November 17, 2011

Deer Season Opening Weekend Harvest Total Numbers Down Across State

Steve and Nathan Jarvis had a successful start to the 2011 firearms deer season. The father-son team bagged a pair of nice bucks on opening morning while hunting in Scotland County.

Scotland County hunters bucked the trend by improving upon harvest totals during the opening weekend of the 2011 Missouri firearms deer hunting season. A total of 1,159 deer were checked in by local hunters, up from last year's total of 1,083.

Scotland County was one of the five counties in the 15-county northeast Missouri recording area for the Missouri Department of Conservation that saw increases in the 2011 harvest compared to last year's totals. Overall, the region posted a decline of 515 deer from last year's two-day harvest of 17,031 deer to start the firearms season.

Pike County (+81) had the largest increase, leaping to a total of 1,542 deer taken this past weekend. Scotland County had the second largest increase followed by Schuyler County (+69 to 982 deer), Ralls County (+16 to 963 deer) and Clark County +8 deer to 1,024).

Monroe County was a big reason for the overall decline, as hunters checked in just 1,321 deer, 135 below last year's two-day total. Knox County witnessed the second largest decline, falling 129 deer to 1,248.

Despite seeing its totals decline by 99 deer from 2010, Macon County still posted the second largest opening weekend harvest in the state with 1,616 deer, trailing only Howell County's total of 1,702 deer. Texas County was third in the state with 1,588 deer taken.

Opening weekend in Missouri resulted in the harvest of 89,719 deer. Last year hunters bagged 97,856 deer, representing a 8,137 decline in 2011.

Firearms deer season runs through November 22nd. The antlerless deer season runs November 23rd through December 4th followed by muzzleloader season December 17th through the 27th.

The second portion of the archery season reopens November 23rd and runs through January 15th, 2012.

According to the MDC, hunters spend more than 5.7 million days pursuing deer in Missouri each year. The approximately $700 million they spend on their sport annually generates $1.1 billion in business activity and supports 11,000 jobs.

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