What happens in deer camp...Stays in deer camp. Read more page 8
Help Stop the Spread of CWD
Public Hunting Land Maps
Starting on Pg. 13
Private Hunting Etiquette
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HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 2
The buck stops here! Seasons In early October of 1945 then President Harry S. Truman received a desk plaque as a gift from a friend from Missouri. The small placard read "The Buck Stops Here", a phrase which would go on to symbolize Truman’s time in the nation’s highest office. The phrase “The Buck Stops Here” stems from the alternative to the old saying of “passing the buck”, or pushing the responsibility off onto another person. It’s said the term “pass the buck” was derived from frontier saloons where a knife with a buck antler handle was often used as a marker of who was to deal next. If a poker player didn’t want to deal he could pass the move, or pass the “buck”, on to the next player. Not that anything about the card game story or President Truman’s desk ornaments has anything to do with deer hunting, except that the phrase came to mind when I started thinking about deer season ... and I think the “buck stops here” plaque story is an interesting bit of our history. Now to the real topic I wanted to discuss. Deer season for bow hunters is already underway and has been for several weeks. Firearms deer hunters have only a couple weeks until they get their chance. Recently I was driving down the road on a cool, drizzly day and there was a misty fog settled in the hollers. I rolled the window down on the truck and sniffed the air, and it smelled exactly like deer season. I immediately called one of my brothers to see if he was planning to join us at deer camp this year. The conversation quickly turned to what deer sign I’ve seen in recent weeks, what we might fix for meals, and how long we’d each be able to hunt after opening day. If you deer hunt, or know someone
who does, than you’ve likely already be part of similar conversations. For many years deer season for my family was about multiple generations gathering for one weekend a year to hunt and live together on one piece of property. In recent years careers and kids' and grandkids' activities have meant fewer family members make it consistently, but still those of us who do have a great time. Most years we also kill a few deer. Of course, who kills the biggest deer, and who kills the first deer opening morning are also bragging points for that weekend and several years to follow. Then all too soon the weekend comes to a close and we head home and spend the next few days processing venison and getting it packed away in the freezer for the next several months. Regardless of whether a group deer camp is part of your annual hunt, or perhaps you hunt solo and hike in and camp in solitude in a tent, or maybe you wake up each morning in your own bed and drive to your hunting spot, or simply walk out the back door and straight to your stand, the common denominator is that it you deer hunt you'll likely agree that this is your favorite time of the year. We hope the stories, pictures, tips and tricks shared in this 2016 fall hunting guide are helpful, inspiring and entertaining. It's something we've discussed for years around our office, but this year we committed to make it happen. Our staff has sure enjoyed putting this fall hunting guide together for you, and we look forward to doing it again next year.
Happy hunting! Doug Smith managing editor
** For limits, methods and hours pick up a copy of The Wildlife Code or find it online at: http://mdc.mo.gov/about-regulations/wildlifecode-missouri Deer: November firearms portion: Nov. 12-22 Archery: Sept. 15-Jan. 15 (except during November firearms portion) Youth firearms: Oct. 29-30; Nov. 25-27 Antlerless only: Dec. 2-4 Alternative methods: Dec. 24-Jan. 3 Turkey: Fall firearms: Oct. 1-31 Archery: Sept. 15-Jan. 15 (except during November firearms deer season) Waterfowl: Ducks/Coots/Goose Youth north zone: Oct. 22-23 Youth middle zone: Oct. 29-30 Ducks/Coots north zone: Oct. 29-Dec. 27 Ducks/Coots middle zone: Nov. 5-Jan. 3 Youth south zone: Nov. 19-20 Greater white-fronted geese: Nov. 11-Feb. 6 Light goose: Nov. 11-Feb. 6 Canada Geese: Nov. 11-Feb. 6 Ducks/Coots south zone: Nov. 24-Jan. 22 Light goose Conservation Order: Feb. 7-Apr. 30 Other: Badger: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Beaver: Nov. 15-31 Bobcat: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Coyote: Jan. 1-Dec. 31 Coyote trapping: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Crow: Nov. 1-Mar 3 Dove: Sept. 1-Nov. 29 Fox (red/gray): Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Frog (green/bull): June 30-Oct. 31 Groundhog: May 9-Dec. 15 Mink: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Muskrat/Otter: Nov. 15-Feb. 20 Opossum: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Pheasant youth: Oct. 29-30 Pheasant: Nov. 1-Jan. 15 Quail youth: Oct. 29-30 Quail: Nov. 1-Jan. 15 Rabbit: Oct. 1-Feb. 15 Rabbit trapping: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Raccoon: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Squirrel: May 28-Feb. 15 Striped skunk: Nov. 15-Jan. 31 Sora/Virginia Rail: Sept. 1-Nov. 9 Wilson’s snipe: Sept. 1-Dec. 16 Woodcock: Oct. 15-Nov. 28
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HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 ď Ž Page 4 ď Ž
Need A Conservation Agent ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY:
Tyler Harding, 573-330-8538
Clayton Lewis, 573-934-0824
Sarah Ettinger-Dietzel, 573-466-9119
Caleb Sevy, 573-301-5299
STE. GENEVIEVE COUNTY:Rob Sulkowski, 573-883-0634 JEFFERSON COUNTY:
Kyle Dunda, 314-954-5697
Kaleb Neece, 573-561-6313 Eric Long, 573-579-5057
Hunting public ground "This land is your land ... this land is my land ..." The writer who penned that patriotic tune likely wasn't thinking about hunting at that moment, but it holds true for accessing the hundreds of thousands of publicly-held acres in Missouri. According to the state's conservation department the state agency administers in excess of 975,000 acres, with about 615,000 of those being forested. While not all that land is available for hunting, the vast majority is accessible to hunters and anglers. Each property is unique in its history, topography and management practices employed. But there are some common guidelines that apply to most of the land when it comes to hunting. First, all state laws and other guidelines apply. As for deer hunting, generally only portable tree stands are allowed and only from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31. Unattended stands must be plainly labeled on a durable material with the full name and address, or con-
servation number, of the owner and be removed from the area before Feb. 1. Use of nails, screw-in steps, and any material or method that would damage the tree is prohibited. Baiting and installing feeders and mineral licks is also prohibited. Fortunately the management practices being used for many properties include food plots and ponds. Maps showing topography, roads and trails, and sometimes management enhancements are readily available. The maps are searchable by region or county on the MDC website. For your convenience we've sought and received permission of the MDC to reprint and include several maps of those public hunting areas found in our immediate region, those maps can be found on pages 14-22 in this publication. Each map is accompanied by the details provided by the state agency. There truly is no reason for not getting out and enjoying Missouri's fall hunting season.
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Making friends with landowners A very wise man, my father-in-law, once offered some sound advice. "Invest in land. After all, they're not making anymore," he said, borrowing a phrase attributed to both Mark Twain and Will Rogers. There's no doubt that it's beneficial to own land ... especially if you hunt. Holding deed to your own hunting ground provides huge benefits. If you own at least 5 acres in Missouri you can get six free "landowner" tags to harvest deer and turkey. Should you own 75 acres or more you will qualify for up to two additional tags to take antlerless deer. But far more important than free tags, having your own hunting ground offers the ability to put in food plots and mineral licks and ponds, build permanent stands, and limit other hunting pressure (which is often easier said than done). The problem is that taking Twain' and Rogers' advice is not always an option. Sometimes a career keeps you moving every few years, or raising a family requires putting your available funds other places. And even if you're settled and have some disposable income to invest in your own outdoor oasis, finding affordable land suitable for hunting is becoming a difficult proposition. The days of buying unimproved rural land in Missouri for $50 to $100 an acre have been a thing of the past for nearly half a century. Nowadays even the least desirable acreage can run $800 to $1,000 an acre, and land with a year-round stream or river is going to be exponentially higher based on topography, if the land has any usable buildings
already in place, and proximity to utilities. Acreage on the low end of the spectrum which may at first seem like a real bargain is often hard to access, has been too aggressively logged in recent years, is fraught with easements or, a potential deal-breaker ... is landlocked. So what's a hunter without a boat load of cash or some inherited acres supposed to do aside from joining friends and neighbors hunting the available public-owned tracts of land within driving distance? Perhaps the best option is to make friends with a landowner. The next best option would
be to lease some private land.
