Top 10 Stops for Deer Hunters

Shawano Country has a sizeable population of deer hunters and we can’t ignore that “the season” is upon us!

It’s that time of year when Wisconsin hunters plan life around heading out into the woods and bringing home a freezer full of venison.  For those not from this part of the country, let us tell you that deer hunting season has an almost holiday-like feel.  Days are taken off work, blaze orange gear is aired out from last year’s hunt, bags are packed, and a sizeable stockpile of beer and snacks are purchased and ready to bring along.

Charlie’s County Market
521 South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 524-2523

Shawano’s grocery store of choice for the area’s best selection of beer and liquor, plus a nicely-curated selection of Wisconsin cheeses, a sugar-binge-worthy wall of candy, and a super-stocked meat department.  Run in and grab a case of Busch Light or a mix-your-sixer sixpack of microbrews – whatever’s your style, some bulk gummies, toilet paper, and you NEED those Doritos…now head to the cabin!

Stubborn Brothers Brewery
220 South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0859

Grab a growler, a few crowlers, or just stop in for a pint of one of Stubborn Brothers’ amazing brews.  Based on today’s offerings, we recommend Wild Child Honey Wheat, DC Cherry Tart, Shawano Club Pilsner, or Geisha IPA.  Frankly, they craft everything from porters to sours and fruity wheats; a lil’ something for every beer-drinking deer hunter.

The menu at Stubborn Brothers offers toasty-warm food that any woods-chilled hunter would crave: classic flatbread pizza with pepperoni and sausage, hearty beer cheese soup, big soft pub pretzels, steak nachos… you get the idea.

Twig’s Tattoos
528A South Main Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0859

Been awhile since you got yourself some fresh ink?  Never gotten a tattoo before?  Why not get something to remember this season at Twig’s Tattoos in Shawano.  Our town is lucky to have such a professional, talented tattoo artist.  The work that comes out of Twig’s is simply outstanding, whether it’s a completely new design or a cover-up job.

Note: Generally, you’ll need to book ahead because appointments fill up fast – their work is THAT good!

Pingel Processing LLC
W9248 County Road A, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 851-8281

Pingel’s is located just outside of Red River and is a relatively new addition to the area meat market scene, but is really a re-introduction.  The Pingel family ran a beloved butcher shop in the city of Shawano for decades and now the next generation has taken on the business, with Dallas Pingel opening his own establishment and creating knock-out sausages (think Philly Cheesesteak Brats), gorgeous hand-trimmed steaks, and (we think you’ll appreciate this one) they handle wild game processing.

Wild game processing includes whole deer and whole bear, in season, and they also take scraps – plus, you are guaranteed to get your own meat back.  Pingel’s makes great sausage, so trust them to make you an awesome batch!

Please go check out this clean, new meat market and bring them that buck you bag!  Get yourself a fat ribeye for the grill while you’re there – you deserve it.

Pigeon River Brewing Company
1103 North Main Street #9182, Marion, WI 54950
Ph: (715) 256-7721

The little town of Marion has a hidden gem in the Pigeon River Brewing Company, so if you’re in that neck of the woods, stop in for a pint of “Buxom Lass” Scottish Ale or the self-explanatory “Hop Offer”, enjoyed in a jovial setting.

A full menu is offered and you can get yourself a meaty 1/3-pound Angus burger with that pint or select a prime rib sandwich, flatbread pizza, or choose from a variety of creative sandwiches, wraps, and appetizers.  Why not get another pint of that Buxom Lass before you go?

Mike’s Country Meats
800 County Road M, Tigerton, WI 54486
Ph: (715) 535-4741

The writer of this blog would like to stop right here and tell you something: as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of beef jerky, the jerky made at Mike’s is right on target.  None of that overly-squishy, greasy stuff comes from Mike’s; this jerky is firm, well-seasoned, and has just the right amount of chew.  Just as their website says, this may just be the #1 Jerky in Wisconsin.

Located in Tigerton but available at several local convenience stores (Arby’s 22 Shell in Shawano carries it), you can find bags of Mike’s mean Teriyaki, zesty Black Pepper, sweet and mellow Honey Barbeque, and screaming Carolina Reaper, to name a few.  This is a locally-made snack not to be missed.

Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats
1390 East Grand Avenue, Wittenberg, WI 54499
Ph: (715) 253-4059

Famous for their Applewood Smoked Bacon clear across the fifty states, this 3rd generation family-owned smokehouse in the village of Wittenberg is the real deal.  Make sure to get enough bacon for breakfasts at the cabin all week or you may find yourself making a second trip.

Of course you’ll want that Applewood Smoked Bacon, but if you want to change up your meals while you’re in the woods with the guys, get yourself some of their corned beef hash, smoky ham steaks, pancake mix and maple syrup, beef sticks, cheese curds, and anything your smoked meat lovin’ heart desires.

