Zero-In on That Trophy Buck with NW Missouri Outfitters

Offering rifle hunts during the rut and a generous early archery season (starting September 15), Missouri is a prime place to to snag whitetails. Northwest Missouri Outfitters sits close to the Iowa border near Denver and year after year, they take bucks in the 170-180 class range. Cody Blankenship doesn't mess around. In this article, he is going to tell us exactly what it takes to be successful for early season whitetails.

Sweet September!

September is an exciting time of year for the avid bow hunter in Missouri. Our season begins earlier than most in the Midwest and we are chomping at the bit to see the fruits of our labor from Jan 15th (the end of our last deer season). 

As exciting as it can be, it can also leave a guy beating his head against the wall with the “I’ve had this deer on camera all year and now he is gone” or “well, I thought I had him patterned and evidently not!”

September is really when everything starts to take a turn in the deer world. Projected outcomes can be frustrating and equally rewarding at the same! Here are a few tips and maybe tricks that we use to eliminate some of those frustrations.

Stop over-thinking

Overthinking is a hunter’s worst enemy in my book. Don’t overthink, outsmart. As a hunter and outfitter, you know that you MUST change with the deer. This is the time of year things really start to take shape, so we add more cameras to the areas that we have been taking inventory on all summer.

Pay Attention

While checking those cameras, you really have to pay attention - to everything. Pay attention to which deer seems to be running off the others as they establish their core area. They’ll be pushing one another to see who the boss is. Pay attention to see if they are using licking branches in that area.

Which bucks are using the licking branches in that area?
What direction did they walk into the camera?
What direction are they leaving?

If your stud is just posing in front of the camera but not using the licking branches, he’s probably not trying to establish a core area in that spot. If you find your target buck showing his face a lot, pay attention to which parts of day he’s doing it. If you’re catching him on more than one camera, noting the times of day he does so may just give you the insight you need to slip in on him and give him the ultimate surprise.

Know where the resources are

Let’s be honest - food is the key to all aspects of hunting in the early season! Keeping track of where the food and water is in the area is very important. Different areas vary greatly on what food sources are available and weather patterns can affect what as well.

Work The Cycles - History repeats itself

If you have been keeping track on the past seasons, try to recall where those deer went in this time of year as they shed that velvet and start to split. This can give you great insight on what that deer just might do this year.

Put boots on the ground

I can not stress enough on how important it is to put the boots on the ground and actually get out there to watch what the deer are doing. Get your favorite pair of binos and go check it out.

There are a lot of things a pair of binocs will tell you that a camera will not. Where are the deer entering, where are they leaving? Are there any old, mature whitetails hanging back that never make it in front of the camera?

Most Importantly

Wake up each day with a drive and a purpose while you are out in the field. Give thanks to the good man upstairs who has allowed you to wake up, have enough fuel to have a drive and purpose, and just enjoy what you are so blessed to be surrounded by!

What Cody Hoofs Around In

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Northwest Missouri Outfitters, LLC

"Northwest Missouri Outfitters LLC is a small, privately run business located in the northwest part of Missouri close to the Iowa line near Denver. We offer guided rifle, muzzleloader, and archery whitetail hunts. We include two meals per day and provide all transportation to and from stands. We do tracking and retrieval of game and while we do not have on site deer processing, we do have a deer processing business just down the road that does all the processing (or you can do it yourself if you prefer)."