Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 191,368 deer during the November portion of fall firearms deer season, Nov. 11- 21. Of the 191,368 deer harvested, 99,431 were antlered bucks, 20,148 were button bucks, and 71,789 were does. Top harvest counties were Howell with 4,564 deer checked, Texas with 4,374, and Franklin with 4,095.

Last year hunters checked 185,062 deer during the 2016 November portion of firearms deer season with 95,381 being antlered bucks, 18,888 being button bucks, and 70,793 being does.

“The uptick in harvest this year is likely due to a combination of favorable weather and the continued recovery of deer populations in some areas hit hard by the 2012 drought,” MDC Deer Biologist Barb Keller said. “As the November firearms portion creeps one day earlier each year, it tends to coincide with more of the deer rut – resulting in higher deer harvest.”

MDC reported three firearms-related hunting incidents during the fall firearms November portion. One of the hunting incidents involved a hunter wounding another hunter while hunting in Benton County. Another incident involved a hunter loading a gun in a truck and it went off hitting another hunter sitting in the truck in Washington County. Lastly another hunting incident involved a self-inflicted firearm wound that occurred in Bates County.

Deer hunting in Missouri continues with archery deer hunting from Nov. 22 through Jan. 15, 2018. The late youth portion of firearms deer season runs Nov. 24-26. The antlerless portion of firearms deer season runs Dec. 1-3. Lastly the alternative methods portion will run Dec. 23- Jan. 2, 2018.

For current ongoing preliminary harvest totals by season, county, and type of deer, visit the MDC website at http://on.mo.gov/1jjz7Ew. For harvest summaries from past years, visit http://on.mo.gov/2fyMaBN.

Missouri offers some of the best deer hunting in the country and deer hunting is an important part of many Missourians’ lives and family traditions. Deer hunting is also an important economic driver in Missouri and gives a $1 billion annual boost to the state and local economies.