 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 6/22/01
I grew up in northern Wisconsin.  The deer never recovered after the real harsh winter of 1995/96.  That was a long time before wolves were well established. Before that you could get doe tags but had to buy them.  Then they came up with that "T" zone, of which almost every area in the state was in that zone except way up north.  Wolves are not the only reason deer numbers are low, the weather affects them too.  That winter of 96 I remember every small tree had its limbs all chewed off as high as the deer could reach.  That was the only food available and the snow didn't melt until May!  We went snowshoeing in the woods up near Eagle River the first week of May and when I fell in even with the snowshoes it was still waste deep!  There's been a couple of winters like that since then too, so that's definitely one of the reasons deer numbers are still low up north.
12/11/23 @ 10:29 AM
User since 8/3/12
WI has the highest 1.5 or younger buck kill percentage in the country, has for years. That's about all we need to know to answer this question.

The hunters here suck too. Of all the states I have hunted, I have never encountered any hunters that are as big of jerks, secretive, unsafe possessive, or just down right dumb as hunters in WI. Go to any other state, and the locals are extremely helpful, in 5 other midwest states I can truthfully say I have never had a bad experience with another hunter or local landowner. In WI, I don't think I have had 5 positive experiences with other hunters in 33 years.
12/11/23 @ 10:18 AM
User since 5/7/06
Yesterday morning after our fresh snow from the night before I took a UTV ride to check out the deer situation in Northern  Marinette County. Lots of deer sign close to town and near farms. But once we got out in the National Forest the first tracks we crossed were 2 fresh wolf tracks. Then in probably 15 miles we seen maybe a dozen sets of deer tracks. So do the math, 2 wolves need 20 deer each a year to survive, that's 40 deer just these 2 wolves will kill. That's why Wisconsin deer hunting which used to be so good now SUCKS!!
12/11/23 @ 8:50 AM
User since 2/28/13
wskiphUser since 9/3/11
"Back in the day ..there were so few deer..you had to shoot a forkhorn minimum 1.5 inch fork to be legal"

I did contact the DNR, and they could not find any type of archived regulation stating to be a legal buck it had to be a fork with at least a 1.5" fork.
Only thing relating to a forked antler was that the fork had to be at least 1" to be classified as a point. Not required to be a legal harvest although.

Only regulation relating to being a legal harvest, was that at least one horn had to be at least 3" in length. If it was under 3" it was confiscated.

They did say that from memory, they thought Illinois may have had some type of forked buck regulation at one time. 

Anybody find credible info otherwise, let us know.  
12/10/23 @ 6:17 PM
User since 3/17/09
I started hunting in 1970 only remember one horn needed to be 3”. Trick we used was to fold a dollar bill in half = 3”.  Good memories 
12/10/23 @ 9:09 AM
User since 2/28/13


I started deer hunting in 1964, and don't really remember the fork regulation, just the three inch spike.  I could be wrong, and will have to research for my curiosity.   
12/9/23 @ 10:59 PM
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
PRO MEMBER User since 7/24/20
Well if one is judging a spike at more than a few hundreds I would give up. Or don’t shoot. 
12/9/23 @ 6:29 PM
User since 3/9/03
I remember my first deer camp. My buddys dad got popped because the fork wasnt long enough, he tried filing down  the inside of the fork and thats what he got popped for. The judge let him off, this was around 1982 or 1983.  Nowaday you have the 3inch antler limit. How are you supposed to tell if its three inches or four at a hundred yards for antlerless. I dont think it sucks at all you just have to get out there and scout and do the work. After living out west  18 years and the work involved with hunting elk and muleys, its like shooting rabbits, in wisconsin. No deer in your area, just move your hunting area ten miles or wherever ,plenty of deer just go find them. Just because there arent any deer on your own land or near yours doent mean it sucks. ​You wouldnt believe how far you have to walk to find elk or muleys
12/9/23 @ 5:30 PM
User since 9/3/11
OldHunter ...I am positive I am correct ..it was only one maybe two seasons 
The regulations even had a diagram on how to measure....inside of fork
12/9/23 @ 10:54 AM
User since 7/22/12
For those dissatisfied with hunting in WI I strongly suggest Elk, Mule Deer, or Antelope.  Our neighbors to the west offer other amazing hunting opportunities.  Expand your horizons and create memories that will stay with forever. Hearing an Elk bugle will stay with u forever.  The first time u walk up on a huge Mule deer as their bodies can be absolutely huge, or stalking an Antelope, priceless. It’s there for the taking, take it.  
Displaying 1 to 15 of 58 posts
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