Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 88,843 deer during the opening weekend of the November portion of the fall firearms deer season November 16 and 17. Of the 88,843 deer harvested, 51,086 were antlered bucks, 8,115 were button bucks, and 29,642 were does.
Top harvest counties for opening weekend were Franklin with 2,078 deer checked, Texas with 1,931, and Callaway with 1,735.
Last year, hunters checked 99,470 deer during the opening weekend of the 2018 November portion of firearms deer season.
As of Monday afternoon, November 18th, the harvest totals had risen to 96,011 deer. Scotland County hunters accounted for 676 of those deer, including 301 antlered bucks. Schuyler County hunters had checked in 494 deer by Monday afternoon with Knox County checking in with 603 deer while Clark County hunters had tagged 709 deer.
According to published reports, MDC along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Knox County law enforcement agencies are investigating a hunting-related fatality near Baring that occurred Sunday afternoon.
The November portion of fall firearms deer season continues through November 26. Archery deer season opens again November 27 through January 15, 2020. The late youth portion runs November 29 through December 1. The antlerless portion runs December 6-8. The alternative methods portion runs December 28 through January 7, 2020.
With nearly 90,000 deer harvested in the two-day weekend opener, the state of Missouri deer hunting has come a long way.
The Missouri Conservation Commission closed deer hunting in 1937 when the state’s herd numbers were desperately low. Following restoration work by the state, the Missouri Department of Conservation held the first modern deer season in 1944 with 7,757 hunters harvesting 519 bucks during a two-day, bucks-only season in 20 counties.
Missouri now has more than a million deer throughout the state with about a half-million deer hunters harvesting hundreds-of-thousands of deer annually. Deer hunting also helps boost business in Missouri communities by more than a billion dollars annually while nourishing family traditions for many and putting food on the table for even more.