MDC: Deer displaced by flood cannot be hunted - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MDC: Deer displaced by flood cannot be hunted

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)
These deer were on the south side of the levee between Hayti and Caruthersville, Mo. (Source: Justin Moore/Facebook) These deer were on the south side of the levee between Hayti and Caruthersville, Mo. (Source: Justin Moore/Facebook)
SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

Hundreds of deer are on the move in southeast Missouri as a result of floodwaters. A warning to hunters, they are not for the taking.

Missouri Department of Conservation agent Trent Lane said floods force deer from their winter hideouts. They sometimes appear by the  hundreds on farm fields near the Mississippi River.

"Usually when floodwaters come it pushes deer from across the levee," Lane, a southeast district supervisor, said.

While archery season is still open in Missouri, hunters will have to hold off on these displaced deer.

Missouri hunting regulations prohibit harvesting deer while they are "trapped or surrounded by floodwaters or while fleeing from floodwaters or fire."

That doesnt mean everyone follows the rules.

"Some of the ethics of hunters is just not there," Lane said.

The Department of Conversation made two arrests over the weekend in Pemiscot County related to poaching flood-fleeing deer.

"We allow fair chase, Lane said. This here method here where deer are out in the open, easy access to hunting, that's not a part of fair chase."

For hunters and landowners in the area its important the deer stay protected.

"It's a big, big deal for us because we love to deer hunt and try to feed our deer and take care of them," Scott County hunter Oliver Kirkpatrick said. "We try to protect them all we can."

Missouri archery season closes January 15. Conservation agents say it's tough to tell at this point if the water will recede enough by then to resume legal deer hunting.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact local MDC agents.

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