Youth Bag 7,500 Deer

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Missouri's youth-only deer season is hitting the mark as a safe way for youngsters to learn how to hunt.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reported no accidents during the hunting period Nov. 2 and 3. Youngsters harvested 7,580 deer. That figure is 1,303 higher than last year, when the Conservation Department conducted the first hunting season exclusively for state residents aged 15 and under.

Youth hunters in Northeast Missouri bagged the most deer, with 1,187 deer brought to check stations in the region. West-central Missouri was second with 1,072. The other regional totals were: east-central, 933; central, 930; northwest, 912; Ozark, 799; southwest, 774; southeast, 694; Kansas City, 142 and St. Louis, 137.

Callaway County topped county harvest total with 191 deer bagged during the youth season. Pike County was second with 168, followed by Osage County where the harvest total was 162.

Missouri hunters are expected to harvest more than 200,000 deer during the 2002 firearms season. Three opportunities remain for hunters to head to the deer woods. The Nov. firearms segment takes place Nov 16 through 26. The muzzleloader segment runs Dec. 7 through 15, and the antlerless only portion of the season is Dec. 19 through 22.