State's deer hunters set another record

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

From staff and wire reports

Hunters in Missouri killed a record 222,329 deer during the season that ran Nov. 13 to Nov. 23, surpassing by 4,894 the mark set in 2002.

The northeast region led Missouri's eight regions with 37,901, followed by the central section with 35,371 and the northwest with 31,507. Howell County, in the Ozark region, reported 4,401 deer taken, followed by Callaway County with 4,107 and Texas County with 4,072.

In the southeast region, 19,939 deer were harvested, with only the St. Louis region trailing that total. Wayne County led the region with 2,527, followed by Ste. Genevieve with 2,287 and Bollinger with 2,061.

No fatal accidents were reported in the state.

Including the youth and urban deer seasons held earlier, the firearm deer kill for this fall now stands at 237,750. The muzzleloader season continues through Sunday, and the final segment is the antlerless-only season, which is scheduled for Dec. 11 to Dec. 19.

Results from those two seasons could mean a total firearms kill higher than the record 254,814 set last year. If that happens, it would be the 10th time in the last 11 years the mark is broken.

"I keep wondering when it's going to peak," said Lonnie Hansen, deer biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. "We're due for a season when we have bad weather and the harvest falls off. But so far, it hasn't happened. Even when conditions aren't perfect, we shoot a lot of deer."

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