During the archery and guns seasons combined, the usual statewide rule is two-antlered deer. Before the November firearms season, archery hunters may only harvest one buck. During the weapons season, hunters are only allowed to take one buck. Missouri, like many other states, has varied antlerless deer bag limitations in various counties. The rules can vary significantly between counties. For example, in Franklin County, which lies east of the Missouri River, hunters are allowed three antlerless deer.
In summary, when hunting Missouri, you can legally take two antlerless deer during the archery and gun seasons combined. If you're only able to shoot one deer, it must be a doe. Hunters should always check local regulations before heading out into the field.
Missouri Deer Seasons in 2021
|Archery||09/15 to 11/12 11/24 to 01/15/2022|
|Early Youth Portion||10/30 to 10/31|
|Firearms – Main Portion||11/13 to 11/23|
|Late Youth Portion||11/26 to 11/28|
Limitations. Only one antlerless deer may be taken throughout the whole weapons season (both segments combined). During the combined archery and firearm deer hunting seasons, you may take no more than two antlered deer. Some counties have antler point limitations.
According to state legislation, hunters may take up to ten antlerless deer and no more than two antlered deer (with one of the two antlered deer having a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). The deer season closes in January for the vast majority of sportsmen in the state. However, some counties may have different dates depending on how early they want to close out their seasons.
In any case, the number of permitted deer kills is based on the number of licenses issued. If you buy a license for twenty-five deer, you can only shoot at most fifty-one animals. But since most people kill far less than that, the law doesn't often affect them.
The main reason for limiting the number of permits issued is that certain wildlife management areas are set aside for protection of species such as white-tailed deer. In these areas, the limit on total kills prevents overpopulation and ensures that smaller herds are not depleted. Without limits, there would be no way to keep deer population sizes within acceptable ranges.
Some people argue that setting limits on the number of permits issued discriminates against people who live in rural areas or other places where finding licensed hunters might not be easy. But the fact remains that it's impossible to check every single deer killed during a season. Whether we like it or not, some predators are going to eat prey populations below what would otherwise be considered sustainable levels.
Limitations. Only one antlerless deer may be taken throughout the whole weapons season (both segments combined). During the combined archery and firearm deer hunting seasons, you may take no more than two antlered deer. Some counties have antler point restrictions. Check with your local county conservation officer for details.
In most cases, you can only possess one mature buck in any given year. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are a landowner or licensed hunter, then it is acceptable to have more than one buck on your property or during your hunt. Also, some states allow trophy hunters to possess multiple mature males of the same species. Read about these special permits here: Missouri Deer Permits.
It is estimated that someone kills approximately 1 million deer per year in Missouri. This represents a loss of about 4% of all deer annually. The number of deer harvested in Missouri each year is far greater than the number of deaths reported, indicating that many animals escape notice.
Missouri has two distinct deer hunting seasons - a firearms season and an archery season. The dates change every year but typically start on a Saturday around mid-November and end on the last Sunday in February.
During the firearms season, anyone age 16 or older can use guns to shoot deer. You cannot use dogs during this time.
Deer limits were antlered by one. You may take up to two antlerless deer.
In addition, you must keep track of your deer kills. A legal taxidermist should prepare your deer for mounting. If you fail to do so, a fine of up to $5,000 may be imposed on you.
You have until 4 p.m. on January 1 to report your kill. After this date, you cannot add your kill to a future year's license. Licensees who fail to report their kills will have their licenses revoked.
The number of allowable kills per person and per year is based on the class or type of license held. For example, if you are licensed as a big game hunter, you can take up to four deer during the regular firearms season. If you are a small game hunter, you can take up to two deer during that period. The regular season lasts from October 1 to April 30, depending on where you live. There is also a special archery only season that runs from August 25 to September 30, depending on your location. During this time, you can only use bows to hunt small game such as squirrels and rabbits.
For all three (3) of their three (3) buck bag limitations, hunters fifteen (15) years of age and under may harvest any antlered buck, regardless of antler size. Antlerless Deer: The bag restriction for antlerless deer is one (1) per day, with a total maximum of five (5) per license year. Does not include crossbows or rifles.
The state limits do not apply to private lands or lands managed by other federal agencies such as national parks or forests. Also, since most public land has been opened to hunting, there are virtually no restrictions on where you can go to hunt. However, if you kill something that isn't legal to shoot like an endangered species or protected bird, you could be fined.