APPLICATION TIME FOR MANAGED DEER HUNTS
The dog days of summer have come early this year, with July feeling more like August. Not exactly deer hunting weather. It is, however, time to at least think about your fall plans if you want to participate in one of the Missouri Department of Conservations managed deer hunts.
There are several managed deer hunts offered in Missouri including those for archery, crossbow, muzzle loading, and modern firearms. The hunts are held various times from mid-September through mid-January. Hunters are selected by a weighted random drawing. What that means is, if you are not selected for a hunt that you applied for this year, you are given a preference point for next year.
If you study the information available in the Fall Deer Hunting Booklet and what is on line, you can see what the odds of success for drawing a permit for each hunt are and what the success rate for the hunters for each hunt was previously.
Managed deer hunts are normally conducted on areas that need to kill deer to reduce their populations, but are not able to allow regular firearms deer season hunting for one reason or another.
I have been on good managed hunts and others where I didn't see a deer. The Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge hunt was a hard hunt to get in, but was a memorable hunt when I finally did. It is no longer offered. On the other end of the spectrum was a hunt at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area in Jackson County. Not only did hunters have to endure a pre-hunt seminar, we were also told we could not move around once we selected a spot to hunt. It was 9 degrees on the morning of the hunt. I hiked in to a rocky ledge, built a small fire and made a reflector with a large rock, sat back and enjoyed the morning. Didn't see a deer, but the hunt was fun.
If you want to participate in one of this year’s hunts, you need to have your application in by July 31.