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Discover Nature: Deer Harvest

Missouri's 2023-2024 deer-hunting season ended Jan. 15 with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reporting a preliminary record-setting total deer harvest for the season of 326,026. This year’s new harvest record surpasses the one set in 2006 of 325,457.

Of the deer harvested, 147,705 were antlered bucks, 29,060 were button bucks, and 149,261 were does. Top harvest counties for the overall deer season were Franklin with 7,395, Howell with 6,346, and Texas with 6,181.

According to MDC, increasing deer numbers and regulation changes that added a new early antlerless firearms portion, a new chronic wasting disease (CWD) firearms portion, and an increase in the number of firearms antlerless deer hunting permits in most counties led to additional hunting opportunities and contributed to a record harvest.

“With deer numbers increasing in most counties, additional antlerless deer harvest is needed to slow population growth and help maintain deer numbers at desired levels,” said MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle. “It was great to see hunters take advantage of the additional hunting opportunities.”

For deer harvest totals by season, county, and type of deer, visit the MDC website at extra.mdc.mo.gov/widgets/harvest_table/.