Missouri Whitetail Deer Hunting Guides Trips Outfitters
Missouri White-tailed deer hunting guides and outfitters have some fantastic whitetail deer hunting action with plenty of deer and big headgear to boot. The state of Missouri is very hunter friendly. Missouri offers over the counter gun and bow-hunting tags that are good statewide. Missouri is covered in excellent white-tailed deer habitat with the state consisting of about half woods and half agricultural land. Many of the more renowned white-tailed deer experts consider Missouri to be the "sleeping giant" of whitetail states. Missouri white-tailed deer hunting guides and outfitters have hunting leases all over the state with many of the areas receiving minimum hunting pressure. Missouri white-tailed deer hunting guides and outfitters boast some astounding hunter success rates on 130 inch deer or better. The state of Missouri is often overlooked by traveling hunters in favor of the more high profile states like Kansas, however, with the ease in obtaining a tag and the state's track record for coughing up big deer, it appears to be a prime destination for the smart hunter. At Hunter's Domain, we have some really capable Missouri white-tailed deer hunting guides and outfitters listed for your convenience in finding the Missouri whitetail hunt that fits your needs. Simply e-mail the outfitter using the e-mail form attached to his site and find the Missouri white-tailed deer hunt that is right for you.
Hunting the Missouri whitetail deer
As you read this, it is time to be very, very serious about your whitetail bow hunting. The rut is on, or nearly so, and this is what we’ve all been waiting for.
As I write this, though, it is a warm week in early May. The verdant spring leaves are just overpowering the birch, the grass is coming up fast, and the ungulates are just now dropping their young. Yet here I sit, thinking already about the rut, and how and where I am going to hunt it.
It is all coming together nicely. There’s a super property in Kansas where my buddy Chuck Jones rifled a whopper 187 10- pointer last year. Illinois, eastern Colorado and western Kentucky all beckon as well. There’s a new property in northern Missouri I have been invited to hunt, and an old friend in Wisconsin asked me over too. I may also follow the rut south and hunt below the Mason-Dixon line in Mississippi and Alabama this year. And who knows where else? All I know is this year, except for a 10-day commitment to guide two hunters for mountain goats in southeast Alaska around Halloween, my new Mathews Switchback and I will be in a tree stand more days than we are not from mid-October through early December.
What I have been thinking about is how I am going to hunt this year. I am a firm believer in the basics – a meticulous scent control system, great care entering and leaving tree stand sites, making sure my stands have adequate cover and, of course, never hunting a stand when the wind is not right for it. These things are a given.
However, if things aren’t shaping up the way I hope they will this year – and if you bow hunt mature whitetails much you know they are always throwing some sort of curve ball – I am going to roll the dice a little bit. This year I am going to see if they can hit my curve ball too.
While a big believer in the basics, I also am a firm believer in doing whatever it takes to make it happen. If it’s within the boundaries prescribed by the law, if it’s ethical, and if it doesn’t interfere with other area hunters, as far as I am concerned, it is part of my bowhunting play book.
Sometimes my buddies chastise me for some of the goofy things I do. Most of the really successful bigbuck hunters I know hunt primarily passively, once they have done their homework and chosen their stand locations. They believe in slipping in and out of their hunting area like ghosts, never over-hunting a specific stand or giving a mature buck any reason to think for a second he is being actively pursued. Even a buddy who is a professional rock-and roll roadie – someone who would think outside the box, a guy more Ozzie Ozbourne than Ozzie Nelson – is all over me after one of my little deer woods escapades doesn’t produce.
I like to call my hunting style “controlled aggression.” After years of doing things by the book, a few seasons back I decided the best way to be a successful whitetail bow hunter was to follow the basics, but then adapt my hunting style to my own personality. It’s the same way I hunt western big game, including elk, mule deer, bears of all persuasions, mountain sheep and goats, and other animals more readily hunted with the spot-and-stalk method. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – but isn’t that the way it is with all bow hunting?
Here’s an example of what I mean. Last year in Illinois, I spotted a huge 10-point whitetail buck tending a hot doe next to a very narrow timber stringer on the edge of a large, bare field. It was raining lightly and the wind blowing a steady 10 mph. The deer dove off into the woods, so I raced the truck around downwind along the woods, jumped out and weaseled my way into the trees, where I started working upwind toward the deer. There! At 80 yards were these two, plus another very nice 8-pointer. If they bedded down, it would be the perfect scenario for a stalk – just like elk hunting.
As luck would have it, the doe – that was so tired from being chased she could hardly keep her head up – headed toward me on the only trail in this narrow stringer of woods, the big buck in tow. Of course, that’s where I was kneeling, and all I could do was back up against a large tree trunk and try to imitate some shrubbery. When she saw me at five yards, she turned and went to my right, up a steep embankment. When I saw antler tips, I came to full draw. The buck also saw me, and I thought, “Who cares?” He was going to follow Sally wherever she went, and when he turned sideways to do so I’d paste him. But when his hackles came up – I really think he thought I was perhaps another buck out to steal his date – I cut the shot. In the dim light, I failed to see the little berry limb between us, and when my arrow clipped it, it sent it right over his right front shoulder.
How big was he? Well, a friend killed him during shotgun season, and he gross-scored right at 190 B&C points. My buddy Stanley, a superb big buck killer, gave me tons of grief for going after this deer and not sitting area stands waiting for him to walk by; but my thought was, I will probably never see him again, conditions are perfect, so should I let him walk out of my life, or go get him? Had I not Bozo’d an 18-yard slam dunk shot, I would have been a hero.
Having seen many good critters walk away from me over the years never to be seen again, my attitude today is, when in doubt, attack!
Bedding Thickets Are Not Off-Limits!
