JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri hunters using old-fashioned muzzleloading guns shot nearly 16,000 deer this year.
That's the largest harvest ever since Missouri started a muzzleloading season 21 years ago. The state's muzzleloading season lasted for 10 days in late December. The previous high was set in 2007.
Osage County in the central part of the state had the largest harvest, with hunters killing 403 deer. There were 386 deer taken from Oregon County and 336 from Howell County, which both border Arkansas.
Conservation officials say weather was good during the muzzleloading season, and that helped increase the number of deer taken. The deer hunting season continues this month with the archery season closing next week.