JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Native elk populations in Missouri were hunted to extinction in the early 1800s due to unregulated hunting.

Now that the population has rebounded slightly, a new elk hunting season may be around the corner.

Photo: Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announced in a press release Friday, that possible limited-seasons would take place October 17-25, 2020 for archery and December 12-20, 2020 for firearms.

According to the press release, Missouri hunters have to wait until 2020 to give the species enough time to repopulate. The 175 head herd currently residing in Missouri would need to reach 200 animals by 2020 and maintain a growth rate of 10 percent per year, meaning a four cow elk to one bull elk ratio.

Unlike other hunting seasons in Missouri, permits for the short elk seasons would be given via a lottery. Hunters 11 years old and up must pay a $10 application fee and then a $50 permit fee if selected. Once selected, a 10-year “sit-out” period is then required until a hunter can apply again.

Hunting grounds will also be limited to Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties.

Landowners with at least 20 acres of land with the designated boundaries may apply for a specially reserved permit by the MDC, but the tag is nontransferable and must filled out on the landowner’s own property.

To learn more about the possible elk season in Missouri,visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.