December 1, 2005

Missouri Deer Hunting Totals Down in 2005

Hunters are still pursuing deer this week during the special muzzleloader portion of the 2005 deer season, but the regular 11-day firearms season came to a close November 22 with statewide totals down from the record totals in 2004.

Missouri hunters bagged 205,451 deer in the firearms portion of the season, down from the 2004 record harvest of 222,329. Callaway County topped the state with a total of 4,002 deer checked in.

Scotland County hunters did their part to try to set a new record in 2005. Local hunters saw the single largest increase among the 15 counties in the Missouri Department of Conservationís northeast recording district. Scotland County hunters harvested 2,241 deer, up 227 from the 2004 totals. The break down was 931 antlered bucks, 338 button bucks and 972 does.

Putnam County increased 179 deer from 2004 to 1,868. Sullivan, Knox, Monroe and Randolph counties were the only other counties with increases.

Overall the northeast district was down 2,249 deer from 2004 to 35,652 deer. Adair County saw the biggest decline, down 540 deer while Schuyler County hunters checked in 523 fewer deer in 2005.

Pike County led the region with a total of 3,702 deer, which was the second highest total in the state. Macon County was second with 3,176 followed by Monroe County with 3,006. Scotland County had the ninth highest total in the region.

While the hunting total was deemed a success, Scotland County did report one hunting-related accident, one of just two in the region.

According to Missouri Department of Conservation Agent Gary Miller, the accident occurred November 18th, when a member of a local hunting party was struck in the shoulder by a bullet that had ricocheted off a tree after another member of the party had fired at a deer.

Statewide there were 10 hunting accidents including two fatalities, one in the Central district and one in the Ozark Region, where according to published reports Summerville resident Paul Smith died in Texas County after he was accidentally shot by a member of his hunting party.

Muzzleloader season started November 26th and runs through December 4th and archery season does not close until January 15, 2006. Hunters will also get a chance to tag more does during the antlerless deer hunt set for December 10-18.

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