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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My hunting area this season was in the Northwest corner of Missouri. However, according to the author of the following article I should have been in the NE part in order to find trophy deer.
Ox
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Posted on Thu, Nov. 20, 2003

Weekend Destination
Head north for deer country
Upper Missouri, with its ideal habitat, holds increasing population

By BRENT FRAZEE

The Kansas City Star

You'd think the 10-point buck that Tyler Perry shot Sunday would be the deer
of a lifetime for the young hunter. Not so. Yes, it was one that caused
ripples of excitement in Macon County on opening weekend of the Missouri
firearms deer season. But Perry will tell you with a straight face that
he has seen bigger — and shot bigger.

A couple years ago, I shot an 11-pointer that had a rack that was bigger
than this one,” said Perry, 21, who lives in Kirksville, Mo. And I've
seen bucks while I'm out scouting there that are bigger than the ones I shot.

Up here, it doesn't surprise us that much anymore when we see a huge
buck. That's what this area is known for; It's just a real good place to hunt
deer. I consider myself lucky to live up here.

Indeed, the northeast region has firmly established itself as Missouri's
deer-hunting capital. With its mix of crops, timber, brush, grasslands and
CRP acreage, it fits the modern bill of what is ideal deer habitat.

Maybe hunters thought they had to head for the big-timber country of the
deep Ozarks to take deer in Missouri years ago, but they're heading in
the opposite direction now. North Missouri is the place to go these days.

Deer used to be thought of as a timber species, said George Shurvington,
a wildlife biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. But we've
changed out thinking on that. In reality, they are an edge' species.

They do well where different habitat types join together where timber
borders crop fields, for example. That's why they are thriving up here.
Hunters also are thriving. For much of the last decade, the northeast
region has been the state leader in deer harvest. Counties such as
Macon, Adair, Pike and Sullivan annually produce outstanding hunting.

And this year is following tradition. On opening weekend, hunters took
19,353 deer in the northeast region, tops in the state. And among counties,
Macon ranked second with 1,980 deer checked in.

Updates haven't been issued by the Department of Conservation
since then. But by the time the season ends Tuesday, officials
expect the northeast to again have the impressive harvest totals
to justify its reputation as Missouri's top deer-hunting region.

Most of the 16 counties in the region provide good deer hunting,
Shurvington said. That's what's impressive about this part of the state.

There aren't many places where there isn't good deer habitat. A portion
of that good habitat can be found on the region's abundant public land.
And that attracts crowds of hunters each year.

Conservation agents reported counting more than 100 vehicles on
opening day at the Atlanta-Long Branch Conservation Area near
Macon. And some hunters reported having to travel to Iowa before
they could find a motel room .

This area really is developing a tradition for deer hunting, Shurvington said.
We talk to people who have camped in the same spot for years. Perry is
one of many who knows exactly where he is going to be each deer opener.
He hunts a farm in Macon County that offers thick timber close to crop fields.

He sat in a tree stand overlooking that ideal habitat for three hours on opening
day Saturday and failed to even spot a deer. But his fortunes changed
late Sunday.

My friend was making a drive through a patch of timber and he pushed this
big buck out, Perry said. I just got lucky. But Perry wasn't the only hunter
who took a trophy deer in Macon County on opening weekend. Kurt Hamilton
of La Plata, Mo., also will be making a trip to the taxidermist. He shot a
10-point buck on his farm Sunday morning.

Our land borders a public hunting area (the Hidden Hollow Conservation Area),
and I'm sure some of the bucks from there are pushed over here when the
shooting starts, Hamilton said. They'll go to the brushy ditch lines on our
land and just lay down.

That's where we've found them in past years, so that's one of the areas I
always try to hunt. This year, the fog played a part. When Hamilton went
out, it was thick and he figured that gave the deer a false sense of
security.

When it started to lift, this buck was just out in the open, Hamilton said.
He probably felt that he was still hidden. The buck was the biggest
Hamilton has ever taken in more than 20 years of hunting in northeast
Missouri. He figures it will be big enough to qualify for the Missouri
Show-Me Big Bucks Club, which honors hunters who take trophy deer.

Usually, they get what I call ;ground shrinkage; after you shoot them,
Hamilton joked. They get smaller once you go to pick them up.

But this one was just the opposite. It didn't look that big when I went
to shoot it. But once I went over to him, I saw that he had a big rack.

Northeast Missouri's public hunting:

Not only is northeast Missouri the state's top deer hunting region, it
is one of the leaders in public hunting opportunities. Here are some of
the area's options:

• ATLANTA-LONG BRANCH CONSERVATION AREA: This 5,000-acre
conservation area north of Macon, Mo., attracts big crowds each deer
season. But it has plenty of deer. And hunters often can find room to r
oam after the opening-weekend crush.

• UNION RIDGE CONSERVATION AREA: With 8,000 acres of land,
this is the region's largest block of public hunting. Just north of
Greencastle, Mo., it sits in Adair and Sullivan counties.

• INDIAN HILLS CONSERVATION AREA: Situated five miles south
of Memphis, Mo., in Scotland County, this 4,000-acre tract offers a
mix of timber and clearings that hold plenty of deer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been in that part of Missouri several times. Many years ago my parents moved to Bowling Green, which is in Pike County. So is Hannibal, Mark Twain's home, and the city of Lousiana, MO. They're located on the banks of MO next to the Mississippi River.

Went jug fishing there with my dad one time many years ago using his 10 hp Merc. fishing motor on a small flat bottom boat trying to catch fish in the big "Muddy."

Guess we scared away all the big trophy deer this year from NW MO where I hunted the past two years.
:D ;) All I saw were does. :nod:
 

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If I ever get back to my sales job, I'll be working back at the Quincy, Hanibal, area. Pike county is infamous for big bucks. Only drawback is there are a lot of outfitters and leases now.

I like driving over to MO. when I'm down that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hey Jerry...you know all about that place. Would you believe I helped Tom Sawyer whitewash his fence?:jaw: :hmmm: Well...I'm not quite that old but I've been through that museum years ago. My sister & her family lives in Quincy so we get there every once in a while.

My dad worked for the Department of Agriculture as a supervisor for the Farm Home Administration office located in Bowling Green when he retired. Spent some time visiting around there after I was off on my own career.

Didn't know which state in which you lived. Must be Illinois???
 

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I don't remember reading anything about someone else helping with that fence :)

Yup, live in Il. Just don't brag about it a whole lot. I'm looking to finish out my Mil. career and possibly move on.

Well, if your ever in Quincy and have 30 minutes let me know & I'll buy you a burger and a beer at the Abby. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey...Becky and I were old sweethearts.:loveydove :loveydove :loveydove :kinky: Tom made me pay him to do that job, though. :D :stupid: :jaw:

If you live in Quincy you might run across my Bro-in-law who is an orthopedic surgeon in a medical clinic there. His name is Bill Holt. My sister and Bill live in one of those huge Victorian homes that are so plentiful in Quincy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jerry...did that and left a PM for you.
Ox
 
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