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muzzy

Whitewater Wildlife Management Area

15 posts in this topic

Hey all,

After contemplating where to go, a buddy and I want to try out the Whitewater area. I'm from Brainerd and would like to try bowhunting in bluff country! Has anyone hunted this area? I know many large deer come from this part of the state and I thought it would be fun to try it out. Plan on camping for a couple of nights in a couple of weeks. Would I have the best luck on top of the bluffs or deep in the ravines? By water? Does this area get pounded? Any insight would help!

Muzzy

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Muzzy, I hunt the bluff country. Whitewater is a huge area, I have stands set up on private land that adjoins the state land. If you are hunting in the evenings, you best bet is on top of the bluffs as that is where most of the cropland is. If you are hunting in the morning, you might be better off hunting in the bottoms as most of the deer will be moving from the tops of the bluffs from feeding down to there beddding areas to get out of the wind. You can try and set up in the middle but that is difficult with the terrain and hard to access without spooking deer. Good luck. There are some nice bucks down here but in general, not as many deer as other places, it gets hit pretty hard.

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Thanks for the input Trig,

I'll take your advice to hunt evenings up top and bottoms during the day. It's just going to be fun hunting different terrain.

Muzz

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Tooo much pressure down there. lots of lands though good luck. One more advice hunt the thickest patch of the woods for example where all the hills meet together.

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From past hunts my buds say that in their opinion whitewater deer are the smartest deer they have ever hunted. the terrian is a challenge there and the wind is a never ending battle on gussing how it will really blow in your spot especially in saddles or the bottoms. I hunted winona downriver further last fall but its the same kind of terrain.... funnels are rut spots but acorns, apples, and corn are some great food sources to start looking. also a big buck beds with saftey and cover but a view as well. a big ridge in the middle of a wooded area with rimrock uptop is a likely location. So tread lightly if u scout or hunt these areas. good luck!!!

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I agree with you all,

Thick cover and food are the key like anywhere else. My biggest challenge will be playing the wind on the bluffs since I'm not used to them up here in the northwoods. Either way, it should be a good time. I love turkey hunting in that area and am excited to try bowhunting. I guess there will be a hunt the weekend before I go in the refuge. That will probably either help or hurt my chances of seeing bucks. I'm wondering if I should stay clear from that specific area. Really, a person never knows what'll happen unless they hit it and try!

Thanks for the imput guys,

Muzzy

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NORTHWOODS?! thats Se in my book.....course im goign to school in ely, mn now and these are truly northwoods....i can get lost easy.....theres a few deer up here thrye harder than H*** to hunt and attempt to predict and I can roam for miles on public land and not see another person for a day to 2 weeks depending on where i go let alone see another deer grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif but yeah good luck ur in for a great experience deer or no deer

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Muzzy,

That's a very good concern you have about the wind in the bluffs. I was born and raised in the area and sometimes the wind can be frustrating. If it is still in the morning, there will be a slight updraft on the sides of the bluffs. In the evenings just the opposite is true. Our family home is down in a valley and often when I go out in the morning, I check the wind in the valley, then drive up to a hilltop and check it there. They are often totally different. You will absolutely love hunting the area, its beautiful. I would start on a ridge top and try to scope out a trail about 2/3 of the way up the bluff. In my experience, deer will often travel these. Its like they can see everything below them and are still hidden from whatever is on top. Good luck and have fun!

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Great advice FarByondDrivn,

Do you not agree with the previous post as to hunt bottom in the morning and the top in the evening? 2/3 sounds appealing as well, but I know it can get pretty darn steep in some areas. How are you liking Nisswa? I'm living just south of Nisswa. Having any luck hunting in that area? I shot one doe a week ago in the Baxter area. Thanks again!

Muzzy

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Muzzy, I totally agree with farbeyond, that upper 2/3 has really been great for shotguns. Bow hunting I've had problems with it. Alot of times there is kind of a bench where the deer will run, just below the drop. However, to set up on the top edge it is a long straight down shot with a bow, to set up below means your shooting up and often times you will be at eye level with the deer. That is why I prefer tops and bottoms connecting feeding/bedding areas for bow season. I don't get busted as much, you also have a better idea on how to play the wind as the hillsides, wind can change with temperature and swirl in the valleys. Right now the crops are really coming out around here, the combines are running 16-20 hours a day. I have been seeing the deer feeding in alfala fields adjoining woodlines. Good luck, when you find a good spot, you'll know it. Where are you going in Whitewater?

