Missouri deer season a record breaker


Mar 11, 2001
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Missouri deer season a record breaker

By BRENT FRAZEE - The Kansas City Star.

Date: 11/22/01 22:15

Doug Craig of Raytown is one of many hunters who won't soon forget the record-breaking 2001 Missouri deer season.

Sitting in a tree stand, it didn't take him long to realize that the opener was going to be truly special.

"I watched 30 deer walk past before I even pulled the trigger," Craig said.

When Craig did pull the trigger -- twice -- he ended up with two deer. He took an eight-point buck and a large doe.

"That was one of the best openers I can remember," he said.

Many other hunters said the same thing. By the time the 11-day statewide firearms season ended Tuesday, hunters had taken 205,867 deer and shattered the former record of 201,165 set last year.

Now they are aiming for another standard -- the overall firearms harvest record, which will include the results of the muzzleloader season Dec. 1-9 and the antlerless-only season Jan. 5-8.

If the kill in those two segments is even average, hunters should break the record of 220,495, again set last year.

The success surprised even wildlife biologists, who predicted that last year's mark would be hard to top. Before the season, they said that Missouri had another large population of deer, enough to make another hunting record possible. But they doubted that last year's ideal weather could be matched.

Wrong. The weather was again ideal -- not too hot, not too cold. That allowed hunters to stay in the woods longer, creating more hunting opportunities.

"The weather was the key," said Lonnie Hansen of the Missouri Department of Conservation. "Going into the season, we knew we had a lot of deer out there. But we didn't know how the weather was going to affect things.

"When conditions aren't favorable, hunters won't stay out as long and it will have a big effect on harvest. We couldn't imagine two years in a row when the weather was almost ideal."

But that's what happened.

During the statewide season, outstanding hunting in the west-central region set the pace. There, hunters shot 32,742 deer -- 3,261 more than they did last year. That represented the biggest increase in the state and was a key in the record, wildlife biologists said.

But the west-central still couldn't match the perennial state leader, the northeast. Hunters there shot 36,769 deer.

Howell was the leading county in the state with a kill of 4,166. Callaway was second with 3,821 and Franklin was third with 3,788.


Well-known member
Jul 30, 2001
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I knew it!  I live in the west-central region, and I was hearing a lot of shooting....  Probably why I wasn't seeing many deer - everyone else was shooting them...

As far as the weather being ideal - according to who?  The weather here was NOT ideal.  It was in the 70's by 11-12 O'Clock, and starting cooling down about an hour before shooting times were over.  They call that ideal?!  Most of the deer activity was nocturnal - some during dawn & dusk.  But, I guess the figures don't lie - but hunting conditions & harvests were poor in my neighborhood!  Oh Well.........  I know I said there was a lot of shooting in my neck of the woods, but hardly anyone had anything to show for it.


Well-known member
Jun 29, 2001
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I think "ideal weather" means for people, not deer. A nice frosty morning that might be conducive to deer movement would keep a lot of people in the bed.

Warm, clear weather means more hunters in the field which means a bigger harvest.
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