Articles

  1. Scent Controlled Cleaning and Storage of Hunting Gear

    Every hunter knows that scent is the enemy in the woods. Deer can pick up on your presence long before they see you simply by catching a whiff of your natural bodily smells. This will send deer running in the opposite direction which in turn sends you home empty-handed, making the day a stinker all around. Photo: MDC Now that the off season is here, it is time to wash and store hunting gear for next year. If you're duds have been in a pile in the corner of the garage, waiting to be dealt...
  2. Stay Sharp in the Off Season with a DIY Shooting Bench

    Now that this past Missouri whitetail hunting season is behind us, there is some extra time on our hands that could be put to good use in preparation for next year. It is never too early to begin planning for next season, such as by taking the lessons you learned from this past season and applying them to future ones. This could mean additional target practice or even sighting in a new rifle, both of which are essential to successful future hunts. If you have property on which you can...
  3. Melanism: A Deer of a Different Color

    Imagine setting out into the hunt field in search of the prized whitetail you've been dreaming of for quite some time. In the distance you hear the rustle of foliage. You look up and can see an impressive rack peeking out from around a thicket. As you raise your gun and peer through the sites, a deer steps into view, only that deer does not have the traditional coat coloration of a normal whitetail. Instead, you are staring down the barrel at an all-black or nearly black deer. Photo: TX...
  4. Cases of CWD on the Rise in Missouri

    Chronic Wasting Disease, also referred to as CWD, belongs to a classification of illnesses known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). If this sounds ominous, that is because it very much is. The disease is transmitted through abnormal proteins called prions, going on to attack the spleen, lymph nodes, eyes, spinal cord, and brain of cervids, causing fatal degeneration. Ultimately all infected deer will die of this incurable disease which is on the rise in Missouri with 11 new...
  5. Planning Your Hunt Around Deer Bed Types and Locations

    It is a wonderful feeling to curl up in a comfortable bed for a nice nap, a sentiment that holds true for humans and cervids alike. Though it may seem less important to take note of locations where deer bed down in comparison to food plots, fresh rubs, or heavily travelled paths, paying attention to where deer get their shuteye can provide tremendous insight. Depending in the freshness of beds, they can give clues as to the movement of deer your property. The specific type of bed you find...
  6. 5 Whitetail Hunting Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

    Making mistakes is a part of life that we all know rather well. No matter how hard you try, regardless of the best effort you put forward, sometimes details are overlooked and mistakes are made. This does not make us bad hunters; instead, provided we learn from mistakes, it will ultimately make us good ones. The good thing about mistakes, however, is that all we tend to make the same ones, making it easy to learn valuable lessons from one another. When you find yourself reaching a hunting...
  7. New Tick Borne Illnesses on the Rise

    There is much to consider when planning for a comfortable, successful, and safe hunt. We think about our own needs such as food, water, and clothing. We plan to keep our firearms and bows operational. We consider all the big problems we may face and plan to tackle them, but what about the small problems, such as ticks? Ticks are nasty little creatures that have a taste for blood and they are not picky about what type of host sates their appetite. Once a tick makes its way onto you and takes...
  8. Bleaching Skulls with Hydrogen Peroxide and Water

    When a trophy buck is harvested, the pride and sense of accomplishment is not something we want to soon forget. In order to pay tribute to the animal and the event, the head of the whitetail is often mounted. Typically this is done to look as natural as possible and resemble the deer as it was in life, retaining the look of having a healthy coat and eyes. For some, however, something else entirely is preferred. Photo: Bad to the Bone Skull Cleaning It could be that you want to display your...
  9. Have a Heart: For Dinner, That Is

    Waste not want not is a motto by which many Missouri whitetail hunters live. When you harvest a deer, using as much of the animal as possible should be a priority. Not only is doing so ethical, but it also gives you the most bang for your buck, so to speak. Although we all have our preferred cuts of meat that we enjoy most, consumption can go well beyond, sometimes delving into parts of the deer often overlooked. Photo: Pinterest Making a meal of the unexpected is something to consider as...
  10. Bills on tap to tackle MDC, slash budget, make licenses nearly free

    In Jefferson City there are a number of bills on tap in the state legislature that aim to trim the Missouri Department of Conservation's budget by cutting the Conservation Tax while others pose to do everything from forcing the agency to pay $500 to every motorist hit by a state-controlled deer to mandating dead deer be tested for CWD. In all, there are over a half dozen bills pending for the 98th General Assembly of the Show Me State. (Image from MDC) The breakdown is as follows: HB 315...
  11. The Search for Spring Antler Sheds in Missouri

    When the mating season, or rut, comes to a close, the level of testosterone in bucks begins to decrease. As a result, cells at the base of the deer's antlers begin to deteriorate due to calcium being reabsorbed and pulled away from them. As this deterioration progresses, the weight of the antlers becomes too much for this depleted cell layer to sustain. The antlers then fall from the head of the deer, sometimes together but often times separately, coming to rest on the forest floor where...
  12. Hitting Your Target with the BRASS Method

    When a trophy buck steps into your sights, the last thing you want to do is miss. No matter how perfect the shot may seem, sometimes the bullet still fails to hit its intended target. Though there are many things we could say to explain away such instances, such as the gun and/or scope not being up to the task, sometimes it is necessary to look deeper into the reason why your shot did not hit the mark at which you directed it. Many hunters have years of experience, having taken their first...
  13. Avoiding Rabies While Hunting Whitetail

    There are all kinds of dangers present in the Missouri woods for which all whitetail hunters should prepare. Whether it is dehydration, rough terrain, or inclement weather, we think and plan ahead so we are able to deal with these situations as they arise. Another part of the protection you should afford yourself when hunting is knowing the warning signs of rabies and how to prevent transmission. Photo: WBALTV Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of infected...
  14. Keeping Your Feet Happy During the Hunt

    Hunting expeditions begin with a journey. Often that journey takes place in a truck or on an ATV but at some point the trails end and the foot portion of the excursion begins. Not everywhere you go to hunt whitetail in Missouri is accessible by vehicle, forcing you to depend on your feet. Feet need to be kept clean, warm, and dry for several reasons, and taking care of your feet ensures that they will take care of you. Photo: Griffin's Guide Without healthy feet, your mobility will...
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