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Firearms deer season opens Saturday

Monday, November 8, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 9:26 p.m. CST, Monday, November 8, 2010

The firearms portion of Missouri's white-tailed deer season starts Saturday and extends through Nov. 23. Shooting hours are from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset.

Lonnie Hansen, deer biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, said computer models indicate there are 1.4 million deer in Missouri for the fall hunting season.

  • As of Friday, 337,854 firearms permits had been sold for deer. Last year, 487,604 hunters bought 912,051 firearms permits. The Conservation Department annually sells about 2.6 million hunting permits, half of which account for deer.
  • In the 2009 firearms season, hunters killed 191,336 deer, and Hansen expects a slightly smaller number this season. The total number of deer killed in 2009, including archery hunters, was 296,797.
  • In Boone County, antlered deer must have a minimum of four antler points on one side of their rack to be legal. Each hunter is limited to one antlered deer during the firearms season but can purchase any number of tags for does.
  • Safety first: Hunters are required to wear a hat or cap and a shirt, vest or coat in hunter orange that's visible from all sides.
  • Unlike last year, an abundant acorn crop this fall could cause deer to spend more time in the woods and increase hunter difficulty in Boone County.

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