Hunters bring economic boost to Northeast Missouri communities
HANNIBAL (WGEM) - The first firearms deer hunting season kicks off in Missouri Saturday.
Missouri Department of Conservation media specialist Maddie Est said this time attracts thousands of in-state and a number of out of state hunters to Northeast Missouri. She said the region is a popular hunting destination as they do a good job of managing their deer populations, have big bucks and make it easy for non-residents to hunt there.
“When you start having to reach out to individual private land owners to hunt, it makes it a little more difficult especially if you are coming in from out of state you might not have those connections but we have a lot of conservation areas, recreation areas that are open to hunting as long as you’ve gone through the proper steps to be eligible to hunt in Missouri,” Est said.
She said for the permit fee for residents is $17. She said the non-resident permit fee is $265, which is cheaper than most states. Est said as of Thursday evening, 265,216 hunters had purchased firearms permits, with a total of 483,586 firearms permits purchased statewide.
Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce executive director McKenzie Disselhorst said hunting season brings an economic boost to the city. She said hotels and Air BNB’s receive an uptick in bookings around this time as people take the weekend to hunt. She said convenience stores, restaurants, and sporting goods stores also benefit from the influx of hunters.
“We spend a lot of time focusing on people coming here to learn more about Mark Twain or to enjoy our river and those types of natural amenities but obviously the outdoor hunting is a big part of the economy as well,” Disselhorst said.
She said hunters might bring their spouses along, and they might shop or explore the area while their spouses are out hunting. She said during those times towns might have fairs or events that cater to hunters which can add extra revenue and boost their economies.
Est said for hunters should pick up a hunting regulation and information guide from their regional offices, but they can also find them on their website as well.
She said some counties might have different hunting rules. She said some counties, including Clark County, are testing deer for Chronic Wasting Disease and hunters should be aware of the different testing rules as well.
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