Cover Fall Winter Summer

From A Missouri Stand

Cover Fall Winter SummerA doe picture from stand within a wood lot.

No big deal. Probably immediately dismissed by those who call themselves trophy whitetail hunters. We understand. We ask all to understand this web site attempts to address hunters of all levels.

We get to see a fair number of doe while deer hunting. Far more in Missouri due to Missouri having a larger whitetail herd. This is caused by Missouri’s increased deer cover compared to Kansas.

That cover is along the more dense river, stream and dry drainage of the lower Missouri elevation creates within the Missouri River Bottom country.

Higher deer density in Missouri with its four-point one side restriction zone has been producing a higher number of quality trophy whitetail. One of this country’s rare examples of successful enforced state level deer hunter standards. Consequence however, is filtering through more doe and scrap rack until a trophy does come by.

Iowa deer hunting is pretty much similar. All Association Iowa lease land is within the Grand River Watershed. A large area of density packed streams. Good soil, good rain, grows large grain crops of soybean and corn. Contrast with Kansas small grains of wheat, milo.

Kansas is different in from east to west Kansas it transitions. So does its deer hunting. East Kansas within the Central Lowlands, or an area composed of the Lower Missouri River Basin has more corn/soybean. Hunting in this region is largely by stands. Plenty of trees.

A bit further in west Kansas are the Great Plains. This is where tree stands become more sparse, their selection more refined. Lower deer density, more wheat/milo.

Western Kansas marks the beginning of transition from Great Plains to High Plains. Only a handful are successful at deer hunting this largely open land of few trees. Overlapping Mule Deer populations exist. Whitetail densities are the lowest in the state. More rifle than bow ground.

What all this means is deer density is greatest in the east of Kansas and decreases the further west traveled. Or, in east Kansas seeing many deer of all types. West Kansas seeing but few of any deer while in stand.

A further largely Kansas element many do not handle well are the native grass areas. Grass high enough to conceal a trophy at 50 feet. Add a little ground contour and a buck may circle a hunter without that hunter ever knowing it was there. Far different than woods hunters who have many clear keyhole shots at 50 feet in all directions.

In The Field Hunter Scouting

Provided by Andrew E., are some deer in woods pictures from a winter scouting trip.

We know most web site reviewers of a deer hunting web site want to see a great series of trophy whitetail harvests. To do so would represent just how challenging deer hunting is. What is realistic to describe in pictures and text is more of other than trophy whitetail will be seem. What is real is the majority of hunters will travel home at the end of their hunt and season with unfilled tags.

More Than Woody Cover

Any one with any time in our central mid-west area knows tall warm season grass means deer. We found this one while on a land run through Kansas. A June 18 picture showing potential rack quality.

“Thirty acres of high grass means more than 100 acres of woods.” From a successful Iowa deer hunter, Seth.


Central Mid-West Winters – Milder Than Most Snowfall States

Pictures from a record breaking winter snowfall year totaling 27 inches for the year, 10 inches above average. 

Northern state deer hunters that clear their driveway daily would not call this snow. Southern state hunters frequently are not prepared for it killing their hunting trip.

Unless drifted what winter snowfall does for us is firm up our rural mud roads making them trafficable.

What Hunters’ Say About Their Deer Hunting

Through many years we watch a good number of successful deer hunters. Part of those observations are captured in these snippets of when to hunt.

This is sure to “…raise the hackles…” of some.

November peak rut hunt belongs to deer hunters with less skill requiring more luck. That statement alone will raise the hackles on many.

October early archery hunter has more gray hair and more mounts. They have come to realize luck is good. They would rather improve their chances. That is by using to a greater extent than November rattling, grunts, bleats, attracting scents and decoys.

Early season hunter also hunt more farms than peak rut hunter. Covering 3-4 farms on a near daily rotation from one to a next.

Peak rut hunter typically hunts 1-2 farms for several consecutive days each.

If the success measure is mounts on wall and quality of rack, then October is the preferred month.

Theory is bucks in October are looking for receptive doe. But doe are not in season until November, not willing. This allows hunters to be more sexy than a doe in October and attract bucks into range.

Look through our web site deer harvest picture gallery. Then look at background foliage, how hunters are dressed. Majority are September/October deer.


October Lull Deer Hunting

Defined: October lull is described by some as when deer go to ground. Move little during the day, are nocturnal to feed or move. Causes for this down period for deer hunting range along lines of conjecture with few correlating factors. Once consideration observed amongst Association hunters does seem to repeat itself. A deer hunting lull is created by hunter pressure of too much presence over too short a period on too small of acreage. It goes like this:

Early archery and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons start in September. Deer hunters are ready to get in stand. That is after scouting out then placing stands on their chosen spots. Most of these deer hunters know to get their stands out early and then let that spot rest with no presence. Others wait until their first hunt to put a stand in knowing it is best to not be present on that hunting spot until a hunt. Add to that camera placement checking. Al this means is pressure on land that has probably not had a human on it for the previous seven months.

Once the season opener hits all rush to get in their deer hunting. Typically a hunt is on their favored spot. One that has already been pressured with foot scouting, cameras, stands, a day to short weeks earlier. That hunt continues until what is desired is seen or not. Then hunters continue hunting his favored spots until that early season motivation begins to wear off enhanced so by decreasing eyes on any deer. Soon if that hunter continues hunting his same land what may have been a good spot has had its dynamics changed by recurring human pressure of sound, scent and movement. That hunter then blames other than himself for what is now poor deer hunting. After all he did the right things by daily scent free showering, clothes protected from contamination from truck bed materials and so on. Or, is it the hunter did all the right things except not hunt too small of an area too much.

The converse is not to limit potential success to just one spot.

If that same hunter rather than repeatedly hunting the same land had spread himself about to a greater degree than perhaps his entry onto that land would not have been as severe. If we accept that then it would have been better to realize that a deer’s favorite spot is where humans are not. The more of these spots a hunter can cover the increased likelihood he will see more deer.

Most have read accounts how a trophy whitetail was harvested from a first time in stand of a new stand location on new land. More so than a story of long land prep efforts then a perfect harvest as was predicted through detailed planning/effort.

Another example within this Association is the seemingly high tag-on success rate of the traveling deer hunter This is one who in many cases had not been on that land since last year’s scouting or turkey hunting trip. The converse of this is the local Association hunter who falls into two divisions. The first is the one who will frequently scout much, prepare many trees and then hunt a handful of spots. The next is one who is on a decline in dedication to seeking out a trophy more reliant on going back to a handful of familiar spots.

Finally, it is the Association hunter who says these two things that does have the most mounts on the wall:

“I hunt some of the same land season to season.”


“I hunt new spots each season.”

Even those who disagree with all of the above will frequently agree with one idea. That is, Mister Whitetail has a better idea where he wants to be than a hunter has skill at identifying that location.