The Missouri firearms season is finally upon us. After much anticipation and a long archery season we were finally trading in the archery tackle for a firearm. Opening day started off kind of slow with just a few deer on their feet and the movement not at all what we had hoped for. Strong winds and cold temperatures kept our hopes high that we would be able to lay eyes on a shooter heading to bed. The morning hunt came and went with no luck. We slipped out of our box blind and went back to the bunkhouse to plan for the evening hunt. We didn’t have any luck that evening, but thought for sure that the following day we would have increased odds of a shooter being on its feet.
Sunday morning we hunted a food source hoping to catch the deer as they headed for the timber. We saw numerous deer, but not the deer we were looking for. The evening hunt was rapidly approaching and we decided to head to a spot that has been very productive in the past. We got into our blind that afternoon and with several deer already moving we new that we would have a good chance of a mature buck coming to the field. I chose this particular spot because of the hundreds of Reconyx photos I have gotten all summer of a great 10 point. This particular buck has been very visible at this camera all season long. This spot overlooks a beautiful Biologic Maximum field, and with a few does and smaller bucks making there way I noticed a good 10-point heading down the hill. I immediately knew the deer and slowly opened the window and got ready to settle in for the shot. Once I got the ok from Ryan my Thompson Center found its mark and the buck expired within 70 yards. It was a great hunt and the deer were really moving. I believe the increase in movement was due to the rising moon in the afternoon. We talk about it all the time and it holds true again that the moon and weather are key elements in getting deer out of their beds and on their feet.
All in all it was a great start to the Missouri firearms season and now that we are tagged out we are getting back to our doe mission that we set out on in early September. Harvesting doe is crucial to herd management and a vital part in growing big mature whitetails. With that in mind we wish everyone out there the best of luck and safe hunting.