Young hunters killed fewer deer during the early youth portion of deer season this year, compared with last year’s tally.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, young hunters ages 6 through 15 killed 15,591 deer between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. During last year’s early youth portion of the deer season, young hunters killed 18,289 deer.
Top counties this year were Franklin with 336 deer, Howell with 324, and Osage with 320.
Youngsters in Greene County killed 170 deer, 158 in Christian County, 181 in Polk County, 189 in Webster County, 95 in Taney County, 275 in Texas County, 158 in Phelps County, and 118 in Stone County.
For a complete county-by county tally for the 2020 early youth portion at https://extra.mdc.mo.gov/widgets/harvest_table/.
“This year’s harvest total is about on par with the average over the last few years,” said MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle. “Whenever you have a short season portion like the two-day early youth portion, you can expect variability in the harvest total from year-to-year. This year’s harvest of about 15,600 deer puts us about in the middle of the range when compared to harvest totals from the past five years.”
Missouri’s deer archery season continues through Nov. 13, then resumes Nov. 25 through Jan. 15, 2021.
The November portion of firearms deer season runs Nov. 14-24 followed by the late youth portion Nov. 27-29.
The antlerless portion of firearms deer season runs Dec. 4-6 followed by the alternative methods portion Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2021.
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MDC encourages hunters who will have their deer professionally processed to check with meat processors about their availability to process deer this fall. Some meat processors around the state are reporting higher-than-normal business and may not be accepting deer for processing or will have significant delays in processing deer.
MDC will continue to offer statewide voluntary sampling and testing of harvested deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD) during the entire deer season at select locations throughout the state, including participating MDC offices, cooperating taxidermists, and new freezer head-drop locations.
Sampling and test results are free. MDC reminds deer hunters to follow carcass movement restrictions that are in effect to slow the spread of CWD.
Get more information on CWD, sampling station locations, and related regulations online at www.mdc.mo.gov/CWD.