It’s autumn. The leaves are falling, the days are cool and crisp, it’s the time of year when the thoughts of men and women across the country turn to … deer hunting. And it doesn’t get much better than in the Show-Me State. In fact, Wide Open Spaces rated Missouri No. 3 in the top 10 places to hunt whitetail in the U.S.
One of the main attractions for hunting in Missouri is the abundant public lands open to the sport and one of the best – if not the best – conservation programs in the country, all funded by a designated sales tax voted in by the people of the Show-Me State.
Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned hunter, coming from out-of-state or hunting near to home, here is the 411 on the 2017 Missouri deer season.
Dates: November 11-21 with an antlerless weekend Dec. 1-3. These dates apply to firearms hunting only. See MDC website for seasons for Archery and Firearms/Alternative Methods
Hours: half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset
Regulations: All deer must be checked by telephone or on the Internet by 10 p.m. on the day you harvested the deer. You can transport unchecked deer within the state as long as the transportation tag is attached to the leg.
Places to hunt: https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/deer
Permits and Limits: The required Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permit allows you one antlered or antlerless deer. Check the MDC website for antler point restrictions (applicable in some counties). In addition to that permit, you can buy as many antlerless deer permits as you want. However, some counties do limit the number available.
One of the very best parts of deer hunting in Missouri is eating what you harvest. But with the generous limits, some hunters can end up with an embarrassment of riches. That’s where the Share the Harvest program to feed the hungry comes in. If you have an extra deer, just take it to an approved processing plant (list found on the MDC website) and tell them how much meat you want to donate. Often the processing fees are covered in part or in full by sponsors, and hungry families gratefully line up at food pantries for this otherwise-rare offering of high-quality protein.