The archery season is approaching | Swamp Mail

By Alyssa Andrews [email protected]

With cooler weather in the Ozarks, that can only mean one thing: hunting season is upon us.

Just around the corner is archery season, better known as bow season, which runs from September 15 to November 11 and then November 23 to January 23, 2023. The hours bow hunting season is between half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset.

There are various methods and types of equipment used for the season, including compound bows, longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, and hand string release devices. From scopes, triggers, trail cameras, tree stands and more, the variety of tools one can use to hunt whitetail deer in Missouri is nearly endless. So, we interviewed Hunter for Life Ryan Dishman on how he’s preparing for the long and exciting bowhunting season.

How long have you been bowhunting: accompanying hunts since the age of 3, but hunting alone since the age of 9.

Type of bow used: Bowtech Realm SS

The archery/bow season starts on September 15, how are you preparing for the season?

“For me, it starts with setting up surveillance cameras and minerals. It starts as early as April or May. It’s a good time to assess what the potential opportunities are, what happened last year, what’s new, etc. I look for deer tracks or signs when I hunt in a new place,” says Dishman.

What is your “must-have” when hunting?

“On long sets, my favorite has to be snacks and water,” laughs Dishman. “But always when I go bowhunting, I have to have my binoculars, my rangefinder, all that stuff handy so that whenever the opportunity arises, I’m ready.”

These items are essential for long days in the stand according to Dishman, with his longest time among the trees at 1 p.m. and his shortest at just 20 minutes.

What advice would you give to new hunters joining the sport?

“I would tell them (new hunters) not to worry about having the high end gear or branded items. Don’t worry about having what is “cool”. Stick to the essentials, the basics so that whenever the opportunity arises, you’re ready. Our ancestors hunted with just a stick and string, so you don’t need the top of the notch (equipment) to be able to hunt,” Dishman notes. “If you don’t harvest an animal, it’s not a failure. It’s a lesson you learn. At every opportunity, you learn something.

Highlight your best hunts.

“I have a lot of great memories with my dad… but the highlight for me was in 2020, every time I had my daughter (Jaela) with me. I was able to collect the ‘Triple Main Beam Buck’.

Named after the third beam that sprouted from its antlers, Dishman had been chasing this deer for more than four years, waiting to cross paths. This precise moment would be precisely the day he took his 4-year-old daughter hunting.

The two snuggled up in a homemade blind, stocked with toys, blankets and snacks to keep a 4-year-old child entertained.

“More than anything, we were there to introduce Jaela to the outdoors,” laughs Dishman.

“We were sitting there, she was playing, we were goofing off and we noticed a couple of deer about 100 yards away. One doe, the other was the Triple Main Beam Buck. The two (very) slowly moved towards us,” Dishman recalled. “…he (Triple Main Beam Buck) went to catch up with the doe and went right past it at 42 yards. I was finally able to take my opportunity. was sitting in the blind trying to watch the deer Well when he (Triple Main Beam Buck) started coming in I made her lay down because she had a blanket and a pillow in there and by the time he joined us, she was asleep.

What drives you to come back to the stand year after year?

“It’s the highlight of the experience you get in every way. You never know what will happen. It’s also that adrenaline rush when everything starts to fall into place,” Dishman shares.

Enjoying wildlife including deer, turkeys, wild cats and small mammals in their natural habitat keeps this hunter in the stand year after year.

“Just seeing them in their natural habitat, doing their own thing… It’s just a very beautiful thing.”

Other tips on how to be a “good hunter” include: follow legal hunting practices, obtain the proper license, ask landowners for permission, and leave no trace.

For those interested in bowhunting or other types of hunting here in the Ozarks, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website at

Earnest A. Martinez