November 20, 2008

Rule Change Doesnít Impact Opening Weekend Deer Totals in Scotland County

Despite 2008 regulations requiring bucks to have at least four points on one side, hunters in Scotland County still reported plenty of success during the opening weekend of the 2008 Missouri firearms deer hunting season.

The hunters braved the cold, wind, and an occasional snowflake to surpass last yearís opening weekend harvest totals slightly in Scotland County.

Local hunters checked in 419 antlered bucks, 187 button bucks and 560 does for a total opening haul of 1,166 deer, up six from last years two-day opener.

The northeast Missouri recording area recorded an increase of 365 deer from 2007, with hunters in the 16 county region checking in a total of 18,367 deer.

But statewide the numbers were down 1,939 from last yearís total of 100,504 deer. Missouri hunters checked in 98,565 deer during the first 48-hours of the 11-day season which ends November 25th.

Macon County topped the state with 1,992 deer harvested just edging out Benton County (1967) for the top honors. Callaway County was third highest with 1,693 deer taken.

Macon County led the northeast district followed by Monroe County with 1,532 deer and Adair County with 1,499 deer. Macon County saw the biggest opening weekend increase, jumping up 331 deer in 2008. Pike County saw its numbers slip 300 deer to 1,362 this year.

Schuyler County had the lowest harvest total in the region with just 772 deer checked in. Knox Countyís numbers declined 72 deer to 1,240 while Clark County saw its harvest decline 167 deer to 1,121.

The statewide totals were split nearly down the middle with 42,190 antlered bucks checked in compared to 42,657 does and 13,718 button bucks.

The local buck harvest seemed undaunted by the regulation changes. The four-point rule had been in effect in 29 counties since 2004. It was extended to 36 new counties this year. In these counties, antlered deer must have at least four points measuring one inch or longer on one side to be legal.

Counties added to the four-point rule this year are Audrain, Barton, Bates, Benton, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Camden, Carroll Cedar, Clark, Clinton, Cooper, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Knox, Lafayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Pettis, Phelps, Pike, Ralls, Ray, Saline, Scotland, Shelby, St. Clair, Vernon and Warren.

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