From time to time, hunting regulations are changed within Missouri. Taken into account when making these changes is what is best for both hunters and the management of deer herds along with a focus on the current state of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) within the state. At this time, the Missouri Department of Conservation is looking at implementing changes to the Code of State Regulations that will go into effect for the 2016-2017 hunting season. The upcoming changes that could impact you as a deer hunter are as follows:
1. Changes to 3 CSR 10- 7.410 will allow for an exemption to be made for hunters with physical disabilities. This change will enable disabled hunters to use a crossbow for hunting during archery seasons for deer and turkey. Additionally, it addresses a change to urban zones regarding firearms deer season and makes some other relevant corrections as well.
2. Amendments to 3 CSR 10- 7.431 will bring about the option for all hunters to use crossbows during archery deer and turkey season. It will also change the number of antlered deer a hunter may take during archery and firearms season, decreasing that number from three to two. Also addressed are urban zones and hunter orange requirements.
3. 3 CSR 10- 7.433 changes will begin by addressing hunting methods during deer season. Changes to the structure of the 2016-2017 will also be discussed by and with the Conservation Commission. These will include adjustments to the length of the November portion, expansion of the late youth portion, reduction of the antlerless portion, and doing away with the urban zones portion.
4. 3 CSR 10- 7.434 will be amended to change the total number of antlered deer that can be taken by landowners as well as lessees operating with landowner permits. In this case, the combined limit will be reduced from three to two antlered deer.
Since many of us also spend time pursuing other game in the outdoors, it is worthy to note that there are other corrections and regulation changes on the horizon as well. These will affect fish, waterfowl, turkey, and even frogs just to name a few. Some of those include:
3 CSR 10- 6.505: Black Bass minimum length change.
3 CSR 10- 7.455: Turkey Season to allow crossbows during firearms and archery seasons.
3 CSR 10-11.205: Changes to fishing regulations in restricted department areas.
Beyond those mentioned above, there are several other changes, additions, and corrections being made. Although some of these are merely going to be corrections made to existing information rather than a greatly varied hunting regulation itself, it is still important that these are known. Examples include the renaming of the four reservoirs owned by the city of Cameron and corrections to the name of a lake owned by the city of Fenton.
When changes or corrections to regulations are made in the state of Missouri, the Secretary of State's protocols must be followed. What that means for us as hunters is that if we object or feel opposed to an upcoming change, we have the opportunity to lodge a public comment regarding the issue. This opportunity is limited to 30 days, however, and that timeframe is rapidly closing. If you wish to speak your mind regarding any of the changes mentioned above or others that can be found here, you must do so by October 31st when the public forum closes. In light of this, there is no time like the present to take a look at the new regulations and process your thoughts on them.
Do you intended to speak your mind via public comment regarding these changes? Have you done so already? Let us know in the comments.