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96trigger,

Thanks again for the input. We will be camping at the state park and will be putting a lot of miles on the first day to scout. I've been looking at aerial photos for now. I know it looks totally different when you get there. A recent post suggested an area close to Beaver. There will be a lot of activity with hunters a week before in the refuge. It amazes me how much state forest land seems landlocked by farms. Basically it will be pick a spot and hunt.

Muzzy

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Never thought of this until now. Can a person hunt for turkey and deer at the same time? There seems to be surplus turkey tags where I usually turkey hunt in the Ridgeway area. I'm tempted to skip Whitewater altogether to have a chance at a turkey with a bow because I know darn well that they would be all around me if I didn't have a tag grin.gif It would be fun to have a chance at both. Can we do this?

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Dont know why you could not bow hunt for both. I read the regs and dont see anything that would prohibit it.

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Muzzy,

Really like the Nisswa area. Where I grew up, you had to drive 45 minutes for any lake style fishing, now its about thirty seconds. Have been out hunting a few times and passed a few does on some questionable shots (an then kicked myself later), but oh well. Its been hard for me to figure out these big woods deer at times but I'll keep messing up until I figrue it out (ha ha). By the way, big congrats on the doe (MMMMMMMMM backstraps!).

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I've hunted and scouted Whitewater and consider myself a dedicated bowhunter. Whitewater was very frustrating to hunt because it does have a lot of pressure. The deer are very much aware of hunters and therefore most mature deer are nocturnal. I have found some amazing sign but nothing to show. I know a guy who shotgun hunts it every year and with everyone pushing deer everywhere, he will often see a few deer....certainly nothing big.

That being said....Whitewater is so big, there has to be some ugly bucks in there with points coming out of everywhere! I guess that's what kept me coming back! I would give it a go if I were you! Good luck!

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  • Posts

    • Ya I think my dog would want to go after them he gets really excited around other dogs. That's why I will never hunt him without his e collar because I know I can stop him in his tracks with it. My dog likes to hunt close and I never let him push out way in front of me so at least I have eyes on him at all time and can give him the command to come to me if I see a wolf. I always keep a slip lead with me as well so I can put that on him and not have my hand tide up reaching down holding on his collar.

      I had a couple run in with wolves last year in the Longville/Remer area but that was just with me on foot with no dog.

      The one thing that gets me is "Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if pets or livestock are threatened, attacked or killed" 

      I don't think I could just stand there and watch my dog die.

      Anyway did you hunt a different area? Any birds I have only been out once in the mille lacs area and didn't see any. Going to Nemadji this weekend and should see some.

       

    • smalliehunter

      Posted

      A friend and I will also be up chasing smallmouth this weekend!!!

    • slammer

      Posted

      Add Sallie to the list.

    • BlackArrow1

      Posted

      Went up north of Tofte last weekend camping/looking for a few grouse and to see the fall colors. Was in the region of the grade and 600 road. Pulled off on a walk only trail to run my lab and see if I could kick a few. Anyhow, my lab sits and barks like hell with anticipation at me every time I'm getting the gun out and getting ready to hunt her. So for about 5 minutes she's harassing me loud barking with excitement. We start walking down the trail maybe 50 yards and I see all this brown commotion jumping around ahead of us about 75 yards. At first I think we startled some deer. Then one came out full on the trail and stood watching me/dog. They were timber wolves. That one slunk off in the woods and another came out and just sat there looking at us for about a minute or so. When I noticed they were wolves I grabbed the dog by the caller. They seemed interested in my dog. Her barking must have drew them in. They ran off after looking us over a bit. I turned around and left that spot to avoid any issues. I'm thinking that maybe some younger bird dogs would be enticed to chase after wolves that show this kind of interest in them. In my opinion that would be bad and a dog may not come back alive, given their boldness and interest in my dog. It was fun seeing them, but we didn't just walk up and surprise them, they were coming to see the barking dog. Just curious? Maybe. Looking for an easy meal, maybe. I'm just putting this out there to inform bird hunters up there what I saw, so they can be aware if they have dogs. And no they were not coyotes. 

    • ANYFISH2

      Posted

      Made it out yesterday evening, SAW 4 deer. The same small buck and 3 does.  They sure seemed skittish with the wind.

      For the fact I am getting very few daytime pics of any deer, I am at lest seeing a few every sit.

    • delcecchi

      Posted

      The crescent and south switch meet all the criteria, except for boat access.   And they even usually have some sort of craft beer on tap, like surly furious etc. 

      The only place near the lake that has upscale food that I am aware of is the casino.    We try to get to the wilderness grill for lunch a time or two.   And daughter and husband will sometimes go there on date night while they are up, although the pull to the east is less now that the quilt shop in tower shut down. 

