Saturday, October 22-29th will be Concept Archery's 6th annual hunt in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri - acorn country! The potential for a big buster buck (and long beard) is there. Included in your deer tags are two wonderful turkey tags. Turkey feathers harvested last year and others busted on the draw. We found hundreds of turkeys in a few areas.
This hunt is open to all, including non-Concept shooters, and is relatively inexpensive $500-750 total costs depending on travel expenses. Kids ages 10 or older welcomed and we might have a few kids in camp this year, most very likely a soon to be ten year old. No hunter education card is required for bowhunters and/or kids. We will be camping with the possibility of having showers and a cabin near by. We ask that you bring breakfast and lunches and that all chip in $60 ($10 a night) to cover the costs of dinners for the week. ($35 per child) - these fees get divided among the chefs equally - Concept does not charge anything for this hunt.
It can be warm but game is always seen and shot at and without any doubt, there is a potential for a buster buck, with a 140-160 being a very good harvest on this trip. There are 180s and larger taken out of this area every year. Water holes are somewhat plentiful and a good strategy. Logging road on top of fingers and saddle tops are also good. If going for turkeys, I would recommend a ground blind and probably setting up on a logging road where they're feeding and dust bathing. Deer cross these saddles and road tops too so blinds are good for deer too. Hunt right at the tent or walk off in many directions. Drive the huge National Forest and plenty of hunting grounds.
Pressure, we're still a week or more before gun season and we might possibly see a few bowhunters, but more than likely just others on the weekend scouting before gun and or setting up a stand or two. Over all very quiet and remote on sun rising, turkey churping, mornings and evenings mountain oak and pine and hard wood ridge tops. Don't think as remote as Sylamore AR but last year we didn't get too deep into forest either. Only bowhunters we saw were at a weekly camp. Two nice bucks seen and a miss at one at a pond, others seen and for sure signs. Does are fairly abundant. Turkeys in spots, but when you find them you find them, at least usually. Along the 11 Point River (interesting name)....
Your $225 archery license is 2 deer tags (one buck) are two turkey tags. Big bucks and turkeys were seen and shot at last year. Youth age 6-15 may purchase deer and turkey permits at half of resident price. So a youth firearms any-deer permit is $8.50. If the youth is not hunter safety certified they must hunt in the immediate presence of an adult who is certified or exempt by age (born before 1967) and who carries valid permits (filled or unfilled) for the species being pursued.
Lunches and breakfasts such as granola bars, sandwiches, chips, water, soda, coffee, candy bars (always a hit), oak meal, bacon, etc. TP or toilet paper is a need. Occasionally fresh killed grilling or other group lunches occur but we ask all to cover their morning and afternoon meals.
Each year we have a camp chef award, and this year I promise to be better prepared for our voters, and we always welcome new chefs. We cook over campfire tractor trailer tire rims with a grate and usually have some other heat source/stove. Dutch oven, open campfire cooking, or any other ways of cooking always welcome. I'll post the golden spatula, Camp Chef Award of 2014 shortly. Follow up desserts can also help win this yearly Camp Chef Award..
We are always welcome to new chefs with an awesome campfire dinner – and note some have not been so awesome. A salty shoe ham and under-cooked, front shoulder stew are a few that come to mind. My wife's somewhat burnt pie was still good last year, and sorry to J-J who received the 1st Philly venison cheese steak - the one with the charred black bottom.
Camp is just that camp. Tents and lanterns and campfires. Usually a solar paneled trailer for electric and running a small freezer/refrigerator, charging phones, etc. This trailer may or may not be there for 2016. It is however digging a hole in the woods to take care of business. We have access to a near by cabin for a hot shower or two throughout the week. In the past we've even had "engineering" of showers with pressure in camp and some do the trick quite well and saves a long drive. The cabin may or may not be near by for some further studying of maps needs to be looked at to determine camp site location in forest for this year. We will be planning on possibly moving further into the forest to be off the beaten path. Cell phones have little to really NO coverage throughout most of this area - spouses, kids, etc may not hear from you but every other day? GPS handheld device is a plus. A pack with medical supplies, warm hat, fire starters, poncho, whistle, etc is not a bad idea. We hunt as a group and are safe as possible but in the dark the forest looks different and can be fairly big. Cots and sleeping bags, there's a few extra and most likely rooms in tents if you don't have camping gear. Let us know what you have or might need or have us recommend what you need. It's not much. Also, note there are always some snorers in camp but plenty of space if a tent needs to be pitched away from others..