BEFRIENDING A LANDOWNER
The process of gaining hunting privilege on private land is not one of trickery or deceit. You earn the right to hunt on someone else's land for free by either building a friendship or providing a needed service. Time-honored etiquette dictates you should "never show up empty handed." That holds true when befriending a landowner to gain hunting privileges. Most connections between hunter and landowner start with an acquaintance due to some other reason - per-
haps you work together, know each other through a family member or shared friend, or just a connection made by word of mouth. But it's not out of the realm of reality to simply find someone who owns a quantity of acres and simple knock on their door ... "cold calling" is the term oft-used in the sales game. Regardless of how the connection is made, the first step is to "introduce" yourself. Since you're not selling vacuum cleaners, or asking them to Sunday services, or looking to go out on a blind
See LANDOWNERS / Page 27
PAGE 7 October 2016
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 8
What happens at deer camp ... “I suppose you don’t allow any females in your deer camp,” the waitress said to me one Saturday morning before opening weekend of deer season a couple years ago. I had been at the family farm all morning hunting squirrels, scouting for deer sign and cleaning up some downed timber. I still had on my camouflage, as did my buddy who had gone along to hunt and help. I had offered to buy his lunch since he had helped me cut a truckload of firewood, even though I'd only planned on cutting up the downed limbs from access lanes and around the deer stands. The waitress wasn’t fishing for an invite I'm sure. Even if we had both been half our age and half our weight, making us closer to her age and weight, she quickly made it known that she was a “girly girl”, and had never been allowed to set foot in her daddy’s deer camp. She said it was such a man’s place that if anyone took them food during deer season they had to stop at the end of the driveway and call for a hunter to drive up from camp to meet them at the gate. Something tells me a look inside the walls of that hunting cabin would reveal illegal gambling, strippers, or maybe a meth lab. If I had been a woman delivering food to those guys I would have made sure to spit in their chili. Our deer camp is an equal-opportunity hovel.
More than once I’ve urged my non-hunting wife to accompany me to camp for the opening weekend. While she wouldn’t hunt because it's not her thing, I tell her she could enjoy curling up next to the wood stove with a good book to pass the hours while I hunt. Deep down I suspect she’s likely afraid that being in camp would give the false appearance of her willingness to do the cooking and cleaning. But nothing is further from the truth. In all honesty, we enjoy the adventure of swapping attempts at making edible meals, and we don’t fret about picking up or cleaning anything until it’s time to quit camp and head home. Now that I think about it, maybe that's why she won't visit the hunting cabin. Regardless, she usually plans a shopping outing with her mother opening weekend of rifle season. I'll be sitting in the woods waiting on one buck and she'll be at the mall spending hundreds of them. While she may never join us opening weekend, we have had a
woman in camp one time. Several years ago one of my brothers was trying to bond with his adult daughter after a strained time apart. He invited her to deer hunt with us that year. I’ll have to say it was no inconvenience for the rest of us. She carried her own weight with the cooking, dishes, and carrying water from the cistern to flush the toilet. And she kept her unmentionables and any non-camo undergarments out of plain sight ... which is more than we've come to expect of the usual gang. But the little waitress’ comments about deer Deer camps come in all shapes and sizes ... from tents to repurposed farm houses to campers to camp set me to thinking motel rooms. The main things a camp provides is a place to rest, eat, store gear and ... most about other deer camp importantly, share camaraderie and make memories. stories I’ve heard or returned after a week from Illinois had packed husband answered the been privy to over the away supposedly at his clothes and hunting phone and spilled the years. Many of the deer deer camp and was gear and kissed his wife beans that her husband camp tales involve complaining to his wife goodbye and headed had never shown up at Vegas-type activities — that she forgot to pack out on Friday afternoon camp. you know, what happens him any clean socks. He to Southeast Missouri So she climbed in the in deer camp stays in knew he’d been caught for a time of deer hunt- family minivan and deer camp. In most when she revealed she ing and camaraderie headed south at a high instances whatever went had packed them in his with his buddies in deer rate of speed, checking wrong usually started gun case. camp. About Tuesday taverns and motels with alcohol, cards, or And I recall an actual the wife decided she along the highway as being away from the incident from my police needed to speak with she went. She made it social expectations of officer days when her husband about all the way to St. the civilized world for deputies were called to something and called Francois County before more than 24 hours. a local motel to squelch deer camp to discuss spotting his pickup truck There’s the old story a domestic dispute. the matter. Some slowSee CAMP / Page 30 about how the hunter Apparently some guy thinking buddy of her
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The Missouri Department of Conservation encourages deer hunters around the state to share their harvest through the state’s Share the Harvest program. Administered by MDC and the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Share the Harvest coordinates the efforts of thousands of deer hunters, about 100 participating meat processors, numerous local supporting organizations and a handful of statewide sponsors. More than 4,500 deer hunters donated more than a quarter-million pounds of venison from last season's deer harvest. Since the program was started in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided more than 3.5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians. The program works by deer hunters donating a portion of their harvested venison - from several pounds to the entire deer - via participating meat processors throughout the state who grind and package the venison. The packaged meat is then given to food banks and food pantries for distribution to Missourians in need of food assistance. Processing fees are covered, in part or entirely, by local and statewide sponsors which in recent years have included Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops,
Gateway Area Chapter of Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Midway USA Inc., and the Missouri Food Banks Association, along with the MDC and conservation federation. Funds are available to help with processing costs when a whole deer is donated during all portions of the archery and firearms deer seasons. The Conservation Federation of Missouri reimburses processors a pre-determined amount for each whole deer donated. This allows processors to reduce processing fees to hunters. In addition, many processors have local funds available that allow deer to be processed for free or at a reduced cost. Hunters should contact individual processors to determine the cost. The cost of processing is the hunter’s responsibility when funds to help cover the full cost are not available. Find a list of all participating processors in the state in the MDC “2016 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information” booklet available where permits are sold, online at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/deer/deer-share-harvest, or by calling MDC at 573751-4115 or the Conservation Federation of Missouri at 573-6342322.
Area participating processors Ste. Genevieve County: Bloomsdale Meat Processing 130 Mill Hill Road, Bloomsdale 573-483-9555
Iron County: Rubles Meat Market 15387 Missouri 21, Arcadia 573-546-3459
Madison County: Walker's Meat Processing 2625 Madison 535, Fredericktown 573-366-6372 or 573-366-6387
Jefferson County: John's Butcher Shoppe Inc 503 N Mill St., Festus 636-931-7776
Page 9 October 2016
'Share the Harvest'
MDC file photo
I hate those little razor blade folding knives nearly as much as airport security does. I'm old school and believe a person should carry a real knife for everyday use. Furthermore, any self-respecting hunter or angler should never show up in the woods or water's edge with a dull blade. Sharpening a knife to a razorsharp, hair-shaving edge is a nearly lost art. It's like setting up a plow behind a tractor to cut at the correct depth and angle in the field, making real meringue to top a pie in the kitchen, growing a tomato from a seed in the garden, or doing long division without a calculator anywhere ... all are skills very few in today's society share. But few time-honored skills have more daily applications than knowing how to sharpen a blade. We're surrounded by kitchen knives, scissors, shears, lawnmowers, chainsaws, and in many cases ... pocketknives. Then come fishing season or fall hunting we add fillet knives, butcher cleavers and knives and sheathkept hunting knives to that list. Knowing the proper way to get and maintain a sharp cutting edge is well worth the time and should be done long before you climb up in the stand or into the ground blind for that hunt. There's a couple tricks to making a knife sharp and keeping it that way. As a kid I was always amazed by someone who could take a little porous stone and hone a knife blade or pair of scissors to a precision edge. While my dad always carried a knife he exhibited no skills in keeping it sharp. His idea of “sharpening” meant giving it a few passes on the bench grinder, which was usually sufficient for the next time he needed to cut a piece of wire or open a metal oil can. But with my first pocket knife, a Boy Scout multi-blade, I began my four decade lesson on how to get and maintain a sharp edge. The keys are sharpen, straighten and strop!
