November 15, 2012

Soggy Sunday Sours 2012 Deer Season Opening Weekend Totals

Anna Grahlherr and her Grandpa, Bill Grahlherr are pictured here with her first buck harvested during the Missouri Youth Season on Saturday November 2nd, 2012 in Scotland County at 8:30 a.m. Anna had taken a doe in each of the last two Youth Seasons and agreed to try for a buck this year- as long as it was a big one!

Opening weekend of the 2012 firearms deer season was a study in contrasts as far as desirable weather conditions.

Saturday opened like a lamb, with near record-high temperatures. The mild conditions allowed hunters to stay in the field all day without concerns about temperatures or precipitation.

That was not the case Sunday, as thunderstorms rolled into the region in the early morning hours and temperatures plummeted to the point that scattered snowflakes were visible by sundown.

Sunday had a dramatic impact on the opening day deer harvest totals across Missouri. Hunters bagged 20,000 fewer deer than during last year's opening weekend. A total of 69,650 deer were checked in on November 10th and 11th. That was down from 89,728 deer during the 2011 season's opening weekend.

Every county in the northeast region for the Missouri Department of Conservation saw a decline in opening weekend totals from 2011.

As a whole, the 15-county region was down 4,924 deer from 2011's opening weekend totals of 16,516 deer. A total of 5,660 antlered bucks were tagged in the region along with 1,519 button bucks and 4,413 does for a grand total of 11,592 deer.

Scotland County hunters checked in 365 antlered bucks, 85 button bucks and 325 does for a total of 775 deer in the first two days of the firearms season. That was 384 deer off from last year's opening weekend total of 1,159 deer.

Statewide, Howell County led Missouri with a harvest total of 1,464 deer, narrowly edging Macon (1,436 deer) and Texas (1,430 deer) for the top county.

Macon was tops in the northeast region, followed by Pike County with 1,050 deer. No other county broke 1,000, after nine of the 15 counties did so in 2012.

Adair County hunters checked in just 879 deer while Clark County hunters bagged 711 deer. In Knox County, 854 deer were checked in, while Schuyler County hunters had the lowest total in the northeast region with just 467 deer.

The northeast region was tops in the state with 11,592 deer, ahead of the Central Region (10,446 deer) and the Ozark region (10,734 deer).

The 2012 firearms deer season runs through Tuesday, November 20th. The antlerless deer season opens Wednesday, November 21st and runs through Sunday, December 2nd. Muzzleloader season is set for December 15th through the 25th. The late youth season will close out 2012 on December 29th and 30th. Archery season reopens November 21st and runs through January 15th, 2013.

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