Missouri Firearms Deer Hunting

Missouri Firearms Deer HuntingPeak Rut

Missouri firearms deer hunting is during the peak of the rut in the middle two weeks of November.

With over the counter tag purchase allowing all to hunt every season.

No state deer management unit resitrictions.

Quality BetterThan Most Expect

More and more hunters are coming to realize that just because Missouri is an over the counter tag state that does not mean poor quality whitetail’s. This is especially true for those that seek to enjoy the hunting for the hunting itself. Rather than the more competitive approach of pure trophy whitetail hunting for that once in a lifetime monster buck.

Trophy Deer Yes – Quality Missouri Hunting More So

While that monster buck will quick fire any of our hearts the reality is there are far more quality racks out there than those above 160 to the 200 category.

The reality for many is that while we all want that trophy racked buck, whitetail deer hunting is more a matter of being able to enjoy the day in the field. And, with the knowledge that the potential for a trophy whitetail deer is there, it is the enjoyment of deer hunting, in the woods as a whole that makes for the better deer hunting trip. Missouri deer season provides just that without the angst of draw tags and deer management unit restrictions.

This is all the more important to those starting a youth deer hunter or a wife that more seeks the day with her husband than to harvest a wall hanger. Another growing category is the three generation family deer hunting group of grandfather, son and grandson where the day together is better than any deer hunt alone. When the grandson harvests any deer that deer is a trophy.


Missouri Firearms Deer Hunting

Mid-America Hunting Association Misosuri Deer Hunting Approach

With our approach to each fair chase do it yourself hunter and family may seek the whitetail of their choice. Be it the trophy of a lifetime or the enjoyment of a new deer hunter getting his first buck regardless of rack size. We seek to ensure the quality of the hunt in terms inclusive of trophy production to the more meaningful memory making activities. That will be all the other days that will be in the field beyond that one day when the rack is the only importance. Missouri deer hunting allows for this and of the entire process of scouting, the hunting and harvest of the deer of choice.

Missouri State Quality Management

Missouri’s deer hunting is managed aggressively with state efforts seeking to reduce the doe count with unlimited over the counter cheap antler-less tags. That effort combined with a point restriction zone makes Missouri deer hunting a productive proposition right now and it will get better in the years to come.


All these advantages do combine into producing a popular deer hunting season, that is firearms, much more so than Missouri’s archery or muzzleloader. Especially opening weekend, with the appearance of the one weekend a year deer hunter.

These increased hunter numbers do apply pressure to the land. Recent opening weekend aerial surveys by the MDC show that most of these deer hunters attempt to stalk rather than stand hunt.

With the amount of cover that Missouri has this only adds advantage to those in the stand. Those in stands that are well selected through scouting. The larger number of causal deer hunters moving about simply pushes the bucks already predisposed to move with this deer season during the peak rut.

Missouri’s Management Units

Missouri does have deer management units. However, they are not restrictive to hunter land access with tag specific to a deer management unit. Missouri’s over the counter deer tag is good state wide and the deer management units are simply a means for separating regions. The management units used as survey tools to monitor herd levels and harvest rates. The benefit has been the increased doe tag issue and point restriction zone.

Missouri has over the counter state wide deer tags and a conservation department set to manage quality makes Missouri deer hunter friendly. This continues for those that want to return for Missouri spring turkey hunting. Being able to turkey hunt the same area as for deer season. Combining this twice a year boots on the ground experience will result in more frequent observations of game patterns that typically results in increased success on successive years.

Missouri Firearms Deer Hunting

Missouri’s Split Deer Regions

Missouri does suffer a regionally split identity concerning trophy deer hunting.

South central Missouri is heavily rolling being the upper region of the Ozark Mountains and as such have plenty of steep hills, heavily tree covered habitat and crop farming is greatly limited. While this region appears to be great deer habitat the reality is that food availability is limited. Racked bucks from this region are considered to have spindly racks and less likely to hit the record books.

Contrasting this is north and central south west Missouri where the land is more suited to crop farming and the rainfall supports a lot of large grain fields. This contrast in food availability demonstrates itself in the P&Y and B&C books as well as the Missouri Big Bucks Book. The problem then surfaces that these regions appear to have far too few wooded areas. That issue is frequently raised by the new to the Missouri deer hunter.

Deer Not Trees – Food First, Cover Second

In spite of our large whitetail success gallery. The many hunter letters from those that have hunted the north and the southwest. Along with the habitat and scouting section of this web site. We are often confronted by the new Association deer hunter complaining about the lack of trees on the lease land we recommend for hunting.

What that deer hunter must come to realize is that food is the primary consideration for whitetails. Cover is second.

Missouri’s whitetail deer habitat is good as the many creek, stream and river bottoms have a mixture of grass, brush and trees. Those trees may not support a stand, but do hold loafing racked bucks. All right near their food source. The issue is then which scrub patch to hunt.

We have seen many times over the years that deer hunting the small wood patch that is isolated from direct observation of any road or farm yard to be the one to hunt. And, that is not necessarily the largest wood patch. It is the wood or brush area where the bucks can be left alone that should be sought after.

Hunting these locations will as often produce either sex deer more than a trophy. Missouri has far more such locations than deer to occupy. Finding that right spot that holds that trophy whitetail is the challenge. That is the deer hunter we seek. The one that truly wants to make his own self guided Missouri deer hunting success.