Deer Hunt Info
Our hunting lodge is located in Northwest Missouri, 5 miles from the Iowa border which allows us to hunt both Missouri and Iowa. We hunt Harrison and Worth counties in Missouri, Ringgold and Decatur counties in Iowa. These counties are considered by many to be one of the best trophy areas in the country, with several giants being taken throughout the years. Missouri has a 4 point restriction that is only in the northern tier of counties which has helped our overall quality of bucks. We conduct our hunts on more than 20,000 acres of privately owned ground that is managed for high quality trophy whitetails. We have a great mix of terrain that consists of hardwood timber, corn and soybean fields, alfalfa fields, river bottoms, and a lot of CRP fields with food plots.
To ensure trophy quality for years to come, we offer only a limited number of bookings each year. We also have minimum size limits in place for the bucks. The minimum size for archery hunts is 130" and the minimum size limits for firearms hunts is 140". Bucks are taken every year over 150" and we have taken bucks over 200". Our overall average on shot opportunity for archers is 65% and firearms 75%. Shot opportunities are very hard to figure for us, because we have several clients who return each year that pass on shooter bucks waiting on a giant, or a particular buck. Our hunts are conducted from over 425 large, well equipped tree stands, ladder stands, ground blinds and elevated enclosed shooting houses. Our stands are not over hunted, and each and every year we have farms that we do not hunt. We like to rotate our farms to ensure top quality hunting for years to come.
Our deer hunts are 5 ½ days for archery, 5 days for rifle and shotgun, and 6 days for muzzle loader. Our deer hunts are considered to be semi-guided. Each hunter will have a guide that will take you to and from each stand. We normally run 2 to 3 hunters per guide ratio. All of our hunting lands are close, some hunters may walk out of camp and others may have a 10-15 minute ride. We like to get our hunters situated well before daylight to allow plenty of time for the woods to settle down before first light. I have hunted this area since I first started hunting, at the early age of 6, and I know most of the backdoors to get hunters into stands with few disturbances, which makes for a more productive hunt. Our guides take their jobs seriously and they work hard to ensure a top quality experience for our hunters.
Our early season archery hunts start Sept. 15 in Missouri, and this is a great time to take a true giant while they are on a predictable feeding pattern. We hunt soybean fields, food plots and mineral licks this time of year. After the early season, we will continue to hunt the food plots and field edges waiting for the monster bucks to come in and feed. When the pre-rut hits, we will be placing our hunters in travel corridors, fence lines, funnels or pitch points. We will still be hunting food plots, corn fields, and soybean fields at this time of year as well. After the pre-rut, we will be hunting deer during the rut in all the above mentioned places. In Missouri we have a rifle season that is in the middle of the rut which offers an excellent chance to harvest a true trophy. We do not require that our hunters stay on stand all day, however, the longer you stay on stand, the better your chances of bagging a trophy buck will be. We are big on hunting the wind, and we will not put you in a stand if the wind is wrong. If the wind is wrong, we will move you. We do not make our hunters hunt the same stand location for the duration of their hunt; we will move our hunters around. We do believe, however, if the wind is right you are better off to stay with one location. We have taken several big bucks during midday through the years and this is a time of day that is often overlooked. The more trips in and out of the field, the more deer you spook, so if you can hunt all day, you better your chances dramatically. After the rut hunts, we begin our shotgun hunts on the Iowa side and the late muzzle loader and archery hunts in Iowa and Missouri. These late season hunts are excellent and we have some of the best late season hunting grounds where you will see numerous deer and several mature bucks. Year after year, the late season hunts are always a success. In the mornings during the late season we will be hunting travel routes to bedding areas, and in the afternoons we will be hunting over the food sources, waiting for the bucks to come feed.
After you have bagged your trophy, we take care of it for you. We take photos, field dress the animal, and get it to the local processor where you can either donate the meat or have it packaged for your own use. We let the local processor cape out the animal so that it is done professionally. We also have a local taxidermist that does a great job at a reasonable rate.
The licenses in Missouri are over the counter and can be purchased either online or at any Walmart in the state. The licenses for Iowa are on a draw basis, and the application time is early May to early June. You can also purchase preference points in Iowa for increased chances of drawing tags in future years. We hunt Zones 4 and 5 in Iowa.