- White: Winter fishing beginning to heat up as more Missourians catch on (12/16/17)
- Ducking hunting heats up as temps cool down (12/9/17)
- White: Bountiful month of November holds something for nearly all Missourians (11/25/17)
- Twenty-five Missouri counties enact mandatory testing for Chronic Wasting Disease (11/17/17)
- Schell-Osage and Four Rivers conservation areas boast rich duck hunting tradition (11/9/17)
- Dramatic duck population recovery brightens prospects for bountiful season (11/5/17)
- White: ’Tis the season for gorgeous autumn scenery (10/28/17)
A lesson in persistence
Deer hunting will continue this weekend as the firearms antlerless portion runs for three days, Dec. 1-3 in open counties. On Dec. 23 through Jan. 2, 2018, the alternative method will close out the firearm deer season. During the alternative portion muzzleloading, centerfire pistols,air-powered guns, crossbows, atlatls and regular bows may be used.
Deer hunting with a muzzleloader or bow and arrow is a lesson in persistence. Now that the November firearm portion deer season has ended muzzleloading hunters have the alternative part to hunt. Many muzzleloaders chose not to hunt during the November firearm portion although they could have.
Here is one story of a successful muzzleloader.
As the first ray of the sun was visible and a deer was about 100 yards away, standing at the edge of the field, its antlers outlined against the light background. The hunter shifted his position slightly and brought his scoped muzzleloader up to a shooting position. His eyes were glued to the animal.
The buck tested the air in all directions and moved across the hunter’s field of vision. The hunter waited, not wanting to shoot the deer if there was a chance the wary whitetail might not drop quickly.
Slowly the buck started working toward the hill at the hunter’s back. The hunter mentally clicked off the distance … 90 yards. 75 yards, 50 yards … but he still wouldn’t shot.
The buck finally closed to 40 yards, working across a 15-foot opening between the trees. When the buck stopped to check the wind again before proceeding, the hunter squeezed the trigger and the roar and smoke of a black power explosion filled the air.
The buck staggered and raced back toward the field. The hunter followed it with his eyes and marked where it had last been seen. Seconds later the tell-tale crash told him the buck was down.
He swabbed out the barrel of his MK-85 rifle, poured 90 grains of black power down it and rammed a saboted 9mm bullet down the breech just in case the buck wasn’t dead.
Thirty minutes later the hunter was standing over the buck, noting that the bullet had penetrated the heart and lung area.
The long hours of practice with a quality weapon had paid off in a one-shot kill, the goal of a true sportsman. Tony Knight, who developed the MK-85 many years ago said, “I can’t understand the cowboy or Rambo approach to hunting. The idea of spraying enough lead around and sooner or later you’ll hit something is idiotic. True sportsmen are certain where the bullet will hit it’s target, so as to kill the animal quickly and without causing pain and unnecessary suffering to the animal.”
Fred Davis, a Lexington hunter, said, “If deer and turkey hunters would be sure where their bullets or shot would hit as most muzzleloaders are, there wouldn’t be very many hunting accidents.”
After the firearms deer alternative season ends, archers will be returning to their stands and that pleases many bow hunters including Harry Anderson, Springfield. Anderson said, “ I will wait a week or so before going back into the deer woods to give the deer a chance to settle down after the invasion by the army of firearm hunters. Although gun hunters took a lot of deer, there is still plenty of deer left and I love the challenge of bagging a deer with a bow and arrow.”
The archery season runs through Jan. 15 statewide. Vernon County checked 1,636 deer during the recent November firearm portion of the deer season. There were 863 antlered bucks in the total for the county.