During the November firearms deer season, hunters harvested close to 200,000 deer across the state of Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation has announced that 197,724 deer were hunted during firearms deer season from November 12-22.
A total of 102,633 bucks with antlers were harvested, 16,929 button bucks, and 78,162 does, the Springfeild News-Leader reports. 188,928 deer were checked last hunting season by hunters. 102,054 of those deer were bucks with antlers while 16,537 lacked them (button bucks). The remainder of the70,337 deer hunted were does.
MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle weighed in on the numbers in a press release. “It would have been hard to ask for much better weather during the November portion than what hunters experienced this year,” Isabelle said in the release. “To have sustained temperatures that were well below average for nearly the entire season portion was quite remarkable.” Isabelle noted that the cooler weather may be responsible for increased deer movements.
During the November firearms deer season, at least one hunting-related injury occurred that was not fatal. The incident was self-inflicted and took place in Bollinger County, as reported by MDC.
During the late youth portion, young hunters were able to bag 2,881 deer
In late November, 2,881 deer were harvested by young hunters aged 6 to 15, according to preliminary data from MDC. This included 1,302 bucks with antlers, 322 button bucks and 1,257 does.
The top counties for the late youth portion were Lincoln with 82 deer harvested, Franklin with 65 and Osage with 52. In comparison to last year’s total harvest of 3,534 during the same time period, there was an increase of 1,498 antlered bucks , 390 button bucks , and 1,646 does .
Isabelle reported that, in recent years, the late youth portion of the harvest has ranged from 2,000 to just under 4,000 deer.“This year’s harvest total was slightly below average, but that wasn’t unexpected given the rain that moved through portions of the state Saturday evening and Sunday morning,” Isabelle explained.
Tales of prolific young hunters have been shared on social media this season
Many stories of these impressive young hunters have been shared across social media. Britton Meyer, 9 years old, was with his father in Cedar County when he scored a buck with Dad’s .308. This was only in his first year of hunting. Corey Meyer stated that he had been sitting down for awhile before taking a nap. However, Britton took the opportunity to shoot the deer while his dad was resting.
Justin Stevens and his 14-year-old daughter, Erika, had only 30 minutes of sunlight left while they were hunting in Christian County. Even though it was getting dark, Stevens’ daughter wanted to keep going. Luckily, they did because it ended up being opening weekend of firearms deer season. They saw a buck fighting two other bucks in the woods before it looked at a spike that came up from behind the hunters. A spike buck is a young male deer with antlers on both sides of its head that have not yet grown branches. “With a couple aggressive grunts he was in our face at only 35 yards, looking for a fight,” Stevens recalled. However, Erika made short work of the buck. “She made the rest short and sweet as he never even looked our way.”