Once in a while it makes sense to mount some type of a drive when hunting whitetail deer in Missouri, especially if they aren’t moving much and you have all the right conditions – safety being the most important! Often the driver(s) are in the brush, as is the hunter, so the shooting can be quite close and quick. An open-sighted lever action rifle is my favorite gun for this type of hunting.
It was just after brunch on the last Sunday of Missouri’s firearms deer season, and I still had my buck tag and a doe tag left to fill, when the idea for this short deer drive came up. There’s a patch of really thick brush just north of our small cabin and it’s an ideal place for deer to hold up during the day – even though it’s in earshot of the cabin.
On the north end of the brush is a place we call “the saddle;” the brush patch transitions to a fairly open woods, which thins considerably in width, serving as a natural “pinch point.” The wind was light and out of the south, which was ideal for this drive.
Son Russell was the designated driver, and
I would post. We agreed that he would start the drive in exactly fifteen minutes; I left immediately, walked far to the east of the patch of brush, then north, then west to the saddle – and set up about a half mile north of the cabin. At the appointed time, Russell pitched into the woods as I stood waiting for action. It wasn’t more than a minute before I heard the sound of deer running through the dry leaves off to my left. Turning immediately, I saw a large doe followed by a heavy 8-pointer about seventy yards out. They were headed my way at full throttle.
Standing quietly behind a large white oak tree, they never knew I was there and passed within about 20 yards. I let the doe go by and dropped the buck with one shot from my Winchester, while he was on a dead run. For whatever reason, at the sound of the shot or hearing no movement behind her, the doe stopped immediately and looked back at the buck laying on the ground; this was a much easier shot and I had a buck and doe pair. An interesting and successful deer drive!