Have a sharp blade at the ready
To properly shape the edge of any knife you need two things, a sharpening stone and a consistent angle. You sharpen the blade by dragging it several passes over a whetstone. The trick is to hold the blade at the correct angle and maintain it with every pass. If not, you're simply randomly grinding material from your blade. The right angle for most fillet, paring and steak knives is about 12 degrees, and 22 degrees for thicker more utilitarian blades. While you can purchase an angle guide which helps position the blade against the stone, I can tell you a nearly free way to accomplish the same thing. Find a Post-It note or other piece of paper with a square corner. Fold the corner in half, the way you used to when making a paper airplane as a kid ... you remember! You now have a 45-degree angle. The second fold reduces that to 22.5 degrees. Sit one side of the angle flat on the sharpening stone, and the resulting angle sticking up is 22.5 degrees – the ideal distance for holding the back edge of the blade away from the stone to assure a good hone. One additional fold makes the angle of the paper 11.25 degrees ... ideal for thin-bladed kitchen paring knives. Now rest the cutting edge of the knife against the stone near one end. Make sure the back edge, or spine, of the blade is the correct distance from the stone (22.5 degrees for thick knives, or about 11
See SHARPEN / Page 28
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 10
Help the MDC fight CWD Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a deadly deer disease that is infiltrating the state. It started in the northeast and quickly spread to central and east-central counties. According to wildlife-disease experts with the Missouri Department of Conservation, CWD has the potential to greatly reduce deer numbers, deer health, and deer hunting in our state. CWD could also hurt the many Missouri families and businesses that rely on deer hunting as all or part of their livelihood. To help find and limit the spread of CWD, the Conservation Department needs the help of deer hunters. While so far no deer from southern Missouri have been found to be positive for CWD, deer and elk in northwest Arkansas have. The department also needs the help of deer hunters in southwest Missouri to find possible cases of the disease in that area.
MANDATORY TESTING IN CWD MANAGEMENT ZONE
Hunters who harvest deer during the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season (Nov. 12 and 13) in any of the 29 counties of the Department’s CWD Management Zone are now required to present their deer for CWD tissue-sample collection on the day of harvest. Hunters must take their harvested deer to one of 75 MDC CWD sampling locations throughout the 29 counties. Hunters also have the option of presenting just the deer head with about six inches of neck attached. Deer must be presented by the hunter who harvested the animal. Sampling locations
will be open Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 12 and 13) from 7:30 a.m. until at least 8 p.m. Hunters can get free test results for their deer after samples are processed. The 29 counties of the CWD Management Zone are: Adair, Boone, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, St. Charles, St. Louis, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan, Warren, and Washington. Get a list of the 75 CWD sampling locations and other information online at mdc.mo.gov/CWD and from MDC’s printed “2016 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information” booklet, available where hunting permits are sold. “Early detection of chronic wasting disease is critical because once the disease is well established in an area, it is impossible to eradicate,” said MDC Wildlife Division Chief Jason Sumners. “Therefore, our increased testing of hunter-harvested deer in and around counties where the disease has been found will greatly improve our ability to find cases of CWD early and limit its spread to more deer in more areas.” Sumners added that the Department’s CWD-testing efforts are critically important to protect a treasured wildlife species that about a half-million hunters pursue each fall and that 1 in 4 Missourians love to see. “We want our kids and grandkids to grow up being able to hunt and watch a healthy and strong deer population in the state,” said
MDC is requiring deer hunters who harvest deer in 29 counties of its CWD Management Zone (colored counties) during the opening weekend of the fall firearms season (Nov. 12 and 13) to take their harvested deer to one of 75 CWD sampling locations for testing. Sumners, a deer biologist and hunter. “Chronic wasting disease threatens that. The simplest thing hunters can do to help protect our state’s whitetailed deer is to get their harvested deer tested. We cannot do this without the support and participation of deer hunters.” CWD testing involves collecting tissue samples from the necks of harvested deer. It takes only a few minutes and consists of MDC staff cutting an incision across the throat of the harvested deer to remove lymph nodes for CWD
See CWD / Page 23
TIME-SAVING TIPS FOR HUNTERS Hunters can help reduce their wait times at a CWD sampling location by: - Telechecking their deer before going to a sampling location; - Having their completed permit information ready; - Being prepared to locate their harvest location on a map; - Positioning their deer in the vehicle so the head and neck are easily accessible for staff to take tissue samples, or; - Having the detached head with about 6 inches of neck attached bagged and ready.
See FUTURE / Page 28
Page 11 October 2016
“DiCal” — can be found in deer antler. Consider it something of an antler fertilizer. Trace minerals include sodium, potassium and magnesium, which are all important to over all animal health. And stock salt provides the necessary sodium a body needs, but its main purpose in a mineral lick is as an attractant to draw the animals to the lick which holds the more beneficial, but less tasty, DiCal and trace minerals. So here's how to make a mineral lick. Mix only the minerals you intend to put out at the time. Don’t mix all 200 pounds together. Keep the bags separated and mix only a few pounds at the time of each application. For example, a good starting point is three pounds of DiCal, six pounds of trace minerals, and three pounds of stock salt. A three pound coffee can is a good measure to work with, but a feed scoop or small shovel will do the job as well. Add all three ingredients into a container large enough to hold the 12 pounds of mixture and stir it up good. Next, plow or till up an area about six inches deep and three feet square. Of course it’s best to try to do this when the ground isn’t frozen solid. A garden or small farm tractor with a plow and disc works well for this, but a garden tiller or even hand tools and some elbow grease will usually do the trick. Once the ground is broken up, broadcast the mineral mix into the loosened soil and incorporate it well. Tilling the mixture into the soil with a garden tiller works great, but again a hoe, shovel or rake can get the job done. It’s important to actually put the mineral mix into the soil as opposed to dumping it on top of the ground. Animals, especially deer, like to root and scrape mineral rich soil as opposed to licking
For anyone who owns or leases a piece of hunting land, there’s something you can do in coming months that will help the deer on that land grow bigger, healthier antlers (as well as contributing to over all animal health). Post-hunting season is a great time to create mineral licks. The deer and other animals will visit the licks throughout the year as a reliable source of necessary minerals. And creating a mineral lick is relatively easy and inexpensive, and once you have one or more established you can “freshen” them up without spending much money at all. There are two ways to buy mineral lick ingredients. The first is to purchase a name-brand formulated mineral lick mixture (which comes in a powder, pellets or compressed blocks). These are offered by a growing number of companies with a wide array of formulas and catchy names to choose from. A 25 to 50 pound bag of mineral mix can easily cost $40 or more. But there’s a much more affordable option if you want to create effective mineral licks on the cheap. The formula is an easy one that has been widely distributed for years. It consists of three ingredients all available from your nearest farm supply feed store. A quantity of 200 pounds of ingredients can be purchased for about $65 these days. You mix them up yourself as needed, and keep the remainder stored away in a dry place until those times in the future when you'll “freshen up" your mineral lick locations. The three ingredients are: 1) Dicalcium Phosphate, 2) Trace minerals, and 3) Stock salt. Each comes in a 50 pound bag and you’ll want two parts trace minerals to one part Dical and one part salt. As a quick explanation, Dicalcium Phosphate is a dairy cattle feed additive which helps with milk production, weight gain and food digestion. Both phosphorus and calcium — ingredients in
Growing healthy future generations
Established mineral licks and food plots are great legal attractants and game management practices on your hunting land.
Deer, especially bucks growing antlers and mature does raising their young, will benefit from and regularly visit mineral licks. Near a lick is a great place to hang a game camera to see what's stirring when you're not around.
