JEFFERSON CITY – Torrential rains, snow and
sub-zero temperatures failed to deter Missouri hunters from posting
the fourth-largest deer harvest ever, according to the Missouri
Department of Conservation.
The 2009-2010 deer season closed Jan. 15
with the end of archery hunting. Altogether, hunters checked
The firearms deer season got off to a good
start as hunters bagged nearly twice as many deer during the
four-day urban portion of firearms deer season as they had the
previous year. Youths maintained this pace, checking almost 3,000
more deer in the two-day early youth portion than in 2008.
Things slowed down dramatically during
opening weekend of the November portion. Torrential rains descended
on much of the state on the second day, reducing deer activity and
keeping many hunters indoors. With half the weekend washed out,
hunters killed only 86,200 deer.
Opening weekend ordinarily accounts for
approximately 60 percent of the November portion harvest. In 2008,
hunters checked more than 98,000 deer on opening weekend, and that
was down considerably from the record of more than 133,000 set in
Hunters made up some of the opening-weekend
deficit of 12,000 deer during the remaining nine days of the
November hunt, but still closed that portion with a modest harvest
Ten years ago, a reduced November harvest
guaranteed a low end-of-season tally. But with the 12-day
antlerless portion still ahead, plus 11 days of muzzleloader
hunting and a two-day late youth portion still to come, hunters
rallied to catch up.
The antlerless harvest topped the previous
year by more than 7,000. Muzzleloader hunters set a new record
during their portion of the season, a 55-percent increase from the
previous year. Young hunters shot 1,706 deer during the late youth
portion, in spite of brutally cold weather. This made the total
youth harvest, a 44-percent increase from 2008.
Firearms hunters handed the baton to
archers with a comfortable lead of 10,000 deer on the 2008 deer
harvest. Bowhunters never looked back, topping the record archery
harvest set in 2008 by 7,538. The deer that archers checked made
Missouri’s 2009-2010 deer harvest the fourth-largest on record.
The 2009-2010 deer season included 42 days
of firearms hunting and 112 days of archery hunting. Seasons and
harvest totals were:
*Urban portion Oct. 9-12 – 1,242.
*Early youth portion Oct. 31-Nov. 1 –
*November portion Nov. 14-24 – 193,155
*Antlerless portion Nov. 25-Dec. 6 –
*Muzzleloader portion Dec. 19-29 –
*Late youth portion Jan. 2-3 – 1,706.
*Archery season Sept. 15-Nov. 13 and Nov.
25-Jan 15 – 51,972.
The conservation department recorded 10
firearms-related deer hunting incidents, one of which was