Although the statewide deer harvest was low, more young hunters in Barry County took deer during the November youth-only firearms deer hunting season, which was held Nov. 1 and 2.
"Favorable habitat conditions and excellent weather likely contributed to the successful hunting season this year," said Travis McLain, Barry County conservation agent. "This year, youth hunters reported harvesting 96 deer.
"That's up nearly 20 percent from the reported total of 77 in 2007," said McLain. "Of the total number of deer harvested, 65 were reported to be antlered deer."
Youth hunters across the state reported a significantly lower number of harvested deer this year. Only 10,395 deer were taken by youth hunters last weekend. In 2007, 12,373 harvests were made by youth hunters during the November youth season.
"Youth hunters who were not successful during this first youth season shouldn't worry," said McLain. "They may fill the remainder of their permits during any of the remaining firearms deer hunting seasons, including the late firearms youth season in January.
"However, regardless of the number of permits held, hunters are limited to a total of one antlered deer during all segments of the firearms deer hunting season," said McLain.
The youth deer hunting seasons are designed to introduce kids to the sport of deer hunting. Many youth hunters harvest their first deer during the youth hunting season each year.
"A special program called the First Deer Hunting Award can help make that moment even more memorable," said McLain. "The First Deer Hunting Award attempts to immortalize that special moment of when a hunter takes their first deer."
The First Deer Hunting Award, which is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, gives youngsters an opportunity to receive a special certificate that includes information on the youngster and his or her successful hunt.
Individuals interested in receiving a First Deer Hunting Award can obtain an award application at any Missouri Department of Conservation office or on-line at mdc.mo.gov/hunt/deer.