Chronic Wasting Disease

Missouri deer hunters can help fight the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in the Show-Me State by taking their harvest to designated CWD sampling stations in CWD Management Zones Nov. 11-12, or participating in voluntary sampling of deer harvested outside the management zones.

Find a group of does during early to late November and stay with them. There is no need to try to find the big bucks. I guarantee you if you know where the does are, they will come into two days of heat some time during that period and bucks will show up because they only have one thing on their mind during the rut, and that’s S-E-X. 

The bucks forget to eat and sleep. The only purpose behind every breath they take during the rut is to breed. Typically, the most secretive and cagey of creatures, they undergo a radical change when the smell of doe in estrus fills the air.

Any buck that isn’t already tied up with a mate will be checking out any other does to test their receptiveness. If you can find where one or more does are going to feed during the evenings or early mornings, you’ll also find big bucks that are blinded by love.

Don’t shoot

Don’t shoot the first buck you see entering a field or passing along a trail if you hope to take a trophy. Smaller bucks will usually move into an area first, and then the big boys. 

Think about this

If you will not shoot a doe and will only shoot a buck, you could be hurting your future deer hunting. Too many does having too many fawns can eventually mean too many deer for the available food supply. Too many hunters shooting small bucks just so they can say they got a buck is not good either. To have big bucks in the future, you have to give them a heartbeat.  

The value of the outdoors

The outdoor recreation industry is a powerful force in the overall U.S. economy, with consumers spending $887 billion annually on outdoor recreation and creating 7.6 million American jobs. 

Outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating and even wildlife watching are an important economic benefit to our nation. They are also a great benefit to our well-being both mentally and physically. 

Why i hunt

I know it’s hard for some people to understand why I hunt. They don’t understand that I don’t hunt just to kill a bird or animal. 

I hunt to watch the sunrise over a frosted field. I hunt to hear the sound of geese flying high in an autumn sky. I hunt to enjoy the retrieve or the point of a well-trained dog.

I hunt to feel the cool wind in my face and warm sun on my back. I hunt because out there, there are no computers, no televisions and I escape for just a little while. I hunt because I get to spend quality time with my sons and grandkids and make memories that will never be erased. I hunt because it has created lifelong friendships.

I hunt to see a deer sneaking through the woods, and sometimes I don’t even draw my bow or raise my gun. When I do, I’m respectful of the animal I’ve harvested and give thanks for the opportunity to feed my family and enjoy this moment in time. That’s why I hunt!

Something to think about

“As sure as we are given the gift to share moments with our friends and family in God’s natural world, we are as indebted to pass along a spirit of stewardship to those who follow.”

- Johnny Morris                             

Larry Whiteley was born and raised in Nixa. He was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in honor of his over 40 years of communicating the great outdoors all over the world through his outdoor articles and radio shows.

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