Why Missouri State Officials May Allow More Hunting in Near Future

Hunting serves as a recreational activity, can provide food, and helps control certain species’ populations. The latter point seems to be one of concern in Missouri, leading state officials to consider more hunting in the near future.

St. Louis Public Radio reports Missouri state officials are looking at a proposal to extend hunting seasons for animals typically harvested for fur. It seems fur trapping interest is steadily declining, leading to certain animal populations rising. The Missouri Conservation Commission gave its approval this month for a plan that would extend the harvesting season by more than three months. Affected species include raccoons, coyotes, mink, muskrats, river otters, possums, bobcats, and striped skunks.

State data provides statistics regarding fur harvesting, stating in 1940, Missouri hunters amassed nearly 835,000 pelts. For reference, the 2019-2020 season only yielded 41,000 in the state. Making matters worse for fur trappers, international demand for it has sharply declined, along with the average price per pelt.

Hunters seem excited about the prospect, especially turkey hunters. They previously expressed concern the large predator population adversely affected turkey chick survival. Nonetheless, MDC terrestrial section chief and wildlife biologist Laura Conlee said such an initiative might not even have a large effect on state wildlife.

“There is the possibility that if somebody engages in trapping during the proposed extended season, with the hope of making an impact on turkeys, they may see some small-scale changes,” Conlee said. “But this is not something that’s going to make large changes.”

Nonetheless, Conlee also said wildlife managers and biologists would continue their efforts to preserve wildlife. If it goes through, the proposed regulations will go into effect in June 2022.

Hunter Receives Huge Offers for Antlers from a 22-Point Buck he Downed

Missouri fur hunters aren’t the only ones excited lately if a recent story is anything to go by. After a hunter there took down a monstrous 22-point buck, he received huge offers for its antlers.

The Springfield News-Leader broke the story in November, saying Justin Gilmore could hear the 22-point buck before he even saw it. Lying in wait, Gilmore said he knew the buck had at least 14 points on one antler, but couldn’t tell how much overall. As it turns out, there were a whopping 16 points on one side and six on the other. “We’ve been out there for 13 years, and we’ve never seen one like this,” Gilmore said. “I’m thinking wow, this is unique as can be.”

Unique is definitely the right word for it. Upon learning about the buck, Gilmore has received many offers for the antlers. “I actually had a guy offer me like $2,000 for the antlers,” Gilmore discussed. “Everybody that I’ve talked to, they’re like, ‘I’ve never seen anything like that.’”

Tough call, but even for a couple thousand, I don’t think I’d be able to sell them.