Most of Missouri’s half-million registered deer hunters will be in the woods this weekend for the start of the firearms season, the single most popular week and one-half of the outdoors recreation schedule in the state.
Surveys show that the deer population is down this year because of an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease last year and the long-term effects of liberal hunting regulations in some parts of the state. Hunters killed 204,668 deer in the November firearms season last year and killed 311,304 for all seasons combined (bow, muzzleloading, antlerless, etc.). Those were the highest totals in the last five years.
Howell County has been the leader for deer harvest during the November firearms segment for the past two years and has ranked in the top three for four of the last five years. Other counties that consistently rank in the top five are Texas, Benton and Macon.