Missouri Whitetails and Turkeys #139

Missouri Whitetails and Turkeys #139


Missouri is a state that has a well-deserved reputation for producing record-book whitetails every year.  Part of the reason is because of the habitat and relatively mild winters. Much of Missouri has gently rolling hills, plenty of water and agriculture, private ground that serves as deer sanctuaries and a healthy and expanding deer herd. Some massive bucks are part of Missouri folk lore including the 333-inch monster that was found dead in St. Louis County in 1981. Another non-typical buck was shot by Kevin Thomas that net scored a whopping 282 2/8 inches. That gives you an idea of the kind of trophy potential Missouri whitetails possess. Veteran whitetail hunters know those are rare deer, but it is invigorating to know the area can produce monster bucks with record-book potential. It definitely keeps you from dosing on stand!

Realistically, a thick-antlered mature 8- to 10-point buck will make most of us go home with a big smile on our face! This outfitter produces that kind of deer, as this photo from opening morning of last gun season clearly shows. Next to it are a couple of other deer taken with this outfitter. The outfitter is also a local farmer who takes land management very seriously, and he has access to a significant number of exceptional private land plots in the northeastern part of the state.

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Northeast Missouri traditionally produces some of the most impressive bucks in the state. Each year, a half-dozen or so massive whitetails make the Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young books that are harvested in this area. Missouri ranks in the Top Five destinations in the country for P & Y whitetails. The best chance for a trophy buck comes during the bow season (crossbows are legal), before guns start banging and the woods are disturbed by other hunters. Wily, battle-wise bucks know what gunfire means. They instantly become reclusive, nocturnal and much more difficult to hunt. Consider that in deciding when to hunt. You can, however, hunt with a bow up to approx. January 15, but the muzzleloader hunt, which begins right after Christmas and goes to January 7, can be exceptional during the late season. They have many acres of food plots (mainly soybeans) left standing, and seeing up to 50 deer per evening is not uncommon.

The outfitter is a no-BS sort of guy and believes the best way to build clientele and business is via trusting relationships and friendships, instead of just collecting money and running clients through. Most of his clients are repeat clients. That says is all! And he takes a total of only 15-20 bowhunters and about 25 gun hunters per year.

IMG_76 His hunting land consists of many different farms from 40 to 600 acres and totaling about 7,000 acres, spread out across southern Knox and northern Shelby counties. The outfitter conservatively estimates that seeing 6 to 40 deer in a day is not unusual and, of those, 1-8 will be bucks. Weather and other factors can alter that, but this gives you an idea of what to expect. Hunts are semi-guided – the guide gets you to your strategically-placed stand each day and comes back for you at an agreed upon time. Lodging and meals are included.

Most bucks will score in the 130- to 145-inch range, but obviously there are much larger. The outfitter employs Quality Deer Management and has instituted a 4 ½-year old/130” minimum policy with a $1,250 penalty for breaking it. Hunters need to be patient, diligent and committed if they expect to score on a trophy-class buck. Hunters will see many husky, well-fed and thick-antlered bucks that they aren’t used to seeing. Success depends on what you’ll be satisfied with. This is an exceptional hunt considering the price and the chance that a once-in-a-lifetime monster will walk in front of you. It’s difficult, but you need to pass on the 130- and 140 class deer if you’re looking at shooting a wall-hanger that tops 160-inches and up.

Eastern turkeys are some of the largest and wiliest birds that you will ever hunt, and Missouri is considered by many to be the No. 1 destination in the country for them. Thick, paint brush-quality beards, thunderous gobbles and trophy birds up to 24 pounds ensure you’ll be impressed with these Kings of Spring!

The combination of a variety of agriculture, rolling hills and big woods that makes this area outstanding for deer is equally good for turkeys. Long-bearded Eastern gobblers can be heard calling from the ridges each morning and the chances of get the better of one of these trophy birds is exceptional. The outfitter offers 3-day hunts, either semi-guided or fully-guided (subject to availability of guide), with a two-bird limit during certain parts of the season (although two birds in three days is NOT easy!). On the semi-guided hunts, the outfitter will instruct you on the lay of the land and areas where gobblers like to roost and strut. You will stay at the lodge, and do your own cooking or eat out. Licenses are over the counter. The general spring turkey season is approx. the third Monday in April thru the second Sunday in May. You can only hunt until 1PM each day.

The lodge is nothing special from the outside, but inside looks like a classic, rustic sportsman’s lodge. It consists of a large lodge built inside of a 40×40-foot steel building, finished off with rustic pine logs with a plethora of game heads adorning the interior. It has five bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen, a large comfortable living room, and a loft area. It’s the perfect kind of place to put up your feet, have a cocktail and relax after a long day in the field.

2023 PRICES (subject to change without notice until deposit received)
Deer Hunts
Archery hunts are 5 days and gun hunts are 4 days, but an extra day or two can often be added for additional charge.

Archery Rut Hunt: October 23-November 3 $3,750
First Week Gun Season: November 11-14 $4,500 (SOLD OUT FOR 2023)
Second Week Gun Season: November 18-21 $3,500
Muzzleloader: December 26-January 5 $3,750
“NEW” Rifle Only Properties $6,500

Turkey Hunts
Semi-guided 3-day hunt – $1,000 per person, 2-bird limit
Fully-guided (subject to availability of guide) 3-day hunt – $1,500 per person, 2-bird limit

LICENSES (approx.)
Non-Resident Archery Deer $225
Non-Resident Modern Gun Deer $225
Non-Resident Blackpowder Deer $225
Non-Resident Spring Turkey $225

Every hunter born on or after January 1, 1967, unless hunting on a Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit, must have completed an approved hunter education program and display a hunter education certification card to buy any firearms hunting permit. A hunter education card need not be displayed if certification can be verified at the vendor’s computer terminal.
With the exception of archery and turkey hunters, all hunters MUST wear hunter orange that is visible from all directions. A hat and vest are sufficient. Camo orange does not meet this requirement.



CALL: 1-307-637-5495   email: info@hunt-nation.com