Once in an area I am confident holds a mature buck, or at least has the sign that tells me there are does here and one of them will draw a good deer to her at some point in time, I like to be passively aggressive. That is to say, when the wind is perfect and the area not pounded by other hunters, I will hunt stands set adjacent to bedding thickets in the mornings and on through early afternoon. Conventional wisdom says to leave the bedding area alone so you won’t spook the deer out of the country. I agree with half that philosophy.
You cannot afford to spook the deer, so you need to have these types of areas pre-scouted and stand sites trimmed and prepped well before it is time to hunt them. That said, when the rut is on and the doe is bedding in a specific thicket, butting up against it can pay huge dividends. I did this last fall as well, this time choosing a stand set at the back end of a 100- yard long finger of a food plot set between two small hills and butting against a big bedding thicket. Because of the fickle wind, I could only hunt it about every third day, but each day I did I saw multiple shooter bucks. Trouble was, they kept moving through the very thick cover just out of range. Rather than risk stinking the area up with my scent and leaving fresh cuttings, instead of moving the stand I chose to sit tight and hope one of the big boys would give me a shot. (I said controlled aggression, remember?) I never got a shot here, but that’s okay. I also did not educate any deer, and this year you can bet your petunias I’ll be set up there again.
Climbers Can Pay Off Big
I love to have a climbing stand in camp. One thing I try to avoid is spending a lot of time during a hunt out walking around trying to find a good place to set up. I mean, success is really all about preparation, and the last thing you need is to have a truckload of nimrods stinking up the woods and playing lumberjack setting tree stands when it is time to be hunting.
That said, there are times when things in your chosen spots go deader than the proverbial doornail. Again, you can sit there and watch the hours tick off the clock, or you can make something happen. This is where a climbing stand is worth its weight in bullion.
One time in Kansas, I was on a super property where the stands set for us had just gone so dead you could almost smell rotting flesh. After a fruitless morning hunt, I grabbed the climber and headed off to a series of ridges and hollows that on a topographic map looked like they needed checking out. Nobody was hunting there, so I figured what the heck, I can’t screw anyone else up, and I needed to stretch my legs after five days of hunting so slow I had read three Harry Potter books. If you are looking for whitetail deer in other places, see our Canada Whitetail Deer Hunting page for more.
I walked four hours and found some cool stuff, but about 3 o’- clock I hit pay dirt. Along a ridge top was a barbed-wire fence running its length. At one point along this fence I found the tree I wanted to hunt from. Why this tree? The following components were within 50 yards of it: a large scrape, 30 yards to my right; a deep hollow running up out of the bottom, which passed 25 yards to my left and where the trail crossed the fence 20 yards behind me; and a lone cedar tree, about 16 inches in diameter, that had been freshly shredded by a buck of epic proportions, set right on the edge of the hollow about 15 yards to my left. I was able to climb the tree as silent as a cat, whereby I hunkered down for the afternoon hunt.
I only saw two deer, both bucks – a 21⁄2-year-old 8-pointer that worked the scrape about 4:30 that I decided needed a couple of more years on him – and Big Tobey. BT came up out of the hollow right at dark, a tank-like body, drain pipe-thick neck and Roman-nosed head supporting a massive 8-point rack. He walked right past the rub tree and hopped the fence neat as can be. As for me? Well . . . even us writers miss a “gimme” now and then. I was so excited I forgot to bury my sight pin on the “spot,” and the broadhead cut nothing but air.
Every Now and Then Jackpot!
In southeastern Missouri a couple of seasons back, my friend Glen and I were hunting a big chunk of private land that held some nice deer. Things just weren’t clicking, so rather than sit back and watch another week’s hunt head south, I decided it was time to go nuts. This time I used maps, the weather and a little luck – and finally punched my tag.
It had been hotter than Hades all week, and one thing I know about rutting whitetail bucks is, when they are chasing hard and the weather is warm, they need water, and lots of it. So I used the maps to find all the little ponds I could locate. Next I studied the lay of the land on those maps and chose a spot that just screamed “Hunt me!” Here a small pond was tucked just inside a corner of a woodlot that jutted out into a large green field. It was the perfect place for deer to shortcut through the corner, getting a drink as they passed by, heading from their evening dinner spot to morning bedding cover just over the ridge.
I saw several deer go past that morning when, about 8:30, I heard one racing toward my tree before I ever saw him. Then a doe came whooshing past at Mach 2, followed by a big-bodied 8-pointer hot on her tail. They were on and past me so fast I could barely swivel my neck around and watch. Just as I thought, “Darn! How’d they get by me like that?” the doe came rocketing back past me again, racing back the way she came.
This time I had the bow in hand and release aid snapped onto the string. As the buck shot past my stand, I mouth-grunted as loudly as I could. You could almost smell his tires burning as he skidded to a stop 20 yards away and whipped his head around. Too late! The Gold Tip carbon shaft was already on its way. He never knew what hit him.
All whitetail bow hunting is a dice roll. As the saying goes, “You picks your tree, you takes your chances.” However, when things are not going as planned – which is often the case – why not think outside the box a little bit? The aforementioned tactics are not the only ones. You can build ground blinds, pit blinds or simply hunker down behind some brush and wait ’em out. (How many deer were killed by arrows before the invention of the tree stand?) You can rattle and call aggressively or call passively. You can use a decoy or even two or three. Your tactics are limited only by your imagination.
Just remember to always stay under control, and don’t do something just to be “doing something.” There has to be a reason, and that reason has to be based on current conditions, deer activity patterns, the sign you find, and just as importantly, it has to match your own personality and style of hunting. In so doing, you just may be able to turn snake eyes into a seven. To find out more about whitetails, check out our Whitetail Deer Hunting page.
By Rob Bobb
This article and many more like it can be found by Successful Hunter Magazine. Visit them at www.successfulhunter.com