St. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) –Although this probably doesn’t have any impact on west county cities overrun by deer, Missouri hunters took nearly 240-thousand deer during the 2011-2012 hunting season.
The season’s total was up about 7,400 from last year, but roughly 13,000 below the 10-year average.
Jason Sumners, deer biologist with the Conservation Department, says this year’s sharp departure from the 10-year average reflects a decline in deer populations in parts of central and northern Missouri.
“There are simply fewer does in the population today than there were six or eight years ago,” Sumners said. “This means that the doe harvest doesn’t need to be as high to manage population numbers as it was several years ago when deer populations in many parts of Missouri where growing rapidly.”
He added that MDC has been trying for the better part of a decade to stabilize deer numbers in many parts of Missouri.
“We have been working to bring down deer populations to reduce crop damage, deer-vehicle accidents, and other deer nuisance problems, and we’ve made good progress in those areas,” Sumners said. “Now our challenge is finding ways to fine-tune deer numbers and hunting pressure at the local level, which means that future reductions in the availability of firearms antlerless permits may be necessary.”
At the same time, Sumners says deer numbers in southern Missouri continue to increase gradually.
More than 500,000 hunters spend more than $690 million directly related to deer hunting in Missouri each year. Deer hunting in Missouri annually generates more than $1 billion of overall business activity and supports more than 11,000 jobs.
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