This year's Muzzleloader harvest ranks fourth out of the past 10 years.
JEFFERSON CITY-Hunters killed 10,254 deer during the Muzleloader Portion of Missouri's 2008 Firearms Deer Season, a figure in line with recent year's muzzeloader harvests.
Top counties for the muzzleloader hunt Nov. 28 through Dec. 7 were Howell with 217 deer checked, Jefferson with 210 and Oregon with 198.
This year's muzzleloader harvest was the fourth largest in the season's 21year history. The record muzzleloader harvest occurred in 2007, when hunters checked 13,372 deer. Over the past 10 years, the muzzleloader deer harvest has averaged approximately 9,300 deer per year. The five-year average is approximately 11,000.
Although the muzzleloader season is important to those who enjoy the challenge of hunting with one-shot rifles, the annual muzzleloader harvest accounts for only about 4 percent of Missouri's overall deer kill. By comparison, hunters check nearly twice as many deer during the Antlerless Portion of Firearms Deer Season that follows muzzleloader season, and archery hunters kill nearly four times as many deer as muzzleloader hunters each year.