Opening weekend of deer season has high numbers
COLUMBIA - Opening weekend of firearm deer season has come to a close, and the numbers are comparable to last year.
"The harvest so far for the opening weekend this year is about 86,000," Thomas Strother with the Missouri Department of Conservation said. "Last year's opening weekend harvest was just a pinch under 91,000 and hunters still have a few more hours to check deer today," Strother said Sunday evening.
These harvest numbers are on track to have the same total as the previous year.
"This has been a great weekend for hunting," Strother said compared to weekends in the past.
"The deer herds are about the same population so the harvest this year will be similar to the previous year," Strother said.
Deer hunting brings roughly $1 billion annually to Missouri's economy.
The revenue comes in not only through deer tags but also through related activities such as deer processing, tourism money from out-of-town hunters, and food plots.
This year has also had an increase in deer sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease. This comes after a positive case found last year in Cole County.
"Firearms deer season in November is the grand daddy of all hunting seasons," Strother said. "A lot of people take vacations this time of year and every body lives for that November portion of deer season."
The Missouri Department of Conservation also encourages hunters to use proper hunter safety throughout the season.