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 31 to 45 of 58 posts
12/6/23 @ 3:19 PM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14
Kona, I agree about standing corn and I also agree with your last paragraph.  

I know there are areas of WI that are very good.  Regardless,  in Wisconsin there are so many small pieces,  it's hard to have that cake and eat it too.  I can honestly say that i only know one family that really has a decent area where neighbors let some bucks live past 3.5 to try and kill some bigger deer.  I really don't know many in WI that have a buck killing paradise.

I know residents in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas and all of them have bucks we'd piss ourselves to see yearly.  It's just how it is.  You can't kill what doesn't exist.  I can honestly say that I've seen 10 deer in WI in the last 10 years that were 4.5+.  I know everyone gets pics of 150s to 180s,  but no one kills them...  I think it's more of the Wisconsin brain fog than anything.  Maybe i hang with the wrong dudes,  but I don't know of a 150 killed this year with gun or bow.  I've seen a few claimed 150's,  but I think they measured each beam twice.  lol.

I take that back,  I do know of 2 booners shot,  but those were metro.  Not taking anything away from them but I don't count those. it's just different.  One was patterned,  it hit all the bird feeders on the block before going to bed.
12/6/23 @ 2:20 PM
User since 4/1/05
Does it suck?  Depends.  Well managed private areas not in wolf country, absolutely not.  Where does it suck?  Print off a map of the wolf density in WI and you will see it clearly.

For the poster that stated there are 150" bucks and bucks dying of old age on public land in Marathon, Taylor, and Clark Counties....sure.  Not saying some aren't there, but the population of bucks over 1.5 years old is extremely low, let alone talk about the overall population of deer on public land in these counties.  I hunt 2 of these counties and several more counties on public land, and walk for miles multiple times a week once the leaves fall.  This is the first year I failed to even locate ONE rub that had to be made by a mature deer.   
12/6/23 @ 1:42 PM
User since 6/20/13
there are some very large farmers up by us and they just don’t get it all in on time. 

LOL.. So who's timeline are you talking about BMR?? Many farmers had to delay getting crops harvested this year due to either late plantings or high moisture content on their beans/corn. Guessing some do not know that farmers have to sometimes dry beans/corn (extra expense) if the moisture content is too high at harvest. This is the first year I can remember in a long time that beans were left up after corn in my part of the state. We had a fair amount of rain in Oct/early November and the beans just could not naturally dry like most years. I personally like to see corn standing at the gun season. Favors how I hunt and the selective nature of deer we target. I get why others think it is a negative. 

Lots of good comments from folks the last few days. I do have to say that IA, MO etc are not the only states that have barns sitting with large racks on the floor. I know several different farm families across the state that could care less about PY or BC scores and have some impressive racks scattered in barns/sheds.   
12/6/23 @ 7:21 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14
there are a lot of value-add comments here,  none of which are wrong.  I also agree that there are plenty mature deer that may never get hunted.  If you are the one's doing it, more power to you!!!

12/5/23 @ 7:59 PM
User since 3/15/08
.I hunt Marathon, Chippewa, Clark, and Taylor, counties  There are huge bucks in the public land in ALL of these.  Go to any large track of public  land in these counties, go back to a deep swamp off the road more than 1 mile and  put up a trail cam in august.  Come back opening bow season.  I’ll bet anything you will have a least 1 +150” deer [most likely more than 1) and most likely one way over 150.  That is ANY backwoods swamp in the counties I listed.  It isn’t even hard to find these old bucks, killing one is a whole different story.  There are deer dieing of old age everywhere I listed.  The terrain that holds the big deer in Wis is different than the more open states like Iowa, Kansas, ect…. So to say wis doesn’t have old bucks is not correct and most are on large tracts of public land accessible by anyone.  You just have to go where they are.  This is for central wi, not speaking for south or north because I never hunt them.
12/5/23 @ 6:53 PM
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
PRO MEMBER User since 7/24/20
One of the big things I think, and it’s been a while since I hunted the far north part of the state I used to hunt Marinette county for many years. If you have a stretch where there is no fresh or running water, it can be very difficult to attract deer, that can stop it more than predators. 
12/5/23 @ 6:38 PM
User since 12/20/12
Interesting discussion and points of view. Does wisconsin deer hunting suck? In my view, no. However, I'm fortunate to own a good sized piece of property in central Wisconsin that I've put alot of effort into making ideal deer habitat. The way we manage and hunt the property results in trophy bucks on a near annual basis. Friends with property in the SW part of the state do incredibly well. Like Iowa, like Missouri ,like Illinois, like Kansas it's all about habitat and management at the landowner level.
12/5/23 @ 6:29 PM
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
PRO MEMBER User since 7/24/20
I hear you about the bluffs! A lot of our stuff is straight up and down, but the lack of gun hunters and people driving near is a Why we don’t see as much. There is also on the neighboring property nobody hunting, so the deer know where to go a lot of years I would live off their mistakes. Everybody thinks or hunt that is easy. Never has been but the last five or six years I’ve been very difficult to see any deer Specially since the property hunt gets hunted, they are ready start moving into the hundreds and thousands of acres that nobody’s touching all year. Also, corn was never really an issue because everybody hunted basically together and everybody would try to get it off before gun season now they let it sit till late December sometimes , there are some very large farmers up by us and they just don’t get it all in on time. 
12/5/23 @ 5:59 PM
User since 6/9/02
And there are also many booners taken in WI that never hit the books, or internet.That's also a fact! A few this year that I've seen.
12/5/23 @ 5:30 PM
User since 7/22/12
Makes sense to me.  I own property in the SW part of the state. It’s miserable to hunt due to the angles, hills & bluffs. And no doubt this terrain helps the deer & makes it tough to hunt especially trying to outsmart their noses. 
12/5/23 @ 5:30 PM
User since 2/6/06
Agree Long Barrels.  Just look at the TV hunters.  The Drury's and Lakoskys in Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois have shot multiple 200s in the past 5 years.  You won't see their names in books.  You won't see any of these famous TV hunters names in the book, but you see them put huge deer down in big numbers year after year.  This is common in those areas.  I've shot a couple P and Y deer and have not considered actually putting in the book.  Heck I'd only consider a world record for monetary reasons.  When Joe hunter shoots a booner one year out of 50 hunting years, they will more likely put it in the book.  
12/5/23 @ 5:19 PM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14
"Didn’t check but I wanna say Wisconsin enters the most white tails into the books than any other state. "

