Saturday, August 22, 2015


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Conservation Commission set season dates and limits for the 2016-2017 fall deer season and gave initial approval to several deer-hunting regulation changes proposed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) at the Commission's Aug. 19 meeting in Jefferson City.Published on: Aug. 20, 2015

Approved changes to fall deer season structure for 2016-2017 include:
  • Maintain current timing of the November portion and reduce the length from 11 to 9 days.
  • Expand the late youth portion to three days beginning the first Friday after Thanksgiving.
  • Reduce the length of the antlerless portion from 12 to 3 days and begin on the first Friday in December.
  • Eliminate the urban zones portion.
Proposed regulation changes to fall deer season structure for 2016-2017 include:
  • Allow crossbows as a legal method during the archery deer and turkey seasons.
  • Allow the use of crossbows during the fall firearms turkey season.
  • Reduce the limit of antlered deer from 3 to 2 during the combined archery and firearms deer hunting season, with no more than one antlered deer taken during the firearms deer hunting season.
  • Remove the hunting method exemption requirement related to crossbows.
Missouri's rule-making process includes a 30-day public comment period. Comments related to the proposed regulation changes can be submitted online to the Conservation Department from Oct. 2-31 at Full verbiage of the proposed amendments will be posted on the webpage after Sept. 15.
The Commission will make its final decision on these proposed changes at its December meeting. With final approval, the regulation changes would become effective in March 2016 and implemented for the 2016-2017 deer hunting seasons.
The Department is also working to simplify conservation area deer-hunting regulations by limiting methods and use of firearms and archery antlerless permits. To see the list of conservation areas with proposed changes to hunting methods and to provide comments, visit the MDC website at from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. The webpage will not be available until Sept. 1.
The Department will also continue to gather input from citizens on a variety of deer hunting-related topics, including nonresident permits and prices, through public surveys and its website in early 2016.
When formulating recommendations for these regulation changes, the Conservation Department used deer hunter surveys, landowner surveys, archery-hunter observation surveys, deer population simulations, biological data, harvest summaries, and public input gathered from 22 public open houses held around the state and about 11,800 public comments received at the public meetings and online.
"The goal of the Conservation Department's deer management program is to use science-based wildlife management combined with public input to maintain deer population levels throughout the state that provide quality recreational opportunities while minimizing human-deer conflicts," said MDC Deer Biologist Jason Sumners. "As deer populations in Missouri have changed over the last 75 years, so have our management strategies. In modifying the hunting season structure, our aim is to achieve a deer population that is biologically and socially acceptable while also promoting hunter participation, recruitment, and retention."
Missouri offers some of the best deer hunting in the country, and deer hunting is an important part of many Missourians' lives and family traditions. Deer hunting is also an important economic driver in Missouri and gives a $1 billion annual boost to the state and local economies.

Archery Season
• Sept. 15-Nov. 11, 2016 and
• Nov. 21, 2016-Jan. 15, 2017
Firearms Season
• Early Youth Portion: Oct. 29-30, 2016
• November Portion: Nov. 12-20, 2016
• Late Youth Portion: Nov. 25-27, 2016
• Antlerless Portion: Dec. 2-4, 2016
• Alternative Methods Portion: Dec. 24, 2016-Jan. 3, 2017

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cool Season Food Plot Planting Day

     Today is cool season food plot planting day at Williams Wilderness Lodge. Three plots will be planted in advance of three expected days of rain which will allow good germination and quality food for trophy whitetails, ensuring a quality private hunt for all this year. It will be a busy day of planting forage oats, austrian winter peas, and varieties of clover. The big whitetail bucks are starting to show up and we intend to feed them well so they will have plenty of energy for the many does they will encounter during the rut.
This whitetail only wanted to show his rack for now.

Nice potential on this 8 point buck

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Summary of the Year So Far

     This is just a short summary of the year at Williams Wilderness Lodge so far to help you plan for your upcoming trophy whitetail hunt. We are very proud here of the hunts we provide and work year-round to ensure a quality hunt for all. If you have considered hunting with us before but haven't pulled the trigger on it this is the year to sneak in and give us a try.
     It has been another solid year weather-wise. If it is possible to believe, this year has been even wetter than last year. Until last week, there has not been a period of more than three days without rain since early spring. The majority of this rain has been consistent downpours as well, not light showers. This has allowed the intermittent creek on the property to flow the majority of the year. The constant precipitation has created substantially healthy undergrowth which has been inviting for a significant whitetail deer population. Natural food plots abound throughout the property.

