Missouri hunters take less deer on opening weekend than in 2019, weather a huge factor over the weekend

Antlered Deer in the forest

Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 80,525 deer during the opening weekend of the November portion of the fall firearms deer season. That’s eight thousand fewer deer than the corresponding first weekend of 2019 which came in at a total of 88,760.

Of the deer harvested this year, 48,695 were antlered bucks. There were 6,867 button bucks, and 24,963 does. Top harvest counties for opening weekend were Howell with 1,500 deer harvested, Bollinger with 1,453, and Franklin with 1,446.

Deer kill numbers in north Missouri vary considerably with Linn County reporting 947 followed closely by Harrison at 940. The fewest of this area is Clinton County at 308. Other totals from the weekend include Sullivan 830, Adair 829, Daviess 779, Carroll county with 742, Chariton 736, and Putnam 701. With fewer deer from area counties are Livingston 664, Mercer 632. Grundy at 558, Caldwell 537, Gentry 504, DeKalb 339, and Worth County 318.

The Department of Conservation noted that poor weather during much of the weekend affected this year’s harvest total. In many areas of the state, hunters dealt with rainy conditions Saturday, particularly during the morning. Although rain moved out by Sunday, hunters were greeted by strong, gusty winds for most of the day.

The November portion of firearms deer season continues through November 24th. Archery season resumes on the 25th and goes through January 15th, 2021. The late youth portion runs November 27th through the 29th. The antlerless portion of firearms deer season is December 4th to 6th followed by the alternative methods portion December 26th through January 5th, 2021.