Your Opinion: Provide input on hunting proposals

Dear Editor:

Proposed changes to Missouri deer hunting by the Conservation Department are: crossbows a legal method during archery season; move the November firearms season later one week; eliminate or limit antlerless season; one buck limit per year regardless of season, smaller management areas for antlerless deer.

The goal is to take less bucks and more does, but not that many. The November season will either miss or get in on the very end of the rut, meaning less deer seen. You only get one buck a year. Doe harvest only during the November, archery or alternative seasons. Permits issued on a narrower basis determined by where you hunt.

These changes are being proposed for your input at an open house around the state. See the website for one near you. Ours is in Columbia on July 9 at Hilton Garden Inn from 3-9 p.m.

While it is vague, an article in the June Missouri Conservationist attempts to explain the changes. I feel these changes will discourage hunters in and out state from participating. The changes create a reduction in revenues from permit sales (from which we receive some federal money), sales tax, food and lodging. At a time when revenues are down, this will cut back funding for state and local entities, and businesses that rely on hunting for their livelihood.

I believe hunters will become frustrated over spending time afield (and a lot of money) and not seeing deer, a loss hunting opportunities due to changes to antlerless season, confusion over season times, limits and areas. A change to the buck limit, “only affects 120,000 hunters” — only 120,000. Yet the department wants to increase hunter retention and recruitment?

Please attend one of the open houses and voice your opinion. This is your chance to have input on these proposals before they become a reality.

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