The Outdoor Journal by Kyle Carroll
Last week I checked a couple of trail cameras that I have set up in the woods. Starting about the 7th, the first hard horns on bucks started showing up. By hard horns, I mean the velvet that had protected the growing antlers all summer had all been rubbed off by the owner of the antlers. In addition, I saw a couple of deer that had “molted” from their thin summer coats to the brown, heavier fall coat. Fall has arrived. Seeing antlers and brown coats means that the season is about here. On September 15th, the calendar makes it official with the opening of the archery deer and turkey season in Missouri.
The framework of the season is basically the same as it has been for several years. After opening on September 15, the season will close again on November 16 when the firearms deer season opens. The archery season reopens again on November 27 and closes for good on January 15, 2020.
There are some changes for this season. A few counties have been added to the CWD management zones, while others have been dropped out. The antler point restriction has been reinstated in a few counties as well. Grundy, Carroll and Livingston being counties in our part of the state that will once again have the four-point antler restriction. Check the 2019 fall Deer and Turkey Hunting pamphlet for details.
Most other regulations for deer hunters remain the same. Baiting is not legal, but lures and scents are. (I question the continued use of deer urine when we are trying to prevent the spread of CWD. Some states have banned the use of bottled urine.)
You are only allowed to take one antlered deer by archery methods, but hunters may take any number of antlerless deer on archery antlerless tags, with the exception of five counties in the boot heel, where you are not allowed to fill the extra antlerless tags. The definition of an antlered deer remains a deer with at least one 3-inch antler. In northwest Missouri, with the exception of Clay, Platte and Mercer counties, the antlered deer must have at least 4 points on one side to be legal.
It's time to fine tune the bow, wash and hang the hunting clothes to air out and to once again slip into the timber and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the fall woods.