OUTDOORS: November firearms deer season closes Tuesday

Archery season will resume Wednesday

By BILL WEHRLE, C-T/LCL Outdoors Sports Editor
Bill Wehrle column

By BILL WEHRLE, C-T/LCL Outdoors Sports Editor

Missouri’s November firearms deer season opened Nov. 13 and will run through this coming Tuesday, Nov. 23. It is the most participated-in hunting season the Show-Me state offers, with more than 500,000 gun-toting hunters buying permits.

It’s just one of the firearms seasons offered each year, with two youth-only seasons, an antlerless deer season, and an alternative season also scheduled for each fall. An archery season which began back on Sept. 15 was temporarily closed for the duration of the November firearms season, but will re-open on this coming Wednesday to run through Jan. 15.

Missouri’s deer population remains high despite the approximately 300,000 deer checked in by hunters each year.

The state’s crop fields and forests offer deer the food and sanctuary they need to prosper and the number taken doesn’t seem to lower their populations. Deer born each year seem to always replace the number taken by hunters and other causes.

The only thing that seems to deplete the deer population is an outbreak of a deadly deer disease like EHD or CWD, but the population has always seemed to recover, even from these deadly (to deer) diseases.

Areas I’m familiar with here in north Missouri seem to have plenty of deer and I anticipate hunters here doing really well at filling their tag(s) this year.

I’ve already seen some pictures and heard some “big buck” stories from the first half of the archery and firearms seasons, and I’d guess I’ll hear and see many more before they’re over.

Deer meat is high-quality, lean red meat and a lot of area freezers will be stocked with plenty of tasty venison when all seasons are over.

With deer, duck, goose, quail and pheasant seasons all currently open, there’s a lot of different kinds of hunting now available to Missouri hunters. The best time of the year for us outdoors people is right now, so don’t pass up an opportunity to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity.

And anglers haven’t been left out. Until major waters freeze, there are still hungry fish to be caught. And if you fish through the ice, fish are available all year.

Fur prices are so low that it hardly pays to trap, yet there are still outdoors folks that will want to trap for the challenge of outwitting wildlife.

Missouri’s trapping seasons opened Nov. 15, so as soon as fur is “prime,” it’ll be time to set some traps.

Trapping season is now open on badger, bobcat, coyote, gray and red fox, mink, opossum, raccoon, striped skunk, rabbit, otter, muskrat, beaver and nutria. I’d bet you didn’t know just how many furbearers are available here in Missouri!

Many of these trapping seasons will close on Jan. 31, but beaver, muskrat, otter and nutria seasons run even longer. Most furbearers trapped have no limit on the number allowed (swamp rabbits are the exception), so catch all you want or can handle.

Trapping is another way to enjoy Missouri’s outdoors, so, even though fur prices are low, you might still want to try your luck with a few sets.

Enjoy hunting and/or trapping; the seasons don’t last forever.

Good luck with your hunting, trapping, or fishing!

(Bill Wehrle’s “Outdoors” column appears in the C-T every Saturday and LCL every Monday)