Urban deer hunting up with help of cold weather

Sunday, October 18, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Boone County hunters killed the most deer during the urban portion of Missouri's firearms deer season.

During the season, which spanned from Oct. 9 through Oct. 12, Boone County hunters checked 247 deer.

Open and upcoming deer hunting seasons in Missouri


Now until Nov. 13

Nov. 25 to Jan. 15


Oct. 31 to Nov. 1

Jan. 2 to Jan. 3


Nov. 14 to Nov. 24


Dec. 19 to Dec. 29

Source: Missouri Department of Conservation

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The urban firearms season, which began in 2003 in Missouri and included Boone County the following year, is designed to encourage the hunting of female deer to help control populations in and around urban areas.

"Our intent is to give urban communities a way to manage deer," Lonnie Hansen of the Missouri Department of Conservation said.

Hansen said urban deer can be a problem and hunting is the most efficient way to manage the population. Large deer populations in urban areas can result in more deer-vehicle collisions, and they often damage landscaping and crops.

Statewide urban deer hunting is up 83 percent from last year, while in Boone County the figure is up 39 percent. The department blames unseasonably warm weather last year for the lower numbers because deer are less likely to move around in warmer weather.

Although Boone County killed the most deer statewide during the season, this year was not the largest local hunt. In 2004, county hunters killed 461 deer. Hansen attributes the decline in numbers to the decrease in the novelty of urban hunting since its beginning. He said many hunters are choosing to wait for the archery and firearm seasons, which last through November.

For information on acquiring a hunting permit, please go to the Department of Conservation's website.

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