November Firearms Deer Harvest Tops 205,000
Missouri hunters enjoyed nearly perfect weather for the second year in a row and posted a record harvest of 205,867 deer during the November firearms deer hunt.
Daytime high temperatures ran 10 to 20 degrees above normal during the 11-day November segment of firearms deer season. Lack of rain also encouraged hunters to stay in the field during the segment, which is open to hunting with modern firearms and muzzle-loading rifles.
Conservation Department officials said last year that a repeat of the record 2000 deer harvest ? 201,165 ? was as unlikely as a repetition of the nearly flawless weather. But this year's conditions were even better than last year's, and hunters topped the previous mark by 4,702 deer.
The 2000 harvest was more than 6,000 larger than the previous record, set in 1998.
The bad news is that Missouri deer hunters also duplicated last year's tally of four nonfatal and two fatal deer hunting accidents. While this is less than half the number of accidents routinely reported 15 years ago, Conservation Department officials say they continue to strive for an accident-free firearms deer season. They attribute a general decline in hunting accidents to public information campaigns focusing on hunting safety and to hunter education classes, which became mandatory in 1988.
Top harvest counties this year were Howell, 3,935; Callaway, 3,821 and Franklin, 3,788. Regional harvest totals were: Northeast, 36,769 (down 176 from last year); west-central, 32,742 (+3,261); northwest, 30,249 (-2,258); central, 24,664, (+491); east-central, 21,078 (+1,404); southwest, 19,319 (+1,300); Ozark, 18,738 (+449); southeast, 14,253 (+294); Kansas City, 4,230 (-273); St. Louis, 3,825 (+210).