Skip to main content

Deer Camp: Land, Legacy and Good Eats

Wisconsin family cooks up winning recipe for ‘Deer Camp'

Deer Camp: Land, Legacy and Good Eats
Tim Maglio's eldest daughter Samantha harvested this six-pointer on the property. (Maglio Family photo)

One of my favorite things about “Deer Camp” is that it means something. For every group of hunters, from metropolitan castaways moteling it in style to traditional backwoods cabin groups 75 years in the making, it means something to the individuals who participate.

For some it’s the camaraderie, or the tranquility of time spent unplugged from society. For others it’s the twitch of an ear or the flash of white bounding through the woods as they anticipate the harvest.

My camp is about family, good food and a piece of property. These three descriptors were listed in that order for good reason. Mainly to accentuate the closeness of our group and the gluttonous way by which we award our time spent in the woods; but also to show that these factors are built upon the foundation of our place.

To hunt, you need a place.



Click image to view photo gallery
maglio family



The Maglios are close-knit, Italian-Irish family that grew up in a restaurant and to this day all live within a 10-mile circle. That pretty much covers the family and food aspect of the Maglio camp. What we didn’t have for many years was a place.

That’s not to say we didn’t hunt. Ted Maglio, my grandfather, and his four alliteratively named sons, Ted, Tom, Tim, and Tony, have always been hunters. They have chased deer across the state of Wisconsin with various groups since the 1970s. But it wasn’t until 2003 that we found our place.

The Land

Our place is important to this story. It has a name, Buckridge Trails.

It is 150 acres of paradise located in southwestern Wisconsin, among the prime hunting areas in the country for white-tailed deer hunting. With the perfect ratio of woods to fields in incredible “Driftless Area” terrain, there are enough deer that not filling a tag happens by choice, not from lack of opportunity.


This amazing piece of land, this place where we meet, feast, hunt and unwind, is the result of one man who doesn’t even share our last name, John Terry.

John married Dianne Maglio, the eldest daughter of the Maglio seven and has been equal parts brother, father, uncle and mentor to pretty much every one in the expansive clan.

For years I heard my father (Tom), uncles, aunts and cousins talk about what it would be like to have our own property. John and Dianne made that a reality, and from day one Buckridge became a gathering place like no other, and our deer camp began in earnest.


In 2010, John Terry unexpectedly passed away at the age of 57. It was a shock to our family, changed the entire family dynamic, and turned Buckridge into more than just our deer camp. It’s now his legacy.

Throughout the year, but especially during deer season, we keep John in our thoughts. We keep his treestand up and maintained, pass a bottle around occasionally in his honor, and do the thing he would have wanted most: eat, drink and hunt on his property.

The Food

What discussion of deer camp would be complete without at least a passing mention of the food? Some camps have designated cooks, some have planned meals, and some won’t eat until they have venison hanging from the pole.

We’re a little different. My grandparents owned and operated Lombardinos, an Italian restaurant in Madison, Wis., for 23 years. My father, uncles and aunts all grew up in that restaurant. Several of them met spouses there, and years prior to Buckridge, that was our place.

You get enough former cooks in one room and the discussions can become heated. One of the long-standing arguments in the family is whether or not a bay leaf belongs in spaghetti sauce (for the record, I’m a bay leafer). No matter what, though, the food is great.

Although I hunt with a different group of friends on the opening weekend of gun season, I head to Buckridge the following week, and I can always count on Tony’s prime rib, Tom’s venison nuggets, Ted’s meat sauce and Tim’s stuffed mushrooms.

When we eat at Buckridge, we eat. It’s almost enough to keep me out of the woods and at the dinner table. But then again, there’s that hunting thing, too.

The Hunt

Buckridge actually hunts a lot bigger than its 150 acres would suggest. The property is split by two sharp ridges, creating a number of draws and three primary fields. Because of this, it takes quite a few hunters to cover all the potential deer travel routes through the property.

Steep ridges and hardwoods make travel an adventure, or misadventure. The vertical obstacles have resulted in the choice naming of some of the trails, like Spleen Splitter, The Hogback and The Dugway, to name a few.

We take our hunt pretty seriously, and we still hold to John’s rule that anything inside the ears or under eight points walks, but that doesn’t stop us from dropping a number of tasty does every year to fill our larder.

The Future

At 85, my grandfather is in the twilight of his hunting years, and although my father and uncles have quite a few years left to enjoy the hunt, it’s up to my generation to ensure that deer camp at Buckridge continues as a strong tradition.

It’s looking good; my high-school-aged cousins, Ben, Samantha, Joe and Ashley, have all harvested deer in the last several seasons.

John would be proud.

And if they learn the cooking chops of the family, expect the Maglios to meet, eat and hunt together for many more generations.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean.

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use it as needed.Venison Chorizo Recipe Wild Game

Venison Chorizo Recipe

Allie Doran - October 30, 2020

Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use...

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties are accompanied by melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and Thousand Island dressing and then pressed in between two toasted and golden brown pieces of rye bread.Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe Wild Game

Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe

Kristy Crabtree - October 27, 2020

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties...

Bucks visit them regularly and so should you.Understand How to Use Scrapes to Locate Whitetails Whitetail

Understand How to Use Scrapes to Locate Whitetails

Tony Hansen - October 23, 2020

Bucks visit them regularly and so should you.

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths.5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Sometimes, 'big buck derangement syndrome' makes a passion an obsession.Crazy Talk: Big Bucks Can Lead to Questionable Choices Whitetail

Crazy Talk: Big Bucks Can Lead to Questionable Choices

Jeff Johnston - November 03, 2020

Sometimes, 'big buck derangement syndrome' makes a passion an obsession.

Don't let deer hunting's prime time pass you by. Head to one (or all) of these hot spots for a shot at your biggest buck ever.Rut Road Trip for Big Whitetails in the Midwest Hunting

Rut Road Trip for Big Whitetails in the Midwest

Mark Kayser - November 13, 2020

Don't let deer hunting's prime time pass you by. Head to one (or all) of these hot spots for a...

Convince a mature buck that an interloper has invaded his turf. Then use it against him.5 Intruder Tactics to Trick Whitetail Bucks During Rut Whitetail

5 Intruder Tactics to Trick Whitetail Bucks During Rut

Josh Honeycutt - November 18, 2020

Convince a mature buck that an interloper has invaded his turf. Then use it against him.

Agricultural fields give Southern deer hunters outstanding harvest opportunities.Fields of Dreams Offer Food for Whitetails, Success for Hunters Whitetail

Fields of Dreams Offer Food for Whitetails, Success for Hunters

Terry Madewell - November 05, 2020

Agricultural fields give Southern deer hunters outstanding harvest opportunities.

See More Whitetail

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now