Twig’s Beverage
920 South Franklin Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 526-5031

Listen, we all know you’ll be having some beers, but what’s “as refreshing as a cup of coffee” in the morning?  You got it: SUNDROP.  Shawanoites (Shawanoans?) drink this sparkling stuff like it’s a cure-all.  For all we know, it might be.

Whether you’re on Team Can (so crisp!) or Team Glass Bottle (you can see the pulp!), this caffeinated citrus soda was really this first of its kind, classified as a “golden cola” way back when.  Made right here in Shawano, Wisconsin, you shouldn’t think of going out to deer camp without a case of those good old returnable glass bottles filled with the locals’ drink of choice.  Or get those crisp, cold cans…you decide!

Brother’s Market
N5858 Lake Drive, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 201-0755

Located at the “gate to The Mooseyards”, this souped-up C-store has everything a local – or a guest – could need.  With a variety of wine and beer at the ready, plus locally-sourced Wisconsin staples like fresh squeaky cheese curds, creamy fudge, smoked fish, and golden maple syrup.  They’ll have what you’re looking for, plus a few new favorites, we’re willing to bet.  Oh, and while you’re there, check out Brother’s Pub just across the street.  They’ve got a huge menu and friendly staff just waiting to make you an Old Fashioned or a stiff Windsor and Coke.

Brother’s has everything you need for the cabin, too: firewood, LP, ice – all the Northwoods staples!

Qualhiem’s True Value
1345 East Green Bay Street, Shawano, WI  54166
Ph: (715) 526-6108

Real Talk: This place is part of the backbone of Shawano life.  Qualheim’s is an institution in this town.  Go there for pretty much anything.  You

know you’ll get to the cabin and find out you need to fix something.  Go there for buck calls and doe pee.  Go there for dog food.  Go there and rent pretty much anything, including a dunk tank (hey, it’s more fun than you think) or a live trap for the possum under your porch.  You get the idea.


Other Shawano Country Seasonal Info for Hunters & Friends:



Wisconsin Autumn: Shawano Country’s Best Fall Park Picnic Spots

As Northeastern Wisconsin’s last warm days are doled out to us over the months of September and early October, we want to take in every last minute outdoors before the snow flies.  Many of Shawano Country’s parks are located on lake- or riverside shores and showcase the beauty of our fresh, flowing waterways, soon to ice over, and trees – ready to explode into color – are everywhere in our Northwoods neighborhood.  Shawano Country’s parks – some of them tucked away in rural corners you may never have visited – offer some of the area’s best outdoor social distancing options for peaceful play, walks, and picnicking.   Speaking of picnicking, we’ve listed our favorite park picnic spots, plus where we recommend you stop for picnic supplies.

Get outside this fall and take in the final hurrah of Shawano Country’s autumn color!

Hayman Falls
N4386 Hayman Falls Ln., Marion, WI  54950

Long known by area nature enthusiasts for its magically gnarled cedars rooted atop boulders, its rapidly flowing section of the Embarrass River, and riverside pathways and swimming holes, Hayman Falls is a local favorite.  This glimmering riverside park feels almost like a movie set, with twisting cedars and sparkling waters accessible via trails that run alongside the river and wind through the park… there’s even an island you can (usually) wade out to!

Hayman Falls also has playground equipment, enough room for a makeshift baseball game, and picnic shelters, so bring the kids!  There are also grills available if you want to prepare your picnic meal on site.

Best Hayman Falls Picnic Pick: Get Hurricane Dawn’s  to go!  Order bar favorites and take them to the park.  Hurricane Dawn’s is a just few minutes away from Hayman Falls, in Pella (mapped as Marion), Wisconsin, and it’s on the way if you’re coming from Shawano.

Heritage Park
524 N. Franklin St., Shawano, WI  54166

Adjacent to Sunset Island Park, which is also part of our park system and appears later in this list, which is alphabetical, Heritage Parkis located in the City of Shawano and it contains a glimpse into the area’s rich history.  Featuring historical buildings from the city’s beginnings, Heritage Park encourages you to imagine the early years of Shawano’s development as a logging community and a booming town on the Wolf River.  Just across the street, the Shawano County Historical Society building holds a huge amount of information on the area’s early European settlers and businesses of the past, for both the city and the county.

When you’re done strolling through the grounds and taking in breaths of the past, take your picnic lunch over to Sunset Island Park… more on that Heritage Park sister location, to come!

Mielke Park
N5649 Airport Rd., Shawano, WI 54166

On the grounds of Shawano’s Mielke Arts Center Shawano County Arts Council, you can enjoy wooded trails circling tranquil ponds and weaving around the forested grounds of our area’s only performance theater.

During the summer season, Mielke Park is the location for many of our area’s arts festivals, from folk music to crafts.  There’s a playground for the littles and a picnic shelter with a view of Shawano Lake’s southwestern corner, located right across the street.

Best Mielke Park Picnic Picks: Order from Brothers’ Pub or The Launching Pad.  Located about a quarter mile down the road in either (opposite) direction, both of these Lake Drive restaurant-and-bar establishments have terrific menus.  Hit The Launching Pad for seriously bangin’ burgers and Brothers’ for creative wraps… both are perfect carryout foods for your picnic!

