Missouri youth will take to the woods this weekend to try to bag a deer. Department of Conservation spokesman Joe Jerek says it’s a great program that gives younger hunters an opportunity to have their own mini-season.

Photo courtesy Department of Conservation.

Those who want to participate but don’t have a permit — there’s still time to get one. Jerek says you can get a permit at any certified permit vendor throughout the state, or you can purchase one online and print it immediately at www.mdc.mo.gov. (Permits can be obtained by calling 800 392 4115, but hunters need to be aware it can take up to 10 days to receive that permit by mail.)

Jerek says kids ages six to 15 do not need to be hunter education certified as long as they’re with an adult who is … those 16 and older do need to be certified. And any young hunters who can’t get out in the woods this weekend, there is another mini-season in January, set for the 7th and 8th.

He says deer in Missouri do not have natural predators, so these hunts help thin the herd and keep the population healthy. The youth hunt also encourages youngsters to learn safety and ethics of the sport from experienced adults.

Regular firearms deer season kicks off next weekend, and runs November 12th through 22nd.