USA: Missouri Deer Hunting

USMA84DAB

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Since communist Chinese flu has wrecked many safaris, I thought that I would share how deer season went here in MO.

We opened 14NOV20 for rifle season and it ran to the 24th. We have a doe only season this FRI - SAT.

The prior weeks we had no rain, as in 1" cracks in the ground dry.

A battle buddy from deployment in Djibouti asked me to show him how to hunt. He drove up from TX on THU. On the way north, 6 miles from the KS border on I-35, he tagged an 8 point buck with his car. Both sides lost - car totaled, buck deader than a rock. He got a 2500 Ram with cowcatcher the next day and finished driving up to MO.

Opening morning we sat on a plateau looking over a flood/creek valley. My buddy's son also tagged along, so I sat between them. All of us sat on 5 gallon plastic buckets. A 6 point buck waltzed by - MO has a 4 point on one side requirement, so we had to watch him walk by.

A couple of doe meandered in from the left, in front of the son. He raised the M-1 Garand with scout scope (Burris 2-7X) and learned that one should not leave the scope on 7X. After waving it around for 15 seconds, the does got the idea that they should find somewhere else to be. He never got a shot.

We got up to 40MPH winds, so the deer bedded down. My property is just a "gentleman's estate of 20 acres that butts up against a 700 acre wildlife area. Apparently all the deer were in the hollows over there. The wildlife area is huntable by archery or shot only, so we were stuck with waiting for the wind to die down and the deer to start moving again.

Nothing else was seen until MON morning. My buddy was still with me, but his son had to go to work. My buddy had a LARGE doe waddle by in front of us - west to east - he has a Savage 110 Tactical in .308WIN with a Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 firedot. He could not get onto her before she moved behind foliage and he never got a shot. Another lesson on learning how to use a scope! He had to leave at noon with deer seen, but not taken.

I was on my back in bed now due to a missing disc from my time with our rich uncle. Seems raking the trail leading to the stands rocks my vertebrae in a way that crushes a nerve bundle. About FRI, I was back on my feet and ready to go.

We got a north wind, so I took up a ground stand, sitting on the concrete baseline of my 100 yard range looking into the wind. A deer trail crosses the range at about the 50 yard mark, so the plan was to sit for the first 1-2 hours, then still hunt north to the house, and then to the north boundary. I was set at 0645 and watched it turn light. About 0715 a doe walks onto the range at the 100 yard mark. I get the rifle up and start finding the aiming point and she steps behind my target board! As she fiddle farts around back there, I can occasionally catch an ear tip, her nose, but obviously can't shoot for lack of seeing her clearly. She eventually stepped out from behind the board heading back west/the way she came in. It seemed as if maybe the herd matriarch had alerted/summoned her? She was visibly more tense.

About three steps out from behind the board, I squeezed off a 270 grain Speer softpoint in .375 Ruger. I feared I had flubbed the shot as she seemed to be startled by the noise as opposed to taking a bullet. She ran back east behind brush and I had no second shot. I waited 10 minutes and walked down the range to the target area. At about the 25 yard line, the matriarch broke out in flight across the creek valley behind the range. I out the red dot on the leading edge of her brisket, but it seems that one of the trees or bushes that were rushing by in the scope turned the bullet. She stopped up the creek valley a hundred and 50 yards or so and snorted at me three times to put some salt in the wound.

When I got to the target board I began looking for blood. Foot by foot I searched the ground. About 6' behind the target board are some T stakes that I hang steel plates on. On the grass at the base of the two stakes were some spots of blood. Not enough to be very encouraging, given the cartridge I used. Then I found a 3" piece of rib to the right and breathed a sigh of relief. About 12' west, I found the next drops of blood, then another 10' some more, a bit heavier. And so it went for 30 yards. She was piled up on a little knoll. A softball-sized clump of intestines had leaked out of the exit wound. I clipped the bottoms of her lungs/didn't allow enough for her right to left movement. Lesson for me to do better on shot placement.

I will put the pics in the next piece.

