Editors Blog

Buffalo County: Bow Season Starts in Corn Country


Big bucks in bluff country

Deer & Deer Hunting Editor Dan Schmidt snapped this photo with his cell phone moments after settling into his first tree stand vigil for Fall 2012. He was hunting in Buffalo County, Wisconsin.

There’s a good kind of pain that comes with age. It’s the aches in my knees, hips and ankles that I get from sitting in a tree stand too long. Yeah, I realize that sounds kind of weird, but that first tree-stand vigil of the year always leaves me basically crippled. Joints pop, tendons hurt and muscles ache.

But I love it. Absolutely love it.

As Deer & Deer Hunting freelance videographer Nate Winters and I climbed into the first stand of the year, we obviously had high hopes. Our host, Mark Schuh of Schuhter’s Outpost already had provided us with visual proof that several nice bucks were using the oak and hickory draw where we would be hunting.

Although I’ve hunted this part of my home state numerous times, I must admit that this trip was markedly different. The topography was the same, but the outfitter’s approach was much different. Schuh is all about low-pressure hunting, which means he highly discourages morning hunts during the early season. The rationale for that is simple: It is difficult, if not impossible, to hunt this area’s bluff country in the mornings without spooking deer on your way to the stand.

Schuh started his venture five years ago when he saw a special opportunity to provide a niche service that was going to change the way people experience quality whitetail hunts in two states (Wisconsin and Minnesota) from one location. Through countless hours of hard work, planting food plots, scouting land, and studying whitetail behavior, Mark began to create a hunter’s paradise. With the help of landowners, family, friends, and neighbors, Schuhter’s Outpost began building its name and reputation.

Deer pictures from Buffalo County

Mark Schuh’s secret to hunting early season bucks in Buffalo County revolves around intense trail camera surveillance. This is just one of the bucks he got on camera this year. (photo courtesy of Schuhter’s Outpost, Alma, Wisconsin)

He started by remodeling an old granary shed into a full service rustic hunting cabin, while retaining the traditional “hunting shack” atmosphere. He spent countless hours in the field observing, scouting, and preparing hunting properties for clients who demand the absolute best. The deadly combination of quality management, strategic food plots, waterholes, stand-locations (and access to them) has created top-notch trophy whitetail hunting.

Schuhter’s Outpost now has access to nearly 2,500 acres of intensely managed property in the heart of Buffalo County and Southeastern Minnesota’s finest whitetail habitat. Every year the quality of bucks and hunting goes up.

For our hunt last weekend, the temperatures were warm, but not unbearable. It seemed almost too early in the year to be hunting, but every September archery opener feels like this. I guess it just takes a few cold nights to flip that switch fully to “beast mode” for us diehard bowhunters.

With my safety harness secured and Mathews Heli-M hoisted to my lap, it’s time to sit. And wait. And hope. And dream. We might see a deer this afternoon, and we might not. Doesn’t matter, because we’re hunting. Let the season begin. Whitetail season is upon us, and I honestly can’t think of a better place to watch the sun go down than from this glorious perch high above the forest floor.

This is a five-part series. Previous posts:

1. Bowhunting in Buffalo County, Wisconsin

2. Getting Dialed in to Hunt Big Bucks

3. Today: Bow Season Starts in Corn Country

Up next: Checking out a bona fide 170-class typical 10-pointer.