The Missouri Department of Conservation has wrapped up another portion of the 2012 firearms deer season.  Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk to spokesman Joe Jerek:

Joe Jerek

Jerek said it was given a new name at the beginning of this year.  “Traditionally in the past, it was called muzzle loader portion,” said Jerek,” The Missouri Department of Conservation re-named it alternative methods to better reflect some additional options that were added which include archery methods, crossbows, atlatls, handguns, and air-powered guns.”

According to Jerek, the numbers indicate it was a successful hunt.  “This year hit almost 15,000,” said Jerek,” The exact number came in at 14,921.”

This brings the total harvest for 2012 to just over 304,000.

Press Release:

Hunters harvested 14,921 deer during the statewide alternative methods portion of the fall 2012 firearms deer season, which ran Dec. 15 through Dec. 25. Top counties were: Oregon with 320, Franklin with 300, and Howell with 298.

Hunters shot 15,238 deer during this portion in 2011, and the record harvest under this portion was 15,907 in 2009.

Called “muzzleloader” portion since it was first held in 1988, MDC renamed this portion “alternative methods” in 2012 to reflect additional method options added this past season: archery methods, crossbows, atlatls, handguns and air-powered guns.

Missouri’s two deer-hunting seasons, firearms and archery, provide hunters with many opportunities to take deer while helping to maintain a healthy deer population. The firearms season consists of five portions: urban, youth only, November, alternative methods and antlerless only. The late youth-only portion remains for this firearms deer season and runs Dec. 29-30. The archery season consists of two segments. The second segment remains open through Jan. 15.

According to MDC, Missouri has more than 511,000 deer hunters who spend about $690 million in the state each year on deer hunting and related activities. This has an overall economic impact of $1.1 billion in Missouri each year and supports almost 12,000 jobs.