On this episode of the DIY Sportsman podcast, Garrett and Bobby recap their out of state bowhunting trip to Missouri
Garrett and Bobby met up to hunt the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, in an area close to where Bobby grew up. From the start, this was going to be a very limited time hunt, since archery season essentially shuts down during firearms season, and the two each only had archery tags. That area of the forest is like many areas that are known as "big woods" in that the habitat is mostly a monoculture. Apart from varied topography and creek bottoms, there isn't much in terms of habitat variance and transitions. Oak trees can be found in all elevations, meaning food, at least at this time of year, is found nearly everywhere for the deer. Private agricultural fields can break up the monotony; however, they typically aren't found on the public ground.
The first several days of the trip included many hours of scouting both on maps and on foot. Initially, it seems as if the deer could travel anywhere, at any time, for any reason. However, after comparing notes and looking at all of the sign as a whole, patterns began to emerge in terms of cruising elevations and funnels. On area in particular that really stood out was a steep, round bowl in the terrain. This bowl, possibly the result of a decades-old sinkhole, created a sharp ledge that deer needed to go around. While there wasn't as much sign there initially, Garrett decided to sit there anyway based on the likelihood that any deer seen would come within range.
After recapping the hunt, Garrett and Bobby conclude with lessons learned, and what they would have done differently the next time around. Many people shy away from large, unbroken blocks of timber; however, they represent a large amount of the public lands that we have available in this country for whitetail, and hunters can certainly hope to have success when knowing and learning about the key things to look for. Missouri Hunt Recap