MISSOURI (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Conservation shared a plan for a limited elk hunting season at a public meeting on Friday, June 28.
The Missouri Conservation Commission gave its initial approval of the proposed plan, and the MDC is asking for public comments.
According to MDC Elk and Deer Biologist Aaron Hildreth, the MDC will start offering a limited season for hunting elk once the herd of about 175 animals reaches a minimum of 200 with an annual herd growth rate of at least 10 percent and a herd ratio of at least four cow elk for every bull elk.
According to MDC research, the herd will likely reach 200 animals by 2020. With that in mind, the MDC designated a nine-day archery season for elk on Oct. 17-25, 2020, and a nine-day firearms season for elk on Dec. 12-20, 2020.
Hildreth noted the number of permits for a possible 2020 hunt has yet to be determined.
The MDC hopes to eventually reach a target population of 500 animals and will use hunting to manage herd size and location.
The Department is asking for public comment on the proposed elk hunting framework through August 31 by clicking here. The Commission will consider the input and make a final decision to move forward, modify or withdraw the proposed framework during its Oct. 11 meeting.
If the framework is approved, MDC staff will determine if the inaugural hunt will occur in 2020. If the data supports a hunt by then, staff will then present their recommendations on permit numbers to MDC’s Regulations Committee and Conservation Commission in early 2020.