Youth Missouri Hunters Harvest Massive Number of Deer During Early Season

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Some of Missouri’s youngest hunters have already had a successful season, with individuals across the state harvesting a massive number of deer in just two days.

KTVO reports that youth hunters across the state, ranging in age from 6 to 11, harvested 13,759 deer. And while that’s certainly impressive, it does rank lower than last year’s count, which reached 15,608. Still, the number signifies a successful early hunting season, which took place between October 29th and 30th.

The outlet also named the counties with the most deer harvests of the youth early season. They include Franklin County with 330 harvested deer, Osage County with 310 deer, and Howell with 260.

Of this year’s early season deer harvest for youth hunters, MDC’s Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle, said, “Saturday’s conditions were fairly comfortable for our young deer hunters. Although the rain we received in portions of the state on Sunday was much needed given the ongoing drought, it did put a bit of a damper on the latter half of the early youth portion.”

Open Dates for Missouri Deer and Turkey Season:

The early youth deer hunt marked the opening of Missouri’s hunting season, with a number of hunters soon to take to the trees and fields in the coming weeks. Below follows the schedule for the rest of the state’s 2022 season.

  • Deer & Turkey Season (Archery):
    Continues through November 11th; resumes November 23rd through January 15th, 2023
  • November Deer Season (Firearms):
    November 12th through 22nd; Youth Portion November 25th through 27th
  • Antlerless Deer Season (Firearms)
    December 3rd through 11th in Open Counties; Alternative Methods December 24th through January 3rd, 2023

Minnesota Deer Hunters Encouraged to Share Field Observations

Before the youth early season kicked off in Missouri, deer hunters in Minnesota received a special task. In order to gain more perspective into the physical state of the state’s deer population, especially regarding health, officials have asked state hunters to share their own observations of the animals from the field.

Overall, the “assignment” served two important purposes. First, it provides wildlife officials with a new tool for observing the state’s deer population. Second, it directly involved Minnesota hunters in the preservation and management of the state’s deer. Eric Michel, the deer project leader for Minnesota’s farmland region, spoke about the benefits of utilizing deer hunters in wildlife conservation.

“Using citizen science, working with our deer hunters, allows us a much further reach than we would have otherwise,” he said. “Obviously, we can’t be in the field across the state all the time, so tapping into this resource with our hunters allows us to obtain so much more data from a much larger spread across the state. It’s something that we’re trying to figure out how to really capitalize on.”