With the 2013 Missouri deer season in full swing and rifle season set to kick off this weekend don’t forget to break out your orange. Many hunters will converge on in the woods this Saturday on opening morning, it should be a great time to be in the woods enjoying nature and friends, don’t let it turn into a horrible accident. Make sure you pack your orange vest and hat, I even like to wear orange gloves as that is what a hunter naturally moves the most. Many see wearing orange as a major prohibiting factor, when in actuality it doesn’t affected your hunt as many think because are color blind. I have had several situations where deer look right at me while wearing orange and don’t get spooked at all, it is instead more a matter of having the coolest camo in the woods as if in a fashion show for many. Forget that and opt. for safety! Remember to always wear your safety harness and inspect tree stands before climbing up into them completely, it only takes one time to fall and be paralyzed or even worse end your life. The last safety tip I have to share is one that I have had pounded into my head ever since I stepped into the woods even if I wasn’t carrying a gun and that ALWAYS POINT YOUR MUZZLE IN A SAFE DIRECTION. I hope everyone has a safe and successful hunt, be thoughtful of other hunters and misunderstandings especially in public parks and good luck.
Halloween week continued to be the lucky time of the year for me again last Saturday. I had a great hunt, one of my good friends let me hunt on his property Saturday afternoon. I made a long trek down into the woods with a old heavy climber, I was starting to sweat and was no were being as silent as I was wanting. I tried a round of rattling at about five o’clock and was starting to get uncomfortable in this old stand with seemingly no deer around. About a half an hour later a doe came running out of a thicket behind me to the left. She crossed behind me and came down wind of me to the right of my stand. I could tell she had a hurt right hind leg when she looked up in my direction, I thought the gig was up and she was about to run off. However she calmed down a bit and continued to walk around in front of me. She continued to look in a different direction from which came unlike she was being followed so I sat back down assuming she was alone. Up until now the rutting activity in this area was not progressing to quickly. I was not sitting down for more than five minutes when I heard something coming through the woods from where she came. I turned and seen another deer, and after a few seconds I realized it was a decent buck. I then had to attempt to stand up again without him or the doe who was still out in front of me getting spooked. I thought he make a B-line to where she was to the left of me but he followed her path and cut behind my tree. When I started to slowly turn 180 degrees to my right he was just about right behind me and I realized that if I was going to shoot to my right I would need to loosen my safety harness. When I got my harness to break loose it made a little noise and he looked straight at me very sharply, I thought it was all over when he turned and bolted! My stomach sank when all of a sudden he stopped after running about 15 yards. His attention refocused back on the doe he was following and he headed straight towards her again. He started towards her and walked in front of me at about 25 yards, I drew my bow back and when he stepped into the clearing I let an arrow fly I hit him a little high but right in the vitals. I seen him run up a towards a hill which was very strange to me but soon there after I heard him crashing. I took my stand and bow back to my car and got help giving him a little more time. When I headed back down to look for him with my father I didn’t have to even follow a blood tail I seen some white at the base of the hill and found him laying about 50 yards from where I shot it. I was a great evening and I owe it all to my friend and his family for letting me hunt on this land.
photo by Noppadol Paothong
As the whitetail rut rapidly approaches us extra precaution should be taken on roadways whether they be fast moving interstates or twisting back roads. As the weather gets cooler the leaves are not the only thing changing, deer hormones are also changing and males are looking for females and are not very cautious of much else. Deer can be very deadly if hit on the road at any speed but especially at higher speeds. The combination of a large male buck and a little quick moving car can be a scary combination. The best thing to do is take your time and be extra alert, and most of all if it comes down to choosing in between hitting a deer and other traffic always sacrifice the deer as swerving to miss deer can lead to much worse and deadlier wrecks with other vehicles. For more information visit Missouri Conservations website: