Click player below to listen to the interview (note – the interview was conducted in late 2022) –
The Missouri Department of Conservation is instituting changes for the 2023-24 Deer Season, which includes the addition of more hunting dates and regulation changes. There’s a new firearms early antlerless portion, and a new firearms Chronic Wasting Disease portion, in addition to antlerless permit number changes in most Missouri counties.
“Probably most notable is we’ve established, what we call an early antlerless portion of firearms deer season,” according to Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle. “That’ll be a short three-day season from October 6th through the 8th. That’ll be open in 100 counties and will provide hunters with an opportunity to harvest antlerless deer with a firearm during that time of year. We also have a CWD portion of firearms deer season that would be open in the counties within our CWD Management Zone. That would be a five-day season portion that would be right on the tail end of the November portion. That would be the 22nd through the 26th of November. That would provide hunters in the CWD Management Zone counties with some additional opportunities to harvest deer during that portion. Just like the November portion, hunters will be able to fill any unfilled firearms deer hunting permits that they have at that time.”
Isabelle observed the increase in numbers to Missouri’s deer population, which gave the MDC a chance to create more opportunities to help slow the population growth and keep the population at maintained levels.
“Going back to about ten years ago, I had mentioned the hemorrhagic disease outbreak that occurred that was really severe,” adds Isabelle. “We had a lot of deer that died that year as a result of that disease. A lot of that mortality was in the central part of the state and the northern part of the state. The increase in deer numbers in those counties since that outbreak has been by design.”
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, one goal of the deer program is to manage the deer population at a level that satisfies hunters and wildlife viewers and doesn’t create dangerous driving conditions or creates undue burden for farmers.