Summit Treestands
Public Land Bowhunting
Wisconsin
Contributors to this thread:
U.P. bowhunter 29-Apr-19
Two Feathers 29-Apr-19
Drop Tine 29-Apr-19
U.P. bowhunter 29-Apr-19
Live2hunt 29-Apr-19
Gusto 29-Apr-19
ground hunter 29-Apr-19
Jeff in MN 29-Apr-19
U.P. bowhunter 29-Apr-19
U.P. bowhunter 29-Apr-19
Franklin 29-Apr-19
Missouribreaks 30-Apr-19
bfisherman11 30-Apr-19
RUGER1022 30-Apr-19
Jeff in MN 30-Apr-19
Missouribreaks 30-Apr-19
U.P. bowhunter 30-Apr-19
Tweed 30-Apr-19
buckmaster69 01-May-19
Live2hunt 01-May-19
South Farm 01-May-19
Jeff in MN 02-May-19
Konk1 02-May-19
Tweed 02-May-19
happygolucky 02-May-19
U.P. bowhunter 02-May-19
29-Apr-19
I am new to Wisconsin having moved from the Eastern Upper Peninsula late last fall. Is the public land hunting for whitetails as tough as everyone that I have spoken to says or is it directly related to expectations. I feel some people in this area are expecting to find giants around every tree. Coming from the U.P. I hope to only have a chance at older age class bucks that are rare in the Eastern U.P. Need no honey holes just a step in the right direction. Live in Dodge County and am looking to hunt there and nearby Fon du lac and Washinton counties. Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.

From: Two Feathers
29-Apr-19
U P - Enjoy Wisconsin! Every year here in Wisconsin bowhunters hunt public land and shoot deer on it. I think we're fortunate because there is a lot of public land in Wisconsin and a lot of deer. Check out the Kettle Moraine, that should be in your neighbor hood.

From: Drop Tine
29-Apr-19
You need to get away from the populous to find less pressure. Not saying you can’t find a needle in a haystack. But......

29-Apr-19
Its the same everywhere. Large tracts of public in the U.P. but less hunters. We have winterkill, coyote predation on fawns and wolves working against us up there as well. Having been raised to be happy just to get a buck of any age class I am now trying to shift my focus more to older age class bucks not for the trophy quality but as a challenge to myself. Its hard shifting your focus after 20 years of hunting one way and being happy just to be successful in taking an animal of any age class. I am excited for the oppurtunity to get out there and give it the best effort.

From: Live2hunt
29-Apr-19
I hunt 100% public now days. What I find is that bowhunting you have alot of room. Lots of forest areas around and generally you don't see many people around. Age class of animals? many would be surprised at what is in the public forests around.

From: Gusto
29-Apr-19
Follow the Hunting Beast on FB, or head over to their website thehuntingbeast.com . Lots of hardcore public land hunters with some great tips, suggestions, etc. If you are willing to work hard at it, WI has great public land hunting In just about every part of the state.

29-Apr-19
Gusto 1.......... also I have a cabin in the western UP,. where I hunt alot,,,, send me a PM if you want....... presently in Florida fishing,,,, but I have my lap top with me

From: Jeff in MN
29-Apr-19
There are a couple of big public land areas south, southeast, and southwest of Fond du lac that are known best for waterfowl hunting but I am sure there are deer there too. (Theresa Marsh, Kettle Moraine and Horicon) Also several small public parcels around the area. You should do fine anywhere around there compared to what you have been seeing in the UP.

There are some Milwaukee hunters that post here at times, they could probably give you better info than I could.

Also, I think your hunting experience around there will probably be way better than your UP expectations.

29-Apr-19
Thanks everyone for the info. Thats why we chose to move here in the first place. The weather is better number 1. Thats what my wife says anyway. The people in Wisconsin are super friendly and welcoming as well. Give yourselves credit. You have a great state for sportsman and I am glad to now call it home.

29-Apr-19

From: Franklin
29-Apr-19
Depends also on what your schedule is....if the only time you can get out are the weekends it may be tough. But if you have the option to hunt on a Tues, Wed etc. you will better off.

30-Apr-19
Lots of public land to hunt, especially in the north. Plenty of deer, good luck this fall.

From: bfisherman11
30-Apr-19
Take a look at Meadow Valley near Tomah. Might be a drive for you but there is great camping there as well. Deer there love the woods and Cranberry marsh/swamp transition areas. Way back in my younger days I took my second and third deer (Spike and a doe) with my compound within 10 min of each other. I scouted that spot out in the summer and was still quite the novice but I found deer droppings on a primary run. Early season the pattern had not really changed and I got lucky.

I hunt my own land now but that area gave me many years of enjoyment.

