Urban deer harvest beats 10-year average

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Published on: Oct. 11, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY–Hunters checked 1,108 deer during Missouri’s four-day urban firearms deer hunt, nearly double last year’s urban deer harvest and a little above the 10-year average for the urban hunt.

All or parts of 12 counties are included in urban deer zones around Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and the Columbia-Jefferson City area. Boone County led harvest totals with 186 deer checked, followed by Greene with 165 deer checked and St. Charles with 151. Other county harvest totals were: Jefferson, 105; Cass, 94; Franklin, 92; St. Louis, 90; Jackson, 72; Cole, 71; Clay, 60; and Christian and Platte, 11 each.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) instituted the urban hunt in 2003 to provide better control of deer numbers in and around human population centers. Hunters are allowed to take only antlerless deer during the urban hunt.

In the 10 years the urban season has been offered, hunters have checked an average of 997 deer per year. The smallest urban deer harvest, 129, occurred the first year. MDC expanded the urban hunt to four days in 2004, which saw the largest harvest, 2,077.

Urban season harvests tend to be larger when temperatures are lower. This is partly because deer are more active in cool weather and partly because more hunters take part in the season when the weather is cool.

Missouri’s firearms deer season consists of six portions, comprising 42 days of hunting. Upcoming portions include the early youth portion (Nov. 3-4), the regular November portion (Nov. 10-20), the antlerless portion (Nov. 21-Dec. 2), the alternative methods portion (Dec. 15-25) and the late youth portion (Dec. 29-30). Missouri’s archery deer season runs from Sept. 15 through Nov. 9 and Nov. 21 through Jan. 15. Details of deer-hunting regulations are contained in the 2012 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, which is available from permit vendors and MDC offices statewide. The booklet also is available at mdc.mo.gov/node/3656/.

White-tailed deer are a vital part of Missouri’s hunting heritage and local economies. More than 506,000 Missourians hunt deer. Each year, deer hunting supports 11,000 jobs and adds more than $1 billion to Missouri economy.

For more information about deer management in Missouri, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3347/.

-Jim Low-

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