Oconto River Park (Pulcifer Park)
Highway 22, Pulcifer, WI  54124

Located approximately 30 minutes Northeast of Shawano, between Pulcifer and Gillett on the Oconto River, is Pulcifer Park.  Featuring fishing platforms so you can cast away and a boat launch available for put in and take out, our easternmost county park offers a place to stretch out and enjoy the tranquil stillness on the banks of a Lake Michigan tributary.

Oconto River Park Picnic Pick: Lakeview Convenience (on the hill in Cecil) is a great option for grab’n go hot deli sandwiches, delicious broasted chicken by the piece or bucket, breakfast items, baked goods and more.

“The Rock”
Butternut Rd., Richmond, WI 54166

This one’s kind of a secret.  It’s not a County Park but we would be remiss in leaving it off this list of local favorites.  You may have to ask a local to find it, but your hint from us, is that it’s on the Red River in the Town of Richmond, close to Weed Dam.  The Rock’s true name is Gilmer Falls, and the granite boulders strewn across the amber waters of the Red River are big enough for sunbathing, fishing from, and some even serve as natural slides and whirlpools.  There are no picnic shelters or tables, but if you love natural water and geological features, this is your park.

Here’s all we ask: Please don’t trespass to find this gem (Note: It’s not at “The Novitiate”) and please, PLEASE no glass bottles at this park, as with all of our parks.

Best “Rock” Picnic Pick:  Shawano Country’s beverage of choice, Sun Drop from Twig’s Beverage …but NOT in glass bottles, please.  😊 Grab a can or plastic bottle of Shawano’s favorite “Golden Cola” and bask, riverside, on the warm rocks at this jewel on The Red.

Shawano Lake County Park
W5791 Lake Dr., Shawano, WI 54166

In the center of Shawano Lake’s North Shore, one of Shawano’s most popular parks has seen loads of upgrades over the past few years.  Not only does this park have a gloriously sandy swimming beach perfect for the summer months, but also a campground, picnic shelters, grills and picnic tables scattered about, playground equipment galore, and a large gathering space available for rental for weddings and parties of all kinds.  Yes, there’s a boat launch.

Best Shawano Lake County Park Picnic Pick:  This park has a concession stand, The Shawano County Snack Shop, so order up!  If you’re visiting in the off season, we suggest packing your lunch, enjoying your day at the park, and then heading to Classic’s Restaurant & Lounge, just south of the park on Lake Drive, for dinner and drinks.

Sunset Island Park (aka “Monkey Island”)
524 N. Franklin St., Shawano, WI  54166

Known to most locals as Monkey Island, Sunset Island is a sister to Heritage Park.  Pull into the parking lot at the corner of North Franklin and West First Streets in Shawano, and take the footbridge over to the island.

Sunset Island has a picnic shelter and several spots around the island where you might want to throw a bobber in the water and see if you get a bite.

Best Sunset Island/Heritage Park Picnic Picks:  Stop in at Charlie’s County Market and check out their picnic-ready selection of cold deli items, like taco dip, subs, salads, wraps, and other chilled bites.  They also have daily hot deli item features like ribs and baked chicken.

Wittenberg Park & WOW Walk
104 Park St., Wittenberg, WI 54499

Western Shawano County and has some of the most fantastic murals you’ll see in the state of Wisconsin.  Painted by a variety of artists and showcased on the village’s businesses and historic buildings, there are nearly 30 murals to visit in this quiet, rural village, which is a high concentration considering the village’s population hovers around 1,200.  The colorful murals of the Walls of Wittenberg depict a variety of real area people, activities, industry, and culture that represent the heart of this small town.

You can take a self-guided walking tour of the murals and stop at Wittenberg’s Washington Park for your picnic.  This small-town gathering space has picnic shelters and tables and plenty of playground space, plus a beautifully restored 1940 band shell, completed as one of the country’s New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects.

Best Wittenberg Picnic Pick: Grab a hot or cold lunch from the Hanke’s Sentry Foods deli.

Voelz Memorial Park at Wilson Lake
Oak Rd. Wittenberg, WI 54499
Though you won’t likely be taking a dip in fall, this lakeside park offers a beach for swimming, picnic shelter and tables, and ski trails for the winter months.  There’s also a boat launch and plenty of space to wander around this 110-acre patch of hidden Wisconsin beauty.

Best Voelz Memorial Park Picnic Pick: Stop in at Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats for some of Wisconsin’s best meat and cheese snack items!

Finally, here’s Shawano County’s Summer Recreation Map.  Although it has some seasonal elements that might not apply as we turn towards winter, this map shows area picnic shelters, boat launches, and other key features for those wishing to explore the public, natural beauty and resources of Shawano Country.

For updates on our area’s favorite parks, follow Shawano County Parks on Facebook…and get outside and enjoy everything Shawano Country has to offer before winter sweeps in!