The woods filled with hunter orange Saturday as the start of the 10-day fall firearms season began across the state. Hunters flock to the county, which annually is one of the top deer producing areas in the state.
It is the 75th anniversary of the modern deer season in Missouri.
The season runs through Nov. 26 and draws hunters from across the state, providing an economic boost to the region as motels and restaurants fill up and businesses, convenience stores and gas stations are busy.
Last year, 4,500 deer were killed in the county — the eighth highest in Missouri. Franklin County won the top honor last year with 5,826 killed.
There also will be additional dates to kill a deer, the Missouri Department of Conservation said. They are: late youth portion, Nov. 29-Dec. 1; anterless, Dec. 6-8; and alternative methods, Dec. 28-Jan. 7.
GROUPS ASK DEER HUNTERS TO ‘SHARE THE HARVEST
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) encourage deer hunters to share their harvests through the Share the Harvest program. Deer season in Missouri started Sept. 15 and runs through Jan. 15. CFM is also holding a photo contest for those who share their harvests.
Administered by MDC and CFM, Share the Harvest coordinates the efforts of thousands of deer hunters, numerous participating meat processors, many local supporting organizations and statewide sponsors to help feed hungry Missourians.
The program works by deer hunters donating their extra venison — from several pounds to whole deer — to participating meat processors.
They grind and package the deer meat. The packaged venison is then given to local food banks and food pantries for distribution to Missourians in need of food assistance.
The locations in Texas County locations are: Cabool Kountry Meats LLC, 90 Industrial Park Dr., Cabool, 417-962-2112; Hobson’s Butcher Block, 17810 Highway BB, Licking, 573-674-3501; and Zimmerman’s Meat Processing, 4534 Highway 17, Summersville, 417-932-5557.
The National Institutes of Health states that children need protein in their diets for proper growth and development, and adults need it to maintain good health. Yet many Missourians can’t afford or don’t have access to good sources of protein. Through Share the Harvest, Missouri hunters can help provide those in need with high-quality protein in the form of naturally lean, locally harvested deer meat.
Thousands of Missouri deer hunters donated more than 259,400 pounds of venison to the state’s Share the Harvest program last deer season, including 4,855 whole deer. Since the program began in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided more than 4 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians.
To get Share the Harvest venison, contact local food banks or food pantries.
SHARE YOUR HARVEST PHOTO CONTEST
New this year, CFM is holding a “Share Your Harvest” photo contest for those who share their harvests. Before donating a deer to Share the Harvest, take a picture and upload it to CFM’s website at confedmo.org/programs/outreach/share-the-harvest/ to be automatically entered into a contest for various prizes. The drawing is Jan. 27.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR A SUCCESSFUL HUNT
Learn more about the various deer seasons and other useful information: https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/deer/deer-seasons-hours
Here’s information about the Houston area and county: http://bit.ly/2q1xYeC