There are so many reasons to love fall in Wisconsin: the foliage, the corn mazes, the pumpkin patches and of course, the green and gold. But for many outdoor enthusiasts, all of that comes second to one popular sport in Wisconsin: hunting!
Like so many other Wisconsinites, I was raised in a family that really embraced hunting as a sport. Our back porch was adorned with blaze orange hats and Christmas presents were commonly swathed in camouflage wrapping paper. My dad took me and my brother out to areas in Green and Rock counties when I was a teen to teach us how to deer and turkey hunt. Now that I travel the state as one of the hosts of Discover Wisconsin, I love hearing where our fans spend hours in the woods and near the rivers hunting game (added bonus if you share photos and stories with me).
Before we delve in to the state’s top spots, consider honing that aim of yours at one of Wisconsin’s many public shooting ranges.
Speaking of public spots, my first recommendation is Dewey Marsh Wildlife Area just north of Stevens Point in Portage County. Hunters take delight in more than 6,000 acres of pristine terrain consisting of smaller islands of tamarack and black spruce swamp, paper birch and white pine woods, and ericaceous bog. The area is prime hunting for deer, ruffed grouse, rabbits and squirrels (psst! Bring your pooch—pups are allowed).
For 33,000 acres of wetlands, forests and grasslands, head about 20 minutes northwest of Stevens Point to George W. Mead Wildlife Area, which sprawls across portions of Marathon, Portage and Wood counties.
For you duck hunters, the Lower Wisconsin Riverway will be your hot spot. From Sauk City down to Prairie du Chien, the Wisconsin River provides an ideal setting for waterfowl hunting. Venturing off the Wisconsin River a few miles, Vernon County is another destination chockfull of nice areas for hunting all sorts of game.
It wouldn’t be a hunting conversation without the mention of the state’s deer hunting utopia, Buffalo County. Hunters love it there and for good reason— more record book bucks are harvested per square mile there than any other county in the nation—earning Buffalo County the title of “Whitetail Deer Capital of the World,” according to Field and Stream magazine!
There are plenty of other spots all across Wisconsin for camo and blaze orange enthusiasts! Chime in below or share your own hunting tips and photos on Twitter using #WisconsinHunting.
For hunting season dates, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources online. Good luck hunters and be safe out there!
Mariah Haberman is one of the hosts of Discover Wisconsin, the nation’s longest-running travel TV show. She hails from Evansville, where she was brought up in a family of seven in a small farmhouse outside of town. Some of her favorite memories include Lake Michigan fishing trips with her Dad, showing sheep at the Rock County Fair and buzzing around the farm on an ATV with her little brother. Tweet her: @MariahHaberman.