The gun deer season is here and it's time to get out in the woods and bag the biggest buck! Enter the 2019 Kretz Lumber Company’s Big Buck Contest and you could win more than just bragging rights. Every entrant has a chance to win!

Two ways to win:

  1. Biggest Buck: $50 Fleet Farm gift card
  2. Wild Card: $25 Fleet Farm gift card (One winner will be randomly selected from all eligible contest entries.)

To enter our contest:

1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page

2. Bag your buck and post a picture on our Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on December 3, 2019.

All photos submitted must be bucks taken during the 2019 Wisconsin rifle season and shot in one of the following counties: Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Shawano, Menominee, Forest, Oconto, Portage, or Waupaca. No other submissions will be accepted.

3. With your submission, include your score.

We are using a complete honor system.

To determine your score:

1 point per inch of inside spread + 1 point per “Point” number of antlers 1” and longer = Total Points.

An example: 

  • Inside spread = 15 inches 
  • Eight 1-inch “points”
  • 15+8 = Total score of 23

Kretz Lumber Company reserves the right to disqualify any entries suspected of cheating.

Winners will be announced on our Facebook page on December 4.

Good luck and have a safe hunt!

Albert (Al) Koeppel was inducted into the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame on October 2, 2019, at the Society of American Foresters annual meeting at Stevens Point. Al was nominated by the University of Wisconsin for this prestigious honor.


The Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame was founded in 1984 by 10 public, and private forestry organizations in 1984 to honor those who have made exceptional contributions to the field of forestry in Wisconsin. The Forestry Hall of Fame exhibit is located in the College of Natural Resources at UW Stevens Point in the College of Natural Resources Building. It is open for viewing during school hours. The Wisconsin Chapter of the Society Of American Foresters (SAF,) is the caretaker and lead organization overseeing the Hall of Fame.


Al spent the majority of his working career as the chief forester for Kretz Lumber Co., Inc. in Antigo, WI.

Friday, 15 November 2019 14:24

Forestry and Storm Cleanup - Update

Winter appears to have arrived before anyone was expecting it. That said, logging crews will start looking at freezing roads down to get into their low winter ground jobs. Fortunately for us here in the middle of the state, we are starting out perfect with very cold temps and little to no snow on the ground. This will help to drive frost deeper. 

The last few months have been productive in the blowdown areas and we have been bringing a lot of logs into the yard as a result of the summer storms. We are very thankful to the many logging crews both from Wisconsin and Upper Michigan for assisting us in getting many landowner properties cleaned up. Also, we are very thankful for all the work Henry Schienebeck did to get Michigan log trucks able to haul out of the storm damaged areas. 

We are continuing to work on blowdown for as long as we can, until either the snow gets too deep or the stumps and tops freeze down too hard in the ground. The hardwood pulp and aspen markets remain strong and look as though they will remain that way throughout the winter. We are still accepting landowners who need clean up done on their property and have been out every week running property lines and will continue to do so until it gets too dangerous. If you or anyone you know is in need of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our foresters. Thanks for all of your patience and good luck hunting! 

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Submit your best Wisconsin fall photo!

Get outside and share with us your best Wisconsin autumn photo. Enter our contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!

To enter our fall Facebook photo contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Post your submission to our page by 11:59 pm CST on October 20, 2019.

    Only one photo/submission per person. All photos submitted must be your personal images and cannot be purchased or copyrighted. Image must have been taken in Wisconsin.

  3. We’ll add all submissions to a Facebook photo album on October 21, 2019. Kretz Lumber Company Facebook fans can then vote by liking their favorite image in the official album through October 27, 2019. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on October 27, 2019 will win one $25 Mill’s Fleet Farm gift card.

Enjoy the outdoors and good luck!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 14:31

Update on July Storm Cleanup Efforts

July brought a round of severe storms to our area, the severity not seen in our communities for quite some time. According to the National Weather Service, the damage path from the storm was 60 miles long and 10 miles wide. The hardest hit areas saw 100+ mph winds. Over 300,000 acres were damaged with particularly hard hit areas here in Kretz Lumber Company’s back yard. Some of the landowners we are working with lost 90% of the timber on their property. The damage is unprecedented.

As I write this, most roads and structures have been cleared, however the concern now is getting woodlots cleaned of downed trees in a reasonable amount of time. While the damage is hard to look at, a silver lining is that the majority of hardwoods in this area were impacted by straight line winds. Because of this, root balls are generally still left attached to the base of the fallen tree and the threat of the logs staining quickly is reduced. Staining happens when logs sit and aren’t processed in a sawmill in a timely manner (ideally, within a few weeks). Prior to entering the sawmill, logs are susceptible to a staining fungi. September and October are notoriously fast staining months in our area given the changing temperatures. When staining occurs, the lumber grade is lowered. Hence, the urgency in our cleanup efforts.

