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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge Hosts Two Managed Deer Hunts in December

Region 3, December 19, 2012
Weighing in a buck at the first managed deer hunt at Mingo National Wildilfe Refuge.
Weighing in a buck at the first managed deer hunt at Mingo National Wildilfe Refuge. - Photo Credit: n/a

This December, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge hosted two muzzleloader managed deer hunts. The managed deer hunts are offered each year for hunters who have been selected through the State of Missouri managed draw system. The primary purposes of the hunts are to provide the public with an opportunity to enjoy the refuge through the recreational pursuit of hunting while at the same time assisting in the management of the deer population.

The first of the two hunts was held on December 1 and 2 and had 150 hunters drawn. Five disabled hunters were also drawn to take part in the hunt and were placed in hunting blinds that the refuge maintains in a special hunt area. During the first managed hunt the participants are allowed a harvest of two deer with only one being antlered. The second of the two hunts took place on December 15 and 16 and had 70 hunters drawn along with four disabled hunters. During this hunt the participants are permitted a harvest of two antlerless deer. In addition to deer, the hunters are permitted to take feral hogs. Feral hogs have a tremendous negative impact on the native plants and wildlife of Mingo National Wildlife Refuge and the managed hunts provide an opportunity for hunters to thin out the population. The hunters were permitted to harvest hogs up until they filled their two deer limit for the hunt.

Overall, the hunters were met with less than ideal hunting weather conditions for both of the managed deer hunts. The two hunt weekends saw temperatures reach into the 60s. On top of that, both weekends had strong winds making the hunting even more difficult. Despite these tough circumstances, the refuge had a total harvest of 64 deer for the two weekends. Along with the deer, 13 feral hogs were taken during the hunts. While the harvest numbers were a little lower than in years past, the participants still got to enjoy the uniqueness and beauty of Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. On top of that, their efforts go a long way in maintaining a healthy deer population while also reducing the number of feral hogs on the refuge. Thanks to all of the hunters for their support of Mingo National Wildlife Refuge.

Contact Info: Peter Rea, 573-222-3589, peter_rea@fws.gov