Missouri sees lowest deer harvest in 10 years

Monday, November 30, 2009

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to reflect the correct dates of the archery antlerless deer season and to reflect the fact that there is no antlerless firearms season in Cape Girardeau County.

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Several factors combined during Missouri's November firearms deer season to produce the lowest harvest the state has seen in 10 years, according to officials with the Department of Conservation. During the season, which was from Nov. 14 to 24, hunters killed 193,090 deer, compared to 200,679 last year.

Department of Conservation deer biologist Lonnie Hansen said typically, about 60 percent of the total harvest is accounted for during the first two days of the season, but blustery wet weather on the second day created problems for hunters.

Despite a lower harvest, Hansen isn't worried.

"My only concern is we may have underharvested does in northern Missouri," he said. "Hopefully, the antlerless and muzzleloader season hunters can catch up."

Missouri's deer herd still is in good shape, "especially in the Southeast region," Hansen said.

An antlerless deer season in many northern and central counties continues through Sunday, followed by a statewide muzzleloader season Dec. 19 to 29. An antlerless archery season in Cape Girardeau County also continues until Jan. 15.

Missouri's firearms deer season closes with the second portion of the youth season on Jan. 2 and 3, while archers can hunt until Jan. 15.

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