MO hunters may see deer wearing GPS collars this hunting season

MO hunters may see deer wearing GPS collars this hunting season

MISSOURI (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri hunters may see some deer with GPS collars on them starting this upcoming season.

This year the Missouri Department of Conservation's biologists worked to capture 25 does in four southeast Missouri counties and put collars on them before the harvest season.

The counties where biologists put the GPS collars on the deer included Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Stoddard and Wayne counties.

Some farmers with soybean fields have had issues with deer eating off of their crops during the summer.

And MDC is reporting that sometimes it has to issue special hunting permits in the off-season, summer, to lower the population of deer for some land owners because deer often ruins their crops.

Archery season for deer starts Thursday, September 15.

Wildlife Regional Supervisor Matt Bowyer said if you see a deer with a collar on it do not let it influence your decision to harvest the deer. You can hunt the deer with collars on them, but the department doesn't want people to hunt them because of that reason.

"These are the collars that were put on the deer, they're satellite transmitters," Wildlife Regional Supervisor Matt Bowyer said.

"So they actually transmit information to a satellite about every three days and then we can monitor them basically from a computer"

The Missouri Department of Conservation is taking this step to help landowners.

"We're looking at these fields that are small soybean fields, next to forested habitat and especially early in the growing season shortly after soybeans are planted the deer tend to browse on them pretty heavily," Bowyer said.

The GPS will help researchers find out if does are staying in the same place in the fall, during the regular hunting season, or if they're on the move.

"If those deer are staying on that sight year-round then the land owner can harvest more deer on that sight or have other folks come harvest them," Bowyer said.

Bowyer said if you see a doe with a collar on it---don't treat it any differently.

"Basically, if hunters see a deer with these on we expect them to treat it like any other deer," he said. "If it's a deer they would normally harvest, then they can harvest it, if it's not, then they can pass on it as well. All that we ask is if they harvest one of these collars that they contact us."

You should call the number on the back of the GPS collar to return the device back to MDC.

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