Missouri turkey hunters enjoyed their best spring season in five years, shooting 44,187 birds.
Despite rainy weather for parts of the three-week season, which ended Sunday, hunters topped the total of 43,994 birds taken last year and the 43,283 shot in 2014.
Franklin was the top county in the state with 964 turkeys taken. St. Clair ranked second with 878 and Texas third with 861.
Combined with the youth season harvest of 4,167, that gave Missouri a total of 48,354 turkey taken this spring.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
That represented a continued steady increase in harvest, but it still couldn’t match the boom years of the early 2000s, when hunters posted spring harvests in the upper 50,000s and 60,700 in the peak year of 2004.