Missouri’s First Elk-Hunting Firearm Season in Over a Century Begins

It’s elk hunting season! For the first time in hunters’ lives, they will be able to hunt to the creature with firearms in Missouri. It’s been more than a century since the state allowed firearms to pursue the animals.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has designated a nine-day hunting season this December. And the safety is off for a lucky few hunters. Firearms season runs from Dec. 12 -20, with another nine-day archery season planned from Oct. 17-25.

Back in April of this year, the Department of Conservation approved five permits to hunt the state’s bull elk. The organization allowed four permits to be for the general public. Another permit was just for landowners in the state. So where is this hunt taking place? Firearm season is allowed in Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties. But the Peck Ranch Conservation Area is still off-limits to any would-be hunter.

“The allowed hunting methods for each season will be the same as for deer hunting,” a spokesperson told Kait8. “The permits will allow for the harvest of one bull elk with at least one antler being greater than six inches in length. Successful hunters must Telecheck their harvested elk, like for deer.”

Elk Are Native to Missouri

 Elk is indigenous to several parts of the country including Southern California and New York. But in Missouri, explorers Lewis and Clark were among the first to see the creature in the state. Unfortunately, the animal went the way of the dodo bird in the state just 80 years later in the 1880s. Widescale and unchecked hunting had eradicated the elk.

In 2011, the Department of Conservation reintroduced the animal into the state. Helping an animal’s population growth is a bit like gardening. You have to be patient and extra attentive. To keep the herd manageable, the state has approved a limited hunting season.

Hunting is beneficial to the animal because a large herd would struggle through the winter months due to scarcity of resources.