The firearms portion of deer hunting season starts tomorrow and the forecast does not look good for the opening day. It’s predicted to be windy, chilly and rainy.
"Sometimes hunters don’t spend as much time in the woods when we get those conditions in there they become a little bit less selective in what they shoot so we’re more likely to see some does shot and fewer bucks shot," said Conservation Department deer biologist Lonnie Hanson.
In addition to the weather a scattered food source can make it harder to hunt deer.
"In southern Missouri there are quite a few white oak acorns this year and that makes it a little bit tougher to hunt deer sometimes because the deer tend to be scattered in the woods and not concentrated on a single food source like a food lot so they’re more difficult to hunt," Hanson said.
Hunters took more than 260 thousand deer during the 2007 firearms season.
"We have probably about the same number of deer as last year we have some parts of the state especially the western and southwestern where deer numbers are down a little bit and other parts where they’re doing just find, but overall I would expect a harvest similar to what we had last year," Hanson said.
Overall deer hunting season in Missouri is very safe.
"We have very few accidents from the standpoint of firearms related accidents and most of the accidents that occur are self inflicted where a hunter accidentally shoots themselves or somebody that’s sitting next to them," Hanson said. "There are very few mistaken for game accidents during the deer season because blaze orange is required. The biggest problem that we have is hunters falling out of tree stands."
Hanson encourages hunters to wear safety harnesses that are attached to the tree. That way if the hunter falls, he won’t hit the ground. Firearm season lasts until Tuesday November 25 th .