The November portion of the firearms deer season is about to kick off, and the Department of Conservation is reminding hunters of a change in the number of deer they can kill.
In all parts of this season combined, hunters this season will be able to take only one antlerless deer in most counties of the state except in urban areas, six counties in north Missouri near where chronic wasting disease has been found in a few animals, and in Barton, Howell and Oregon counties where local deer herds are greater than the Department wants them to be.
The change was approved by the Conservation Commission in the spring, Deer biologist Jason Sumners says, largely because of a decline in deer numbers in recent years.
“In the early 2000s we knew that we had too many deer on the landscape and implemented a number of regulation changes to increase deer harvests to try to bring those deer populations down,” says Sumners. “We’ve largely accomplished that so it’s time to back off on harvest and manage for a more stable population.”
Sumners emphasizes the changes don’t limit them to one doe apiece.
“It limits them to filling one or two firearms antlerless permits per county, and again the landowner permit availability or qualifications are in addition to that,” he says.
He explains the reason hunters can take two antlerless deer in Chariton, Randolph, Linn, Macon, Sullivan and Adair counties, “will allow hunters to maintain stable populations or keep them where they currently are as we try to minimize deer numbers and reduce the potential for CWD to spread.”
In urban areas, Sumners says, “our ability to take deer in urban areas is limited by the discharge of firearms, it’s limited by access to properties, so we’re continuing to provide folks in those areas some additional opportunity to harvest antlerless deer to keep populations down.”
Firearms deer season opens November 15.