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 12
Finding a taxidermist You’ve bought the proper equipment, invested countless days scouting, and spent money and time poring over hundreds of game camera photos to help pattern the best bucks in your hunting area. You’ve put in the seat time in the stand mornings and afternoons, and a few all-day sessions, and it all just paid off big time ... that big buck is down on the ground and not moving. Now what? Of course, the first step is to field dress it and get the meat to the processor (or take it home to butcher it yourself). But, admittedly, you’ve never killed a buck anywhere near this big. This guy is a buster, a "wall hanger" for sure! It’s that moment you realize you’ve never hired a taxidermist before. Where do you start? Deer hunting in the modern world doesn’t come cheap ... what with scent-lock clothing,
cover scents, attractant scents, the latest greatest camo pattern, fiber optic sights, military-grade scopes, carbon fiber and even more high-tech materials in bows, stocks and accessories, new ammo offerings being introduced all the time, badder UTVs and nicer accessories for them, and rifles that’ll shoot nearly accurate out to a mile. Decide to take that latest buck to a taxidermist to make it permanent wall art and you’re going to outlay more cash. So how do you assure you’re getting all you’re paying for? Here are some options:
Surely you have a friend or family member who killed the biggest buck you’ve ever seen in your life. And he has it
See TAXIDERMIST / Page 25
Who could use a free brand new ATV? How about $1,500 to spend however you wish? All of those prizes will go to one local winner of the upcoming Daily Journal Best Buck Contest 2016. That's right, a new ATV and multiple gift cards worth hundreds of dollars to use to buy accessories, or a trailer to haul your new toy, or buy gas or groceries or a new barbecue grill or smoker ... it's your choice. For the first time the Daily Journal has teamed with three area businesses to offer a great package of gifts to
the winner of our "Best Buck" contest. The winner will be determined by the number of votes received for photos submitted to our online contest at www.dailyjournalonline.com. So what exactly will the winner take home? From Midwest Sports Center in Farmington (www.midwestsportscenter.com) a new red Suzuki King Quad 500. This machine is automatic, allwheel drive, electronic fuel injected, and retails for $7,700. The second sponsor, Hoods Discount Home Centers (www.hoodshomecenters.com), will provide a $1,000 gift card to be used on merchandise at Hood’s Discount Home Centers.
Page 13 October 2016
Managing Editor/Outdoor Editor
‘Best Buck Contest’ winner to take home new ATV, much more Sam Scism Ford Lincoln (www.scismford.com) has donated another $500 gift card for use wherever credit/debit cards are accepted. You can use it however you desire. It's a "winner takes all" prize package. The buck entry with the most votes takes all the prizes. The key is to, first, kill a buck this season, and then second, take a photo and submit it to our contest, then third, get the most votes online for your trophy.
We'll share more specifics in a front page story in the Daily Journal this coming week. We'll also have a story with contest details in the upcoming 2016 Fall Hunting Guide - sponsored by Sam Scism Ford Lincoln - to be distributed with the newspaper and available at sales locations starting Oct. 22. And we'll be promoting the contest throughout the month of November via our website (www.dailyjournalonline. com) and our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. Here's more specifics about the contest: - Hunter submitting entry should reside in St. Francois, Madison, Iron, Washington, Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, Wayne, Bollinger or Reynolds county. - Entries can be submitted beginning Nov. 5 and running through Nov. 26. - Voting will begin Nov. 27 and run through Dec. 7. - The contest link and these details will be on our website and shared regularly on our social media pages. Please check contests for rules and regulations. - The winner will be announced in the Dec. 10 weekend print edition of the Daily Journal, on our website and social media that day. - Only one entry per registered user allowed. All contest entries will be reviewed by Daily Journal staff before it will show up in the contest. The deer in the photo should be harvested during the 2016 fall deer hunting seasons. Good luck this deer seasons. Have fun and plan to enter the contest for the great prize package and bragging rights.
WASHINGTON AND IRON COUNTIES 3,823 ACRES
10 108 40 0 112 0
Boundary Paved Road Gravel Road Drainage Hiking Trail Parking Lot Wildlife Water Hole Forest Topography
16 40 1680
20 13 0 6 13
The highest peak of the mountain is 1,740 feet above sea level. The area yields little permanent water. Limestone stream beds mark the base of the mountain. Several wet weather springs can be found over the area; these are usually dry, however, during summer.
40 11 60
148 0 14 00
80 16 0 164
6 1600 15
Buford Mountain is home to many wildlife species common to Missouri. This is a favored hunting area for turkey hunters, and some deer hunting as well.
0 152 0 144
12 80 120 0
Buford Mountain Conservation Area, located east of beautiful Belleview Valley, was purchased by the Missouri Department of Conservation from the Nature Conservancy in 1979. The area was named after its settlement in 1812 by William Buford, who acquired the land through a Spanish Land Grant. Today, Buford Mountain covers 3,824 acres.
VICINITY MAP 67
October 2016 Page 14
60 00 11 12
11 60 1040 1080
BUFORD MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION AREA
Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri © 03/15
BISMARCK CONSERVATION AREA
IRON, ST. FRANCOIS, & WASHINGTON COUNTIES 1188 ACRES
Washington Co. Iron Co.
Bismarck Conservation Area is a 1,188-acre tract sitting in St. Francois, Iron, and Washington counties. The area surrounds 210-acre DiSalvo Lake (formerly Bismarck Lake), which was constructed in 1944 by the Hanna Mining Co. to serve as a water reservoir for nearby mining operations. The Department of Conservation purchased the property from Hanna in 1981. In addition to forestland, there is a glade and savanna which is currently being restored, and 50 acres of wet bottomland forest.
Carl DiSalvo Lake
VICINITY MAP U M Bismarck 32
67 B N
W U 21
Iron Co. St. Francois Co.
GPS coordinates: N37*43.790',W090*38.609' LEGEND
DiSalvo Lake, which serves as the headwaters of the St. Francis River, contains good numbers of bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and crappies. Hunting is available for deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit and waterfowl.
Boundary Paved Road Gravel Road Drainage Area Access Trail Parking Lot Privy Fishing Jetty Boat Ramp Disabled Accessible Primitive Camping Area Forest Topography Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri © 09/08
Page 15 October 2016
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 16
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BOLLINGER AND MADISON COUNTIES 1632 ACRES
SHU T-I NS
CEDAR GLADE TRAIL
928 To Rt. HH
Cr ee k
CK RI E D
CASTOR RIVER SHUT-INS NATURAL AREA
The forest's timber species range from mixed hardwoods to shortleaf pine to cedar glades. A granite shut-ins on the Castor River adds an interesting geologic feature.
Timber harvests are also an important part of habitat management; they produce forage and cover for forest wildlife.
Boundaries are marked from tree to tree with blue paint, and/or signs. State forest signs also are posted where boundaries intersect state and county roads or private lands. Please respect the rights of adjacent landowners..
ch Bran 0 74
VICINITY MAP R C0. BOLLINGE O. MADISON C
Amidon Memorial Conservation Area is located south of Route J, approximately eight miles east of Fredericktown. County Road 208 fords the Castor River on the area. GPS Coordinates N 37Deg 34.132', W 090Deg 09.310'
Boundary Paved Road Gravel Road Area Access Trail Hiking Trail Drainage Parking Lot Wildlife Water Hole Cemetery Deep Ford - Caution Gate Primitive Camping Area Forest Topography (Contour Interval = 20 Feet)
r cke Tu
The Conservation Department has created watering ponds and planted food plots and agricultural crops within the forest to provide additional food sources for wildlife.
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 18
Amidon Memorial Conservation Area is a 1,630-acre area located on the upper reaches of the Castor River in Bollinger and Madison counties. Evelyn and Ellsworth Amidon donated a portion of the area to the Conservation Department; other tracts were acquired from private landowners and the U.S. Forest Service.
AMIDON MEMORIAL CONSERVATION AREA
Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri © 09/16
Horton Farms Conservation Area sits in Ste. Genevieve County and consists of 640 acres. It is located just off Hwy 32 between Farmington and I-55.
Deer hunting is permitted but only by archery methods. It is illegal to use a rifle to hunt deer on this conservation area. In fact, single projectile firearms are prohibited except that small game may be hunted with .22 rimfire or smaller. Portable tree stands may be used only between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31. Stands must be identified with the name and address, or conservation number, of the user. Screw-in steps or other materials that would damage the tee are prohibited.
LEGEND Boundary Paved Road Gravel Road Railroad Drainage Parking Lot Pond Forest Topography Food Plot Area Access Trail
Also, furbearer trapping is permitted by special use permit.