    • I am going up this weekend with a few buddies and the plan is to fish hard...will post back and let ya know if we find anything.

    • cabin040

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      Was up for the week of Sept 10-17th.  First day spent on East and West Fox lake and we did well on bass, crappie and northerns.  Second day was very slow fishing.  Spent one day on Kego and did well on bass and norhterns.  Hit Mitchel twice and did well on sunfish and bass.  A few nice crappies in the mix as well.  Went to Little Boy for a day of walleye fishing, and it was very slow.  1 walleye and 1 smallmouth bass.  Great week of fishing on a few new lakes.  A very nice area to explore.

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    • Cliff Wagenbach

      Posted

      The trees are turning color fast now! Seems to gain color by the hour now!

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    • Driving a scenic route through a state forest is a great way to view fall color, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  

      Finland State Forest

      Finland State Forest

      “Routes through hilly or rugged areas dominated by deciduous trees tend to have the best mix of color,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist. “And the dark green needles of conifers accent the yellow, orange and red leaves of deciduous trees in mixed forest.”

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      • Finland State Forest heading northeast along County Road 7 from Finland.

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      • Bowstring and Blackduck state forests along state Highway 46 between Deer River and Northome.
      • Pillsbury State Forest along Beauty Lake Forest Road between County Road 77 and County Road 1.
      • St. Croix and Nemadji state forests loop. From Interstate 35, take exit #183 and head east on state Highway 48. Head north on County Road 24. Head east on County Road 24. At Markville, head north on County Road 31. Head west on Park Forest Road. At Kerrick, head south on state Highway 23 to Interstate 35 exit #195.

      Mid-October

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      Visit www.mndnr.gov/stateforests for information about visiting a state forest and additional scenic routes. Entrance into a state forest is free. State forest campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $14 a night.

      Visit the Minnesota state parks and trails Fall Color Finder at www.mndnr.gov/fall_colors to find areas in Minnesota with peak fall color. The Fall Color Finder is updated every Thursday through the end of October.

      Discuss below - to view set the hook here.



  • Posts

    • ZachD
      Ya I think my dog would want to go after them he gets really excited around other dogs. That's why I will never hunt him without his e collar because I know I can stop him in his tracks with it. My dog likes to hunt close and I never let him push out way in front of me so at least I have eyes on him at all time and can give him the command to come to me if I see a wolf. I always keep a slip lead with me as well so I can put that on him and not have my hand tide up reaching down holding on his collar. I had a couple run in with wolves last year in the Longville/Remer area but that was just with me on foot with no dog. The one thing that gets me is "Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if pets or livestock are threatened, attacked or killed"  I don't think I could just stand there and watch my dog die. Anyway did you hunt a different area? Any birds I have only been out once in the mille lacs area and didn't see any. Going to Nemadji this weekend and should see some.  
    • smalliehunter
      A friend and I will also be up chasing smallmouth this weekend!!!
    • slammer
      Add Sallie to the list.
    • BlackArrow1
      Went up north of Tofte last weekend camping/looking for a few grouse and to see the fall colors. Was in the region of the grade and 600 road. Pulled off on a walk only trail to run my lab and see if I could kick a few. Anyhow, my lab sits and barks like hell with anticipation at me every time I'm getting the gun out and getting ready to hunt her. So for about 5 minutes she's harassing me loud barking with excitement. We start walking down the trail maybe 50 yards and I see all this brown commotion jumping around ahead of us about 75 yards. At first I think we startled some deer. Then one came out full on the trail and stood watching me/dog. They were timber wolves. That one slunk off in the woods and another came out and just sat there looking at us for about a minute or so. When I noticed they were wolves I grabbed the dog by the caller. They seemed interested in my dog. Her barking must have drew them in. They ran off after looking us over a bit. I turned around and left that spot to avoid any issues. I'm thinking that maybe some younger bird dogs would be enticed to chase after wolves that show this kind of interest in them. In my opinion that would be bad and a dog may not come back alive, given their boldness and interest in my dog. It was fun seeing them, but we didn't just walk up and surprise them, they were coming to see the barking dog. Just curious? Maybe. Looking for an easy meal, maybe. I'm just putting this out there to inform bird hunters up there what I saw, so they can be aware if they have dogs. And no they were not coyotes. 
    • ANYFISH2
      Made it out yesterday evening, SAW 4 deer. The same small buck and 3 does.  They sure seemed skittish with the wind. For the fact I am getting very few daytime pics of any deer, I am at lest seeing a few every sit.