Why Deer Hunting on Public Land is the Best

Deer Hunting on Public Land in Boscobel, WI

We’re not crazy – it’s true! Deer hunting on public land throughout the state of Wisconsin is largely underrated due to any number of widespread misconceptions.

Whether you prefer to spend your bowhunting or gun season among the Northwoods’ pines or the rolling bluffs of the Driftless Region, our state’s public access lands have a whole lot more to offer than what you’ve been led to believe.

Common Public Land Hunting Myths [Debunked]

1) Too Crowded

We’ve all heard this one: “Public hunting land is too crowded.”

But that’s not often the case. It’s actually pretty common to experience lower levels of hunting pressure on a plot of public land due to a greater amount of protected habitat at your disposal.

This misconception has been widely spread and accepted by Wisconsin hunters, which in turn has reduced the number of people planning to hunt on public lands in any given area.

What’s unfortunate about this is that there are more than a few instances of hunters who simply quit hunting because they’re unable to secure private properties. They don’t view public land as a viable option, and that’s a real shame.

Don’t quit hunting. Take advantage of what is available to you with public access hunting grounds. 

Public Land Hunting Myth: No Big Bucks

2) No Big Bucks

“With all the hunting pressure, monster bucks don’t stick around public grounds.”

Although this may be true in some cases, this is clearly a deer hunting myth when looking at Wisconsin’s public lands in general.

It all comes down to habitat, and it’s often the case that publicly funded lands offer great wildlife habitat and significant animal populations.

Plus – depending on where you hunt privately – you may actually be experiencing equal (if not more) hunting pressure than what you would find via public access lands.

Each area has its own unique terrain and must be assessed individually. What we can tell you, however, is that we’ve seen plenty of mature bucks out on the public lands of the Driftless Area.

3) Everyone is Unsafe

“The only hunters on public access land are unsafe jerks.”

It’s unfortunate, but if you hunt consistently over your lifetime, you’ll encounter some foolish people who take unnecessary risks out in the woods. These are the individuals who create unsafe environments and make cringeworthy news headlines that give others an unfair perception of hunting.

What’s important to remember is that the unsafe behavior of someone in nature doesn’t reflect the character of the landscape itself. Don’t let this taint your opinion of a specific location – scout it out for yourself.

If you end up in a situation where a fellow hunter is being unreasonable and dangerous, be sure to keep your cool, leave the area, and immediately notify your local game warden.

There’s no room for jerks out on our public lands…or anywhere else.

Advantages of Deer Hunting on Public Land

1) Wide Open Spaces

Wait a second…was that a “No Trespassing: Private Property” sign? Nope – you won’t find any of those here! One of the main advantages of deer hunting on public land is that there are fewer restrictions.

That’s right – no more property line disputes or months of landowner schmoozing. With public access, you can simply enjoy mother nature’s finest with a wealth of advantageous locations to place your tree stand or ground blind.

Pro Tip: Although there’s plenty of room to breathe, scout the area by using digital mapping and visiting your desired hunting area well before you’re ready to set up deer camp.

2) You Reap What You Sow

Have you ever wondered where all the money you spend on tags and licensing goes each year? Stocking and managing our public lands, of course!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) collects funds from hunters and nature enthusiasts alike each year to help maintain native wildlife and their habitat. This, in turn, enhances the experience of those who utilize the land for hunting, hiking, or other form of outdoor recreation.

This mutually beneficial relationship between outdoorsmen/women and Wisconsin’s natural resource management is a thing of beauty that fosters a healthy statewide hunting culture.

Diversity in Wisconsin Hunting Terrain

3) Diversity of Terrain

Marshes? Check. Forests? Check. Prairies and fields? Check and check.

Toss boredom out the window because Wisconsin has a wide range of exciting options in terms of terrain. For those chasing a trophy buck, there is plenty of opportunity to be found.

There’s something for everyone. It all comes down to your preferred hunting method.

4) Opportunities to Try Different Strategies

Speaking of different types of hunting, the diverse terrain of our public access lands provide the ideal conditions to try new hunting methods and expand your expertise.

Let’s say you’ve been deer hunting from a tree stand for years. Why not consider trying a more advanced strategy?

Grab a few trusted buddies and execute a deer drive. Make an attempt to stalk your next big buck or give still hunting a whirl. Trying new hunting methods will only make you a better hunter in the long run.

After all, putting your skills to the test and becoming proficient in multiple deer hunting strategies is essential to growing as a sportsperson and will only add to your overall appreciation of nature.

Bowhunting for deer in the Driftless

Deer Hunting Wisconsin’s Driftless Area

Centrally located along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway, Boscobel has direct access to 44,000 acres of unimpeded public land for deer hunting in the heart of the Driftless Region.

With bowhunting season beginning in mid-September as well as gun and muzzleloader seasons starting in mid to late November, our beautiful rolling hills and scenic bluffs are perfect for landing that trophy buck you’ve been after.

Start planning your hunt today and set up your headquarters in Boscobel – Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination. Here are your lodging options.