Missouri Urban Deer Hunt Successful

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Hunters checked 678 deer during the Urban Portion of Missouri's Firearms Deer Season, up 124 from last year but still well below the record for the four-day season.

Hunters could legally shoot only "antlerless" deer during the hunt Oct. 3 through 6. The legal definition includes deer with spike antlers less than 3 inches long. The urban hunt takes place in nine counties where the Missouri Department of Conservation wants to encourage additional deer harvest to control deer numbers.

Boone County led urban hunt harvest totals with 178 deer checked, followed by St. Charles County with 107 and Greene County with 80. Other county harvest totals were: Cole, 58; Cass, 56; Clay and Platte with 53 each; St. Louis, 49; and Jackson, 44.

Past harvest totals from the urban portion of firearms deer season are: 2003, 129; 2004, 2,077; 2005, 1,838; 2006, 1,348, 2007, 554.

Webster and Christian counties, which were included in previous urban portions of deer season, were dropped this year. Those counties contributed 129 deer to last year’s urban harvest total.

Unseasonably warm weather was credited with holding down last year's urban deer harvest, but interest in the early urban hunt declined after peaking in its second year. Conservation Department officials surmise that archery deer hunting season – which permits hunters to take antlered deer – and other autumn activities draw attention away from the urban hunt.