Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that young hunters ages 6 through 15 harvested 11,118 deer during Missouri’s early youth portion of the 2023 deer hunting season, Oct. 28-29.
Top counties were Franklin with 258 deer harvested, Osage with 224, and Texas with 209.
Of the deer harvested, 6,857 were antlered bucks, 3,410 were does, and 851 were button bucks.
Youth hunters harvested 13,877 during last year’s early youth portion.
“Although the rain this past weekend was desperately needed given how dry it’s been this year throughout much of the state, it did put a damper on the early youth portion,” said MDC’s Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle.
Isabelle noted that the below average temperatures were conducive to good deer movement, but the combination of cooler temperatures and rainy conditions that persisted throughout much of the weekend likely reduced the amount of time many young hunters were able to spend afield.
Archery deer hunting continues through Nov. 10 and resumes Nov. 22 through Jan. 15, 2024.