The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has set the 2016-2017 deer and turkey hunting seasons.

SPRING TURKEY HUNTING DATESMDC logo

• Spring Youth Portion: April 9 and 10, 2016.

• Spring Turkey Season: April 18 through May 8, 2016.

FALL DEER AND TURKEY HUNTING DATES

• Archery Deer and Turkey: Sept. 15 through Nov. 11, 2016, and Nov. 23, 2016, through Jan. 15, 2017.

• Firearms Turkey: Oct. 1 through 31, 2016.

• Firearms Deer Early Youth Portion: Oct. 29 through 30, 2016.

• Firearms Deer November Portion: Nov. 12 through 22, 2016.

• Firearms Deer Antlerless Portion: Dec. 2 through 4, 2016.

• Firearms Deer Alternative Methods Portion: Dec. 24, 2016, through Jan. 3, 2017.

• Firearms Deer Late Youth Portion: Nov. 25 through 27, 2016.

DEER AND TURKEY HUNTING REGULATION CHANGES

• Expand the deer-hunting late youth portion to three days beginning the first Friday after Thanksgiving.

• Reduce the length of the deer-hunting antlerless portion from 12 to three days and begin it on the first Friday in December.

• Eliminate the urban-zones portion of the firearms deer season.

• Allow crossbows as a legal method during archery deer and turkey seasons.

• Allow the use of crossbows during the fall firearms turkey season.

• Remove the hunting method exemption requirement related to crossbows.

• Reduce the limit of antlered deer from three to two during the combined archery and firearms deer hunting season, with no more than one antlered deer taken during the firearms deer hunting season.

• Set the 2016 spring turkey season from April 18 through May 8 with a limit of two bearded turkeys during the season; provided only one turkey may be taken during the first seven days of the season.

• Set the 2016 youth spring season April 9 and 10.

• Set the 2016 fall turkey hunting season from Oct. 1 through 31 with a limit of two (2) turkeys of either sex during the season.

The regulation changes will become effective March 2016.

“The goal of the Conservation Department’s deer management program is to use research-based wildlife management combined with public input to maintain deer population levels throughout the state that provide quality recreational opportunities while minimizing human-deer conflicts,” said MDC Deer Biologist Jason Sumners.

“As deer populations in Missouri have changed over the last 75 years, so have our management strategies. In modifying the hunting-season structure, our aim is to achieve a deer population that is biologically and socially acceptable while also promoting hunter participation, recruitment, and retention.”

DEER HUNTING IN MISSOURI

Missouri offers some of the best deer hunting in the country, and deer hunting is an important part of many Missourians’ lives and family traditions.

Deer hunting is also an important economic driver in Missouri and gives a $1 billion annual boost to the state and local economies.

According to the MDC, more than 90 percent of land in Missouri is privately owned so landowners are essential to creating and maintaining wildlife habitat on private land. The Department works with more than 25,000 landowners in Missouri to help them manage their land for wildlife, such as deer and turkey.