Weather conditions should cooperate for start of firearms deer hunting

Friday, November 12, 2010 | 2:42 p.m. CST; updated 4:11 p.m. CST, Friday, November 12, 2010
Brian Montgomery, 14, tries out a Remington 700 SPS rifle at Powder Horn Guns and Sporting Goods on Friday on Paris Road. Brian and his father were browsing for his first gun in preparation for the first day of deer season on Saturday. He said if he didn't find anything, he would use one of his grandparent's guns instead.

COLUMBIA — You don't need to remind Josh Lampton that one in four firearms permits are sold the day before firearms season opens.

Lampton, a customer service representative handling hunting permits for Bass Pro Shop, was so busy early Friday afternoon he barely had time to talk.

Keep it safe

  • A hunter-orange jacket or vest and cap must be worn and visible from all angles.
  • Be sure of what you are shooting and be aware of what is behind it.
  • Maintain equipment properly and make sure your gun's scope is sighted correctly.
  • Hunting on private land requires consent. Also, scout the area for its boundaries, nearby roads, homes and livestock.
  • If an immediate kill is not made, make every effort to find the wounded animal.
  • Report all witnessed hunting violations to the police, sheriff or a conservation agent immediately. The Conservation Department's Central Regional Office can be reached at 884-6861.

Source: Missouri Department of Conservation

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"We're completely slammed, and we've been so all day long," Lampton said.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reported that 502,089 firearms deer permits were sold as of 11:37 a.m. Friday. The season begins on Saturday and goes through Nov. 23.

The Department of Conservation estimates firearms hunters will kill upwards of 300,000 deer again this year, and the weather looks like it will cooperate for opening weekend.

Lonnie Hansen, a deer biologist for the conservation department, said rain ending Friday with partly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures on Saturday are close to the best weather conditions hunters can ask for.

“The result will be a good harvest,” he said.

“Typically, we like to see cooler weather at the kick-off of the season,” Sean Ernst, a state conservation agent for Boone County, said.

Ernst said cool weather draws out deer, though the bucks are currently in rut seeking does, so they’ll be on the move regardless.

Ernst said hunters have already been reporting good deer movement through Boone County.

Also with the cool weather, Ernst said, hunters tend to stay in their tree stands or in the woods much longer, which increases their chances of success. In warm weather, hunters tend to quit early, he said.

“As a hunter myself, if I see a deer, that is a success,” Ernst said. "Safety is the most important thing. It’s important to take good, clean ethical shots.”

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Cora Mason November 16, 2010 | 8:21 p.m.

I am not a hunter, but I appreciate those who are. Having struck two deer in my time on Missouri roads, I am all for thinning the herd. Hunting is also a wonderful bonding experience for parents and their children, and there is something to be said for providing food for your family, literally. I've heard that some of the processors are lowering their fees. Is that true? If so, maybe more hunters will donate to the food banks. So many would benefit.

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