Missouri deer hunting season rules could be changing - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri deer hunting season rules could be changing

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Just as the deer hunting season wraps up in Missouri the rules could be changing.

The Missouri Department of Conservation wants to hear from you on proposed changes to hunting regulations.

MDC reviews its deer population and harvest data every year to decide what needs to be done to protect the species.

And, some of those proposed changes for the 2016 deer hunting season are not sitting well with local hunters.

Thirty-year veteran crossbow hunter, Tom Dickerson calls one of the proposals, 'unsafe.'

MDC wants to allow crossbows as a legal method during archery deer and turkey season.

"They're more of a gun than they are a bow,” said Dickerson.

MDC's reasoning: the change will help younger hunters enter the sport and also extend participation for older hunters.

Dickerson says that doesn't add up.

“We feel they owe us an explanation of why they feel they need to do that,” he said.

A.J. Hendershott with the Missouri Department of Conservation says other changes are minor.

That includes reducing the length of the season for firearms and archery while extending the dates for youth season.

“We like to check with citizens and ask, what is it that you really want? We have option A, B, and C, and they all would work. What do you want? And that is what some of these deer meetings are all about,” said Hendershott.

Dickerson says one proposal is reason enough to voice his opinion and hopes others do too.

"I would just like to encourage anyone to get involved and know what their opinions are on it,” said Dickerson.

A meeting will be held March 10 at the MDC Cape Girardeau Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive in Cape Girardeau from 5 to 8 p.m.

MDC also welcomes public comments online. 

To learn more about the proposed regulations, MDC's deer management plan, past public comments, and to provide comment, visit the Department's website at mdc.mo.gov/node/28079.

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