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Hello, I am new to this forum and I a looking for some advice on hunting deer in southern Missouri. I live in central Illinois and I am going to be visiting family near St. Louis in late December. I would like to hunt public land during the 12/23-1/2 muzzeloader season. This is the first year my teenage sons will be hunting with me and we are mostly looking for an adventure and to spend some time in the woods. We hunt for meat and would be happy to shoot a doe. We are not looking for a large buck. I have been looking at OnX Maps and Google Maps and it looks like the Rocky Creek and Current River Conservation Areas would be good places to go. I am also intrigued by the possibility of seeing elk in that area. I am wondering how much hunter pressure there will be in those areas during this season? What are the primary food sources that time of year? I assume a good mast year will mean the deer are feeding on acorns. I also see small fields in that area that look like they could be food plots. Are the woods open enought to allow for spotting deer from a distance and hiking without bushwacking? I appreciate any other advice or suggestions this group would have about these and other areas for me to consider.
 

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High-tech Hillbilly
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That late in the year there is not that much pressure there, especially if you go on weekdays. Acorns are the primary food source. If you stay in the woods, it will be close-quarters hunting. I would say 50 yards would be a long shot there.
 

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If you go to that part of the state to put boots on the ground ahead of time; take plenty of permethrin. Ticks are no joke. Good luck I really have no info on either area but ^^^^^^ is correct there is some rough country in the area.
 

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Lots of hunting pressure around and close to the town of Ellington. The Current River CA gets pounded pretty hard.
 
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