State offers 1st elk hunts in fall

Missouri Department of Conservation will offer the state’s first elk-hunting season in modern history starting this fall. MDC will issue five permits for hunting bull elk for the 2020 season this fall. Four general permits will be for the public, and one permit will be reserved for qualifying area landowners.

To apply for an elk permit, applicants must be Missouri residents at least 11 years of age by the first day of the hunt. Those selected to receive a permit must have their hunter education certification or be exempt by age, those born before Jan. 1, 1967, before they may purchase the permit.

The random elk-permit drawing starts today, Friday, May 1, and runs through the end of May online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, through MDC's free MO Hunting app or by calling (800) 392-4115.

Applicants can check to see if they have been selected for an elk-hunting permit online starting July 1 at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits after logging into “Manage Your Account” and selecting “View My Special Hunt History.” 

For more information on elk hunting in Missouri, visit huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/elk.

Hunt details

For this first elk season, MDC has designated a nine-day archery portion running Oct. 17 to 25 and a nine-day firearms portion running Dec. 12 to 20. The five permits will be for bull elk and will be valid for both portions. All permits will be assigned through a random drawing.

“The timing of the season was designed to come after the peak of elk breeding during late September and early October and to avoid the elk season coinciding with portions of the firearms deer season,” said conservation department elk and deer Biologist Aaron Hildreth.

MDC will require a $10 application fee for those applying for the general permits. Qualifying landowners will not be required to pay the $10 application fee when applying for the landowner permit. Those selected for each of the five permits must pay a $50 permit fee.

“MDC will limit the random drawing to one application per-person, per-year with a 10-year sit-out period for those drawn for a general permit before they may apply again. If selected for a landowner elk permit, qualifying landowners will not be required to wait 10 years before again applying for a landowner elk permit,” states a release. “Qualifying landowners may apply once each year for a general elk hunting permit and for a landowner elk permit but are eligible to receive only one permit annually.”

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