Best Bets for Bucks: Wisconsin
Bob McNally 12.01.15
The Badger State is on the radar screen for many hunters after buster bucks, including those in famed Buffalo County near the Mississippi River. But Buffalo County is mostly private land. Fortunately, there are many places strewn around the state offering first-rate opportunities for the public to tag a great deer according to Jason Fleener, a state deer biologist. Fleener advises concentrating on the eastern and western farm land regions. These areas have abundant deer and some big bucks, too.
This is generally the middle third of the state. It’s “fringe” country, with farms and heavily wooded areas mixed. There are abundant WMAs, many very small and often overlooked by many deer hunters. In addition, there are state forests and to the north are the sprawling Nicolet and Chequamegon National Forests. All have plenty of deer and some great bucks.
County-owned forests are available in many parts of Wisconsin, most are overlooked and virtually unknown by visiting hunters. Sportsmen must inquire directly to county managers to learn about such hunting or contact local Wisconsin DNR personnel. The DNR website (www.dnr.wi.gov/) is the easiest way to learn who these DNR folks are and how to reach them.
“Lots of Wisconsin cities and towns offer metro hunting, and there are some good bucks in these areas that receive little pressure,” says Fleener. “The city of Madison in Dane County, for example, has bowhunting in county parks.”
Many parks are open to hunting around Wisconsin and are shown on the state website (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/hunt/index.html). Also listed are state “Trails,” which Fleener says are almost completely overlooked by sportsmen. They can harbor whopper bucks.
Not only are there plenty of good bucks available in Badgerland, but lots of deer, too.