Deer Hunting in the "Burbs"

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Published on: Sep. 2, 2003

Last revision: Nov. 15, 2010

predators and abundant food and cover all add up to higher than desirable deer densities.

The amount of tolerance people have for white-tailed deer varies greatly. Some Missourians want to have as many deer as possible, regardless of any repercussions resulting from high deer densities. Others see deer eating their hostas and roses and consider them to be mortal enemies that need to be eradicated. Between these two extremes are the majority of citizens who enjoy the presence of white-tailed deer, but accept that their population needs to be managed. They understand that a regulated harvest of deer is required to minimize the impacts of deer diseases and reduce the number of deer/auto collisions.

To manage urban deer populations, the Missouri Department of Conservation has, over the last decade, liberalized seasons and harvest limits for white tailed deer in our state's urban centers, such as St. Louis and Kansas City. The new Urban Deer Management portion of the firearms season provides two additional days to harvest antlerless deer in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. In addition, hunters may now purchase and fill any number of Second Bonus permits during the firearms season. Managed hunts provide additional deer hunting opportunity.

Some hunters prefer not to shoot does. This sentiment doesn't help reduce deer numbers. Most of the permits are for harvesting antlerless deer because adult females are the driving force in deer populations. To maintain or reduce deer numbers, hunters must harvest adult females.

Fortunately programs like "Share the Harvest," work to encourage hunters to take more deer and donate the valuable meat to charities that feed people in need.

Archery hunting is the most widely permitted method of hunting in urban areas. Archery is an extremely safe method of hunting small tracts of land because arrows don't fly far, and most bowhunters usually shoot downward from elevated platforms. Muzzleloading firearms, shotguns and centerfire rifles and pistols are all valuable tools for harvesting deer, but many ordinances prohibit discharging firearms. Some municipalities determine what method of hunting is to be allowed based on the number of acres in question. Always check with local legal authorities to find out what methods are allowed or any restrictions that may apply to the area you plan to hunt.

Where local ordinances allow the use of firearms or archery equipment, landowners have the freedom to manage deer as they see fit within the

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