VICINITY MAP Mi
Riv er Ste. Genevieve
Decoys and blinds must be disassembled and removed daily. 700
To get to Horton Farms CA from Farmington take Hwy. 32 east, turn right on State Route 144, the farm will be located on the left side of the roadway. The land is dissected by a private easement in the northern portion and Jonco Creek in the southern portion.
HORTON FARM CONSERVATION AREA STE. GENEVIEVE COUNTY 640 ACRES
Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri © 10/12
Page 19 October 2016
Trace Creek Camping Area
BOLLINGER COUNTY 9,579 ACRES
Castor River Conservation Area sits near the community of Grassy in Bollinger County. The area comprises 9,579 mostly wooded acres.
WALK IN AREA
MM Fishing Lake
Hunting is allowed with the following exceptions: Only portable tree stands are allowed and only from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31.
Boundary Paved Road Gravel Road Service Road Drainage Multi-Use Trail Parking Lot Privy Primitive Camping Area Wildlife Water Hole Disabled Accessible Forest
Unattended stands must be plainly labeled on a durable material with the full name and address, or Conservation Number, of the owner. Use of nails, screw-in steps, and any material or method that would damage the tree is prohibited.
Also, furbearer trapping is permitted by special use permit.
Madison Co. DD
It is home to Blue Pond Natural Area. Blue Pond is the deepest natural pond in the state. Facilities and features include primitive camping, numerous intermittent streams and one permanent stream.
October 2016 Page 20
CASTOR RIVER CONSERVATION AREA
7 R. C.
To get there: From Marble Hill take Highway 34 west 12 miles. Continue west to access campgrounds, trails and range, take Route Y south from Highway 34.
Blue Pond Natural Area
Shooting Range & Safety Zone
Gate (Road Closed Seasonally)
C.R. 708 Horse Camping Area (Trail Head)
Hwy. H 2 Miles
r Rive r Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri © 06/15
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 -6, Saturday 9-5, Closed Sunday
Southern MiSSouri’S 573-756-7975 Hours: Monday - Friday 9 - 6, Saturday 9 - 5, Closed Sunday RESTRICTIONS: Offers vary by model. Valid on select 2011-2017 new and unregistered models purchased between 10/1/16-10/31/16. See your dealer for details. Rates as low as 2.99% APR for 36 Months. Examples of monthly payments required over a 36-month term at 2.99% rate: $29.08 per $1,000 financed; and at an 6.99% rate: $30.87 per $1,000 financed. An example of a monthly with $0 fown, no rebate, an APR of 2.99% for 36 months at a MSRP of $9,999.00 is $308.69; total cost of borrowing of $1,114.00 with a total obligation of $11,113.00. Down payment may be required. Other financing offers prohibited. Offer subject to change without notice. WARNING: Polaris “off-road vehicles can be hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be a least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license to operate. Passengers, if permitted, must be a least 12 years old. All riders should always wear helmets, eye protection, and protective clothing. Always use seat belts and cab nets or doors [as equipped]. Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix. All riders should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails. ©2016 Plaris Industries Inc.
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STE.GENEVIEVE COUNTY 1740 ACRES
The rugged 1,740-acre area is bordered by Establishment Creek and Schmidt's Island, alongside the Mississippi River. The area features steep bluffs and scenic river views. Eagles are commonly sighted along the river.
tab lis h
Locked Gate No Public Access 500
The area is closed to firearms deer hunting during the urban and antlerless portions of the firearms deer season. All other statewide deer seasons and limits apply.
GPS coordinates: N38*02.365', W090*08.743'
As for fall hunting, antlered or antlerless deer may be taken on an Archer’s Hunting Permit. Only antlered deer may be taken during the youth, November, and alternative methods portions of the firearms deer season with a Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permit. No archery antlerless or firearm antlerless permits may be used.
To get there from nearby Bloomsdale take Highway 61 south, then Route V east 1 mile, then White Sands County Gravel Road north to the area.
Management of Magnolia Hollow and Establishment Creek corridors is minimal and is designed to protect the steep and sensitive watersheds.
Portable tree stands may be used and only between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31. Stands must be identified with the name and address, or conservation number, of the user. Screw-in steps or other materials that would damage the tree are prohibited.
S hite ands
Hwy. V 5 Miles
The forest at Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area is mixed hardwoods and cedar glades. Wildlife management practices have included creating watering ponds, planting fields to serve as food sources, and harvesting timber, which provides improved forage and cover for wildlife.
MAGNOLIA HOLLOW CONSERVATION AREA
October 2016 Page 22
Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area sits in Ste. Genevieve County some 10 miles north of the city of Ste. Genevieve along the Mississippi River.
LEGEND Boundary Gravel Road Drainage Hiking Trail Disabled Accessible Trail Area Access Trail Parking Lot Wildlife Water Hole Archery Range Clay Pigeon Range Woodland Food Plot Viewing Platform Primitive Camping Area Picnic Area Disabled Accessible Forest Topography Brickey Hills Natural Area
VICINITY MAP e
Ste. Genevieve 61 32
55 St. Marys
Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri © 03/15
CWD Continued From Page 10
Mandatory sampling during the opening weekend of fall firearms deer season refocuses the Department’s past CWD sampling efforts in the CWD Management Zone. “Opening weekend of firearms deer season is the most popular hunting time for most deer hunters,” explained Sumners. “Hunters harvest about a third of our state’s total annual deer harvest during those two days. That’s about 90,000 out of 270,000 deer statewide and about 25,000 out of 77,000 for the 29 counties in the CWD Management Zone. Focusing our efforts on this key weekend gives us the best opportunity to collect the most tissue samples during a very concentrated time period.” Sumners added that during
INCREASED CWD SAMPLING NEAR ARKANSAS BORDER
More than 100 cases of Chronic Wasting Disease found in deer and elk in northwest Arkansas has prompted MDC to continue its increased CWD surveillance efforts in seven southwest Missouri counties this fall and winter. No deer from southern Missouri have been found to be positive for CWD. MDC encourages hunters who harvest deer in Barry, Christian, Douglas, McDonald, Ozark, Stone, and Taney counties to have their animals tested for CWD. Testing is free for hunters and MDC will offer test results to participating hunters as they become available. Hunters can take their harvested deer for CWD testing through Jan. 15 to either the MDC Ozark Regional Office in West Plains or the MDC Southwest Regional Office in Springfield. Testing will be
Page 23 October 2016
EMPHASIS ON OPENING WEEKEND
the past several years, the Department has asked hunters in the CWD Management Zone to voluntarily have their harvested deer tested for CWD throughout the hunting season. To get an adequate number of tissue samples, Department staff and participating landowners also needed to harvest additional deer for CWD testing from areas very near where the disease has been found. “We collected about 7,500 tissue samples last year,” he said. “Our goal for this year is up to 20,000 samples. This higher number will give our scientists enough data to be confident in determining the locations and extent of the disease within those counties. This information will be very helpful in limiting the further spread of this deadly deer disease.”
testing. Hunters presenting bucks bound for taxidermy should inform MDC staff of that. Staff will complete paperwork and inform the hunters about participating taxidermists taking CWD tissue samples. Hunters will also be asked to identify the location within the county the deer was harvested. While testing is mandatory during firearms opening weekend, MDC staff will be available to remove tissue samples from deer harvested in the CWD Management Zone throughout the season. Hunters can contact their regional Conservation Department office for voluntary testing information: Central Regional Office in Columbia at 573-815-7900, Northeast Regional Office in Kirksville at 660-785-2420, and St. Louis Regional Office in St. Charles at 636-4414554.
Obvious symptoms of Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, in a whitetail buck. available during normal business hours, typically 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. Cooperating taxidermists in the area will be collecting samples throughout the hunting season. MDC staff will also collect tissue samples at select meat processors in the region during the opening weekend of the firearms deer season, Nov. 12 and 13. Call the MDC Southwest Regional Office at 417-8956880 or the MDC Ozark Regional Office at 417-2567161 for more information.
