There is a good book available through the Quality Deer Management Association about the restocking of white-tailed deer throughout their range. The authors collected records from most states, including Missouri, to document the sources of deer used to restock and how many were released. It seems there are gads and gads of stories about the fabulous restocking effort, but the book by the Quality Deer Management Association is the best collection of accurate information on the subject that I’m aware of. Most of the deer restocked in Missouri were from remnant populations in Missouri. In fact, they restocked 2,292 deer trapped from within Missouri and 356 from Michigan and Minnesota. There were most likely some unrecorded events of citizens moving deer as well.
It is interesting that deer in northern Missouri were mainly stocked from existing populations in southern Missouri. The large difference observed now between body and antler development in northern Missouri compared to southern Missouri is simply the vast difference in land use practices (ag crops in the central and northern counties compared to predominate timber and fescue pasture in the southern counties). Deer in most counties south of I-44 simply can’t express their potential because of the low quality food available in this area.
Growing Deer together,