Deer Season Has Ended “Now What”!
After Mid January in most parts of the US the whitetail deer season has come to a close and slight depression sets in to even the most avid hunters. Yes the season is long enough but now it has closed for good until next fall. You might have been closing in on that big bruiser that has eluded you all season. There are several states across the southern part of the US that offer hunting till January 31.
They will Show up “If they are still alive”!
For us this time of year becomes exciting as we still run our cameras to see which bucks we still have alive and well strolling the properties we call our hunting ground. Deer we caught on trail camera during late summer and early fall when bucks were in velvet will now show their face. The natural food sources are depleted and they need nourishment more now than ever because of the cold weather. Also, you heard the neighbor shot at and “missed” on of the bucks on your hit list, did he miss, or was the animal mortally wounded?
Helping the Deer Survive the “Harsh Winter”
Feeders are brought back into action for 3 reasons. One, to get the bucks to show up at given places to get pictures and two, is to get needed food in there bellies to help them make it through the remaining harsh winter months. The last reason for the feeders is to watch when the bucks start to shed antlers. We than hit the woods searching for the prize possession, shed antlers. I have found that feeding during this time period will keep the bucks closer to the food source and shed antler hunting is made a little easier.
Camera’s Running and Getting Great Pictures
We have had our trail camera running overlooking feeders for 4 weeks and new bucks and absent bucks are showing up weekly. Some have lost their antlers but the bigger bucks are still carrying them. Waiting for the bigger bucks to loose their antlers before stomping through their areas looking for sheds!
Missouri Deer Season Opens With Archery
Deer season opens in Missouri using archery equipment in the middle of September. It is usually unseasonably warm when early season archery hunting. I personally do not spend much time in the tree this part of the season unless I have a big buck patterned very well, which is tough to do after they shed their velvet. Most of my time is spent scouting and hanging stands for prime time “The Rut”. As the rut gets closer time is spent studying sign left by bucks and the paths in which they are following to get to and from their sanctuary. We start hunting the last 2 weeks of October hoping to catch a big buck cruising from bedding are to bedding area checking for the first receptive doe.
Hunting the Rut In Missouri
When November finally arrives we spend as much time in a tree as we can stand always keeping the wind in our favor, no exceptions. This part of the season you will see bucks that you have never seen before and may never see again. Past history has proven the most buck movement in Missouri deer season is the first part of November and the higher than any other time of the year. After spend many hours bow hunting the first 2 weeks of November the archery tackle gets set to the side and high power rifles are the preferred weapon to use for the 11 day Missouri gun season. Between 1/2 and 2/3rds of the states total deer harvest takes place during this period.
Muzzleloader Hunting Late Season
As the hunting season grows on I can’t wait to hunt the late Missouri Muzzleloader season. All summer long my sons and I watch nice bucks roam their summer range but when their antlers harden and the competition for dominance starts the bigger whitetail bucks become hard to find. So I patiently wait for the late season. It is holding true for us again this year as one of the boys check the camera cards and find the 12 point that we watched most of the summer is back in the area. We are all excited to start putting together the pieces to try and harvest this dandy buck.
We are still hunting this impressive Missouri Buck!!