This comment ALWAYS gets thrown out there.  It's ridiculously misleading and i'll tell you exactly why.

First off,  we don't have numbers of big deer like other states,  so one that kills one,  it's a standard practice to get jacked up and excited and put it in the books. 

WI has hills and good amount of metro,  these areas hold big deer for obvious reasons.  most metro areas don't have gun seasons and if the do,  it's still shot gun.  The western and SW hills save deer,  it just does.  Hill country is harder to hunt,  many don't know how to do it and a deer if harder to kill.  it's just how it is.

Finally,  Wisconsin has 750+ K licenses vs .....let's just say Iowa at 220k.  Just the sheer number of hunters we have an advantage.
For a final comment,  i've been hunting the midwest for a long time,  I know for a fact that most bucks killed in the area of Iowa I hunt,  I don't know a single deer that was entered into the books.  I have a buddy with 30 heads,  from 140 to 200 and a picture never hit a phone via text muchless entered in a record book.  

This goes for Kansas, MO,  MN, Illinois,  I know many residents of those states,  I personally do not know a single deer that was entered and they have 140 inch racks laying on barn floors like they are trash.  

So all in all,  saying WI has the most deer entered in the books is true,  but it's means NOTHING in comparing what's truly shot here vs other states.  

A prime example in layman's terms,  when you grow up seeing and killing big deer, it doesn't mean all that much.  I have Iowa buddies come up to fish walleye's in green bay and they want to mount 25 inchers.  You take for granted what you grow up with.  Guys in Iowa,  your average guy couldn't give two rips about the PY BNC book.  

12/5/23 @ 4:55 PM
User since 7/22/12
BTW, Wisconsin deer hunting does not suck imho. Ok, north of 64 it does thanks in part to the  predation.  Instead, I think I suck, just never been real lucky.  And, to deny luck doesn’t figure in?  Well it does. Some people were born with a horseshoe up their onion ring & could shoot a booner in a Walmart parking lot.  Love to hunt, love the outdoors so I’ll enjoy it as long as possible. 
12/5/23 @ 4:34 PM
User since 7/22/12
Didn’t check but I wanna say Wisconsin enters the most white tails into the books than any other state. 
12/5/23 @ 3:33 PM
User since 7/20/09
I think that's a pretty good explanation LongBarrels.

I actually wonder how many hunters shoot smaller bucks because they've just given up on the chances of bigger deer.  I know how that sounds, don't get me wrong.  But I used to shoot the first buck I saw when I was younger.  Then I decided I would wait for a bigger buck. I let small ones go and nothing ever changed.  That was mostly hunting public land though, so go figure right....  You really need everyone doing it, if you are alone its tough.

Then I moved to private land and it was night and day difference for buck sightings.  Still not huge bucks, but at least I was seeing more 2-3.5 year olds on camera and saw them while hunting.  But that was only for archery season.  Once we hit gun season and the orange army came out to all the properties around me, those deer all disappeared.  I had guys walking in at daybreak to sit on the border, etc.  Deer were literally running past me more than they were walking.  People that told me they let the 'little' bucks go were shooting small 6 pointers.  Apparently small bucks were just spikes to them.

So here a guy sits again.  Do I just pass deer for others to shoot?  Pretty sure 2 of the bucks I passed during gun season got shot.  Or do I join the crowd and just meat hunt?  WI is a good state if you want to eat venison I guess, but if its a big big buck you want consistently, you have to have one of those 10% of places.  There are a lot of hunters and the land parcels are small.  The only real large acreage is up north and that has its own issues.  The best bucks I ever had were up there though, but it sure changed.
Displaying 31 to 45 of 58 posts

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