Missouri liberalizes deer regulations

State wants hunters to target more does during longer seasons

? Deer hunting regulations approved by the Missouri Conservation Commission will allow hunters to buy more bonus deer permits to harvest antlerless deer at lower prices and use them in an unprecedented number of hunting days.

Conservation Department officials say the more liberal regulations are designed to shift more of the annual deer harvest to does.

“To effectively manage the state’s deer herd we have to be able to control the number of does that hunters take each year,” said resource scientist Lonnie Hansen.

Last year, the firearms deer hunting season consisted of four portions totaling 26 days. This year’s firearms deer season will include five segments with a total of 34 days.

New this year is a two-day Urban Deer Management Portion of firearms deer season around Kansas City and St. Louis.

Another day of hunting will be added to the Muzzleloader Portion, which will take place a week earlier than last year.

The other five additional days of firearms hunting will take place during the Antlerless-Only Portion. F

Firearms deer hunting segments are as follows:

l Oct. 25-26 (Urban Deer Management in units 58 and 59).

l Nov. 1-2 (Youth only).

l Nov. 15-25.

l Nov. 28 – Dec. 7 (Muzzleloader).

l Dec. 13-21 (Antlerless-Only in units 1-27, 33-38, 58-59).

Archery Deer Season remains unchanged, Oct. 1 through Nov. 14 and Nov. 26 through Jan. 15

Hunters participating in the Urban Deer Management Portion of firearms deer season will be restricted to using historic methods — bows, crossbows and muzzle-loading firearms, which have shorter ranges than modern firearms.

Liberalization of Missouri’s deer hunting regulations isn’t limited to the number and length of hunting season segments. The Commission also approved changes increasing the number of any-deer and bonus deer permits available.

l Resident landowners of five acres or more will be able to farm tag one deer of any sex or age without buying a permit, and in many units they will be able to buy bonus antlerless-only deer permits without buying an any-deer permit first.

l All immediate household members of landowners with at least 75 acres may receive an any-deer permit and up to two bonus permits.

l In 39 management units, firearms hunters will be able to buy and fill as many second-bonus permits as they want.

The Commission also lowered the price of:

l Resident Firearms First Bonus Permits from $11 to $7

l Nonresident Firearms First Bonus Permits from $75 to $7

l Nonresident Firearms Second Bonus Permits from $50 to $7

Other permit prices are:

l Resident Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permits, $17

l Resident Firearms Second Bonus Permits, $7

l Resident Managed Deer Hunting Permits, $17

l Resident Archers Hunting Permit, $19

l Youth Deer and Turkey Permits, $15

l Resident Fall Firearms Turkey, $11 and

l Nonresident Firearms Any-Deer Hunting, $145 (plus a $25 surcharge for some states)

Bowhunters share the new deer hunting bounty, too. The Conservation Commission increased from 24 to 50 the number of units where archers can use antlerless-only permits.

Furthermore, archers will be able to buy and fill as many of these permits as they want.

Archers and firearms hunters will be able to buy all deer hunting permits over the counter.