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299,721 deer killed during Missouri's hunting season

Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri's deer harvest count reached nearly 300,000 for the 2022-23 hunting season, the Missouri Department of Conservation wrote in a news release Tuesday.

The state's hunting season rounded out Sunday with a preliminary total deer harvest of 299,721, according to the release. This count is slightly higher than preliminary totals of previous years, with the 2021-22 season yielding a deer harvest of 293,670. The 2020-21 season yielded 296,516.

For the fifth year in a row, Franklin County was the top harvest county with a total of 6,471 deer. Callaway County and Jefferson County followed with 5,438 and 4,966 deer, respectively. Boone County's total was 3,653.

The archery deer season closed with a total of 56,525 deer killed. The 2021-22 season yielded a deer harvest of 60,834, and the 2020-21 season yielded 67,180.

Statewide, hunters harvested 143,815 antlered bucks, 26,750 button bucks and 124,578 does in the most recent season.

When looking toward the next hunting season, landowner deer and turkey permit holders may need to update or reaffirm property information.

2020 applicants for no-cost and reduced-cost landowner permits will receive an email from the Conservation Department explaining how to receive a permit. This may apply to both resident and nonresident landowners with deer and turkey permits.

The update comes after a 2020 change in qualifications for no- and reduced-cost landowner hunting permits. The qualifying minimum acreage was raised from five to 20 contiguous acres for resident landowners.

Also in 2020, the Conservation Department began offering reduced-cost permits to nonresident landowners with 75 acres or more of contiguous land.

More than 90% of Missouri land is privately owned and “many landowners play a key role in maintaining healthy deer and turkey numbers by providing essential habitat,” according to the Conservation Department. It offers no- and reduced-cost deer and turkey permits to qualifying landowners as an act of appreciation.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.