Deer count opening weekend

Discussion in 'LOCAL MISSOURI TALK' started by bluejay, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,507
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Rain erodes opening-weekend deer harvest
    Deer are active in foul weather; hunters less so.
    JEFFERSON CITY-Steady rainfall that soaked much of Missouri on Sunday contributed to a drop in the number of deer taken during the opening weekend of the November deer season.
    Hunters checked 86,202 deer during the first weekend of the November Portion of Firearms Deer Season, Nov. 14 through 24. That is 12 percent fewer than last year.
    Top counties were Texas with 1,765 deer checked, Howell with 1,761 and Wayne with 1,587.
    Resource Scientist Lonnie Hansen attributed the dip in harvest to widespread and locally heavy rainfall on Sunday.
    "I can't imagine that the weather on Sunday didn't keep lots of hunters indoors," said Hansen. "I'm probably typical. I hunted Sunday morning in Adair County, where the weather was still great for hunting. I planned to hunt that evening close to home in Boone County but decided to skip it on account of the rain."
    Although deer harvests depend on several factors, Hansen said weather clearly was the dominant influence on this year's opening-weekend kill. He noted that the number of deer checked on Saturday was about 2,500 more than last year. The big drop-off happened on Sunday, when the rain really set in. Counties in southeast Missouri, where hunters had excellent weather throughout the weekend, had about the same or bigger harvests than in 2008.
    Hansen said that in the past, hunters usually shot approximately 60 percent of the November deer harvest on opening weekend. If that held true this year, the November deer harvest would be around 144,000. However, Hansen said the 60/40 ratio is less predictable now than in the past.
    "Back in the days when deer season was only a week long, a bad opening weekend meant a bad deer harvest. Nowadays, with an 11-day November hunt and another 25 days of antlerless, muzzleloader and youth hunting ahead of us, hunters still have lots of opportunity to make up for a slow start. I still think we will end up with a bigger harvest than last year."
    Among less significant factors holding down the opening-weekend harvest, Hansen mentioned reduced deer populations in some parts of northern Missouri.
    "There is no question that we have fewer deer in many areas now than we did five years ago," he said. "That could put a brake on the harvest, but on the other hand, several counties in the northern half of the state actually saw increases in opening-weekend harvest compared to last year. The deer population remains strong in those areas. It just isn't as big as it used to be, and that's not a bad thing."
    Increased interest in bucks with large antlers is another factor that Hansen said might have contributed to a smaller opening-weekend harvest. With more than 30 days of deer season ahead of them, hunters looking for trophies feel less motivated to shoot the first deer that comes along.
    Finally, Hansen said the expansion of the four-point rule to 65 counties and parts of three others is another minor factor contributing to a lower overall deer harvest. Limiting the harvest to antlerless deer or bucks with at least four points on one side forces hunters to pass up shots at young bucks. In some areas, this increases the chances hunters will see and shoot antlerless deer. However, some hunters will hold out for legal bucks, or will not see other legal deer. Consequently, the total number of deer killed declines for two or three years after the four-point rule goes into effect, even though the number of does harvested may increase.
    The total deer harvest in areas with the four-point rule often rises back to pre-restriction levels after two or three years, as 1- and 2-year-old bucks grow large enough to be legal. Hunters who prefer to shoot big-antlered bucks like the rule because it allows more deer to develop big antlers.
    The purpose of the four-point rule is to achieve better control of deer populations by increasing the ratio of bucks to does in the population. The opening-weekend harvest seems to indicate the four-point rule is working. Antlerless deer made up 52 percent of the opening-weekend harvest this year, compared to 47 to 50 percent in the past few years
    The Conservation Department recorded four firearms-related deer hunting incidents during the opening weekend. One was fatal.
    One nonfatal incident in Macon County involved a hunter who leaned his 12-gauge shotgun against a fence with the safety off. The gun fell and discharged as the man crossed under the fence, striking him in the hand.
    Another nonfatal incident in Adair County involved a hunter who was showing a companion how to load a rifle when the firearm discharged. The bullet hit a trailer, and a fragment struck the victim in the back of the knee.
    The remaining nonfatal accident occurred in Clay County. A hunter's rifle discharged when he grasped the firearm in his vehicle. The bullet struck him in the elbow.
    The fatality occurred in Callaway County. A hunter removed a rifle from his shoulder, where it was held by a sling, and simultaneously switched off the safety and grasped the trigger, causing the rifle to fire. The shot struck the shooter's companion in the abdomen.
     