As you can imagine, resources in our area have been stretched to the max. There just aren’t enough loggers and trucking to haul the cut trees to log yards as fast as we all would like. Additionally, this event will most definitely lead to a lumber surplus in our local mills. Our team is working overtime to assist and support landowners impacted by these storms. If you have storm damage related questions or if you’d like a forester to advise on the cleanup of your property, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Wisconsin storm damage

Submit your best Wisconsin summer photo!

Enter our contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!

To enter our contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Post your photo submission to our page by 11:59 pm CST on August 18, 2019.

    Only one photo/submission per person. All photos submitted must be your personal images and cannot be purchased or copyrighted. Image must have been taken in Wisconsin.

  3. All submissions will be added to a Facebook photo album on August 19, 2019 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through August 25, 2019. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on August 25, 2019 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.

Submit your best Wisconsin spring photo!

Enter our Wisconsin spring photo contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!

To enter our contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
  2. Post your submission to our Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on May 12, 2019.
    Only one photo/submission per person. All photos submitted must be your personal images and cannot be purchased or copyrighted. Image must have been taken in Wisconsin.
  3. All submissions will be added to a Facebook photo album on May 13, 2019 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through May 19, 2019. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on May 19, 2019 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors and good luck!
Monday, 21 January 2019 13:09

Meet our New Head Forester, Nate Gilbert

Get to know our new head Forester, Nate Gilbert!

Question: What made you want to become a forester?

Nate's answer: I chose forestry because growing up in Upper Michigan I spent the better part of my childhood enjoying the outdoors. I became a forester so I would be able to spend more time outdoors doing what I am passionate about and sharing that passion with others, through timber management, wildlife and taking care of the environment.

Question: When did you start working at Kretz Lumber Company? What is one aspect of your job you really like?

Nate's answer: I started working at Kretz Lumber Company in July of 2018. One aspect of the job I really enjoy is the not knowing what the next day will bring and the constant challenges that arise. 

Question: What is a common question you often receive from landowners? How do you answer it? And how do you offer value to the landowners you work with?

Nate's answer: A common question I receive from landowners is how can they make their property more attractive for wildlife. My answer is to properly manage the land by doing necessary harvests, which provide food and shelter, for many different wildlife species. Also by providing diversity across the property. I offer value to landowners by assuring them that I have their best interests in mind and I am always available to answer their questions. I am here as a resource to assist them in properly managing their woodlands while ensuring they are comfortable with any harvesting or other management related to their property.

If you have forestry related questions you'd like to ask Nate personally, you can reach him by phone at 1-800-352-1438 or by contacting him using this form

A fair number of folks feel that any disturbance days or even weeks before the deer hunting season is to be avoided at all costs because it will scare away the deer and ruin the hunt. The 2018 gun season proved the opposite for Todd Wanta and his boys as the story and pictures below illustrate.

From Todd Wanta: "The Wisconsin 2018 gun deer season will be one that I will remember for a long time. Not because I harvested my largest buck, but because I got to share my hunt with my young sons. On the morning of opening day I found myself overlooking a recently logged area that would provide both some food and a great advantage point for seeing deer. It was not long that my hunch was right; I believe we had a “hot” doe in front of the stand and saw multiple deer. After glassing a couple of young up and comer bucks, I spotted a decent eight point that I chose to harvest. After the shot, my boys Clay (7) and Sawyer (4) tracked the buck for me!

As you can imagine this was a big spectacle and were by far not the quietest tracking bunch, but I got to experience them enjoying the woods. With my eldest in the lead and not so subtly informing his brother to be quiet, to which he completely ignored busting through every available brush pile, they found the buck! After experiencing this I know now that my family has made the right decision by owning this land to ensure that they have the opportunity to hunt. That combined with them seeing what transformations are going to happen in the woods due to the recent logging, I know the future is going to great!"

Submit your best Wisconsin winter photo!

Enter our Wisconsin winter photo contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!

To enter our contest:

  1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.

  2. Post your submission to our page by 11:59 pm CST on February 3, 2019.

    Only one photo/submission per person. All photos submitted must be your personal images and cannot be purchased or copyrighted. Image must have been taken in Wisconsin.

  3. All submissions will be added to a Facebook photo album February 4, 2019 and then voted on by Kretz Lumber Facebook fans through February 10. The picture with the most likes as of 11:59 pm CST on February 10, 2019 will win one $25 Fleet Farm gift card.

  4. Enjoy the great outdoors and good luck!
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