Anybody on here hunt Meadow Valley anymore?
meadow valley monroe county
I am OSD’s cousin and hunting partner for most of the 70’s and 80’s and into the 90’s. Hunting was a family affair back then and the anticipation of opening day was buoyed by hunting stories by my grand father and his sons. OSD and I had much success because we patterned the hunters as much as the deer in Meadow Valley. We spent countless hours in the woods and doubt many others knew the land as well as we did. We were successful at hunting because we had the energy and weren’t afraid of walking 2 miles to our stands or beaver ponds to jump ducks.
Just like most things in life you get what you put in to it. We loved adventure and relished finding new spots to hunt and just enjoy the outdoors. Sadly most of my family has passed. Hunting became more of a chore in the new area I moved to. My sons have become excited about hunting now and it has reignited the passion I once had but I’ll never forget the great memories that were made on “Big Charley” , Monroe County Flowage, Firetower road and the 3 ditches.
We originally hunted Crescent (we called it Norway Ridge rd. back then) on both sides especially by the 3 ditches. We also hunted the mud road (some of the locals called it Big Charley). Pretty much got flooded out of both by beavers and migrated north to along 173 (north ditch of 3) and up onto Firetower (Now called Buckley rd). Some years we would be strung out over several miles. Use to drive in north off of Buckley until they closed them to vehicle traffic. Almost got snowed in there one of the last years we hunted up there. Shot my first buck in that area in '72 right next to the middle ditch about a 1/2 mile in and my dad shot an 8 about 100 yards farther in. Boy did we shoot the ducks there and on the flowage.
We've hunted this area for many many years. My dad and uncle have been hunting this area since the mid 60's and the rest of us early 80's. Most of us hunt somewhere off of Crescent Road. I remember the days when we would see in excess of 30 deer in one day. Fast forward to after the T-Zone days and there were seasons where no deer were sighted. I agree that the population has rebounded, and its good to see. One benefit of the reduced deer herd is antler size. We have been seeing many bigger bucks. Deer sightings are certainly up the last few years. You talked about dozens of vehicles parked on Crescent. I would bet you may see 15 to 20 parked there now and that's only opening day. That number is cut significantly after Saturday. With only a limited number of hunters in the woods and the size of the area, just think of the areas that are no longer touched during a season. Its no wonder that the deer herd size is up.
Glad to hear some numbers returning to the area. I wouldn't go questioning peoples hunting ability however, as you know nothing about them. Back when I lived in Wisconsin and hunted Meadow Valley my family hunted hard (all 9 days with the exception of Thanksgiving when we only hunted a half day) and as I said almost always had venison in the freezer. If you think more hunters are needed perhaps its because fewer people are hunting it now (or perhaps you don't drive through the area on opening day) after some lean seasons. When I hunted there I once counted dozens of vehicles along the 2 roads mentioned in the initial post. Why was I driving around opening weekend, because I got crowded out of one of my spots and was heading to another.
I am out in that area a lot as I live close by and fish in and around Meadow Valley. The numbers of does I see every time I am out in that area is staggering. Some evenings I can count dozens along the roads. Yes, there are wolves, but I don't think we should pin our lack of success just on them. It is called hunting for a reason. It takes time, skill and some luck to bag a nice deer and that does not happen every time we go into the woods. From my point of view, the deer herd in that portion of Monroe, Jackson, Juneau and Wood Counties is large and could use a few more hunters to bring down the numbers. The photo was taken on a back road and this little guy was with two does and a small buck.
I am definitely seeing more doe in that area now compared to 5 or 6 years ago.
I hunted it with family back in the late 70's and early 80's. Almost always had venison. Drove through it in the winter a couple years back on Cresent and Drake roads and saw only 2 tracks crossing the road the whole way. Walked in off Buckley (firetower road) and saw more wolf sign then deer sign. While cool to see their huge tracks it doesn't bode well for a whitetail recovery in the area.
I hunted Meadow Valley in my early bow hunting years and loved the camping and hunting in those years; 1980 thru 1985. We shinned for deer as a enjoyment venture and saw so many deer the young hunters today wouldn't believe what once was present back then.
I went to Vilas County for the following 25 years and finally pulled out when the deer drastically disappearing due to the increase of tags and now large wolf population.
Now hunting Jackson County with my son who purchased property there the memories of Meadow Valley are present to this day.
Its odd that Meadow Valley & Vilas County supported those higher populations of deer never hearing of the cwd problem.
The DNR now advocate any way they can to the new hunter especially the young hunters to shoot does, that there are too many present. The DNR also want to find a way to get on private lands to have does taken.
A farmer once told me that if he wanted to increase his milk herd he wouldn't kill off his cows!
As long as the DNR has their wolves, high number of tags issued deer hunting is pretty much doomed in the future. This is the DNR'S Quality Deer Management they deploy.
If I had to guess what's going on up in the once great meadow valley you could just read my posts on the Archery Juneau County thread and probably connect the dots on what's it like these days!!! I'm close to the bombing range which is just a smaller scale meadow valley or Necedah refuge were you have limited human pressure and a lot of wolf presence??? There are still deer but unless "we the people" start managing the wolves it's going to be a slow recovery!!! So yes please go hunt one of them 3 places and go dog and deer hunting this year!! S.S.S. or the almighty gut shot comes to my mind!! Good luck!! Casey