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Missouri muzzleloader harvest well above 10-year average

From the Missouri Department of Conservation

-- Hunters with front-loading firearms shot 12,940 deer during Missouri's 11-day muzzleloader season, bringing this year's firearms deer harvest total to more than 230,000 statewide.

The muzzleloader harvest was the third-largest in the season's 23-year history, and well above the 10-year average of 11,312. Top muzzleloader harvest counties were Oregon with 277 deer killed, Macon with 268 and Franklin with 267.

Snowfall, which makes deer more visible to hunters, may have boosted this year's muzzleloader harvest, according to Lonnie Hansen, a Department of Conservation resource scientist.

"We had snow on the ground for both weekends of this year's muzzleloader season," Hansen said. "The weather during some of the season was pretty extreme, and that might actually have held down the harvest a little. Overall, though, the weather probably was a help to hunters."

The final segment of Missouri's firearms deer season was late youth portion Jan. 1 and 2. The harvest during last year's late youth hunt was 1,706.

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