Bow season opens; hunters eagerly await other seasons
Missouri archery deer and turkey seasons opened Saturday, and hunters all over the state took to the woods throughout the hot and muggy weekend in hopes of a successful hunt.
Of the 1,584 deer and 72 turkey that were harvested statewide over the weekend, 13 deer (five antlered bucks and eight does) and one adult hen was killed in Ozark County.
Deer and turkey archery season
The first session of bow season continues through Nov. 9 and then will reopen for a second session from Nov. 21, continuing through Jan. 15, 2019. Missouri archers are allowed to kill two “any deer” permits that can be used on either sex; however, only one antlered buck can be taken before Nov. 11, according to Missouri hunting regulations.
The Missouri Department of Conservation categorizes Ozark County as an “open county,” meaning any number of antlerless archery deer hunting permits can be purchased or filled by bow hunters.
Bow hunters are also allowed two turkeys of either sex.
Archery hunting season allows the use of longbows, compound bows and recurve bows of any draw weight, crossbows, hand-held string-release devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quickpoint sights and atlatls.
Turkey hunting regulations prohibit the use of any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game. Electronic calls, electronically activated calls, bait, dogs or night-vision equipment, live decoys are also prohibited for turkey hunting.
Archers who are hunting deer or turkey during bow season may not also be in possession of a firearm.
Youth firearms deer season
Hunters age 6 to 15 are able to participate in two youth specific firearms deer seasons. The first session is held the weekend just before Halloween, Oct. 27-28. A second session is held just after Thanksgiving on Nov. 23-25.
Only one deer of either sex may be taken during the early youth portion. If a youth hunter has more than one permit, he or she must use the additional permit(s) in another hunting portion.
Only two antlered deer may be taken during the archery and firearms deer seasons combined. Two antlerless deer can be taken during the firearms deer seasons combined.
Fall firearms turkey season
Fall turkey season will be held the month of October. Two turkeys of either sex may be taken. Both may be taken on the same day or different days. Fall turkey hunters may use shotguns, including .410 shotgunswith shot no larger than no. 4, longbows, compound bows or recurve bows of any draw weight, crossbows, atlatls, hand-held string release devices and illuminated sights, scopes and quickpoint sights.
Prohibited methods include shotguns capable of holding more than three shells in a magazine or chamber combined, shot larger than No. 4 in use or possession, rifles, pistols and other firearms that propel a single projectile at one discharge, any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game, night-vision or thermal- imagery equipment, use of electronic calls, electronically activated calls, live decoys, bait or dogs.
Anyone hunting turkeys during the fall firearms turkey season may not be in possession of both a firearm and a bow.
November firearms deer season
The break in between bow seasons gives room for the November firearms season, held Nov. 10 through Nov. 20. Hunters may take one antlered deer during the entire firearms seasons (youth, November and alternative weapons combined). Hunters may only take two antlered deer during the archery and firearms seasons combined. Two antlerless deer can be taken during firearms season (all portions combined) in Ozark County.
Resident and non-resident youth age 6 to 15 are eligible for a half-priced resident firearms any-deer permit or a resident antlerless deer hunting permit.
If deer are harvested during opening weekend, Nov. 10-11, Ozark County hunters must take the deer to a designated CWD sampling station to be tested for chronic wasting disease. Sampling stations will be available at Gainesville and Dora high schools.
Alternative-methods firearms deer season
Alternative-methods firearms deer season opens Dec. 22 and runs through Jan. 1, 2019. Allowed methods include muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms .40 caliber or larger and capable of firing only a single projectile at one discharge (in-lines and scopes are allowed); multiple-barreled muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms and/or muzzleloading or cap-and-ball handguns, including revolvers, .40 caliber or larger, are allowed and may be carried in addition to a muzzleloading or cap-and-ball rifle; centerfire pistols or revolvers using expanding-type bullets; air-powered guns, .40 caliber or larger, charged only from an external high compression power source such as an external hand pump, air tank or air compressor; longbows, compound bows and recurve bows of any draw wright (hand-held string-releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quickpoints sights are allowed); crossbows; atlatls, defined as a rod or narrow board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the arm, a dart 5 to 8 feet in length.
Prohibited methods are any rifle capable of being loaded by any means other than the muzzle, shotguns, self-loading firearms with capacity of more than 11 cartridges in magazine and chamber combined, ammunition propelling more than one projectile at a single discharge (such as buckshot), full hard metal case projectiles, full automatic firearms, any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game, electronic calls or electronically activated calls, night-vision equipment, use of bait, use of dogs, motor-driven conveyances may not be used to take, drive or molest wildlife, deer may not be hunted from a boat with a motor attached.
During the combined entire firearms seasons, hunters are allowed one antlered deer. Those who want to take an additional antlered deer must hunt on an archer’s hunting permit during the archery deer season or during a managed hunt where antlered deer can be taken (such as the Caney Mountain managed hunt). Only two antlered deer can be taken during the archery and firearms deer hunting seasons combined.