COLUMBIA — Deer hunting season opened Saturday with 267 deer killed in Boone County as of 5 p.m. The Missouri Department of Conservation said 29,000 deer had been reported statewide, with 4,300 in central Missouri.
The Callaway County Sheriff's Office reported one accidental shooting that occurred late Saturday morning. The victim, a 67-year-old St. Louis man, was shot in the abdomen while hunting east of Auxvasse near County Road 1027.
The shooter was taking his deer rifle out of its sling when it went off, according to a release from the Callaway County Sheriff's Office. The two were in the same hunting party.
The victim was transported by helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia. Although the injuries are serious, the hunter is expected to survive.
Police are still investigating the incident.
Tom Strother, regional supervisor for the protection division in the Central region of the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the day had good weather.
"Not raining, not super cold. Weather-wise, it's a really good opening day," he said.
The warmer weather could cause some concerns for deer hunters. According to Strother, warm weather makes deer meat spoil easier, and the animals tend to lie down rather than move around.