For the first time in modern history, the Missouri Department of Conservation will offer a deer hunting season later this year.
The Conservation Commission approved the issuance of five permits for hunting deer, with four general permits for the public and one permit reserved for eligible area landowners, according to a news release from MDC.
This change occurred after years of restoration efforts to conserve native species by the conservation department and its supporters.
“Season time is designed to come after the peak of deer breeding during late September and early October and to avoid the deer season coinciding with part of the firearm deer season,” said Aaron Hildreth, MDC deer and deer biologist, through a news release.
Details and dates for the deer hunting season
MDC sets the nine-day archery portion for October 17-25 and the nine-day firearms portion for December 12-20. The five permits will become stags and will apply to both parts. All permissions will be granted via a random lottery draw.
There will be a $ 10 registration fee for general permits. Eligible landowners will not be required to pay fees when applying for a landowner’s permission. Those selected for each of the five permits must pay a permit fee of $ 50.
MDC will limit the random lottery to one application per person, per year with a 10-year “sitting” period for those who are withdrawn for general permission before they can apply again, according to a news release.
“If land owner deer is selected for permission, eligible landowners will not be required to wait another 10 years before applying for land deer permit applications,” the press release said. “Eligible landowners can apply once a year for general deer hunting permits and for deer landowner permits but are entitled to receive only one permit each year.”
Land deer permit is limited to resident landowners with at least 20 hectares in the “Deer Land Owner Hunting Zone” of the Carter, Reynolds and Shannon areas. Zone boundaries are displayed in the application. A landowner’s permission is not transferable and can only be filled in on the property of the landowner.
General permits can be used in the Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon districts, except the protection section of the Peck Ranch Conservation Area. Like land owner licenses, general permits cannot be transferred.
“The method of hunting that is permitted for each season will be the same as hunting deer,” Hildreth said. “Permits will allow to harvest one stag with at least one horn more than six inches in length. Successful hunters must telecheck deer that are harvested, like deer. “
To apply for a deer permit, applicants must be Missouri residents who are at least 11 years old on the first day of the hunt, according to a news release. Those selected to receive a permit must have their hunter’s education certification or be released by age (born before January 1, 1967) before they can buy the permit.
All applications must be completed online or at a local vendor.
- Apply for random lottery permits May 1-31 online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, or through a permit vendor.
- Eligible landowners are required to submit their property information before submitting an application through the MDC Landlord Permit Application at mdc.mo.gov/landownerpermits.
- Applicants can check to see if they have been selected for an online deer hunting permit starting July 1 at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits after logging into “Manage Your Account” and selecting “View My Special Hunting History.”
- For more information about deer hunting in Missouri, visit huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/elk.
Deer have been hunted to extinction in Missouri
Deer are a native species in Missouri but were hunted to extinction in the state through unregulated hunting during the late 1800s.
With the help of many people, MDC reintroduced around 100 deer to remote areas in the Ozarks of Missouri in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Most were cow deer with a number of young calves and bulls, according to a news release. Their number has increased to more than 200, and their range has expanded in recent years to include parts of the Carter, Reynolds and Shannon countries. The area consists of nearly 80 percent of public land interspersed with privately owned tracts.
“Our plan is to offer a limited season for deer hunting in Missouri once the herd reaches a minimum of 200 animals with a minimum annual herd growth rate of 10 percent, and a herd ratio of at least one bull for every four deer cattle,” Hildreth said. “That goal has been reached.”
MDC hopes to eventually reach the target population of 500 deer and will use poaching to manage the size and location of the herd, according to Hildreth.
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