2017 Missouri Deer Forecast
September 20, 2017
Missouri is home to about 1.2 million white-tailed deer. That number is down from several years ago when the estimated population was at 1.5 million deer. For detailed information on why our population has declined and what hunters can expect in 2017, we turned to the Missouri Department of Conservation's Cervid Programs Supervisor, Barb Keller.
"One reason for fewer deer in Missouri today than in recent history is that liberal antlerless deer harvest regulations allowed for unlimited doe harvest in some parts of Missouri," Keller said.
The Missouri Department of Conservation has since become very conservative on doe harvest in an effort to stabilize or increase deer populations in parts of Missouri. Another reason for declining deer numbers in some parts of our state, like northern and central Missouri, is loss of good deer habitat such as CRP ground being converted to row-crop farming. However, one of the most dramatic causes for a temporary decrease in deer numbers was disease.
"Severe Hemorrhagic Disease outbreaks in recent years really took a toll on our deer herd in some parts of the state," Keller said.