By Jim Low
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that hunters checked 600 deer during the Urban Portion of Missouri’s Firearms Deer Season.
County harvest totals during the urban portion were: Boone, 77; Cass, 39; Christian, 9; Clay, 30; Cole, 33; Franklin, 57; Greene, 104; Jackson, 33; Jefferson, 64; Platte, 9; St. Charles, 98; and St. Louis, 47.
Female deer made up 83 percent of this year’s urban portion harvest. Hunters are only allowed to shoot antlerless deer during the Urban Portion.
This focus on harvesting female deer is designed to control deer numbers in urban and suburban areas, where hunting pressure is lighter and the potential for deer-vehicle accidents and property damage is greater.
This year’s harvest was below average for the urban portion, which became part of the firearms deer season in 2003.
Over the urban hunt’s 11-year history, smaller harvests have been associated with warm weather. For instance, hunters shot fewer than 600 deer per year in 2007, 2010, and 2011, when high temperatures averaged 83.7 degrees during the urban hunt.
In 2004, 2005, and 2009, when daytime highs averaged 61.9 degrees, the harvest averaged 1,719 deer. This year’s temperature averaged 72.2 degrees.
Missouri’s six portions of firearms deer season total 42 days. The remaining portions of Missouri’s firearms deer season are: Early Youth (Nov. 2-3), November (Nov. 16-26), Antlerless (Nov. 27-Dec. 8), Alternative Methods (Dec. 21-31), and Late Youth (Jan. 4-5).