Raylen Shoe

Raylen Shoe, 10, from Chillicothe, Missouri, harvested a 14-point deer Nov. 1 on his family’s farm.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is reporting a successful harvest during the late youth portion of the 2020 deer hunting season.

Jason Isabelle, deer biologist, said young hunters ages 6 through 15 harvested 3,899 deer during Missouri’s late youth portion from Nov. 27 to 29.

Of the 3,899 deer harvested, there were 1,433 antlered bucks, 520 button bucks and 1,946 does.

Last year’s harvest total for the late youth portion was 1,950 with 771 being antlered bucks, 204 button bucks and 975 does.

“The total for this year’s late youth portion is the highest on record,” Isabelle said. “Great weather contributed to an impressive harvest total for this year’s late youth portion of firearms deer season.”

The top counties in the state for the late youth portion were Osage with 90 deer harvested, Pike with 87 and Franklin with 72.

Isabelle said during shorter portions of firearms deer season the weather has an especially important impact.

“The weather for most of the late youth portion was great this year,” Isabelle said. “Pleasant conditions struck a nice balance between being cool enough to encourage deer movement but also comfortable enough for young hunters to be out in the field.”

Preliminary data from the conservation department shows that deer hunters in Missouri harvested 176,604 deer during the main November portion of firearms deer season that ran Nov. 14 through 24.

Of the 176,604 deer harvested there were 95,654 antlered bucks, 16,045 button bucks and 64,905 does.

“Hunters posted an impressive harvest total given the challenging conditions, particularly on opening weekend,” Isabelle said. “Typically, about half of the harvest occurs during the first two days of the season. Unfortunately, hunters were greeted by rain and high winds to start the season, which resulted in harvest numbers falling behind last year’s mark early.”

The statewide top harvest counties were Howell with 3,496 deer harvested, Franklin with 3,409 and Texas with 3,374.

The conservation department reported three firearms-related hunting incidents during the November portion of the firearms deer season with all being non-fatal and self-inflicted.Archery deer season runs through Jan. 15. The antlerless portion of firearms deer season runs Dec. 4 through 6 followed by the alternative methods portion from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5.

Find more information on deer hunting from MDC’s 2020 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where hunting permits are sold and online at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/2020FDT.pdf.

Margaret Slayton can be reached at margaret.slayton@newspressnow.com.