First Elk Hunting Season Coming to Missouri
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces it will offer Missourians the state’s first elk-hunting season in modern history starting this fall. At its April 8 meeting, the Missouri Conservation Commission approved the issuance of five permits for hunting bull elk for the 2020 season. Four general permits will be for the public and one permit will be reserved for qualifying area landowners.
Missouri’s first pending elk hunt comes after years of restoration efforts of the once-native species by MDC, numerous partners including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and supporters.
For this first elk season, MDC has designated a nine-day archery portion running Oct. 17-25 and a nine-day firearms portion running Dec. 12-20. The five permits will be for bull elk and will be valid for both portions. All permits will be assigned through a random-lottery drawing.
“The timing of the season was designed to come after the peak of elk breeding during late September and early October and to avoid the elk season coinciding with portions of the firearms deer season,” explained MDC Elk and Deer Biologist Aaron Hildreth.
MDC will require a $10 application fee for those applying for the general permits. Qualifying landowners will not be required to pay the $10 application fee when applying for the landowner permit. Those selected for each of the five permits must pay a $50 permit fee.
MDC will limit the random lottery to one application per-person, per-year with a 10-year “sit-out” period for those drawn for a general permit before they may apply again. If selected for a landowner elk permit, qualifying landowners will not be required to wait 10 years before again applying for a landowner elk permit. Qualifying landowners may apply once each year for a general elk hunting permit and for a landowner elk permit but are eligible to receive only one permit annually.
The landowner elk permit is limited to resident landowners with at least 20 acres within the “Landowner Elk Hunting Zone” of Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties. Zone boundaries are shown in the application. The landowner permit is nontransferable and may only be filled on the landowner’s property.
General permits can be used in Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties, except the refuge portion of Peck Ranch Conservation Area. Like the landowner permit, general permits are nontransferable.
“The allowed hunting methods for each season will be the same as for deer hunting,” Hildreth said. “The permits will allow for the harvest of one bull elk with at least one antler being greater than six inches in length. Successful hunters must Telecheck their harvested elk, like for deer.”