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Missouri urban deer harvest beats 10-year average

From Missouri Department of Conservation

-- Hunters checked 1,108 deer during Missouri’s four-day urban firearms deer hunt, nearly double last year’s urban deer harvest and a little above the 10-year average for the urban hunt.

The Department of Conservation instituted the urban hunt in 2003 to provide better control of deer numbers in and around human population centers. Hunters are allowed to take only antlerless deer during the urban hunt.

All or parts of 12 counties are included in urban deer zones around Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and the Columbia-Jefferson City area. Boone County led harvest totals with 186 deer checked, followed by Greene with 165 deer checked and St. Charles with 151. Other county harvest totals were: Jefferson, 105; Cass, 94; Franklin, 92; St. Louis, 90; Jackson, 72; Cole, 71; Clay, 60; and Christian and Platte, 11 each.

In the 10 years the urban season has been offered, hunters have checked an average of 997 deer per year. The smallest urban deer harvest, 129, occurred the first year. The urban hunt expanded to four days in 2004, which saw the largest harvest, 2,077.

Urban season harvests tend to be larger when temperatures are lower. This is partly because deer are more active in cool weather and partly because more hunters take part in the season when the weather is cool.

Missouri’s firearms deer season consists of six portions, comprising 42 days of hunting. Upcoming portions include the early youth portion Nov. 3-4, the regular November portion Nov. 10-20, the antlerless portion Nov. 21-Dec. 2, the alternative methods portion Dec. 15-25 and the late youth portion Dec. 29-30. Missouri’s archery deer season runs from Sept. 15 through Nov. 9 and Nov. 21 through Jan. 15.

Details of deer-hunting regulations are contained in the 2012 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet online at mdc.mo.gov/node/3656/.

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