  2. fishingbuddy4

    fishingbuddy4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Warner Rob ga

  3. SHOWME

    SHOWME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,703
    State:
    Nixa, Mo
    got my pork chop (yearling), now I'm horn hunting:big_smile:
     
  4. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,507
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Didn't get one this weekend. Got rained out. Going back to the farm for the weekend tomorrow.
     
  5. roadkill636

    roadkill636 New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    warrenton misso
    I got a button buck for the freezer this morning in the back yard, this lil boy and his sister and mom had their way in my garden all summer long!
     

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  6. sjohn58

    sjohn58 Guest

    Looks like it did not make it.
    The little dog say it's mine :eek:oooh:

    :smile2::smile2::smile2:
     
  7. Gotbuck

    Gotbuck New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,078
    State:
    Missouri
    Seen 20 deer in the rain sunday and missed a big 12 pointer chasing a doe in Gasconade in Hermann. They are out there for sure so hunt in the rain.
     
  8. roadkill636

    roadkill636 New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    warrenton misso
    just got another one out back, she's a bit bigger than most I tend to shoot :eek:oooh:
     

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  9. Welder

    Welder New Member

    Messages:
    4,834
    State:
    Missouri
    We both dropped big does. Good eaten. Still hunting horns come Muzzle Loader. Where ya hunting out by gasconade GotBuck? I am hunting a farm out in frankiln county.
     
  10. SHOWME

    SHOWME Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,703
    State:
    Nixa, Mo
    Roadkill that is a HUGE doe:crazy: down here in sowthwest mo alot of the deer are about the size of a big dog:embarassed:
    The deer kill report is that the kill is way down like 40% or so we didn't kill 200K this year
     
  11. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,507
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    Here was the total for regular gun season so far.

    JEFFERSON CITY - Harvest numbers for Missouri's 11-day November portion of the firearms deer season dipped by 7,524, or 4 percent, this year from last for a total of 193,155. Missouri's record November firearms deer harvest was in 2006, with a total of 235,054.

    The top harvest counties were Texas, with 4,372 deer checked; Howell with 3,871; and Benton with 3,616.

    Antlered bucks made up 41 percent of this year's November firearms deer harvest compared to 37 percent last year.

    "This increase in antlered bucks is partly because we are in the second year of the antler restriction in many counties, so more bucks were available," explained Missouri Department of Conservation Resource Scientist Lonnie Hansen.

    Overall harvest numbers in central and northern Missouri were down, due mostly to heavy and prolonged rains.

    "Hunters usually harvest about 60 percent of the total for the season during opening weekend," said Hansen, who is in charge of the MDC's deer-management program. "Heavy rain during four of the first five days of the 11-day season was a major factor in lower numbers. Adding to that were weeks of wet weather before the season, which forced farmers to leave a considerable amount of corn standing. This provided a refuge for deer and made them more difficult to find."

    He added that the past few years of more liberal harvest regulations in many central and northern Missouri counties also have stabilized or reduced deer numbers in these areas, as was intended.

    Harvest numbers in the Ozarks and southeastern Missouri were generally higher than last year.

    "Harvest numbers were down last year in these areas because of abundant acorns," explained Hansen. "Deer were more scattered throughout the woods and less likely to concentrate at other food sources such as fields. This made it more difficult to pattern their movements. We did not have that issue this year because of a lighter acorn crop. Also, the rains held out until after opening weekend, so hunters had better weather."

    He added, "Overall, we had a good season and Missouri's deer population remains healthy and relatively stable."

    Deer hunters still have opportunities to fill their freezers, and also to help their neighbors through the Share the Harvest program. The antlerless season runs Nov. 25 to Dec. 6. The second round of the archery season runs Nov. 25 to Jan. 15, and muzzleloader season runs Dec. 19-29.

    The Conservation Department recorded seven firearms-related deer hunting incidents during the November hunt, including one fatal one, plus three additional falls from tree stands.
     
  12. TJD

    TJD New Member

    Messages:
    258
    State:
    Missouri
    Both the standing corn and the rain affected the hunt in Rolls county. I wondered if the warm weather kept them from moving as much? I got a large doe the second week end. It sure was fat and it's hide was much thicker than I remember.
     
  13. Mi11er

    Mi11er New Member

    Messages:
    5,117
    State:
    Independence, M
    I didn't see near the deer I normally see. It was a bad year, for me. My buddy did kill a 145" 8 pt. But, other than that it was slow
     
  14. bluejay

    bluejay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,507
    State:
    Napoleon, Mo.
    I only saw one nice buck this year. I was in the barn and he run across the pasture chasing a doe. Can't eat them horns anyway.