Firearms season for deer opens Saturday

Thursday, November 12, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST

The Missouri Department of Conservation estimates there are 1.4 million white-tailed deer in the state entering this hunting season. That estimate includes about 18,000 deer in Boone County compared with the 2008 estimate of 18,900. In 2008, firearms hunters in Boone County killed 3,146 deer. The agency estimates that deer hunting in Missouri generates $1.1 billion of business and supports more than 11,000 jobs annually.

The season: The regular firearms season extends from Nov. 14 through Nov. 24. A firearms season for antlerless deer begins Nov. 25 and goes through Dec. 6.  The muzzleloader deer season runs from Dec. 19 through Dec. 29.

Shooting hours: Thirty minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Antler restrictions: Antler-point restrictions remain in effect this year. In Boone and most other counties in the northern two-thirds of Missouri, only bucks with at least four antler points on one side of their rack may be taken during the firearms season.

Safety first: Hunters are required to wear a hunter orange cap or hat as well as a hunter orange shirt, vest or coat. The color must be visible from all sides.

Giving away deer: Hunters may give game to another person, but it still counts toward the hunter’s bag limit. Any such deer must be labeled with the hunter's full name, address, Telecheck confirmation number, species and date taken. Deer can also be donated to food pantries through the Share the Harvest program at designated meat processors.

Complete deer hunting regulations and information can be found at the Department of Conservation’s Web site.

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