The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently issued a reminder regarding important regulation changes that apply to hunting this fall.
Crossbows are now a legal method during archery deer and turkey seasons and also during the fall firearms turkey season. As a result, MDC has removed the “hunting method exemption” requirement for hunters to use crossbows during the archery deer season. The regulation change provides additional hunting opportunities for young hunters and helps prolong hunting activities for older participants.
MDC also expanded the late youth portion of the fall firearms deer season from two to three days and moved it earlier in the season. It now starts on the first Friday after Thanksgiving instead of in early January.
MDC reduced the length of the deer-hunting antlerless portion from 12 to three days and it now begins on the first Friday in December.
The Department eliminated the urban-zones portion of the firearms deer season and moved the areas under statewide regulations. According to MDC, there were so few deer harvested during this portion that it proved unnecessary.
To help protect young bucks and increase the number of mature bucks, the harvest limit of antlered deer is reduced from three to two during the combined archery and firearms deer hunting season. Only one antlered deer may be taken during the firearms deer hunting season, and only one antlered deer may be take prior to the November portion of the firearms deer season.
Hunters who harvest deer during the opening weekend of the fall firearms November portion (Nov. 12 and 13) in any of the 29 counties of the Department’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zone in northeast, central and east-central Missouri are required to present their deer for CWD sample collection on the day of harvest at one of 75 MDC CWD sampling locations throughout the 29 counties. Hunters also have the option of presenting just the deer head with about six inches of neck attached. Sampling locations will be open from 7:30 a.m. through 8 p.m. The 29 counties of the CWD Management Zone are: Adair, Boone, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, Putnam, Randolph, St. Charles, St. Louis, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan, Warren and Washington.
You can get more information from MDC’s “2016 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information” booklet, available where hunting permits are sold.