Young hunters harvest 11,118 deer during early youth portion of firearms deer season

Keever Schaning, age 6, harvests his first deer as a young hunter final

Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation shows that young hunters ages 6 through 15 harvested 11,118 deer during Missouri’s early youth portion of the 2023 deer hunting season, Oct. 28 and 29. The top counties were Franklin with 258 deer harvested, Osage with 224, and Texas with 209. Of the deer harvested, 6,857 were antlered bucks, 3,410 were does, and 851 were button bucks.

Area counties where youth killed 100 or more deer on the weekend were Macon at 198; Linn County at 137; Harrison at 117; Adair at 110; Chariton at 103; and Daviess and Sullivan counties at 100 each.

Other totals from the area include Carroll at 94; Livingston at 90; Gentry at 78; Grundy at 76; Putnam at 77; Caldwell at 72; Mercer County at 64; DeKalb at 43; and Clinton at 32.

Get more harvest information on the 2023 early youth portion at this link.

Youth hunters harvested 13,877 during last year’s early youth portion. Get more information on past seasons at this link.

“Although the rain this past weekend was desperately needed given how dry it’s been this year throughout much of the state, it did put a damper on the early youth portion,” said MDC’s Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle.

Isabelle noted that the below-average temperatures were conducive to good deer movement, but the combination of cooler temperatures and rainy conditions that persisted throughout much of the weekend likely reduced the amount of time many young hunters were able to spend afield.

Archery deer hunting continues through Nov. 10 and resumes from Nov. 22 through Jan. 15, 2024. The November portion of firearms deer season runs Nov. 11-21 followed by the CWD portion, which is open in CWD Management Zone counties, Nov. 22-26. The late youth portion runs Nov. 24-26. The late antlerless portion of firearms deer season runs from Dec. 2-10 in open counties and the alternative methods portion will occur from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2, 2024.

Get more information on Missouri deer hunting from MDC’s 2023 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where hunting permits are sold and online at this link.