Deer hunting

Our guest curator for this post is Beth A. Zinsli, a member of a large deer hunting clan from central Wisconsin. She was raised on venison, Colby cheese, and other typical Wisconsin fare. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in art history and visual culture studies at UW-Madison.


Hunting whitetail deer is an annual fall ritual for many Wisconsinites. Is deer hunting a tradition in your family? Share your stories in the comments section below.

Use the arrows or thumbnails to browse this gallery. Click on any image to view its full description in a new window.

  • A deer camp in Wood County ca. 1890.

    A deer camp in Wood County ca. 1890. Hunters pose with their rifles in front of a large harvest of white-tailed deer. Source: McMillan Memorial Library.

  • Tie the buck to the truck, Wisconsin Rapids, 1948-52.
    Tie the buck to the truck, Wisconsin Rapids, 1948-52. The customary way to transport the deer harvest from the woods to home. This group of hunters also bagged a small bear. Source: South Wood County Historical Corporation.
  • My parents, Jon and Deb Zinsli, with two white-tailed bucks, Spencer, Marathon County, 1986.
    My parents, Jon and Deb Zinsli, with two white-tailed bucks, Spencer, Marathon County, 1986. The compulsory color of deer hunting apparel is known as blaze orange. Source: personal collection of Beth A. Zinsli.
  • Antler chandelier in the Pabst Mansion, Milwaukee.
    Antler chandelier in the Pabst Mansion, Milwaukee. Antlers often become trophies for deer hunters. Deer antlers mounted with electric candles provide illumination and a rustic decorative touch to this interior. Source: Cyril Colnik Archives, Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Recipe for Venison Chili Green Bay Style, Milwaukee Journal, 1977. White-tailed deer are hunted for both sport and sustenance, sometimes in the form of chili con carne. Source: Historic Recipe File, Milwaukee Public Library.
    Venison Chili Green Bay Style (view original)
    Milwaukee Journal, March 7, 1977

    2 pounds ground venison (if lean, add ground pork)
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon cumin powder
    2 teaspoons cooking oil
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans
    1 package (8 ounces) noodles

    Brown meat. Blend garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, oil, pepper and chili powder and stir into meat. Simmer 30 minutes. Add flour. Simmer another 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile heat kidney beans and cook noodles. Mix meat, beans and noodles. Makes 8 servings.
    Note: This recipe does not have the tomato flavor often associated with chili.
  • Inlaid box featuring an antlered deer, Menomonie, 1882.

    Inlaid box featuring an antlered deer, Menomonie, 1882. The majestic whitetail in the cartouche is a nine-point buck. Source: Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database.

Sources

The materials in this slideshow come from the following digital collections. Click the links to browse the full collections.

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1 Comment

  1. Those are certainly some great photos! I find them really motivating, as well. It would be great to have such a chandelier in one’s house, imagine the pride you would feel whenever you look at it!

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