The 2018-2019 deer season is completely over with the end of archery season on January 15th. The total deer harvest for the state was up slightly over the 2017. In 2018, 290,341 deer were harvested statewide, compared to 284,477 deer in 2017.
Franklin county led the state in harvest this year with 5.826 deer harvested. Callaway, Howell, Wayne, and Osage counties rounded out the top five harvest counties with 5,545, 5350, 4903, and 4692 deer taken. Locally, Audrain county harvested 2,236 deer, Boone county harvested 3,647, Montgomery harvested 3,238, Pike harvested 4,388, Ralls harvested 2,494, and Randolph harvested 2,732 deer.
During the fall seasons eight hunting incidents were reported. Three were fatal. Two of the fatalities occurred at a hunting camp incidental to hunting and one was self-inflicted in the field. Of the five non-fatal incidents, four were self-inflicted with the other occurring when the shooter shot the victim while swinging on game. Approximately one half million hunters chase deer yearly in Missouri fields and forest.
The 2019 deer season is set in stone with the dates of the following: early youth season 11/2/19 – 11/3/19; regular firearms season 11/16/19 – 11/26/19; Late youth season 11/29/19 – 12/01/19; antlerless season 12/6/19 – 12/8/19; and alternative season 12/28/19 – 1/7/19. Archery season will start on the usual date of September 15th and end on January 15th, excluding the November firearms season.
Twenty-eight new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) were recently found in 11 Missouri counties. The CWD positive deer were found in the following counties: Adair(2), Crawford(1), Franklin(5), Jefferson(1), Linn(2), Macon(4), Mercer(1), Oregon(3), Ste Genevieve(7), Stone(1), and Taney(1). These cases brought the total of Missouri free-ranging deer which have tested positive for CWD to 103 since 2012. Tissue samples from more than 28,000 deer were collected, including more than 20,000 from the mandatory CWD sampling on opening weekend of firearms deer season.
For the full article please see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.