Rifle hunting season for deer has ended or nearly ended in much of the Midwest, and the numbers are in. Hunters shot and killed more deer in most states than they did last year, in some cases a lot more.
In Ohio, hunters took 73,000 white-tailed, a 12 percent increase from 2014 though fewer than the 2013 season. Wildlife officials say better weather may have made the difference, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
Illinois hunters, meanwhile, harvested 85,000 deer during the seven-day firearm season. That amounts to a 10 percent increase over last, according to the Associated Press.
And in Missouri where hunters took 189,838 deer during the November portion of the four-day fall firearm season, that amounted to 14 percent increase from 2014.
Missouri accounts for some of the best deer hunting in the country while contributing significantly to the state’s economy. The sport provides an estimated $1 billion annual boost to state and local economies, according to eMissourian.com.
In Michigan, the numbers were more mixed with the Lower Peninsula seeing deer harvests increase by 17 percent while the Upper Peninsula saw numbers decline by 19 percent. Again, weather was said to be the major factor, according to Fox 17.
Wisconsin on the other hand saw its lowest deer harvest numbers in 32 years. This year hunters shot and killed 201,812 deers, according to the Journal Sentinel.