OUT OF STATE HARVESTS
The Department reminds hunters who harvest deer, elk, or moose outside of the state and bring the animal back to Missouri that they must report the animal’s entry into the state within 24 hours by call-
ing 877-853-5665 or reporting it online at mdc.mo.gov/carcass. Reporting is required by law. The carcass must be taken to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of entry. Hunters just passing through Missouri on their way to another state are exempt from this requirement as long as they are not in Missouri for longer than 24 hours. The reporting requirement is only for whole carcasses and carcasses that have the head and spinal column attached. Parts that do not require reporting and that are at lower risk for harboring CWD include: meat that is cut and wrapped, boned-outmeat, quarters or other portions of meat with no parts of the spine or head attached, hides or capes from which excess tissue has been
removed, antlers including those attached to skull plates or skulls where all muscle and brain tissue has been removed.
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
Chronic wasting disease is a deadly disease that infects only deer and other members of the deer family, called “cervids.” The disease has no vaccine or cure and is 100 percent fatal to all cervids it infects. CWD is spread from deer to deer through direct contact and through contact with soil, food, and water that has been contaminated with feces, urine, saliva, or carcasses of infected deer. There is no evidence of CWD transmission to any species outside of the deer family, including humans.
See CWD / Page 24
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 24
CWD Continued From Page 23 The first cases of CWD in Missouri were detected in 2010 and 2011 in captive deer at private big-game breeding and hunting facilities in Linn and Macon counties. A total of 11 cases were confirmed in captive deer at the facilities. The total number of Missouri free-ranging deer that have tested positive for CWD is 33 with 21 found in Macon County, 9 in Adair, one in Cole, one in Franklin, and one in Linn.
DON’T FEED DEER OR MOVE CARCASSES, AND REPORT SICK DEER
MDC has restricted feeding deer and placing minerals for deer in CWDManagement-Zone counties. Feeding deer unnaturally concentrates the animal in a small area, which can help spread the disease. Exceptions to the regulation include feeding of wildlife within 100 feet of any residence or occupied building, feed placed in a manner that excludes access by deer, and feed and minerals used solely for normal agricultural, forest management, or
wildlife food-plot-production practices. MDC strongly discourages the removal of deer carcasses from CWDManagement-Zone counties. Moving carcasses of potentially infected deer out of the immediate areas where harvested and improperly disposing of them can also spread the disease. If someone must move a deer carcass out of these counties, be sure to properly dispose of all leftover parts, such as by bagging them and placing in the trash. Certain carcass parts are okay to move because they have a lower risk for harboring CWD. They include: meat that is cut and wrapped, bonedout-meat, quarters or other portions of meat with no parts of the spine or head attached, hides or capes from which excess tissue has been removed, and antlers including those attached to skull plates or skulls where all muscle and brain tissue has been removed. MDC encourages people to report sick deer to local conservation agents or Department regional offices.
The world is fraught with unsatisfied hunters and anglers who have on display (and in some cases refuse to display) sub-par taxidermy examples. Whether it be a seam showing through the hair, unnatural eyes due to lack of artistic perception, or an awkward angle of the head, ears, tongue or, even worse, the entire mount. Long gone are the days when forms only came
and mounting or if they farm some of those services out. Not that subcontracting is a deal breaker, but you just want to know that the hired help is every bit as good as the main artisan, and to be sure there are no hidden costs for these individual services not factored into the main bid. You’ll want an apples-toapples comparison. Next, ask around about the names on your list. Popular taxidermists quickly rise to the top while amateur hacks are forced out of business after a couple years. Taxidermy is a "local" business for the most part, with most shops working for customers within a 50 mile radius maximum with a rare exception. Ask a half-dozen real hunters who they recommend and you’ll hear a name or two mentioned multiple times.
The Tackle Box
Here’s another tip. When you visit a shop hopefully you’ll be able to see work being done. Watch how the workers handle their tools and the mounts they’re working on. You can always tell a skilled worker by how comfortable they are with their tools, especially when someone is watching.
KNOWYOUR PRICE RANGE
You have to be realistic about price and expectations. If you’re operating on a slim budget that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good mount done ... but it might mean you’ll need to look at a less complicated pose, or a traditional wall mount instead of a pedestal or fullshoulder, or seek out a quality craftsman who works out of a shop with less overhead and highdollar location and rent. And consider the animal being mounted. Is it
your first wall-hanger, or likely a "buck of a lifetime" ... if so you might want to spend the extra money for the works. If it’s a young hunter’s first animal perhaps you can make the mount a Christmas gift or birthday present in coming months. if it’s a nice book but not the best you’ve ever seen from the area you hunt you might want to just do a simple "European mount" this time and save the big spending for the real trophy next time. And remember, taxidermists get swamped with work this time of year. If you’re not in a particular hurry for your mount you can always make that fact known and possibly offset at least a portion of the cost until you have time to save the extra dollars. It won’t hurt to ask. A taxidermist might welcome a customer who is not in a big hurry and
constantly calling looking for their deer.
TO BORROW A PHRASE
There’s a point in the movie The Blindside where the character played by Julie Roberts takes her young up-andcoming football star shopping for clothes. While in the store she explains to him that "If you don’t love it in the store, you won’t wear it." Getting a deer mounted is far more important than ever buying clothes. But the same holds true ... if you see finished mounts in a shop or at a friend’s house and you’re not impressed the chances are that’s a sign you should look elsewhere to get your work done. There are some really good shops out there that can do amazing work. And after all, getting that trophy buck mounted is (for the most part) a one shot deal. Make that shot count!
Bismarck, Mo 573-734-8255
Hunting and Fishing Supplies
Page 25 October 2016
REMEMBER LOW PRICE ISN'T ALWAYS KING
in straight on forwardlooking poses. Now forms can be purchased looking up, looking down, left, right, chewing, grooming, on a pedestal, etc. ... and can be cut and rebuilt in any number of variations. It truly does take an artist with a keen eye and good knowledge of how the animals look and react in nature to make the end product impressive. And like any vocation, honing skills takes time and talent and those who have both are in high demand and can charge at the top of what the market will bear. Start by calling around and getting prices. Explain what you have and want, for instance a 10-point buck that you want mounted nibbling an apple from an overhanging branch. Ask each taxidermist if she/he handles their own fleshing, tanning
hanging in the living room, or downstairs in his man cave, or (for those with spouses who just don’t understand) it’s hanging out in his garage, or in the stairwell leading downstairs. Do you like the way it looks? Does the head tilt appear natural, ears and eyes look as they should, does it look like it just walked out of the woods and through the wall? If the answer to all those questions is "yes" then you simply have to determine who did the work. But maybe that person has retired, or such a mount is a bit too pricey for your post-season wallet. Let’s say for whatever reason you’re left finding a new taxidermist. Again the question ... now what?
