MDC announces preliminary deer, turkey season totals
Missouri’s 2017-2018 deer-hunting seasons ended Jan. 15 with the Missouri Department of Conservation reporting a preliminary total harvest of 283,940 deer. Top counties for the overall season were Howell with 6,182 deer harvested, Franklin with 5,957 and Texas with 5,619. Ozark County hunters killed a total of 3,185 deer, including 1,481 antlered bucks, 293 button bucks and 1,406 does.
Totals in other adjoining counties were 2,679 in Taney County and 3,371 in Douglas.
Of the 283,940 total deer harvested, 135,891 were antlered bucks, 30,538 were button bucks and 117,511 were does. This year’s total deer harvest is 20,105 more than the 263,834 deer killed during the 2016-2017 hunting season.
Deer hunting ended with the close of the archery season. Preliminary data from MDC showed that hunters checked 51,722 deer during the archery season, including 451 in Ozark County. Top counties for the archery season were Jefferson with 1,169 deer harvested, St. Louis with 1,021 and Franklin with 1,000. Of the 51,722 deer harvested, 21,162 were antlered bucks, 5,319 were button bucks, and 25,241 were does. Hunters checked 47,552 deer during the 2016-2017 archery season.
Fall archery turkey hunting also ended Jan. 15. Preliminary data from MDC showed 2,426 turkeys harvested, including a total of 16 archery kills in Ozark County. Top counties for the archery turkey season were Phelps with 73 birds harvested, Texas with 63 and Laclede with 58. For the previous year, hunters harvested 2,304 turkeys.
The past season was the second in which MDC began allowing crossbows as a legal method during the deer and turkey archery season. Of the 51,722 deer harvested under archery methods, 19,691 were with crossbows. Of the 2,426 turkeys harvested under archery methods, 1,113 were with crossbows. For the first season that included crossbows (2016-2017), of the 47,552 deer harvested under archery methods, 14,336 were with crossbows, and of the 2,304 turkeys harvested under archery methods, 853 were with crossbows.
For more deer and turkey harvest data for the current season visit short.mdc.mo.gov/Z3g. Deer harvest data for past seasons is available at short.mdc.mo.gov/Z3M. Get turkey harvest data for past seasons at short.mdc.mo.gov/Z3Y.
MDC reported five firearms-related hunting incidents during the fall deer and turkey hunting seasons. All were non-fatal. Three involved self-inflicted wounds. Two involved one hunter shooting another.