Missouri Urban Deer Hunt Numbers Down

6 years 1 month 1 week ago October 20, 2010 Oct 20, 2010 Wednesday, October 20 2010 Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:44:52 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The Missouri Department of Conservation released statistics Wednesday on its annual urban deer hunt. The program is designed to manage deer populations in some of Missouri's more populated areas. This year 587 deer were killed during the four day season.

That amount is 53% less than last year's 1,242 deer killed. Deer biologist Lonnie Hansen said the down number could be due to the unseasonably warm weather.

"We've seen quite a bit of variability in the number of deer taken and it seems to be closely tied to the temperatures as anything," Hansen said. "When we get these real warm periods during the year of the urban hunt, we find hunters are less likely to go out and participate."

Statistics collected by the department show the same trend. During the three years that had the highest amount of deer killed, the average temperature was 69.7 degrees Fahrenheit.  The three years with the lowest amount coming in had an average temperature of 82.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the amount of deer killed this year was down, Hansen said it was a successful season because there are less deer that can run across urban roads.

"Some of our biggest problems with deer occur in our urban areas because of access to the areas for hunting," Hansen said. "And as a result the numbers aren't well controlled and we see populations increasing in urban areas."

While the Urban Deer Hunt program helps Missouri drivers, hunters can help needy families.

"Share the Harvest is a great program," regional supervisor Tom Strother said. "It gives needy folks the chance to add more protein to their diets and gives hunters the chance to help people out. It is a win-win situation."

Last year the program received 209,153 pounds of deer meat. Strother said this year the Central Missouri branch wants to collect 60,000 pounds of meat. Strother also said if you would like to get involved with the program, more information can be found at missouriconservation.org.

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