Taxidermist Continued From Page 12
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 26
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hunting season by giving an unfavorable reference. What, you're still standing on the porch, or even better yet you're sitting in the living room sharing a cup of coffee with the property owner? That's a good sign. You're almost there. Remember the etiquette rule I mentioned earlier about how you should "never show up empty handed"? Here's how you come bearing a gift. At this point you should offer to assist the landowner by providing the muchneeded services of predator control, watchman, or even population control if the situation warrants. Decades ago my grandparents owned about 110 rural acres. It's where they built their home and eventually raised their three children. But next in importance, they raised their food and livelihood there on that land. The land sustained cows, pigs and chickens, and horses used to help work the land, hay and corn for animal feed, and a sizable garden for eating fresh and canning for winter. The woodlots, fencerows and field edges of the farm also provided cover and dens or bedding areas for deer, turkey, rabbit and squirrel, along with a wealth of smaller rodents and birds. Along with such a bounty came a healthy population of coyote and fox, bobcat and an occasional black bear or mountain lion. But by large the biggest nuisance was coyotes. Grandpa wasn't a hunter. He kept a small .22 rifle on a shelf above the bedroom door which he used each fall to dispatch a couple hogs at butchering time. And I suspect he'd shoot a varmint if it was trying to harm his animals but I never heard such stories. But he did grant passage onto and across his land to a group of weekend hunters who had dogs and liked to chase coyotes. The band of houndsmen gathered a couple Saturdays each month and used their dogs to chase coyotes across the area. They used the network of county roads and private lanes to keep up with the dogs once they were on a hot trail. If they opened a gate they'd be careful to close it immediately. If a hunter drove across a field he would make sure first that it was
dry and firm enough to support his truck (this was in the days before ATVs or UTVs), and was careful never to damage crops. So why would grandpa let a bunch of guys he barely knew have free reign to enter his property without notice? Because they were providing a very important service. They were keeping the coyote population in check and at bay. They likely said something like "... we like running our dogs and hunting coyotes, and we can help keep the population knocked down and keep them away from your livestock." Any reasonable rancher or farmer would be open to at least entertaining such an idea. In recent decades the Midwest has seen a seemingly decrease in turkey numbers. One of the arguments made for that has been that the elimination of small farms - with that land being timbered, dozed and divided up into subdivision lots - has done away with small flocks of livestock and the farmers who own them needing to keep the coyote population in check. With fewer willing farmers and their farms, the number of predator hunters eventually waned. I know our coyote hunters stopped passing through grandpa's farm a few years after he suffered an illness and we had to move his livestock some 50 miles away to my dad's farm. Nature operates on cycles. Eventually when the small herds of livestock subsided the joy of predator hunting went away. When the houndsmen either grew old or moved on to other hobbies the population of coyotes began increasing once again. With no small farms full of calves, piglets and chickens, the coyotes turn their attention fully to fawns, turkey poults, quail chicks and other small game. But you don't have to be a predator hunter by hobby to provide such a service to a rural landowner. We are continually eliminating coyotes from grandpa's farm, which has since been passed down through two more generations into my care now and is used solely for hunting these days. We
See LANDOWNERS / Page 30
Page 27 ď Ž October 2016
deer, turkey or feral hogs are wreaking havoc on the plants. While wild hogs are just an all-out nuisance, too many deer can be a problem as well to a gardener or crop farmer. For that matter, even an overabundance of rabbit or squirrel can get on a landowner's nerves. It's harder to make such an argument about a flock of wild turkeys, considering how elusive and non-invasive they tend to be. More on that in a moment. Okay, you've made introductions and explained why you've come calling. If the door hasn't been slammed in your face at this point then it's time to start name-dropping references. If the conversation is pretty cut and dried, consider simply stating that you can provide some references of landowners you've cooperated with before. If the conversation is going more easy consider working it into the talk by saying that you've hunted on other people's land in the past and it was a good experience for both you and them, and you could provide the names and numbers of those people if it would be beneficial. Be prepared! Have as many names as possible and their contact phone numbers at the ready. If I'm a landowner and someone comes knocking asking to hunt on my land you can bet I don't intend to have to track down the contact information for their references. It's your job as the hunter looking for a place to hunt to do the homework and have that list of names and related phone numbers already written or printed out in a legible list and on a piece of paper folded and tucked in your pocket ready to go. And here's another tip, do yourself a favor and give those people a heads-up that you wish to use them as a reference. It's only fair to not blindside them with a questioning phone call. And it just might be that for whatever reason the past experience of you hunting on their land wasn't as favorable for them as it was for you (even if you minded your manners, but perhaps the practice just made them uneasy for some reason). The time to learn that information is before you go throwing their name around and potentially ruining your upcoming
date, you'll want to keep if fairly informal. If you already see the person occasionally at work, or church, or the bar, than you've likely already made a casual connection. If that's not the case than just knock on the door and when he or she answers, kindly introduce yourself. A little small talk might ease the tension but keep it at a bare minimum or it'll start making for an uneasy feeling ... especially on the landowner's part. Remember, you're the stranger who approached him (or her), and you're the one who is seeking a favor ... even though the other person might not realize it yet. If you have a common friend or relative this might be the time to name drop and let them know. For instance, "Good morning sir. My name is Doug Smith. My neighbor, Bob Jones (his brother-in-law or coworker or chiropractor or mechanic), said I might want to talk to you." And make that first contact with hat in hand - both figuratively and literally. Now's the time to show some respect. You've just interrupted this person's breakfast or nap or television watching and you're about ready to ask them to let you hunt on their land. A gentle approach is a must (especially for a first-timer at this kind of thing). Next, in a very forward manner, let the landowner know your intentions. Don't just blurt out your reason for being there in one sentence, but also don't belabor the unveiling of your purpose. It's entirely possible that the landowner has no interest or intention whatsoever of letting you or anyone else have access to the land for hunting. If that is the case you're only postponing the inevitable and making an awkward exchange more tense. Here's where having at least a little prior knowledge of the landowner is most helpful. Maybe you've heard that she or he used to hunt their own land but age or illness has required them to stop. Or perhaps they once had livestock and used the land for grazing and hay production and didn't allow shooting for fear of having an animal killed, but they've recently sold off the cattle or horses and now they'd likely entertain hunting. Maybe they put out a sizable garden or field crops and the
Landowners Continued From Page 6
HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 28
Sharpen Continued From Page 9 degrees for thin kitchen blades) and make a pass across the stone as if you're trying to slice a thin sliver from the stone. Repeat the move a half dozen times, then turn the knife over and do the same to the other side. Now repeat the movements using a lighter pressure on the blade against the stone. Once the blade is adequately sharp using the stone it should move over the surface in a smooth motion with no obvious rough spots throughout the range of motion. A really dull knife can take 20 or 30 passes or more per side, while a fairly sharp knife can be touched up in a dozen passes or less. A way to check for sharpness of a blade is to carefully rub the pad of your thumb lightly across the cutting edge from side to side ... never lengthwise. You should feel a “burr” on the edge of the blade.
STRAIGHTEN (Honing steel)
The truth is, most knives which appear to be dulled actually still have a suitable angle. A knife becomes “dull” when the microscopic fine point of the edge curls over, or buckles, during use. Cutting through relatively-soft bone or ligament and tendons can even damage the edge. The metal is extremely thin and fragile at the sharpened edge. When that happens the answer isn't to grab the sharpening stone again, but to grab a honing steel. Like whetstones, a steel need not be some expensive Damascus steel hand forged in a cave somewhere in the Orient. A good general purpose steel found most places where knives are sold will give a lifetime of service. Once you fully realize the significance straightening a knife edge with a steel plays in keeping all your knives sharp you'll wonder how you ever made it without one. There's a reason butchers often keep their steel tied to their belt or apron. A knife used only on occasion will not have to be sharpened but once a year or so. But a few quick passes over a honing steel will make that same knife cut true and clean with every use. Now that I've convinced you why, let's quickly talk about how. On television shows or at cooking demonstrations you often see the chef whip out his or her honing steel and point it to the Heavens and quickly slap the blade down one side and then the other in an orchestrated solo of steel on steel. A wipe of the blade on a dishtowel or apron and
Cont’d From 11
the cook is ready to slice and dice. In reality, at least until you have a lot of experience using a steel, you'll be much safer starting with the tip of the steel pointing down on a table, butcher block or countertop. I place a dishtowel or other clean rag on the surface to keep the point of the steel from sliding around or scarring the surface. Now, while holding the steel by the handle with the top resting downward on a hard surface, place the portion of the knife blade nearest the handle against the upper portion of the steel just below the handle. Angle the back of the blade about 10 to 15 degrees away from the steel (remember the Post-It paper angle guide?), and with some pressure draw the blade downward and back, letting the knife's length glide across the steel all the way to the tip. Repeat a couple times, then switch to the other side of the blade and do the same range of motion. Now go back to the first side and use less pressure of the blade against the steel and repeat a couple times, then do the other side. End the session by making lighter single passes down the steel with the sharp edge. Remember, using a steel does not remove material from the blade, but instead lines up (or straightens) the microscropic edge which curls over with normal use and makes the blade dull. At this point the blade of your knife should be amazingly sharp.
