JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's Conservation Department says hunters took nearly 239,000 deer during the 2011-2012 firearms hunting season.
Conservation officials said the season's total was up about 7,400 from last year, but roughly 13,000 below the 10-year average.
Jason Sumners, a deer biologist with the Conservation Department, says this year's sharp departure from the 10-year average reflects a decline in deer populations in parts of central and northern Missouri.
At the same time, Sumners says deer numbers in southern Missouri continue to increase gradually.