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Deer Hunting: Getting Started

Published on: Oct. 23, 2013

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almost entirely nocturnal, except when does are in heat during the fall rut or breeding season.

Gear

Missouri offers a variety of deer-hunting seasons. Check and make sure to buy clothing that complies with hunter-orange regulations.

Missouri also allows you to hunt deer by way of a variety of methods. Regardless of method, purchase quality equipment. If you decide to hunt with a bow, get a good one. All bows require implements that reduce the sound of the string when you release an arrow. Compound bows also have cables, which make noise when the bow is drawn and shot. Without quieting implements, deer hear bow noise and bolt — hunters call it jumping the string. Cheap bows tend to make more noise and are more difficult to quiet.

If you decide to hunt with a rifle, again, buy a quality one. You need an accurate rifle with a good trigger. As far as caliber, pick one that is readily available at most places that sell hunting supplies. Know that some bullets for some calibers are quite expensive — more than $2 a shell. The 30-06 is a favorite of many deer hunters, because it is moderately priced and versatile.

Most deer hunters like their rifles equipped with a telescopic sight. Scopes make sighting for a shot far easier. They also gather light, which makes for better shot placement under the low-light conditions of early morning and late evening. Scopes are available for a wide range of prices. Avoid the cheaper ones. You can buy a good scope and mounts for $200-$300.

Tree stands, such as ladder stands and climbing stands, offer three big benefits: They can place you above the line of sight of deer, so deer are far less likely to see you; they help keep your scent off the ground; and they often give you a wider field of view.

The big problem with tree stands is that they can be dangerous. Every year hunters are seriously injured—sometimes fatally—by falling out of tree stands. Most hunters fall when they are climbing in or out of their stands.

If you decide to hunt out of tree stands, don’t hunt out of homemade ones. They are prone to fail. Buy one that meets the standards of the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association (TMA), and buy and use a fall-arrest system that meets TMA standards. Use the system the moment you leave the

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