Deer Kills Down

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BOONE COUNTY - Missouri Deer Processor Bill Crane and his cousin Gary said Wednesday by this point in deer season, they usually see much more deer meat in their shop. The cousins, who say they are more like brothers, have been processing deer meat for 32 years and since 2002, donating nearly 80 percent of their ground meat to the Share the Harvest program. The Ashland natives delivered the meat of five deer to the Central Missouri Food Bank Wednesday afternoon but are hopeful they'll be able to deliver much more after this weekend.

Bill Crane said he knows the shortage in deer meat is due to the warm weather mid-Missouri has seen over the past few weeks. Missouri Department of Conservation said early October saw particularly high temperatures and a slight decrease in harvests. The Urban hunting season ran from October seventh through 10 and according to department reports, kills are around half of the current long term average.

Crane's Processing said it is not concerned because it expects harvests will increase much more after this weekend, especially since temperatures have significantly fallen. Conservation agents said they believe this change in weather will cause an increase in deer and hunter activity.