Archers Add to Deer-Harvest Record

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Bowhunters checked a record 35,988 deer during the 2005 archery deer season, boosting the year's already ample deer harvest even higher.

The archery deer harvest tops last year's total by 2,328. Top archery deer harvest counties were Franklin with 972 deer checked, Boone with 868 and Jackson with 701.

Missouri's firearms deer harvest, including deer taken during the urban, youth, November, muzzleloader and antlerless-only segments, was 273,905. Together, the firearms and archery harvests total 309,893. That is about a third of the estimated statewide deer population. It is enough to keep deer numbers in check in most of the state. Exceptions include urban areas, where hunting is less prevalent.

The fact that two urban counties--Jackson and Boone--made the top three statewide is an encouraging sign for cities looking for ways to control suburban deer populations. Several Missouri cities are examining the possibility of allowing bowhunters, whose safety record is almost flawless, to thin burgeoning deer herds to reduce deer-car accidents and property damage from deer.

Four other urban counties -- Clay, Jefferson, St. Charles and Greene--made it into the top three counties for archery deer harvest in their regions.