2017 Polk County Wisconsin Regular Firearm Season

Deer Camp - a speech is given before the opening feast.
Deer Camp – a speech is given before the opening feast.

First off, I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving.  The past couple weeks have been busy.  My family has a great tradition of coming together at deer camp in Polk County Wisconsin, where many of us own a hunting lodge together.  This year was no different, with over thirty members of the family showing up on the opening day.

All family members are welcome, hunters and non hunters, as we have a massive feast the evening on the first night of the season.  A cousin of mine who owns his own restaurant, and who is a fantastic chef, prepares a feast that feeds the entire family.  Prime rib, roasted turkey, clam chowder, stuffing, potatoes… yeah, you get the idea.

The Gun Dear Opener

Oddly enough of the fifteen deer hunters in the group, most didn’t see any deer on opening day.  A few hunters saw only a sincle deer.

I was the odd one in the camp, and saw seven deer on the first day.  Most were fawns, but one was a good sized doe and the other a tall spike.

No, I didn’t harvest anything.  I already had one deer in the freezer from my crossbow hunt earlier in the year using my Barnett Vicious.

My family maintains a buck pool.  Every year the hunters kicks in $10 to the person who harvests the largest ‘point’ buck.  There are minimums to have a deer count towards winning the pool, and last year nobody won, so this years ante included with last years take summed up to be a nice chunk of money.

Since I already had a deer in the freezer I was holding out for an 8 pointer for the opening weekend.  I didn’t see anything that big.  Nobody else did either, so it looks like the buck pool is going to be triple sized next year!

All in all the day was warmer, in the mid 30s, but windy.  The wind kept things chilly.  I sat all day in the woods and didn’t budge.  There was a fair amount of shooting going on that I could hear from my blind, but it tapered off heavily into the afternoon.

A Sadder Than Usual Opener

Another picture from the deer opener feast.
Another picture from the deer opener feast.

The family deer camp opener weekend was cut short this year.  A few days before the opener the family matriarch, my grandmother, passed away.  She was 91.  It was expected.  The family was prepared, but due to timing the second day of opener was cut short for more important matters, such as my grandmother’s wake/celebration of life.  Her funeral service followed on Monday.

Spirits were high at deer camp despite the sadness that we were all feeling at our loss.  Grandma, just like grandpa who passed years before, was proud of the family, and loved the tradition of deer camp and the family coming together.

Like I said, spirits were high, everybody had a good time at the shortened deer opener weekend, and we know grandma would have been proud of our gathering and maintaining the opener day traditions despite the timing of her passing.

The Hunt Is Not Over!

The second weekend of the 2017 Wisconsin regular gun season is upon us.  Many in the family who hunt will be at the cabin again this weekend to do so.  Likely some deer drives will take place, and we’ll manage to fill at least a few tags.

The family’s harvest of deer is low this year, despite what appears to be a higher deer population, according to the Wisconsin DNR.  But, it’s not just about getting deer.  It’s more about being out in nature and spending time with family.  Want to know what deer camp is all about, check out my blog posts that shares the secrets of Deer Camp here!

What’s Next?

I am pretty sure my hunting is concluded this year for the regular gun deer season.  The black powder only hunt starts Monday the 27th and run through December 3rd.  I do plan to hunt the four days of the black powder season.

The black powder only season is a fun time for me to be in the woods.  I like the woods quieter, like I see during the archery season.  The regular gun deer season see hunters all over the woods and people coming and going – thousands of people in the woods around where I hunt.

Give me a quieter woods where I can still hunt and not worry about seeing other hunters… yeah, I like that.  Makes the black powder season a great time to be in the woods.



TD is the owner and publisher of TD All Outdoors. He has been enjoying the outdoors since since he was a child. Over the years he has spent as much time as he can solo wilderness canoe tripping, overlanding, hiking, fishing, bushcrafting, hunting, hammock camping, and more. Aside from this blog, he also own his own coffee brand, www.folklore-coffee.com.

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