Deer hunters

MISSOURI DEER HUNTERS celebrate 75 years of firearms deer hunting in the Show-Me State in 2019.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Hunting License Data Report, there were 1,120,620 hunting license sold last year in Texas. There were 930,815 licenses sold in Pennsylvania and 684,364 in Tennessee. Now, add in the 486,025 hunting licenses sold to us Missouri hunters. 

If hunters from just these four states were an army, they would be the largest army in the world. 

Now, add in our other 46 states and the total number of licenses is 15,158,443. Those numbers don’t take into account legal gun owners who don’t hunt but enjoy shooting sports, they conceal and carry or keep guns for home protection. 

Plus, if you watch the news, there are 5 million new legal gun owners just this year, mainly because of things that have happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The point is, America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of homegrown firepower.

Gun ownership is a matter of national security both from outside and inside America. Those who want to control us want to see us disarmed. What they seem to forget is that these same firearms owners also vote.


"You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."

--Japanese Admiral Yamamoto


Hunting seasons are almost here, but fall is also an excellent time to go crappie fishing. As the water cools, crappie will begin to move from their deep water summer hangouts to relatively shallow water at about 6 to 12 feet. Fall crappie can be very aggressive. As you drift along drop-offs, try different depths with jigs until you find them.

The best time to go in the fall is just prior to a major cold front. Crappie will be very shallow filling up their stomachs on everything from shad to insects getting ready for the cold winter they know is coming. Doesn’t crappie in the freezer for frying up this winter sound good?


Hiking gets you away from technology, jobs, bills, bad news, COVID-19 and everything else you have to deal with on a daily basis. You also get exercise, build up your immune system, enjoy time alone or with family, get back in touch with nature and have an amazing adventure. 


It is critical that you are able to slip into your deer stand without being seen, smelled or heard. Don’t take the easy, direct path. Go way around, hike a creek or whatever else you need to do to go undetected. Remember, a white tailed deer can see you, hear you and smell you long before you see it.


Archery deer hunters should be hoping for rain showers in September. Rain causes green up for deer to browse on in thickets, forbs, power-line cuts, and logging roads. More deer than you would ever imagine feed in these spots.

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

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