If this is the first page found about our deer hunting may we suggest starting at the beginning to understand our approach to self guided deer hunts.
Firearms Deer Hunter Contribution
Thanks to deer hunting members Louie Sr. and Jr., Henry and John.
This article was developed from a deer hunting discussion group of four with multi-state firearms hunting experience ranging across prairie dog, wood chuck, antelope, elk and of course mid-west whitetail deer. This article represents the summation of a discussion about some of the common firearms deer hunting feedback we hear from our hunters. In the case of this topic it generated from the common story of a deer hunter seeing and shooting at a wallhanger only to watch the trophy move out unscathed.
Deer Hunter Feedback
Here are some scouting pics I dug up that might fit in your "Scouting - Rubs" section of the web site. They are two views of a shredder rub taken two years in a row. I'm not 100% positive, but I think I got the buck that made these rubs last year. Anyhow, I thought you might like to see the pics.
Firearms deer hunting references modern rifle (Missouri and Kansas) and shotgun (Iowa) deer hunting. Muzzleloader and archery deer hunting are covered in their separate sections.
Firearms have the obvious advantage of long range shooting and all three of our states will allow the hunter observation at longer range than most will be able to shoot accurately. In the most general of terms central and western Kansas will easily allow 300 yard shots over open ground clean of trees and brush. Eastern Kansas, Missouri and Iowa will allow shooting from 10 yards to the limit of the ridge line, wooded fence row or creek bottom that may extend to 300 yards or a lot more, however frequently will be less. While Kansas' open ground can well make use of a high power scope, those in Iowa and Missouri will be well fitted to have a 1x or 2x variable up to 7 or 9 power.
While all of this may seem obvious or elementary to any hunter, having someone who has the pure motivation of ensuring all have such a good hunt that they will want to return for years of whitetail hunts to come provide these details should carry some weight. This is especially true for the first time central midwest hunter if this article helps to take away some of the mystery about what is to be expected.
What may be news to more than the casual reader is that open ground shooting frequently has the hunter shooting under the trophy whitetail of their lifetime. The cause for this is that it is more difficult to estimate range across open ground than that of closed in terrain. This has been all the more the case for those who travel from big woods home states where typically any deer seen is well under 100 yards and the 100 yard shooting range the most typical long range available at most rifle target ranges.
This all conspires for many hunters to be excellent 100 yard and under shooters and when out on the big open of the great plains what appears to be a close range is typically a lot farther out. That visual acuity to accurately estimate ranges beyond 100 yards is lacking in anyone not routinely engaging such targets, the best of whom are coyote and groundhog hunters. The rest of us simply are lacking the irreplaceable experience of routinely being able to see and engage any target beyond that which we do routinely shoot.
Perhaps a related deer hunting discipline may add weight to this firearms hunter dilemma.
The archery deer hunter is 40 yards and under. The archery hunter can routinely practice multiple iterations under a great variety of conditions 10, 20, 30 and 40 yard shots on full body deer targets as well as paper. And, each of these archery hunters will most likely have a separate sight pin for each 10 yard increment. For those now reaching to the trajectory differences of a heavy arrow shot over short range compared to a 150 to 200 grain bullet over 300 yards put that argument away as both conditions have sufficient trajectory drop greater than the vertical size of the vital clean harvest zone of a deer profile. Add that trajectory variable to less than accurate range estimation and together the unknown result can easily mean a missed shot.
The point to take away from this firearms deer topic is that while many believe firearms hunting equates to the easiest method by which to harvest observed trophy whitetails the reality that we have experienced has been to the contrary.
For those planning a firearms deer hunt they are best advised to stick to the shooting range they have the most experience with, typically 100 yards or less. Or, get to shooting ranges that extend to 300 yards and use many paper full body deer targets.
We encourage scouting by any means as we know just how hard successful unguided deer hunting is.
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