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Deer Hunting and Logging: A Landowner’s Perspective

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!”

Todd and his mom own 80 acres in Portage County. He contacted Kretz Lumber Company to conduct a thinning on his upland hardwoods (primarily red maple, oak and aspen). Todd was looking for some new growth and improving his acorn crops to improve the hunting on his property as well as creating some new trails to access his property. Following these objectives I marked his woods to remove high risk, poor quality and mature timber using single tree selection and group selection to create some openings. Several aspen regeneration cuts were established and as many oak trees as possible were released from competition. The logging crew started the job in late September and worked right up until the Friday before opening weekend. On opening day Todd harvested a nice buck! Congratulations!

Todd and his neighbor commented that they are seeing more deer on their property than in the past since the logging started. This is testament to what any logger (or forester) knows from experience that deer are curious animals that investigate any changes in their environment and they love the fresh woody browse that recently felled trees provide.

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