[font=calibri]Antlerless deer season harvest tops 22,000[/font]
Monday, December 7, 2009
[font=calibri]Missouri's 2009 firearms deer harvest to date is 229,876.
JEFFERSON CITYExcellent hunting conditions enabled Missouri hunters to shoot 22,151 deer during the Antlerless Portion of Firearms Deer Season Nov. 25 through Dec. 6. The strong showing during the antlerless hunt puts hunters on track to match or exceed last year's total firearms deer harvest.
The 12-day antlerless hunt began the day after the November Portion of Firearms Deer season closed. The harvest during the antlerless season topped last year's by more than 7,000. Resource Scientist Lonnie Hansen with the Missouri Department of Conservation attributed the hefty antlerless harvest to favorable weather and hunters' desire to provide venison for the coming year.
"Heavy rainfall on opening weekend held down the harvest during the November firearms hunt," said Hansen, "I think a lot of hunters went into the antlerless season wanting to shoot does for their freezers. The numbers make it clear they succeeded."
Hansen noted that weather during the antlerless season was generally cool and dry. The temperature dropped into the teens during the final weekend of the season, which probably helped hunters.
"Deer tend to move around more looking for food during cold weather," he said. "That makes them more visible."
Hunters checked approximately 8,000 deer during the second weekend of the antlerless season, boosting the number of deer taken by firearms hunters this year to 229,876.
Top counties during the antlerless hunt were Benton with 772 deer checked, Morgan with 694 and Callaway with 652. The Conservation Department received no reports of firearms-related deer-hunting incidents during the antlerless season.
Missouri's muzzleloader deer season opens Dec. 19 and runs through Dec. 29. The final portion of firearms deer season is the youth hunt Jan. 2 and 3.[/font]