The Peshtigo River State Forest is located along the northern edge of Wisconsin at the border with Michigan. The forest was established as a state forest in 2001. The whole state forest is open for hunting during the appropriate seasons with the proper licensing, with the exception of a 100-yard border around the campground to protect the campers.
The most important thing you need when hunting in Wisconsin's Peshtigo River State Forest is your hunting license. Everyone who hunts in the state needs one for the proper season. Each hunted animal has its own license requirement. In the Peshtigo River State Forest, the primary game is small game, bear, deer and migratory birds. As of June 2011, a Wisconsin small game license starts at $18 for adults. Hunters between the ages of 12 and 17 pay only $9 and those who are 10 or 11 pay $7. Specific stamps must be purchased for game, such as duck, waterfowl and pheasant for an additional fee. Deer hunting costs $24 each for gun and archery. Junior hunters ages 12 to 17 pay $20 and 10 and 11-year-old hunters pay $7. A class A bear license, which allows for shooting and tagging a bear, costs $49 and a class B, which allows a person to assist someone with a class A license, costs $14.
When hunting in the Peshtigo River State Forest, it is important to know the times during which you are allowed to hunt. All blinds and other hunting enclosures must be removed from the park once the hunting hours are over. In general, hunting is allowed starting a half hour before the sun rises and extends 20 minutes after the sun goes down. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website offers a spreadsheet listing specific hunting times by date.
Each type of animal has its own hunting season in Wisconsin. The gun deer season takes place for a week at the end of November each year. A four-day anterless deer season is also scheduled in December. The archery deer hunting season goes from mid-September to mid-November and again from the end of the deer season to early January. The bear seasons include a dog-hunting season in early September, a regular season from mid-September through early October and all methods except dog hunting for a week following the previous season. The migratory bird season, primarily Canada geese, runs for the first half of September.
Hunters must know and follow the regulations for each hunting season. This includes the purchase of tags for the deer and whether or not you are allowed to kill deer with antlers. Any hunters born after January 1, 1973, must have completed the state Hunter Education class and possess a certificate before hunting. All deer that are killed during the hunting season must be registered with the state. For gun season, this must be done by 5 p.m. the day after the season ends. For archery season, it must be done by 5 p.m. three days after the deer is killed. Blaze orange must be worn during the gun deer season, and dogs and aircraft cannot be used to hunt. You must also remain at least 50 yards from the center of a roadway and you cannot fire over the road.
During the bear hunting season, you are only required to wear blaze orange during the special youth deer hunting season for two days in October. Hunters as young as 10 are able to obtain bear hunting licenses without having to pass the Hunter Education class first. However, young hunters must be accompanied by an adult. As with deer, you cannot hunt within 50 yards of the middle of a roadway or fire across a roadway at a bear on the other side. You are also prohibited from hunting bears in their caves, feeding in landfills or bears that are cubs or have cubs with them. Baiting is allowed as long as you do not use more than 10 gallons and the bait location is more than 50 yards from a road, trail or campsite and more than 100 yards from roads with speed limits of 45 mph and higher. Bears must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after it is killed.
Migratory Birds and Small Animal Regulations
During the migratory bird season, you are limited to five birds per day and you can only carry 10 birds with you at a time. You may use decoys, but they must be no more than 200 feet from your blind and must be placed at the open of the hunting day and removed by the end. All birds that are harmed must be retrieved if possible. Canada geese must be reported within 48 hours of the killing to 800-994-6673. Both of these types of hunting allow you to use a dog for retrieval of the carcasses. For small animal hunting, unprotected species can be hunted during the entire year with no hour restrictions. Night hunting is restricted during the deer and bear seasons, however. An unprotected species also has no bag limit. Protected animals have specific bag limits and seasons specific to each species as listed on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Peshtigo River State Forest Recreation -- Hunting and Trapping
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Resident Hunting, Fishing and Other Outdoor Recreational Licenses
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: 2011 Deer, Bear, Small Game and Fall Turkey
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: 2010 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: 2011 Wisconsin Bear Hunting Regulations
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: 2011 Wisconsin Early September Canada Goose Hunting Regulations
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