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Missouri makes changes in deer and turkey hunting regs

From the Missouri Department of Conservation

-- The six portions of Missouri's firearms deer season are the same length and order as last year, but a few other details, such as area regulations and availability of antlerless tags and, have changed.

The 2010 fall deer and turkey hunting seasons and regulations are largely the same as last year. However, unlimited antlerless permits will be available in two additional counties, and regulations at one conservation area have changed to help in surveillance for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

This year's deer Archery Deer and Turkey Seasons are Sept. 15 to Nov. 12 and Nov. 24 to Jan. 15. The Firearms Deer Season date include Urban Zone portion-Oct. 8 to 11; Early youth portion-Oct. 30 to 31; November portion-Nov. 13 to 23; Antlerless portion-Nov. 24 to Dec. 5 ; Muzzleloader portion-Dec. 18 to 28; Late youth portion-Jan. 1 and 2; and Fall Firearms Turkey Season-Oct. 1 to 31.

Hunters can use as many antlerless deer tags as they want in Gasconade and Osage counties this year. Gasconade and Osage counties also are open to hunting during the antlerless portion of firearms deer season this year.

Hunters may use unlimited antlerless tags in 69 counties and parts of three others this year. These are shown on a map on page 23 of the 2010 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, which is available from hunting permit vendors statewide. Read more about it online at http://mdc.mo.gov/about-us/regulations.

Hunters can use atlatls to hunt deer for the first time this year. This method, which has been allowed for taking small game and fish since 2007, can now be used during all portions of the firearms deer season except the muzzleloader portion.

Missouri's four-point antler restriction is in effect in all of 65 counties and the portions of Cass, Franklin, and Jefferson counties not included in the Urban Deer Zones. Details of this rule are found on pages 4 and 5 of the fall deer and turkey hunting booklet. The four-point rule does not apply during the early and late youth portions of firearms deer season.

Other changes in this year's regulations include opening hunting at Mussel Fork Conservation Area in Linn and Macon counties to hunting under statewide regulations. The Conservation Commission made this change in response to the discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in an adjacent high-fence hunting operation. Allowing hunters to take deer for testing in this area is desirable, and reducing the deer population there also is an appropriate CWD management strategy.

The Conservation Department will conduct a voluntary CWD surveillance effort in Chariton, Linn and Macon counties and parts of Adair, Randolph and Sullivan counties. Hunters in this area are encouraged to take their deer to collection sites during opening weekend of the November portion of firearms deer season. Tissue sampling will not reduce the food or taxidermy value of deer. A special section on page 3 of the fall deer and turkey booklet shows the boundaries of this area and locations where hunters can bring deer for testing.

Hunters who transport deer, elk or moose with the spinal cord or head attached must report the carcasses' entry into Missouri by calling (877)853-5665 within 24 hours of entering Missouri. Carcasses must be taken to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of entry into Missouri. Meat processors and taxidermists must dispose of the spinal cord and other parts in a properly permitted landfill.

Changes in regulations on other areas also are detailed on pages 34 through 42 of the fall deer and turkey hunting booklet.

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