Bill

From: RUGER1022
30-Apr-19
My observation for North central .

1st 5 weeks all 5 of my Public spots are just the Deer & I . Week 6 The 1st Rut hunters show up . Week 7 & 8 rut hunters , Scouts for gun season & gun guys putting up stands & cutting lanes .

Hunt early .

From: Jeff in MN
30-Apr-19
You are a bit more south than my Minnesota hunting area but I find that Halloween is when I am most likely to be shooting my buck. Back when our kids were young I would end up taking the kids trick or treating and then recovering my buck after that. But I get the impression that you won't be holding out for a big one and figure you will be tagged out before Halloween.

30-Apr-19
Cutting shooting lanes on public lands generally is illegal.

30-Apr-19
One noticeable difference in Wisconsin as opposed to Michigan is to the best of my knowledge a treestand must be removed at the end of the days hunt. In Michigan they can be left out all season as long as they are clearly marked with the hunters name, address, and sportcard number. Just because its your stand doesnt guarantee you exclusive use. Is it the same here?

From: Tweed
30-Apr-19
Egh .....a law is only good as its enforced. Most leave them out and I believe there was a recent rule change to legitimize that.

From: buckmaster69
01-May-19
Hunt week days not weekends.

From: Live2hunt
01-May-19
In all honesty, in the forest areas I hunt in the central and north central part of the state, even during weekends I have had no problems being the only one in an area. Most issues I have ever run into were bird hunters and this past year coyote hunters who for some reason feel they need to go right by where my truck is parked. I'm not knocking any of them as I do bird hunt also, but have some ethics please.

From: South Farm
01-May-19
Corn piles are probably bigger than what you're used to seeing in Michigan..

Other than that, it's public land so expect ANYTHING.

From: Jeff in MN
02-May-19
Expect anything, yup. Like the time I was hunting public land SW of EauClaire. I was in a stand about 150 yards down from the top of a ridge. In a tree with a doe decoy about 20 yards in front of me. A group of Hmong were walking the ridge presumably squirrel hunting and throwing rocks down the hill. Maybe to get a squirrel to move. Anyway one guy walks down from the ridge and stops 15 yards from me and starts to relieve himself. Mid stream he sees the decoy, he couldn't stop quick enough, grabs his gun (.22) and as he gets it shouldered he realizes he screwed up and quickly exits the area. A week earlier I am in the same tree and another one is walking a field edge 150 yards from me, again with a gun. He changes direction and starts to walk toward me as he apparently sees the decoy. This one only got about 100 yards from me when he realizes his mistake and heads up the hill in a hurry. Did either one really intend to shoot the decoy out of season, maybe, maybe not.

From: Konk1
02-May-19
I have a brother-in-law that hunts public land in a 9 mile radius of his home. He shoots big bucks every year. His secret.....boots on the ground. He knows that 9 mile radius like the back of his hand. If you are going to be successful on public land, get away from the masses and get to know that parcel like your own back yard.

From: Tweed
02-May-19
IDK southfarm I hear the corn piles in the UP are mountainous. Its how the majority hunt up there....or at least that's what it seems like when listening to UP radio.

From: happygolucky
02-May-19
IDK southfarm I hear the corn piles in the UP are mountainous. Its how the majority hunt up there....or at least that's what it seems like when listening to UP radio.

That is a very factual statement Tweed, I think 95% of the hunters in the UP bait and know no other way. I was at the local coop in Escanaba on a Saturday last fall to get something and I was amazed at the truckloads of 100# bags of corn and bags of beets that were heading out. I asked a kid there who was humping these bags and he said it's common for them to sell around 500 100# bags of corn per day on a weekend once hunting season starts. The LP of MI went to no baiting this year due to CWD. If that ever happens in the UP, there will be an uproar. I guarantee the people in the UP would not stop baiting even if it were illegal.

02-May-19
The Michigan DNR only allows 2 gallons of bait on the ground at any given time in the Upper Peninsula. People regularly go over the limit set by the DNR or that much bait wouldnt get sold their. It was much worse when I was growing up when guys would dump literal truckloads of sugar beets on the ground to hunt over. Not to say it cant be done but the chances of killing the scarce mature bucks in the Upper Peninsula dont go up because of a corn pile. If anything it makes it tougher. Bowhunting over bait is especially tough there because the deer are so spooky around the bait sites your better off hunting good runways and ridge tops. Thats just my opinion. Eastern U.P. has little to no agriculture and is swampier than the Western U.P. as well. As soon as the snow hits the deer migrate to the cedar swamps of the southern half of the Upper Peninsula and if you get enough snow early you may not even see a deer in November. 6 years ago or so we received 65 inches in just November.

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