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When Is Deer Hunting Season in Missouri

When Is Deer Hunting Season in Missouri?

Deer hunting is a popular pastime in Missouri, attracting thousands of hunters each year. It not only provides an opportunity for recreation and bonding with nature but also contributes to wildlife management and conservation efforts. If you’re planning to embark on a deer hunting adventure in Missouri, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the hunting season dates and regulations. In this article, we will delve into the specifics of when deer hunting season occurs in Missouri, as well as address some frequently asked questions to ensure you’re well-prepared for your hunting trip.

Deer hunting season in Missouri is divided into several different segments, catering to both archery and firearms hunters. The state offers different dates and regulations to accommodate various hunting methods, allowing hunters to choose the most suitable option for their preferences and skills. Let’s explore these different segments in detail.

1. Archery Season:
Archery season is the longest hunting season in Missouri, spanning several months. It typically begins in late September and continues until mid-January. During this period, archery hunters are allowed to harvest both antlered and antlerless deer. However, specific regulations and limits may vary depending on the county, so it’s essential to consult the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for the most up-to-date information.

2. Firearms Season:
Firearms season is the most anticipated and widely participated in deer hunting segment in Missouri. It is usually split into two portions: the November portion and the alternative methods portion.

a) November Portion:
The November portion of firearms season typically lasts for ten days and is considered the peak of deer hunting season in Missouri. It usually starts on the Saturday before the Thanksgiving holiday and extends for nine consecutive days, ending on the following Sunday. During this period, hunters can harvest both antlered and antlerless deer, with certain restrictions applied in designated counties.

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b) Alternative Methods Portion:
Following the November portion, the alternative methods portion of firearms season allows hunters to use alternative legal methods such as muzzleloaders, handguns, and centerfire rifles to harvest deer. This segment usually commences in mid-December and runs for ten days, including three weekends. Similarly to the November portion, hunters can harvest both antlered and antlerless deer, subject to specific county regulations.


Q: Do I need a license to hunt deer in Missouri?
A: Yes, a valid hunting license and deer permit are required to hunt deer in Missouri. Both residents and non-residents must obtain these permits, which can be purchased online through the MDC website or from authorized vendors.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the number of deer I can harvest?
A: Yes, there are specific regulations regarding the number of deer you can harvest based on the hunting method, county, and season segment. It is crucial to review the MDC’s hunting regulations guide or consult their website for the most accurate information.

Q: Are there any special regulations for youth hunters?
A: Yes, Missouri offers special youth deer hunting seasons, allowing young hunters aged 6 to 15 to engage in hunting activities before or during the regular deer seasons. These youth seasons provide an excellent opportunity for young enthusiasts to experience deer hunting under relaxed regulations and with adult supervision.

Q: Can I hunt deer on private land without permission?
A: No, it is illegal to hunt on private land without obtaining permission from the landowner. Always ensure you have the necessary permits and permissions before hunting on private property.

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Q: What are the legal hunting hours during deer season in Missouri?
A: The legal hunting hours for deer hunting in Missouri usually begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end 30 minutes after sunset. However, it is recommended to check the specific regulations for the county you plan to hunt in, as hunting hours may vary.

In conclusion, deer hunting season in Missouri offers ample opportunities for hunters to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature while pursuing their passion. With the archery and firearms seasons extending over multiple months, hunters can plan their trips accordingly. However, it is essential to stay informed about the specific regulations, permits, and hunting hours that apply to your chosen hunting method and county. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and successful deer hunting experience in the great state of Missouri.

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