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Tracking/Stillhunting - Marengo/St. Peter's Dome v. Rainbow Lake Wilderness

9/22/15 @ 12:54 PM
User since 9/22/15
Hi all -

First time poster, just came across the site. Wisconsite, heading up with my son for our first deer hunt together. It's been a long time for me as well, 40 years, and that experience as a kid was western hunting, not the northwoods.

Most interested in hunting on the move, tracking, if possible. We're willing to get in deep and nasty, and would like to head out where few others, if any, are willing to go. With my son with me, safety is a top concern, and in addition I'd like us to hunt deer that haven't been pushed or driven, but rather more remote deer, in as untouched a state as possible.

I've combed topos in several areas and have narrowed things down to the St. Peter's Dome/Morgan Falls/Marengo Semi-Primitive area (with the fairly large swampland to the east of the Semi-Primitive area); and Rainbow Lake Wilderness Area.

The topography in the St. Peter's Dome area-south appeals to me more, highest elevation and steeper ridges, etc. However, I also like the northern part of the Rainbow Lake, ridges heading south into some swamps, and I wonder if browse and young growth is a bit better. But without clear cuts in either, I really have no idea whether mast is the primary if only food source, really, as I don't know the state of browse without heading up there.

Anyway, just to introduce myself, and to ask the community's opinion of which they'd suggest, for this first time experience (and our willingness to move in as deep as we can). Many thanks.

10/2/15 @ 7:47 PM
User since 7/3/01
I would contact a few outfitters in Ashland County. Or call River Rock Inn in Ashland.


9/29/15 @ 9:47 AM
User since 9/22/15
I apologize for the late reply, Dsinwi, I thought I was setup to get notifications but something might have been a glitch, so only now came to your post. Thanks much, I really appreciate it.

I'll dig deeper. I actually did get a series of maps from the area showing logging activity in 5 year increments, and will be scouting these as well. Two issues I'm seeing are that a good many of these are still privately owned, timber company land, and of the ones that are publicly available, most are close to decent roads - so I guess I'm imagining a lot of hunter pressure. There are a couple areas, though, that begin about 1/2 mile from and go in as far as 3 miles or so, the the NF boundary.

Thanks again - it looks like I'll be scouting three main areas, the cuttings and their edges within the CNF, these semi-primitive areas, containing almost all hardwoods and their mast; and a large swampy area, towards the east. I appreciate your suggestion, and hope you have a great season yourself.

9/25/15 @ 9:32 AM
User since 1/24/02
Regardless of the areas you are looking to hunt clear cuts and slashing should never be overlooked. It is of more value to the deer than old growth forests. Acorns. The crop is plentiful this year so look to oak ridges early and late in the day. Scout and be mobile. Good Luck!

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