2020 small doe.jpg
 
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USMA84DAB

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So first pic is the hanging doe to let you get an idea of her size. A one year old - good and tender.

Then a pic showing the entrance hole with hide on, and then the exit hole with hide on.

Hide off pics of entrance and exit.

Pic of the rib piece.

I then tried to capture the entrance and exit holes from inside the chest cavity. The entrance hole is very hard to see at the end of the knife blade, but I think you can find the exit hole easily enough.

I took this doe on FRI morning. Another post for the 2nd doe.

2020 small doe.jpg
2020 small doe hide on entrance.jpg
2020 small doe exit with hide.jpg
2020 small doe - entrance skinned.jpg
2020 small doe - skinned exit.jpg
2020 small doe piece of rib.jpg
2020 small doe - interior entrance wound.jpg
2020 Small Doe Exit wound internal view.jpg
 
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USMA84DAB

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MON morning I was back on the plateau overlooking the creek valley. This was the position where we had seen the three deer opening SAT, and the big doe the prior MON.

I was seated and quieted down by 0645. About 0705 hours a BIG doe tries to sneak by me coming from the NE heading SW. She was sneaking, but I heard her in the leaves, and then picked up her silhouette. About 25 yards out from me she cleared trees and I sent a 200 grain .358WIN round through the center of her chest cavity. She lurched and bolted SE, running about 30 yards up onto a small finger ridge. Then she just tipped over.

The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 firedot was perfect for the low light shot!

The blood trail was so strong a 5 year old could have tracked her! Shot placement makes a huge difference!

Pics for her show Skin on entrance and exit, then skinned entrance and exit. When I removed her right shoulder all of the tissue under the leg was filled with blood from the entrance shock.

The AR-10 I built for this shot is last.

I may sneak out on FRI for the second/doe season and see if I can snag another one. Backstraps and steaks are tasty!

358WIN doe hide on entrance.jpg
358WIN doe hide on exit.jpg
358WIN doe skinned entrance.jpg
358WIN doe skinned exit.jpg
 

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Wyatt Smith

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Sounds like you had some fun. Our second season starts Thursday and ends Sunday.
I’m 2 hours from St. Louis in Illinois, where in MO are you hunting?
 

CAustin

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Congrats buddy!
 

curtism1234

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I hunt in the middle of the state. Saturday it poured rain most of the day and Sunday was brutally windy. Saw lots of deer in the rain but they hate the wind.

Having a 18 month old child at home, my away time is limited. I shot the 1st two does and the first 7 pointer (stupid antler rule) that went by.
20201117_182852(1).jpg
 

USMA84DAB

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Nice buck and freezer harvest!

He would be a really big trophy here - not much for antlers in this neck of the woods.
 

Shootist43

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Nice shooting Capt. Dan. Our 9 day family hunt was a bust as far as harvesting any venison was concerned. I did get a measure of satisfaction watching my 10 year old grandson sticking to his "guns" so to speak and pass on smaller bucks and does while waiting for a large buck.
 

USMA84DAB

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I waited here at Beachheim for many seasons for a buck - of any size - and finally realized that doe in the freezer beat waiting and going hungry.

Great, however, that a youngster is building the patience/character!

The .375 Ruger load was the one you gave me, BTW.

Tomorrow is 2nd season (doe only) and I think given all of the BS going on in the nation, I will go ahead and see if I can put one more deer in the freezer.
 

Shootist43

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Home processed venison i.e. sans silver-skin etc. is always good. Do you use butcher paper or vacuum pack?
 

Ridgewalker

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Fun hunt! I’m certain your bud learned a bit from your hunt together. I’m envious of the tender meat!
Sorry about your back, but thanks for putting yourself in harm’s way to keep my freedom!
 

USMA84DAB

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I felt like I let him down - should have asked the question - "Do you have your scope set on the lowest power?" So I learned how to be a better guide. I bet he will remember that lesson though!

Field testing of rifles/cartridges is fun!

Was out a bit this morning for 2nd doe season - just saw squirrels, but everything coated in frost and still hunting was fun.
 

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