Missouri's 2007 Deer Outlook -- Part 1

Missouri's 2007 Deer Outlook -- Part 1

Which counties and regions are going to be hottest for whitetail action? Read on and find out. (October 2007)

Photo by Kenny

Deer hunters today are number crunchers. They want to know how many deer were killed in a particular season, and which regions and counties had the highest harvest numbers. With limited numbers of days to hunt, hunters want to tilt the odds in their favor as much as they possibly can. Hunters can do a much better job of playing the odds if they know the numbers.

NORTHEAST REGION

This region ranks first place overall in total number of deer taken in 2006-07 during the six portions of Missouri's deer seasons that pertain to this region. Hunters in this region checked in a grand total of 57,419 last year. The top five counties were Pike with 6,310 deer checked in (second statewide), Macon 5,587 (fourth), Monroe 4,476 (13th), Adair (17th) and Shelby 3,936 (18th). This region's last place county is Schuyler with 2,163 deer taken, but it still ranked 77th out of Missouri's 114 counties.

The Northeast Region consists of 15 counties, making it the fourth largest of the eight regions in Missouri in terms of number of counties within its borders. These counties include Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Sullivan.

This region's first place ranking is pretty darn impressive when you consider that there are three other regions with more counties within their borders. Here's how the 2006-07 deer seasons added up for the Northeast Region.

Firearms Deer Season: Statewide rank first place with 41,049 deer bagged. The top five counties were Pike with 4,211 deer harvested, Macon 3,942, Monroe 3,317, Adair 3,006 and Shelby 2,766.

In 1996, this region's top two counties were Macon with 4,122 deer killed and Adair with 2,558.

Archery Deer Season: Statewide rank second place with 6,584 deer harvested. The top five counties were Pike with 795, Macon 614, Adair 540, Putnam and Shelby with 505 each, and Scotland 497.

Muzzleloader Deer Season: Statewide rank third place with 1,282 deer taken. The top five counties were Pike with 148, Putnam 136, Adair 123, Macon 109 and Knox 102.

Antlerless Deer Season: Statewide rank first place with a total of 6,633 deer harvested. The top five counties were Pike with 930, Macon 720, Monroe 504, Shelby 489 and Randolph 475.

CENTRAL REGION

The Central Region came in at second place in terms of overall number of deer taken throughout the 2006-07 Missouri deer seasons with 53,252 deer killed. The top five counties were Callaway 6,529 (first statewide), Boone 4,975 (fifth), Osage 4,616 (12th), Morgan 4,461 (14th) and Camden 4,316 (16th). The Central Region's lowest ranked county, Moniteau, finished with 1,822 deer taken (88th statewide).

The Central Region is tied for fourth largest with the Northeast Region in terms of number of counties within its borders. These 15 counties include Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Gasconade, Howard, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage and Saline. The Central Region has earned a name for itself over the past decade as one of the state's hottest deer-hunting regions.

Firearms Deer Season: Statewide rank second place with 37,609 deer taken. Top five counties were Callaway with 4,466, Osage 3,332, Morgan 3,316, Camden 3,087 and Boone 2,836.

In 1996, this region's top six counties were Boone 3,661, Callaway 3,032, Montgomery 2,591, Camden 2,362, Osage 2,306 and Gasconade 1,798.

Archery Deer Season: Statewide rank first place with 7,122 deer harvested. The top five counties were Callaway 966, Boone 929, Osage 744, Gasconade 532 and Howard 501.

Muzzleloader Deer Season: Statewide rank second place with 1,363 deer taken. The top five counties were Osage 218, Gasconade 159, Camden 134, Maries 119 and Callaway 114.

With limited numbers of days to hunt, hunters want to tilt the odds in their favor as much as they possibly can. Hunters can do a much better job of playing the odds if they know the numbers.

Antlerless Deer Season: Statewide rank third place with 4,417 deer checked in. The top five counties were Callaway 724, Boone 655, Howard 545, Camden 445 and Morgan 422.

Urban Deer Season: Statewide rank first place with 450 deer tagged in two counties -- Boone with 313 and Cole with 137.

NORTHWEST REGION

The Northwest Region ranked third statewide in terms of overall numbers of deer taken last year with a grand total of 47,247 whitetails. The top five counties were Carroll 3,732 (22nd), Nodaway 3,512 (28th), Chariton 3,493 (29th), Linn 3,422 (35th) and Harrison 3,353 (37th). This region's last place county is Worth with 1,220 deer taken (105th).

The Northwest Region is Missouri's largest in numbers of counties within its borders. These 19 counties are Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Clinton, Daviess, Dekalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Ray and Worth. It would only make sense that having the most counties would mean more deer taken, but as you can see, that's not the case.

Firearms Deer Season: Statewide rank third place with 35,124 deer killed. The top five counties were Carroll 2,713, Nodaway 2,605, Harrison and Linn each with 2,507, Chariton 2,473 and Daviess 2,466.

In 1996, this region's top four counties were Linn 2,961, Caldwell 2,747, Dekalb 2,561 and Harrison 2,370. As you can see, these numbers were slightly higher than they are today.

Archery Deer Season: Statewide rank sixth place with 4,949 deer taken. The top five counties were Linn 442, Carroll 400, Chariton 397, Nodaway 351 and Daviess 330.

Muzzleloader Deer Season: Statewide rank sixth place with 1,076 deer harvested. The top five counties were Carroll 110, Harrison 101, Nodaway 96, Atchison 83 and Chariton 69.

Antlerless Deer Season: Statewide rank second place with 4,583 deer killed. The top five counties were Chariton 430, Carroll 389, Linn 383, Nodaway 367 and Harrison 339.

OZARK REGION

The Ozark Region placed fourth statewide in overall numbers of deer taken with a grand total of 38,041 whitetails. The top five counties were Howell 4,778 (8th statewide), Texas (9th), Oregon 4,683 (11th), Ripley 3,570 (27th) and

Phelps 3,134 (46th). This region's last place county was Pulaski with 1,702 (95th).

The Ozark Region is the sixth largest statewide in number of counties. These 12 counties include Carter, Dent, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Ripley, Shannon, Texas and Wright. With three counties in the top 20 overall, the Ozark Region may change a few minds about deer hunting south of the Missouri River.

Firearms Deer Season: Statewide rank fourth place with 29,677 deer killed. The top five counties were Howell 3,876, Texas 3,869, Oregon 3,731, Ripley 2,647 and Dent 2,407.

This region's top four counties in 1996 were Howell with 3,805, Texas 3,264, Oregon 3,244 and Phelps 1,674. Although relatively the same as this year, the slight decrease could be the result of a shift of hunters that now hunt northern counties.

Archery Deer Season: Statewide rank fourth place with 5,219 deer taken. Top five counties were Ripley 594, Oregon 565, Carter 524, Howell 515 and Texas 508.

Muzzleloader Deer Season: Statewide rank first place with 1,499 deer checked in. The top five counties were Oregon 197, Howell 185, Phelps 175, Texas 167 and Dent 147.

Antlerless Deer Season: Statewide rank seventh place. Although 18 deer were taken in Wright County, please note that there were no counties in the Ozark Region open to the antlerless portion of the deer season last year.

SOUTHWEST REGION

The Southwest Region finished in fifth place in overall deer harvest last year with 37,577 deer checked in. The top five counties were Hickory 3,311 (39th statewide), Laclede 3,300 (40th), Cedar 3,052 (48th), Dallas 2,800 (53rd) and Jasper 2,450 (64th). Finishing last in this region was Stone County with 1,161 deer taken (106th).

The Southwest Region is the second largest in numbers of counties. These 17 counties include Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster. Here are the season totals. This region has moved up in the ranks over the past several years.

The Northwest Region ranks first place overall in total number of deer taken in 2006-07 during the six portions of Missouri's deer seasons that pertain to this region.

Firearms Deer Season: Statewide rank fifth place with 26,753 deer killed. The top five counties were Hickory 2,449, Laclede 2,318, Cedar 2,297, Dallas 2,013 and Polk 1,695.

In 1996, the Southwest Region's top three counties were Barry with 1,340, Jasper 1,242 and Webster 1,079. You can see that this region has definitely made great strides in terms of deer harvested over the last 10 years.

Archery Deer Season: Statewide rank seventh place with 4,896 deer arrowed. The top five counties were Newton 421, Greene 390, Jasper 389, Laclede 378 and Dallas 344.

Muzzleloader Deer Season: Statewide rank fourth place with 1,227 deer killed. The top five counties were Laclede 137, Jasper 89, McDonald 88, Newton 85 and Christian 82.

Antlerless Deer Season: Statewide rank fifth place with 2,638 deer taken. The top five counties were Hickory 346, Laclede 329, Cedar 265, Dallas 250 and Barton 228.

Urban Deer Season: Statewide rank second place with 390 deer taken in three counties. These counties were Webster 167, Christian 122 and Greene 101.

KANSAS CITY REGION

The Kansas City Region finished in sixth place in overall number of deer killed last year with 36,634. The top five counties in the region were Benton 5,881 (third statewide), St. Clair 4,705 (10th), Henry 4,359 (15th), Vernon 3,261 (41st) and Pettis 3,136 (45th). The last place county in this region was Clay with 1,494 (103rd).

The Kansas City Region's 12 counties tie it for sixth place in terms of number of counties with the Ozark Region. These counties include Bates, Benton, Cass, Clay, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Platte, St. Clair and Vernon.

Firearms Deer Season: Statewide rank sixth place with 26,140 deer killed. The top five counties include Benton 4,404, St. Clair 3,522, Henry 3,173, Vernon 2,428 and Pettis 2,368.

In 1996, the top three counties in this region were Benton with 3,159, St. Clair 2,921 and Henry 2,478. Compare the 2006 firearms top counties with 1996 and you will see that this region has had a good increase in deer harvest over the past decade.

Archery Deer Season: Statewide rank fifth place with 5,089 deer arrowed. The top five counties were Jackson with 964, Benton, 595, St. Clair 520, Henry 466 and Clay 416. Urban deer hunters in the KC metro area helped increase the archery harvest this past season.

Muzzleloader Deer Season: Statewide rank eighth place with 764 deer taken. The top five counties were Benton 104, St. Clair 91, Henry 88, Cass 76 and Bates 74.

Antlerless Deer Season: Statewide rank fourth place with 3,295 deer bagged. The top five counties were Benton 610, Henry 504, St. Clair 420, Pettis 300 and Vernon 276.

Urban Deer Season: Statewide rank third place with 296 deer checked in. The four counties included were Cass with 98, Clay 77, Jackson 66 and Platte 55.

ST. LOUIS REGION

The St. Louis Region finished in seventh place in overall numbers of deer taken in 2006 with 28,146 deer checked in. The top five counties were Lincoln 4,910 (6th statewide), Franklin 4,890 (7th), Crawford 3,777 (20th), Jefferson 3,764 (21st) and Warren 3,177 (44th). St. Louis County came in last in this region with 2,256 deer taken (74th).

The Central Region has earned a name for itself over the past decade as one of the state's hottest deer-hunting regions.

The St. Louis Region is the seventh largest of the eight regions in terms of number of counties. The eight counties in this region include Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis, Warren and Washington. Here's how the seasons broke down.

Firearms Deer Season: Statewide rank eighth (last) with 18,768 deer harvested. The top five counties were Franklin 3,601, Lincoln 3,271, Crawford 2,931, Jefferson 2,615 and Warren 2,214.

In 1996, Franklin County led the way in this region with 2,399 deer harvested. The increased number of deer taken in this region has certainly been dramatic over the past decade. This is owing to additional opportunities and increased bag limits in the region.

Archery Deer Season: Statewide rank third place with 5,719 deer taken. Top counties were St. Louis with 1,151, Jefferson 874, St. Charles 853, Franklin 845 and Lincoln 709. St. Louis County led the state in archery harvest last year, thanks to the efforts of organized urban archery deer hunters here.

Muzzleloader Deer Season: Statewide rank seventh place with 1,038 deer taken. Top five counties included Franklin 226, Crawford 172, Jefferson 160, Lincoln 127 and Washington 99.

Antlerless Deer Season: Statewide rank sixth place with 2,638 deer harvested. The four counties finished as follows: Lincoln 650, Warren 343, St. Charles 306 and St. Louis 215.

Urban Deer Season: Statewide rank fourth place out of four regions participating. The two counties included St. Charles 137 and St. Louis 76.

SOUTHEAST REGION

The Southeast Region finished in last place out of the eight regions in terms of overall deer harvest with 26,119 deer killed. The top five counties were Ste. Genevieve with 3,633 (23rd) statewide, Wayne 3,425 (34th), Bollinger 2,846 (51st), Perry 2,709 (57th) and Butler 1,992 (81st). However, this region also had the bottom five counties statewide, which were Scott 551, Dunklin 308, New Madrid 295, Mississippi 292 and Pemiscott 153. To be fair, the bottom four are located in the state's boot heel, and perhaps they should be in a region all by themselves.

Firearms Season: Statewide rank seventh place with 19,933 deer taken. The top five counties included Ste. Genevieve with 2,806, Wayne 2,655, Bollinger 2,269, Perry 2,187 and St. Francois 1,417.

In 1996, this region's top two counties were Wayne with 1,706 and Bollinger with 1,427.

Archery Season: Statewide rank eighth place with just 3,944 deer harvested. The top five counties were Wayne 536, Ste. Genevieve 482, Stoddard 444, Butler 401 and Bollinger 371.

Muzzleloader Season: Statewide rank fifth place with 1,187 deer taken. The top five counties included Ste. Genevieve with 212, Perry 126, Wayne 11, Bollinger 105 and Cape Girardeau 85.

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