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(Jefferson City) – Hunters checked 69,614 deer during the opening weekend of Missouri’s November firearms deer season. The Missouri Department of Conservation says weather was the most significant factor affecting the number of deer checked, which was 22 percent below last year’s figure.

MDC Resource Scientist Jason Sumners says windy, unseasonably warm weather on Saturday limited deer movement, making them less available to hunters. Wind and rain on Sunday probably kept many hunters indoors or huddled around campfires, further limiting the opening weekend harvest.

Top harvest counties during the opening weekend were Howell, with 1,464 deer checked, Texas with 1,435 and Wayne with 1,430.

Sumners says he does not expect a decrease in this year’s state-wide deer harvest as a result of the widespread outbreak of a disease commonly called blue tongue. He says any local reductions in deer harvest due to hemorrhagic disease are likely to be offset by an expected strong deer harvest in the Ozarks.

MDC recorded one nonfatal firearms-related hunting incident during the opening weekend.

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