The conservation department is surprised by this year’s record deer-kill during the firearms hunting season. The department was looking for a good season…but not one that broke the record set in 2004…and certainly not a kill total that has broken that record by almost six-percent—almost 13-thousand deer. The record is a surprise because the first weekend kill was almost nine-thousand fewer than the first weeke of 2004. But at the end of the season, this year’s firearms kill was 235-thousand-54. Department biologist Lonnie Hansen expects the final total after all seasons to set an overall record. This is the middle of the muzzle-loading firearms season, which goes through this weekend. The antlerless season starts December 9th and continues through the 17th. It’s also archery season, which continues to mid-January. By the time all of the seasons are done, he thinks the total kill will exceed 320,0000, another new record. The department counted ten hunting accidents in the firearms season. Two hunters died. Callaway, Benton and Pike Counties were the areas of greatest harvest. Hansen says 475-thousand hunters went looking for deer during that season.