Missouri hunters already have started thinning the state’s deer herd. The serious hunting starts in less than a month.
Archery hunting season and the urban deer season kick off a series of seasons that last until early January. Still ahead is the firearm season, November 15-25, antlerless season November 26-December 7, alternative weapons season December 20-30, and two youth seasons–the first the weekend of November 1&2, and January 3&4.
The department says the mild summer means the deer are likely to be healthier this year. Food sources are good but not fantastic in southern Missouri, meaning deer will be moving rather than clumping together in food areas. The big corn crop in north Missouri could impact where they’ll be found.
Resource Scientist Emily Flinn says disease might have an impact though, particularly hemorrhagic disease breakouts in 2012 statewide and in northeast Missouri last year.But she says the disease itself does not cause health problems for humans–although hunters should watch out for secondary infections that can be spotted when dressing the animal.
This year’s sampling for chronic wasting disease ion northern Missouri with continued efforts in the containment zone in Sullivan, Adair, Macon, Randolph, and Chariton Counties.
Last year’s kill was the lowest in the last five years, 252,574, more than 60,000 below the previous year’s total of 313,254.
Deer kills the last five seasons: