Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation show deer hunters in Missouri harvested 191,368 deer during the November portion of fall firearms deer season, Nov. 11- 21, according to an MDC news release.
Of the 191,368 deer harvested, 99,431 were antlered bucks, 20,148 were button bucks and 71,789 were does.
Top harvest counties were Howell with 4,564 deer checked, Texas with 4,374 and Franklin with 4,095.
Cole County hunters harvested 1,104 deer during the November firearms season, Callaway County 3,311, Osage County 2,839, Morgan County 2,700, Miller County 2,071, Boone County 1,911, Maries County 1,583 and Moniteau County 1,088.
Last year hunters checked 185,062 deer during the 2016 November portion of firearms deer season with 95,381 being antlered bucks, 18,888 button bucks and 70,793 does.
"The uptick in harvest this year is likely due to a combination of favorable weather and the continued recovery of deer populations in some areas hit hard by the 2012 drought," MDC Deer Biologist Barb Keller said in the news release. "As the November firearms portion creeps one day earlier each year, it tends to coincide with more of the deer in rut — resulting in higher deer harvest."
MDC reported three firearms-related hunting incidents during the fall firearms November portion. One of the incidents involved a hunter wounding another hunter in Benton County. Another incident involved a hunter loading a gun in a truck that went off, hitting another hunter sitting in the truck, in Washington County. Another hunting incident involved a self-inflicted firearm wound in Bates County.
Deer hunting in Missouri continues with archery hunting from Nov. 22 through Jan. 15, 2018. The late youth portion of firearms deer season runs Nov. 24-26. The antlerless portion of firearms deer season runs Dec. 1-3. The alternative methods portion will run Dec. 23 through Jan. 2, 2018.