It's good news for hunters, but maybe bad news for drivers: the Missouri Department of Conservation says the state will see a pretty good deer population this year.
Many parts of the state should see a "large and healthy deer herd" this season, after years of declining populations, according to the department's Jim Low. He estimates the state has more than a million deer, offering "plenty of deer hunting opportunity out there."
Union Pacific Railroad is urging hunters to resist the temptation of hunting near railroad tracks.
The company says its tracks often run through newly harvested farm fields that attract wildlife. That can make railroad property attractive to hunters, but it's also a good way to get hit by a train.
It can take engineers a mile to stop, so they can't do much to avoid hitting someone on the tracks. Railroad cars hang out about three feet beyond the sides of the tracks, making it easy for someone standing near the tracks to be clipped by a car.
Some Missouri deer hunters made unexpected discoveries while hunting this fall. Five female deer have been reported by hunters to the Missouri Department of Conservation sporting fully formed antlers. The antlered deer, analyzed by MDC Resource Scientist Emily Flinn, appear to be externally female. Flinn specializes in deer biology and says this phenomenon all comes down to hormones.
Illinois hunters harvested more than 66,500 deer during the state's opening firearm season.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the preliminary total includes deer harvest from Friday through Sunday.
It is about 1,500 fewer deer than were taken during the first weekend harvest in 2010. Pike County had the most deer taken with 1,917. Adams County came in second, followed in order by Fulton, JoDaviess and Jefferson counties.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that a wildfire has damaged 450 to 500 acres of timbered land in the area of Pere Marquette park usually open to hunting. No injuries or damage to permanent structures were reported.
The Department of Conservation says the season for bullfrogs and green frogs runs from sunset Thursday through Oct. 31.
Missourians can capture frogs using a hand net, gig, and throw line. They also can snag, snare, grab or use a pole and line if they have a fishing permit. People who have a hunting permit can use a .22 caliber rifle, pellet gun or bow.