Hunting News

88,843 deer taken during firearms opener

88,843 deer taken during firearms opener

By Missouri Department of Conservation

Deer hunters harvested 88,843 deer during the Nov. 16 and 17 opening weekend of the November portion of the fall firearms deer season. Of the 88,843 deer harvested, 51,086 were antlered bucks, 8,115 were button bucks, and 29,642 were does.

Top harvest counties were Franklin with 2,078 deer checked, Texas with 1,931, and Callaway with 1,735. Last year, hunters checked 99,470 deer during the opening weekend of the 2018 November portion of firearms deer season.

The November portion of fall firearms deer seasons continues through Nov. 26. Archery deer season opens again Nov. 27 through Jan. 15, 2020. The late youth portion runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 1. The antlerless portion runs Dec. 6-8. The alternative methods portion runs Dec. 28 through Jan. 7, 2020.

Current ongoing preliminary harvest totals by season, county, and type of deer, can be found here.

Summaries from past years are available here.

Missouri is observing 75 years of deer hunting. Habitat loss and unregulated hunting decimated Missouri’s native white-tailed deer numbers to mere hundreds by the 1930s. Deer were mostly limited to small herds in the Ozarks when the voter-approved and newly-formed Missouri Conservation Commission closed deer hunting in 1937. Then the restoration work began.

In 1944, the new Missouri Department of Conservation held the first modern deer season with 7,757 hunters harvesting 519 bucks during a two-day, bucks-only season in 20 counties. The department’s ongoing conservation efforts, in partnership with landowners, hunters, and others, have brought deer numbers back. The state now has more than a million deer throughout the state with about a half-million deer hunters harvesting hundreds-of-thousands of deer annually.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd