Sen. Libla Encourages Citizens to Offer Comments on Possible Deer Hunting Regulation Changes
JEFFERSON CITY—State Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, is urging citizens to participate in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s public comment period in regards to possible changes to the 2016-2017 deer hunting season.
Throughout the summer of 2014, the Department of Conservation gathered nearly 4,000 comments through public input on the deer management plan and proposed regulation changes using quantitative scientific surveys of deer hunters, numerous open houses were conducted around the state, and developed a dedicated web page. As a result of public input consistent with biological consideration, seven recommendations for regulation changes have been drafted.
From February through April 2015, the department will collect public comments regarding those proposed changes online and through additional open houses.
- Maintaining the current timing of the November deer season but reducing the length from 11 to nine days;
- Expanding the late youth firearms weekend from two to three days, starting the Friday after Thanksgiving;
- Reducing the length of the antlerless firearms portion from 12 days to three days, beginning on the first Friday in December; and
- Eliminating the urban zones portion.
Fall archery deer and turkey season proposed changes include:
- Allowing crossbows as a legal method; and
- Reducing the limit of antlered deer during the archery season from two to one.
“Deer hunting is one of our state’s most beloved past times. However, it’s more than sport for a lot of people. Many families depend on harvesting deer for food. There are also numerous small businesses whose livelihoods are heavily reliant on successful deer hunting seasons,” said Sen. Libla. “The department is proposing some significant changes. I highly encourage everyone to submit public comment on the proposed changes. Make your voices heard.”
To explain the proposed changes and gather public feedback, MDC will hold the following public meetings around the state, from 5 to 8 p.m., including:
- March 3. – MDC Springfield Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way, Springfield;
- March 5 – West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis St., West Plains; and
- March 10 – MDC Cape Girardeau Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau.
To learn more about the proposed regulations, MDC’s deer management plan, past public comments, and to provide comment, visit the MDC website at mdc.mo.gov/node/28079.
Comments may be left online. Comments can also be mailed to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Attn: Policy Coordination, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102.