cover of book

On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin
by Robert C Willging
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008
Paper: 978-0-87020-900-0 | eISBN: 978-0-87020-544-6 | Cloth: 978-0-87020-405-0
Library of Congress Classification SK301.W493 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 799.276509775


On the Hunt is the story of deer-hunting in Wisconsin, from the spear-throwing Paleo-Indians to the sportsmen of today. Meticulously researched by one of the state's most prolific outdoor writers, On the Hunt covers subsistence and sport hunting, deer camps, changing deer management policies, and recent developments and controversies, from human encroachment on deer habitat to CWD. Range maps and charts tracking annual herd populations and harvest goals complement Willging's engaging storytelling. Drawing from Department of Conservation papers, hunting magazines, newspapers, historic photos of classic deer camps, and the personal stories of hunters and deer managers, On the Hunt offers a fascinating glimpse into a distant and not-so-distant past, when the hunt joined men in almost mythical unity and bucks were seemingly larger than life.


An ardent sportsman with nearly 25 years of hunting experience, Willging understands that deer-hunting is as much about the smell of the woods in autumn and the meticulous cleaning of a fine rifle as it is about bringing home a whitetail. His story of how Wisconsin's own World War II flying ace, Richard Bong, squeezed in a few days of hunting while home on leave vividly illustrates the sport's powerful pull on hearts and minds. Willging also engagingly conveys the important tradition of the deer-hunting camp, from a humble two-man shack in Chequamegon National Forest (like the one he shared with his best friend, Steve) to the grand old Deer Foot Lodge founded in 1912 in Vilas County.


On the Hunt is perfect preparation for the avid sportsman's annual fall trek with friends and family into the woods.

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