Hunters checked 15,136 deer during Missouriâ€™s antlerless deer season November 21 through December 2. This yearâ€™s antler-less harvest increased by 697 deer, a gain of approximately five percent over last year.
Top harvest counties for the 12-day antlerless season were Camden with 553 deer checked, Benton with 518, and Callaway with 491.
Two portions of Missouriâ€™s firearms deer season remain. The alternative-methods portion runs from December 15 through 25, and the late youth portion is December 29 and 30.
Besides increasing hunting opportunities, the antler-less season gives hunters and landowners a way of regulating local deer numbers. Those who want more deer can choose not to participate in the antler-less season, while those who want fewer deer can use the season to remove female deer from the population.
Missouriâ€™s annual harvest of approximately 300,000 deer by firearms and archery hunters yields more than 10 million pounds of venison. Hunters consume most of this meat. However, hunters donate more than 300,000 pounds of venison annually to local food banks and other charities through the Share the Harvest program. Information about Share the Harvest is available at mdc.mo.gov/node/2544.
Missouriâ€™s deer resource also supports 11,000 plus jobs and generates more than $1 billion in business activity annually.
Economic value aside, deer hunting is a cherished tradition that draws thousands of Missouri natives back home to share healthful outdoor recreation with family and friends.