     The majority of our woods are white and red oak trees. The acorn crop this year will easily be the largest this property has seen under our ownership. We know where the deer will be once these acorns start dropping.
Whitetail deer will have a feast when these start dropping
     In addition to the natural food plots growing abundantly at Williams Wilderness Lodge this year, I have planted additional supplementary food plots in order to attract whitetail deer to the property. One spring plot was planted in the bottom field across from our elevated box blind. This plot was planted with forage soybeans as well as grain sorghum. The sorghum was added to create a long, thick stalk for support to allow the soybeans to grow longer and taller. This plot will provide good early season greenery for whitetail deer as well as great late season hunting when the beans are on the ground.
Soybeans draw whitetail deer in
     Additional food plots are being prepared and are set to be seeded this Sunday. I will be planting a mini-plot as described in a previous post Fall Mini Plot in the narrow field to the west of the bottom field. I will be planting it with forage oats and austrian winter peas. Austrian winter peas are the ultimate cool season food plot for big deer. The whitetails love this stuff! I will be putting up a plotsaver fence to preserve this mini-plot until it is well established. A single man box blind overlooks this area and will create some great action for hunters this rifle season as well as muzzle loader season.
Gun hunters will love this spot.
     Two more mini-plots that will be planted on Sunday will be in small openings around the pond. These will consist of forage oats and a variety of clovers.There has been much more activity from all wildlife in the pond area this year. Deer and turkey both have been getting more comfortable in closer proximity to the house this year and on many occasions I have awakened to whitetail and turkey in the yard. These plots will serve to feed the growing population and a ladder stand is situated close between the two plots.
This is a great archery stand for big deer.
     Additionally, mineral sites were established last year and continued this year. Three mineral sites were set up again this year to nourish does with their fawns in the Spring as well as give bucks the minerals they need to stay healthy and grow those big racks you are looking for. I do not use any of the overpriced BOB (Buck on a Bag) minerals that are full of salt and not much else. Each year members of Missouri Whitetails combine for a large order of mineral that is made locally at Silver Moon Feeds. This mineral consists of a large portion of the minerals deer need to maintain health as well as grow trophy racks. It contains a maximum of 11% salt, an ingredient that is a much larger portion of the mineral you buy in stores. Deer need calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium and this mineral delivers. 22% calcium, 10% phosphorous, 2.5% potassium, and 2.2% magnesium. This mineral far exceeds what most are using to improve their deer quality and I am proud to use it here.

     To summarize, I am very proud of what we have established here at Williams Wilderness Lodge in a short period. I hope this season summary has served to demonstrate that we are serious about providing a quality whitetail hunt at an affordable price for everyone. We have plenty of open dates to plan your hunt this year and (4) hunters can hunt private land at $150 a day ($37.50 per person!) in Northern Missouri's prime area for trophy whitetails. Give me a call at (928) 366-4020 and we can get you set up for the season.

     As a reminder to all of our customers that enjoyed the combination of a private land hunt and lodging, the lodging and hunting packages will be returning in 2016. As soon as lodging becomes official we will announce all of the details as well as open up reservations for the 2016 season. Thank you for your continued support of our mission to provide affordable trophy hunts in Northern Missouri.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Two Additional Fall Food Mini-Plots

I believe I am going to plant these in varieties of clover.

The ladder stand in this area has a great view of these plots:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

New Fall Food Plot Location

Yesterday, in addition to working on repairs to the elevated box blind in the "bottom field", I began groundwork on a new Fall food plot location. For those customers that hunted last year, you will recognize the single man box blind to the right and understand the location of the small plot at the bottom of the field. To those who have not hunted the land I offer this overhead:

This plot is going to be planted with austrian winter peas and forage oats. This should create an attractive stand to bring them into this field more and make this single man blind a great rifle season spot this year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Box Blind Repairs

Today much needed repairs will commence upon the elevated box blind in the bottom field. This year the blind is overlooking a food plot of soybeans and grain sorghum.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 Deer Season is Upon Us

     It is less than two months until the 2015 deer season kicks off with archery hunting. I must apologize for not updating the blog for so long. It has been an insanely busy year so far but the lodge is on track for another quality season. I plan to have regular weekly updates from here forward, as this will be the primary online means of keeping our customers apprised of all things related to the hunting at the Lodge.

     First, some highlights from 2014:

     A couple of really nice 10 pointers were harvested by customers last year. We truly appreciate everyone's patronage and hope your hunts were enjoyable last year.

     With that being said, by now everyone is aware that we are not offering lodging this year, but are still offering private hunts. I will have a separate post to come detailing the 2015 rates and openings still available. I will also let everyone know that plans are in the works to once again offer lodging in 2016. There will be updates on this as the plan comes together, but we hope to offer the full package again next year. The land will be the same...may even have a few more acres to choose from, but the lodging will be different, as our family is now residing in the old lodge.

     Again I want to thank everyone who has been our customer over the last year and a half and I want to invite prospective customers to follow this blog and it's updates to determine if Williams Wilderness Lodge is the right hunting destination for you. Please follow along here as well as our Facebook or for more information on booking a private hunt call Ron at 928-366-4020.