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MISSOURI – The Missouri Conservation Commission set season dates and limits for the 2016-2017 fall deer season and gave initial approval to several deer-hunting regulation changes proposed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) at the Commission’s meeting in Jefferson City.

The approved changes to the fall deer season structure will keep the current timing of the November portion but reduce the length from 11 to 9 days. It also would Expand the late youth portion to three days beginning the first Friday after Thanksgiving. The new rules would reduce the length of the antlerless portion from 12 to 3 days and begin on the first Friday in December, along with eliminating the urban zones portion.

Regulation changes also would allow crossbows as a legal method during the archery deer and turkey seasons as well as the use of crossbows during the fall firearms turkey season. The new changes would reduce the limit of antlered deer from 3 to 2 during the combined archery and firearms deer hunting season, with no more than one antlered deer taken during the firearms deer hunting season, and remove the hunting method exemption requirement related to crossbows.

Missouri’s rule-making process includes a 30-day public comment period. Comments related to the proposed regulation changes can be submitted online to the Conservation Department from October 2-31, 2015 at Full verbiage of the proposed amendments will be posted on the webpage after September 15, 2015. The Commission will make its final decision on these proposed changes at its December meeting. With final approval, the regulation changes would become effective in March 2016 and implemented for the 2016-2017 deer hunting seasons.