For normal daily use the next step is unnecessary. However, if you want a blade
which will shave hair, or be razor sharp for some other reason, the third and final step is to “strop” the blade. Stropping is often remembered as the move that grandpa or the barber did with a straight razor against a strip of leather just before shaving. That leather strip often had rings or ties on the ends. Unlike whetting with a stone or honing with a steel, with stropping you do not make a cutting motion with the blade. In fact, you move the blade backward while maintaining a very slight angle – which removes any unseen burrs and further straightens the nearly-invisible fine edge of the blade. A store-bought strop is a wonderful tool, which like a stone or steel, will last a lifetime. You can also use a leather belt, knife sheath or clean leather boot as a makeshift strop. I epoxied strips of an old leather belt to one side of an 8-inch length of 2X4 for an easy-to-use strop block that will last decades. Remember, stropping involves pulling, not pushing or cutting, the blade against the leather. It's this final step that often takes an extremely sharp edge to the point of “razor sharp”. For best results the strop process can be enhanced by first dressing the leather with a few swipes of "stropping compound", which is sold in a thick stick with the consistency of a crayon. But for field or kitchen use a sharpening stone and steel is often enough. When it comes to having a sharp knife and processing that recent kill it's less about the high price of the tools and more about the attention to the details.
it off the surface. As example, if you place a salt or other mineral block on a rock or stump the squirrels and other small creatures will gnaw on the blocks a little, but a deer will dig and paw at the mineral-soaked soil around the dissolving block. Once you have your mineral lick mixture tilled in initially, return every four to six months or so and “freshen up" the areas with another 9-12 pounds of the mix. This writer uses a spike aerator behind his garden tractor or ATV. Then broadcast the mineral mix by hand and rake it in. At this rate those four bags of minerals — one Dicalcium Phosphate, two Trace mineral, and one Stock Salt — will create and maintain two mineral licks for four years. If you don’t want to create multiple mineral licks, split the cost of the minerals with a friend or relative to be divided between two pieces of land. You’ll be amazed at how many deer and other animal tracks you will see around the mineral licks year round. And the licks are great locations to set up game cameras or use a portable blind to watch or photograph wildlife, especially in winter. And come next year and the next, you'll be glad you made the small investment of time and money this winter.
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HUNTING GUIDE October 2016 Page 30
Deer Camp Continued From Page 8 sitting in a motel parking lot. The gun cases and a bag of hunting gear were still sitting in the passenger side floorboard. By the time the first officer arrived on the scene she had already forced her way into the motel room and had both her cheating husband and his little girlfriend treed on top of the furniture. She was making lots of incriminating comments about having something stuffed and mounted on the wall, but it wasn’t antlers. But most deer camp stories are much less “guilty” or “vindictive”, and instead involve just simple good-natured fun. I recall a story about some hunters who welcomed a “newbie”, a first time hunter to the camp, one year in an unforgettable manner. The young hunter arrived at the distant camp late in the evening, just at dark, and was going to have to rely on the experienced hunters in camp to put him in a good stand on a productive crossing the next morning. That evening brought the usual mix of good food, swapping hunting stories and bragging about big antlers. There was a few card games before turning in for a fitful night of sleeping on a strange mattress. Before bedtime the other hunters drew an elaborate map showing the new guy how to find his tree stand in the dark the next morning so he’d be in place and ready to shoot come the first glimpse of daylight. Sometime after everyone had settled into their bunks for a good night’s rest, a few of the young mischievous hunters eased out the back door to put their prank in motion. Come sunup the following morning the hunters all dressed in their camo and orange, choked down some coffee and warm oatmeal, and headed out the door in different directions to their stands a full 45 minutes before sunup. The newbie followed suit and, using his detailed map, fumbled his way to his awaiting perch. He climbed up in the stand and awaited the sun rising over his peaceful patch of deer-laden woods. But with the first glimpse of daylight he realized something was bad awry. For on every tree in sight, from roots to the canopy, someone had covered all the tree trunks with metallic, iridescent streamers in all colors imaginable and whipping freely in the wind. The newbie had been had. In a similar vein, I know of another deer camp incident which happened to a conservation agent in our region several years ago. And the story is nearly identical to the last one except this guy was an experienced hunter and was framed with the very thing he had warned the others in his hunting party about. In this case the agent was fresh to the area
Landowners Continued From Page 27 and was invited to deer hunt with a family of seasoned deer hunters who take in rifle season in its entirety each year in a secluded cabin. About two weeks prior to rifle season the agent was driven to the cabin to have a look around and familiarize himself with where he’d be hunting. While on the property the agent noted several game feeders that were still in place and full of corn, despite the fact that the two-week deadline for having bait removed prior to hunting season was fastly approaching. The agent scolded his new friends and hunting buddies about their inattention to such a hunting infraction. The next couple weeks flew by and everyone gathered at the hunting cabin on the Friday afternoon before opening day. Like the rest of the gang, the agent took a little time before sunset to visit his hunting area one last time and secure his climbing deer stand to the tree. They all gathered back before sundown and enjoyed the usual deer camp fare — a warm fire, good food, big hunting stories and a night of restless sleep. The following morning everyone arose well before sunup, dressed for the day’s hunt, choked down some warm food and drink, and stumbled out of the cabin and in the direction of their individual hunting areas. The conservation agent quickly made his way to his stand, secured his gun and pack and shimmied the climber up the tree and into place. He stowed his gear out of the way and nestled in for a successful opening morning hunt (in accordance with all the state’s prevailing game laws). As the first glint of sun peaked up over the ridgetop to his east he quickly realized that he had been had. Fastened to every tree and sitting in most of the open places in a circle all around him — except in the path he came in on — was a dozen or so game feeders. With opening weekend of the regular firearms deer season only a couple weeks away there’s no doubt that a whole new chapter of deer camp stories will be written. For many years over the past two decades I've enjoyed opening weekend at deer camp with my two older brothers, our dad, my son, and a smattering of son-in-laws, brother-in-laws, an occasional good hunting buddy and that one niece. While the rest eventually became hit and miss from year to year, my favorite hunting buddy, my son, still consistently drives across the state to hunt with old dad each opening weekend. Aside from him, deer camp has become more about old friends along for the hunt rather than family members ... but that's not a bad thing. It's all about making memories while putting good food on the table.
eliminate coyotes while working food plots, during fall scouting, dropping by to fill feeders or check game cameras, and while hunting. Unless it's late in the season and I have a pocketful of tags still to fill I'll take out a coyote from a deer stand even if it'll potentially ruin the morning's or evening's hunt. You can provide that same service for a landowner. Ask her if she has any problems with coyotes or feral hogs on her land. Offer to dispatch any you see while hunting deer, turkey or whatever the main focus might be. Furthermore, offer to keep an eye on her fences, or report to her any unusual activity you might see while back on the back 40 acres hunting. In today's weird world of clandestine meth making and thievery (often by those looking to steal to buy the same drugs the smarter addicts are making) who couldn't use an extra set of eyes keeping a watch on their land. Let him or her know you'll quickly report to them any out-ofthe-ordinary activity you might find.
YOU HAVE ACCESS ... NOW WHAT?
Be a man or woman of your word. Close the gate securely when you pass through it. Don't put up feeders or tree stands without permission, and never damage trees or ground in the process. Notify the farmer when you find a downed fence, and even offer to help him cut up the tree which fell across the wire and help look for the cattle that got out because of the problem. Sure, it's not your land and it might interrupt a few hours of hunting time. But you've been given a great gift of available hunting land and if you play your cards right you could have access, perhaps even exclusive access, to hunt the land for years to come. When, not "if" but "when", you kill that big deer or that huge turkey, or that bonus antlerless deer, remember the landowner and offer a little bit of the processed meat. They might decline the offer but you've done your part by offering. Like I said earlier, oftentimes a landowner with property suitable for hunting was once a hunter himself who has grown too old or feeble to get out and about. Few things make an aging former hunter or angler happier than a package of venison tenderloin or a roast, a fresh wild turkey breast, or a mess of fresh-caught fish. If you're using the land to take your children or grandchildren hunting and they kill something, snap a picture of them and their harvest and show it to the landowner. True outdoorsmen (and outdoorswomen) like to see the outdoor traditions being passed down to future generations. And last but not least, don't forget Christmas. Send the landowner a card, or better yet give her or him a gift as a token of your appreciation. Consider a nice calendar geared toward their interests or hobbies, a meat and cheese tray, a gift card to their favorite restaurant (you can find out which one through small talk during visits while coming and going to hunt), some of their favorite summer sausage and some quality crackers, a loaf of homemade bread, or a sugar-cured ham. If they heat with wood buy them a couple rank of firewood and have it delivered and stacked ... you get the idea. Trust me, it's worth giving a gift. After all, consider the gift they've given you!
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