Final deer kill numbers hit 254,367 for 2003 season

Friday, January 2, 2004

Department of Conservation

Missouri's 2003 firearms deer season had some ups and downs, but the final tally shows that hunters bagged 254,367 deer. That is up almost three percent from last year's record harvest of 247,826.

This was the first year for the Urban Portion of Firearms Deer Hunting Season. Hunters bagged 91 deer in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas Oct. 25 and 26.

Missouri's third youth deer hunting season Nov. 1 and 2 yielded a harvest of 9,054, up 1,327 from the previous year's record.

The number of deer taken during the regular firearms deer season just before Thanksgiving each year always dwarfs the combined kill of the other deer season segments. The 11-day November portion this year had a take of 208,940 deer, which was 8,308 below the record set in 2002.

Armed with extra days and tags, hunters made up some lost ground during the 10-day Muzzleloader Portion of deer season, bagging a record 11,131 deer Nov. 28 through Dec. 7. That was 1,726 more than in 2002.

The nine-day Antlerless-Only Segment Dec. 13 through 21 closed out the season on an upbeat note with a harvest of 25,151 deer. That is 11,738 more than the 2002 figure of 13,446.

The number of deer taken by firearms deer hunters this year is approximately one quarter of the state's estimated deer population.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: