Here’s a number that aptly demonstrates both the amazing number of deer in this country as well as the undeniable ascendance of deer hunting as the most popular way to introduce children to the sport of hunting: Missouri youth hunters bagged more than 19,000 deer in that state’s one-weekend youth deer hunt.

From this story on
Missouri’s younger hunters bagged more than 19,000 deer in the first youth weekend deer hunt of the season. The state Conservation Department says hunters ages 6 through 15 killed nearly 19,300 deer this past Saturday and Sunday, up almost 18 percent from last year. The counties with the top harvests were Franklin with 417 deer, Osage with 400 and Howell with 395. The department says the youth deer hunting season is part of its efforts to recruit new hunters. In 2001, Missouri had about 40,000 deer hunters under age 16, and now there are about 70,000._

Not only is that a pretty amazing number (it wasn’t all that long ago when 19,000 deer would be some states’ entire yearly deer harvest) but what’s truly mind-boggling is the increase in youth hunters, from 40,000 in 2001 to 70,000 now. Good news for the future, eh? Does your state offer youth-only deer hunts? If so, are you seeing a similar increase in kids hunting?