With the arrival of fall, many hunting seasons are either open, or will soon be opening. Archery deer and turkey season opened on September 15th. It closes for firearms season on November 13th. It reopens after firearms season on November 25th. The final day on the second portion of archery season is January 15th.
Few changes are seen from year to year with archery season, except for CWD restricted counties. Prior to the 2019 season, Boone, Callaway, and Randolph were counties in the CWD zone. The zone has changed for the 2019 deer season and those counties are no longer in the CWD zone. Locally, the nearest counties in the CWD management zone is Gasconade and Macon Counties. The removal of the CWD restrictions places those counties back into the four-point antler restriction for taking antlered deer. Feeding of deer is allowed in those counties again as well. Feed must be completed removed from the area at least 10 days prior to hunting or it is considered baiting.
Permits also has seen a change from the 2019 to the 2020 deer season. The 2019 deer season seen the removal of the lessee landowner permits. For the 2020 season, an individual must sign up to obtain landowner permits. To sign up for landowner permits, please go to Https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/permits/qualifications-landowner-permits/landowner-permit-quiz. The acreage requirement for landowner permits has changed from 5 acres to 20 acres. 75 acres are required for additional landowner permits. To be eligible to obtain landowner permits, you either must own the property, or be in the immediate household of the property owner. Non-residents who own property in Missouri may obtain a reduced cost landowner permit.
Hunter orange is required during archery season when hunting during the firearm youth season dates of October 31st and November 1st, and from November 27th until November 29st. It is also required during the antlerless season of December 4th through December 6th. If you are hunting on public ground which does not allow firearm hunting, then you are not required to wear hunter orange clothing.
Youth firearms deer season this year will be the Halloween Weekend, October 31st and November 1st. It is open to youth ages 6 to 15 to firearm deer hunt. Past years required the adult with the youth to have a deer hunting permit as well as the youth. That is no longer a requirement. Adults aged 18 and above must be within the immediate presence (conversation distance) of a youth and they must be either hunter education certified or exempt due to age. Only one deer may be taken during the youth season and the youth must be able to take the deer without aid from the adult. Youth firearm deer permits, and landowner deer permits may be used during the season.
Fall firearms turkey season opens on October 1st and closes October 31st. Two birds of any sex maybe taken during the season. Unlike the spring season, both birds may be taken on the same day.
If you have any wildlife related questions or information, please call me, Norman Steelman Audrain County Conservation Agent at 573-473-8000. You may also call the Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-392-1111 if you have information regarding a violation of the Missouri Wildlife Code. You may remain anonymous, and you may ask to be considered for a reward if you wish.