The tenth of November is a big day for hunters and deer alike. From one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, you can sit outside and finally bring down the deer that you’ve been watching all summer. Occasionally, it’s a lot harder to kill a deer than it looks, as the best laid plans of mice and mend don’t always fall into place, leaving you outside without even seeing a deer, or you harvest a deer and don’t know what to do next. Even with ten days set aside expressly for hunting, you still might meet less deer than you wanted to.
Compiled here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready to hunt some deer. Whether this is your first time, or you do this every year, you can’t get out in the field too prepared for what comes next.
Safety is a Priority
We all know that safety is one of our main priorities as we go hunting, especially with firearms. Remember to practice proper gun safety while handling firearms. Remember to identify your target before you fire so you don’t accidentally hit something other than a deer. Unload your gun before climbing up into your deer stand, so no mishap occurs.
Patience is a virtue, and when it comes to hunting, you need patience in abundance. There is no rushing when it comes to deer. Before hunting season starts, it can be helpful to track and make mental notes of the deer patterns throughout the day. Deer are normally most active in the morning and towards the evening. Deer can often be found near the edges of forests or fields, and it can be helpful to arrive much earlier than the expected time of the deer. Stay patient and quiet, and deer will eventually show themselves.
Location, Location, Location
Find a good position for your time out in the field. Whether that’s in a deer stand, on the ground, or in a hale bail in the middle of a field. Bring some scent to cover your human odor and try to place yourself upwind of the deer trail. Try to remain motionless, especially when you see a deer, as they have good eyes as well as ears. When aiming, go for the “kill zone,” an area 4 to 6 inches behind the left elbow of the front leg. This will make it more likely for you to hit the deer’s heart, killing it faster.
After making your kill, you’ll want to tag your deer. This can be done online or over the phone. If you do it online, just fill in the form provided here and write the eight-digit confirmation number on your deer permit when you finish. The deer must be checked in by 10 PM on the day of killing it per Missouri state regulations.
For more information about deer hunting rules and regulations, visit the Missouri Department of Conservations website here. For more information about deer harvesting (recipes, how to telecheck, restrictions, and limits) click here.