Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

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Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Jerod B. on Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:09 pm

Looking at some spots kinda in the central part of the state....east-northeast of Jefferson City....

Seems the rifle season does not open until after the pre-rut(Nov 13ish)

But also was wondering about the crowds during that time and if it would be just as good in October....

Buddy and I will be heading on over next year.....
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby alsbows on Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:52 am

JB,

I don't think you can beat the period between November 2nd and November 10th. It is during this pre-pre-rut period that the bucks are on their feet and covering ground.

I don't know what it's like in texas, but our northern bucks do a lot of cruising right at mid-day so you almost have to stay in your stand all day long.

I know how difficult that can be but the rewards are great.

As an aside. Ohio offers tags over the counter and it is a real sleeper state that is loaded with huge parcels of public land.

Good luck,

Al
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Jerod B. on Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:50 am

that is funny, I was really looking at Ohio a while back....maybe next trip....this one is far enough :D

I love the all day hunts, really wanted to go when I could have an excuse to stay all day

thanks, JB
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Keef on Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:15 am

JB can't help you with the Jeff City area. It's 4 hours from my place. I just met a guy who had hunted not far from Jeff City and he was pretty high on the public land. He had taken a nice 9 point.

The rifle season is busy for sure but not as bad as some states.

I agree with Al that being out all day would be smart. Good luck, let us know how it goes.
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Treeguy on Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:27 pm

Public land during rifle season in Missouri is very crowded. It looks like a pumpkin patch. If you can come a couple of weeks earlier around the first of November and bow hunt you'll find a whole lot less crowds, and some real good pre-rut activity. The week prior to rifle season can be real good hunting too, but you'll find a lot of people out in the woods scouting and hanging stands for the gun opener.

I don't know a lot about the Jefferson City area. I know the area around Columbia and just North of there is usually producing some nice bucks. As a general rule the farther North you go in Missouri the bigger the deer and bucks get. North of the river is mostly farm land and produces some real big boddied deer. They'll make your Texas deer look like dogs. You'll find lots of cropland, timberred draws, and wooded fence lines up North. The central and southern parts of the state are often more Ozark hills areas. There you'll find huge oak and hickory forests with lots of cedar trees in them. The deer primarily feed on mast there and are generally slightly smaller than the northern crop fed deer. It really depends on what kind of hunting you want to do, and what type of land you want to hunt.

I live up North and mostly hunt the crop lands. I have a place down in the Ozark areas that we hunt sometimes too. Hunting and patterning the deer is much easier in the farmlands up North, atleast for me. Food sources and bedding areas are much easier to identify, especially if you are limited on time during your hunt.

Be sure and check out the MDC website. They have a lot of good info on there. Including an atlas of all the public land in the state, that will give you maps and rate the quality of hunting on each piece of land.
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Jerod B. on Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:09 pm

Thanks Treeman.....we have already gone to the site and done some navigating....got maps, etc...


I got a question....

In the bowhunting only areas, are youth allowed to hunt with guns there during the youth season????
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Treeguy on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:35 am

Jerod B. wrote:

I got a question....

In the bowhunting only areas, are youth allowed to hunt with guns there during the youth season????



I don't think so. The archery only areas are usually off limits to all gun hunting. But I would check with the local office of the MDC to be sure. It would stink to drive that far only to find your area full of hunters.
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Jerod B. on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:43 am

thanks........we got a while to plan, but only a few months to lock in vacations :roll:
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby bakerb on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:50 am

Good advice here JB

First part of November is the best time for lands that will see gun pressure. If you're hunting private, or have access to places that don't recieve a lot of gun pressure, I'm gonna break from the pack and say that the week of Thanksgiving is the best time to hunt

I've had my closest encounters, and killed my best bow buck over the week of Thanksgiving. But during that time I'm hunting the fringes of "sanctuaries" that don't recieve much rifle pressure, but the surrounding areas are pounded.

As far as Jeff City. . . I lived in Columbia for a couple of years and worked in Jeff City. My thoughts are that you'll have to key on terrain features. Jeff City area around the river can be hilly. There are crop fields, but lots of hills and oak ridges too. Hunt high in the morning, and low in the evening. And have fun :D

And I'm going to take exception to Treeguy's southern deer comments. . . Southern Missouri is capable of producing just as big of deer as northern Missouri. Maybe a little less because of a little less agriculture, and soil that's not quite as rich. But the riverbottom areas can produce some huge deer. THe problem with Southern Missouri is that there's usually so much brush that deer are far less visible. I know I've chased around some true Booner quality deer in S. Missouri, but with hundreds of acres of escape cover, and multiple avenues of travel through the never ending brush, it's dang hard to narrow one down

If you need anything while you're up here, let me know. I'm about 2 hours from Jeff City, and have some relatives there if you need to be bonded out of jail or something :lol:

Feel free to pm and/or email if needed.

And over on AT, my guru bow neighbor is "sickwithit". Give him a hard time for me

Bake
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Re: Best time to hunt Missouri?????...public land

Postby Treeguy on Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:13 am

bakerb wrote:And I'm going to take exception to Treeguy's southern deer comments. . . Southern Missouri is capable of producing just as big of deer as northern Missouri. Maybe a little less because of a little less agriculture, and soil that's not quite as rich. But the riverbottom areas can produce some huge deer.



I didn't mean to offend your southern Missouri deer Bake. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I have seen some big ones down there too.

I just want JB to take home a cooler full of venison that is a little heavier. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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