(The Center Square) – Although the 2022 hunting season doesn’t technically end until mid-January, the Missouri Conservation Department reports $13.3 million in revenue from the purchase of more than 810,000 deer hunting permits.
The information was provided to The Center Square through an open records request.
Hunters can still obtain permits for specific types of seasons through Jan. 15, 2023, making the data incomplete for 2022. The archery deer season runs through Jan. 15, 2023, and the antlerless portion of firearms deer season runs through Dec. 11 in specific counties.
MDC data showed 288,799 resident deer hunting permits for $17 were sold through Nov. 30, resulting in $4.9 million. The report showed 22,020 non-resident deer hunting permits for $265 were sold through Nov. 30, bringing $5.8 million in revenue. The remainder of the revenue was from 13 other types of licenses and hunting methods for deer.
Data from 2021 shows similar amounts. The MDC reported 815,135 deer permits issued in 2021, resulting in $13,455,180 in revenue. Through the end of November, the department reported 810,371 permits obtained and $13,327,066 in revenue.
The MDC website reported 277,490 deer were harvested as of Nov. 30; 197,724 were harvested during the firearms season from Nov. 12-22.
Colder weather contributed to a large harvest. Last year, 188,928 deer were harvested during the November firearms season. The largest recent harvest was in 2018 with 200,738 taken during the November firearms season.
“It would have been hard to ask for much better weather during the November portion than what hunters experienced this year,” MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle said in a statement. “To have sustained temperatures that were well below average for nearly the entire season portion was quite remarkable.”
The MDC made some changes to deer hunting seasons for 2023. A new season for early hunting of antlerless deer will be held Oct. 6-8, 2023, in designated counties.
“With deer populations being at desired levels in most counties but continuing to increase, additional antlerless harvest is needed to stabilize deer numbers,” Isabelle said. “The creation of an early antlerless portion of firearms deer season and increasing the availability of antlerless permits in most counties will provide hunters with more opportunities to harvest antlerless deer and help meet our deer-management goals.”
A new firearms season for managing chronic wasting disease (CWD) in specific counties will be Nov. 22-26, 2023.
“Like they are in most of the state, deer populations are increasing in most CWD Management Zone counties,” Isabelle said. “Because higher deer densities can increase the rate of CWD spread, additional deer harvest in the CWD Management Zone is needed to prevent further increases in deer numbers and help minimize the spread of the disease.”
The regular firearms season will be Nov. 11-21, 2023.