The conservation department’s agents have looked under 47-hundred oak trees to forecast this year’s deer-kill. A good year for acorns will mean an decent but not record-breaking season for deer hunters. The red oak acorn crop is up two percent from last year and the white oak acorn crop is up nine percent in Missouri. It’s the second straight year for a bumper acorn crop. And deer biologist Lonnie Hanson says that’s likely to mean a second straight season that will require some extra work by hunters. Why? It’s because the deer won’t have to move around as much as they would move if they had to look for food. He says hunters are not as successful in the Ozarks as they are when the acorn crop is down a deer have to do more foraging. In a bad acorn year, deer will go to fields and open areas where they’re more vulnerable to hunters…as was the case in the record kill year of 2004. His advice for deer hunters in acorn areas—The smart hunter should be in the woods where there are a lot of oaks–where acorns are…and therefore, where the deer are. The season for firearms hunters begins Saturday. He thinks it will be good overall because deer numbers are strong—and outstanding in north Missouri where the acorn influence is much less.
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