WEATHER and ITEMS TO BRING:
It's usually pretty warm to comfortable 75-85 degree day hunting, often cool to cold in mornings and nights. We've had some mid days hit 90 degrees or slightly more in AR, but seems like a brief few hour. You are in the forest which provides shade and cooler temperatures. Over all the weather is usually pretty comfortable and nice. Bring maybe one pair or two shorts for mid day at camp. No need for heavy heavy warm wear, though warm and light gloves for hunting and warm hat of face mask along with light jacket and few layers of warmth is recommended. Hiking boots or work boots are good, no winter boots. Wool socks with hiking boots is usually sufficient. Slippers, flip flops, sneakers etc are nice at camp and air out your feet. Leather work gloves around camp is usually a plus. Bugs are and have not been all that bad thankfully especially at camp. Sometimes in the field you do get gnats around your facemask - bring bug spray if you wish, some will be in camp more can be purchased midweek if needed. Bring at minimum a poncho or rain jacket with a hood. Pop up tents are nice for camp if we experience rain.
The cabin can also serve as a fairly large and warm dry place to sleep should we encounter inclement weather. One year we had almost 4 days of rain which can be tough but thankfully beautiful warm weather after that. One year in AR we had a neat experience of heavy winds with dark clouds and we figured our chances in the woods may be just as good - we were all going to be tied to a tree if need be (not a good sales pitch I know). Thankfully the Tornado warnings passed.
Rattle snakes have been seen on several occasions, bring gators if you prefer and might be best for youngsters? Watch where you walk esp at night (snakes are often night hunters) and have a good flash light with a second as a back up in your hunting bag. Light weather boots or hiking boots are fine.
Crossbows are permitted and some will be in camp, especially with minors. If your capable of pulling back a bow and no health or strength issues, you might get some ribbing, but you will still be welcomed and it is not a problem. As with a compound or trad bow "the true real man's bow", know all laws pertaining to your weapon(s). Firearms will most likely be in camp. MO is an open carry state and many carry permits are recognized by MO. Be sure to remember to follow all laws in the states you are driving/flying to and from.
ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE/HOLD YOUR SPOT:
Most will leave on Friday October 23rd, some possibly setting up this Friday, but most will be arriving Saturday October 24th. Hunting Sunday to Saturday October 29th. We usually sleep in one morning or as many as you wish and see town or something as a group outing. Confirmation needs to be before July 31st. $60 deposit holds your spot, fully refundable up until July 31st. Limited to 12-13 hunters. Feel free to ask, call or email questions.
Some mention of rule. Be courteous to others, we often have different up bringing, back grounds or ways of doing things, not to mention we're all sinners. Swearing - will be tolerated, but not obsessive, asked to watch when around minors. Tobacco - use away from others. Alcohol is permitted though we are a pleasant crowd and if alcohol encourages anger or other problems, we ask that you abstain. It is camp and we do sit around the campfire and have been and occasionally mixed drinks. Any issues will be dealt with first privately and in the best manner we seem fit. This hunt is meant to be a pleasant and fun time for all so lets keep it that way and encourage others including hunting and learning and just being with others among the outdoors.
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2014 Group photo Arkansas
2013 Wisconsin Group Photo - partial group
Arkansas Buck - 140ish 8 point - one of many seen
2011 Arkansas 8 point
Dutch Oven Pizza is a hit
Marinated Back Strap Venison Kabobs
Drove all night slept in collapsed tent on day one - near by controlled burns with embers about - too tired to care
Cam rotates into treestand blow easy shot on a bob cat.
Drying out/hanging out
Living the Dream
Burnt Apple Pecan Pie - was still very good
Oh, and I'd like to bring back the recurve shooting competition....
Note the below pic is me up about 18 feet in a tree, none to barely any noise including air planes, none as in zero lights seen anywhere on the ground, and walk for miles before coming to a main "dirt" road. Looks like a good spot for a pig or bob cat too, no?
whistle is good to have, gps is too, especially at night - we recommend carrying two lights when bowhunting. we help each other and set up wisely to, help each other track, drag, etc. there are many road tops and side roads and ponds to hunt and we hunt as small groups. it is a beautiful part of the country and with did I mention, lots of a'corns... plenty of good straight trees for climbers!
Missouri will be somewhat different though not much - I'm working on finding more MI pics of the forest. It will be colder than AR and colder weather gear might be needed especially for minors and/or the female species dare we get one adventuresome enough to join us. As of now, a 10 year old is the only confirmation of a minor to be in camp with a few others possibly on the fence.
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Concept P50 - 9 for 11 on gray squirrels
Both bows are tack drivers!
NJ has it's first black bear bow hunting in season since I believe 1971? Oct 10-15th is our bow season and I'm going to try to get in 3 days worth of bear hunting. For me and a few others a delay or poss cancellation worked out well.
Good luck to all - may you have a safe, enjoyable and successful season. God bless.
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