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MDC sets date, changes for deer season

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Missouri deer hunters will find a few changes to this year's hunting regulations, but season length and most other details are similar to last year.

The Missouri Conservation Commission set 2005 deer hunting regulations at its meeting June 2.

Season dates are:

Firearms Deer Season

* Urban counties portion, Oct. 7-10 in selected counties

* Youth portion, Oct. 29-30

* November portion, Nov. 12-22

* Muzzleloader portion, Nov. 25-Dec. 4

* Antlerless portion, Dec. 10-18

This year's youth portion of the firearms deer season will take place two weeks before the November portion of the season. This is a week earlier than in the past.

Archery Deer and Turkey Season

* Sept. 15-Nov. 11

* Nov. 23-Jan. 15

Availability of antlerless deer permits remains the same as last year, and antler restrictions instituted last year remain in effect in the same 29 counties. The Conservation Commission may consider expanding the antler restriction trial to additional counties in 2006.

The MDC directed the Protection Division to begin normal enforcement of antler restrictions this year. Conservation agents gave hunters some latitude last year because of the newness of the requirement to harvest only bucks with at least four points on one side of their antlers.

The Commission also voted to give people who live on land they lease the same privileges as landowners regarding individuals accompanying persons hunting on youth deer and turkey hunting permits. This means that the person accompanying the youth hunter does not have to have hunter education certification if they were born before Jan. 1, 1967.

Several regulation changes relate to the elimination of check stations this year. Instead of being required to take deer and turkey to physical check stations, hunters will check deer electronically, either by telephone or with a computer over the Internet.The new rules require hunters to:

* Write the Telecheck confirmation number on the main portion of a deer or turkey hunting permit and immediately attach it to the animal.

* Check deer and turkey by 10 p.m. the day they are taken.

* Check deer or turkeys before leaving the state.

Hunters who own land in more than one county will be required to conform to bag limits in each county.

Firearms turkey hunters must wear hunter orange Oct. 7 through 10 in counties open during the urban portion and Oct. 29 through 30 statewide during the youth portion of firearms deer season.

The Conservation Commission also voted to loosen restrictions on small-game hunting during firearms deer season. This year, small-game hunters will be allowed to use rimfire .22 cal. and smaller firearms during the November and antlerless portions of firearms deer season. In the past, only shotguns were permitted.

Details of deer and turkey hunting regulations will be available in July at www.mdc.mo.gov/hunt/deer/deertuk/ or in the 2005 fall deer and turkey hunting regulations and information booklet.



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