Callaway County hunters bagged 281 deer during the recent 11-day muzzleloader hunt, the Missouri Department of Conservation reports.
This year's muzzleloader statewide harvest of 15,238 deer was up 18 percent from last year and fell just short of the record 15,907 deer checked during the 2009 muzzleloader hunt in Missouri.
Callaway County's 281 deer taken during the muzzleloader hunt ranked as the third highest in the state. The top two Missouri counties were Oregon with 314 and Franklin with 285.
Many restrictions have been lifted since Missouri's first muzzleloader deer season in 1988.
The three-day season has been increased to 11 days. Hunters can now buy one permit and hunt with muzzleloaders and with center-fire rifles during the November and anterless seasons. This year's muzzleloader season was from Dec. 17 to Dec. 27 throughout the state.