Number of deer killed during firearm season rises

Saturday, January 14, 2012 | 3:46 p.m. CST; updated 8:14 p.m. CST, Saturday, January 14, 2012

COLUMBIA — Missouri hunters killed 7,408 more deer in the 2011-2012 firearms season compared to the previous season. 

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the total number of deer killed by firearms was 238,921, up from last year's 231,513.

Most of the deer were taken in the November firearms season, where 190,089 deer were killed.

In Boone County, a total of 3,547 deer were killed during all the 2011-2012 hunting seasons.

Jason Sumners, a resource scientist that specializes in deer biology, said the Department of Conservation has been trying to stabilize deer numbers in many parts of Missouri.

"We have been working to bring down deer populations to reduce crop damage, deer-vehicle accidents, and other deer nuisance problems, and we've made good progress in those areas," he said.

"Now our challenge is finding ways to fine-tune deer numbers and hunting pressure at the local level, which means that future reductions in the availability of firearms antlerless permits may be necessary," Sumners said.

Missouri had a record firearms season in 2006, with 280,856 deer killed.

More than 500,000 hunters spend more than $690 million directly related to deer hunting in Missouri each year. 

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