Matthew Cope, 15, of Houston, displays a 10-point buck he killed on a farm near Houston. He is the son of Brian and Jennifer Cope.

Hunters ages six to 15 killed 286 deer in Texas County during the two-day youth season that ended Sunday, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The breakdown: 172 bucks, 27 button bucks and 87 does. In 2013, 295 were killed.

Statewide, young hunters checked 18,091 deer. The top counties were: Osage with 448, Franklin with 393 and Howell with 376. Last year’s total youth harvest was 18,676.

Antlered bucks accounted for 11,481 of deer harvested – about 63 percent – and button bucks accounted for 1,728 – almost 10 percent. Does accounted for 4,882 – about 27 percent.

The first of two youth firearms deer hunting seasons is followed by the main statewide firearms season, Nov. 15-25. Other upcoming seasons include alternative methods (Dec. 20-30) and the late youth season (Jan. 3-4).

Click on this link to view photos of youth hunters and their kills:

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