By Jenny Dreasler, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
courtesy: Missouri Department of Conservation
PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -
The days of "unlimited" deer permits are over for now in Missouri. On Thursday, the Missouri Conservation Commission passed new regulations that will put a strict limit on just how many deer you can kill.
Under the new rules, Missouri deer hunters in most counties will be limited to one buck tag, and now just one antlerless permit. Before the changes, hunters could get as many antlerless permits as they wanted.
The changes are in response to lower deer populations statewide. But it's a decision local business owners and deer hunters say will make a big impact.
Most firearms deer seasons, Steven Job kills about six or seven deer. But new regulations will restrict him to just one buck and one doe. It's an idea he's not too fond of.
"You're talking about taking a lot of money out of people's pockets," Job said. "Because they have to buy all their meat now instead of being able to harvest their animals for the year."
Jeremy Lane, a Product Specialist with Butch's Sports World, also has a hard time believing the new regulations.
"I'm kind of surprised that this is what they wanted to do, because last years harvest was way down," Lane said. "It was because of the drought and because of the disease that deer get, so I don't know exactly what this is going to do to address the problem."
While the limits do affect firearm season, there are still no regulations on how many antlerless permits are allowed during archery season. Lane says the new rules could actually help boost that side of business.
"More kids, and a lot more women are getting into archery," Lane said. "A lot of them start out they just want to shoot targets, but then they end up becoming hunters. Definitely, it may pick up on that."
Lane says the biggest impact might be on the community and the 'Share the Harvest' program. The program allows hunters to donate extra deer meat to help feed families in need.
"A lot of people will harvest a buck and one doe and that's for their household, and if they harvest any additional, they give that to the 'Share the Harvest' program. So that could be one thing we see affected," Lane said.
Hunters in Chariton, Randolph, Macon, Linn, Sullivan and Adair counties can get two antlerless tags because chronic wasting disease has been found in the area. Urban zone hunters and Barton, Howell, and Oregon County hunters can get two tags because deer numbers are higher than manageable there.
The changes will go into effect for the 2014 deer hunting season.
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