Missouri hunters take down fewer deer during firearm season

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Fewer deer were killed in Missouri during the firearm portion of the hunting season.

Hunters killed 176,604 deer during the 11-day season that ended Tuesday, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The opening weekend of the season, when the vast majority of deer are killed each year, was challenging for hunters, the Columbia Missourian reports.

“Unfortunately, hunters were greeted by rain and high winds to start the season, resulting in harvest numbers falling behind last year’s mark early,” Jason Isabelle, cervid program supervisor for the Conservation Department, said in a news release.

This year’s kill fell short of the 179,960 and 200,738 deer taken during the 2019 and 2018 November firearm seasons.

Howell, Franklin and Texas counties were the top three, with 3,496, 3,409, and 3,374 deer taken, respectively.

Several more deer seasons remain. A late youth season is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, and the firearms antlerless deer season is Dec. 4-6. The archery season has resumed and will continue through Jan. 15. An alternative methods season will take place Dec. 26 through Jan. 5.