Big Bucks, Bobcats and Trail Camera Lessons

The alarm went off about 4a.m. this morning and by 4:45 Jeremiah and I were headed south to Camp Blanding WMA.

We are continuing our hunt/scout method in order to gain some knowledge about the particular section we are working on.


We have started at the south end of the property and each hunt we are moving incrementally northward.

Up on the north end there is a field where I found a couple of sheds this past spring so our theory is that the deer are using this area for feeding.

We have also hung a few trail cameras in hopes of getting a glimpse of a buck in the area.

After the morning hunt we met at lunch and scouted further northward.

We located a low swale that had a considerable amount of rub sign and was just below the area I am planning to hunt next.

We then went west and relocated Jeremiah further north for our next hunt Thursday or Friday.

On the way across we located some large rub sign and a scrape.


We have no doubt that bucks were using this area earlier in the fall.

Our goal is to locate a couple of good trees so that next fall we can move right in.

This particular area is archery only and “walk-in” only. It is closed to any public access for most of the year.

It opens up the latter part of November so it’s not an area you can hunt during the peak of the rut.

Today’s hunt yielded a bobcat sighting and some great buck sign.

We also had 300 pictures on our trail camera.

300 pictures of nothing, that is.

The moral of the story?

When you hang your camera make sure the tree is big enough that it doesn’t blow around in the wind!

On a more encouraging note, the Missouri late muzzleloader season has yielded a few deer for friends and family, including one really nice buck.

My wife’s cousin, Cavin Cowan, took a nice ten point on land they own in Ozark County.


Cavin said he saw two nice eight points the evening before but couldn’t get a shot.

Needless to say, when he dropped the big ten the next day he was thankful that the shot on the 8-pointers never presented itself.

Cavin has had a great season this year, killing a great buck earlier in the year, and a nice mule deer out west.

We all share in his joy because every hunter knows that special elation that comes from putting a big deer down.

It doesn’t happen every day and that is what makes it so great.

Every true hunter rejoices when a family member or friend puts one on the ground – Congratulations Cavin!

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and we won’t be hunting.

We do have plans to get out later in the week and hunt the areas we found today.

We hope you had a great Christmas and pray God’s richest blessings upon your new year.

Keep it Simple – J

Jody Stanley

Jody Stanley

Avid outdoorsman, deer hunter and grandfather. Always willing to learn.

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  • JRoach

    Happy New Year to you as well.

    Glad your Blanding planning has been going well. I’ve been doing the same up in Bethea; a mixture of hunt/scout in the hopes that next fall bring a more successful season.

    • Jody Stanley

      After leaving the Midwest we are basically starting from scratch. Leaving behind 35 years of good hunting and great
      stands has been a tough pill to swallow. Thankfully there is tons of public land here so at least we don’t face a shortage of property to hunt. At this point we are favoring the limited entry WMA’S. I think it’s the best chance for a hunt that’s not maxed out with poachers,hunters, trucks, ATV’S and dogs ( no offense to the dog hunters). We turkey hunted at Bethea a few years ago and it was ok. However we found a lot more toms on the limited entry areas and were far more successful. We have a few backup areas on Osceola as well so if we don’t draw we can still have a decent hunt. I hope your scouting goes well and you can find a few good areas for next fall. Thanks for your comments!