Let me begin by saying that fall is not my favorite time of year. I have always liked hot weather, and fall just seems to signal a slow slide into winter and all things cold. However, one beautiful thing about fall is that it is a good time to get out into the woods. Fall mushrooms are just around the corner. Persimmons are on their way too. If you’re fortunate enough to have a paw paw tree and can beat the animals to the fruit: score! You might already have your first harvest of those.
September 15th, although technically before the start of fall, is the start of Missouri’s archery season for deer. I admit that I’m much better with hot lead than a sharp stick, but those who hunt using this primitive method usually enjoy it immensely. There are many opportunities to hunt in Missouri, but early archery season offers some fair weather and great sport. The temperatures usually require some extra care to be taken with the harvest, but that also means you won’t freeze to death while sitting in your tree stand. In anticipation of walking through woods for a successful hunt, keep these general things in mind:
- A hunting permit is required. Make sure you have the correct permit, so you can be safe and legal in the woods. Read through applicable regulations as well.
- No trespassing. Stay on your property, public land (where hunting is permitted), or on land where you have the permission of the landowner. The Missouri Department of Conservation has some good information on where you can hunt.
- Ticks are still going to be a problem through September, so remember to apply repellent and do regular “tick checks”.
- Deer stands have safety straps for a reason, and that’s all the reminder you should need about using them.
- Shooting time starts a half hour before sunrise and ends a half hour after sunset.
- Take a bottle of water, and keep in mind that a reusable bottle generally makes much less noise than those thin disposable crinkly ones.
- Watch for other hunters in the woods and be mindful of what is behind your target.
Missouri’s upcoming archery season might be a good way to spend some time outside. Just take care and shoot straight.