MO Department of Conservation establishes hunting changes in ’23

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Changes lie ahead for Missouri deer hunters this year.

“One of those is that we’re going to have an early firearms antlerless portion this year,” said Rachel Webster, conservation agent with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The early firearms antlerless portion, in addition to the chronic wasting disease portion, and an increase in permit numbers are the changes that will take center stage in 2023.

The large population of chronic wasting disease, also known as CWD, is a nuisance for hunters, turning  a potential kill into a dangerous catch.

The contagious disease causes proteins in the animal to waste away, eating at the brain, leading to eventual death.

“If it’s not contained or controlled it can really affect the population,” said Webster.

Farmers will see fewer of their crops being eaten and drivers can expect to be safer from wondering stag.

To date, cases of CWD are still being found in the Perry, Bollinger, and Ste. Genevieve counties.

A late November firearms portion is also among the list of changes from the MDC.

“And this will allow hunters in those certain counties, such as Perry County to fill their unfilled firearms tag. It’ll get them a little extra chance to take deer in those counties,” said Webster.

All new regulations can be found in the 2023-24 Hunting Regulations book for firearms season.

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