Alternative-methods portion of deer-hunting season ends

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COLUMBIA – Just over 11,000 deer later, the alternative-methods portion of the Missouri deer-hunting season came to a close.

During the alternative-methods period, hunters used muzzle-loading firearms, center-fire pistols, air-powered guns, bows, crossbows, or atlatls. This year’s season ran Dec. 19-29.

The Missouri Department of Conservation shared preliminary data showing hunters in Missouri harvested 11,061 deer. Last year, hunters harvested slightly more at 11,067 deer during the alternative-methods period.

Franklin Co. hunters harvested the most at 260 deer during the alternative-methods period. Other top harvest counties include Howell and Texas.

One Columbia resident said he was one of the lucky hunters who got a deer this year.

“I was just lucky. The weather was warm still when I went, and I just got lucky. It happened like the second day I went,” said Gary Ballenger.

Ballenger harvested his deer before the alternative-methods portion of the season, but he’s hunted during the alternative-methods period in the past.

“It’s colder and not as many people hunting, and I kind of like that. The reason I went in the past for the alternative for the muzzleloader was I wasn’t successful in the regular season,” said Ballenger.

Deer-hunting season will continue with statewide archery hunting through Jan. 15.