Hunters take 16,575 deer during new firearms early antlerless portion

News from the region
Published Date

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that hunters harvested 16,575 deer during the state’s new firearms early antlerless portion of deer season, Oct. 6-8. The top-three harvest counties were Franklin with 489 deer harvested, Howell with 454, and Ripley with 437.

“With deer numbers being at desired levels in most counties but continuing to increase, additional antlerless harvest is needed to stabilize the deer population,” said MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle. “The goal of the new firearms early antlerless portion is to help increase antlerless deer harvest prior to the November portion of firearms season when many hunters focus on harvesting bucks.”

Isabelle added that the timing of the early antlerless portion was chosen to provide hunting opportunity when weather conditions are usually favorable and to minimize conflicts with archery hunters, who hunt most in late October and early November.

“Hunters couldn’t have asked for much better weather,” said Isabelle. “After a warm start to October, the cooler weather during this year’s early antlerless portion helped to increase daytime deer movement and made for comfortable conditions for hunters.”

Get more information on harvest summaries by county at

Deer hunting in Missouri continues with archery hunting through Nov. 10 and again Nov. 22 through Jan. 15, 2024. Upcoming firearms portions are:

  • Firearms Early Youth Portion: Oct. 28-29
  • Firearms November Portion: Nov. 11-21 
  • New! Firearms CWD Portion: Nov. 22-26 (in open counties)
  • Firearms Late Youth Portion: Nov. 24-26
  • Firearms Late Antlerless Portion: Dec. 2-10 (in open counties)
  • Firearms Alternative Methods Portion: Dec. 23 - Jan. 2, 2024

Get more information on deer hunting from MDC’s 2023 Fall Deer & Turkey Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold and online at