Deer Management for the Future

This content is archived

Published on: Oct. 2, 2004

Last revision: Nov. 16, 2010

the same time, giving Missouri hunters a better opportunity to take bigger bucks.

Other changes

The Conservation Department also changed other regulations and management strategies that hunters need to know. These changes can be found the 2004 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available at permit vendors and Department offices.

  • We've eliminated the deer management units, which often proved confusing because they contained several counties and parts of counties. Deer will now be managed county by county.
  • Archery season opened on September 15 to provide bowhunters with additional opportunity.
  • We've expanded the Urban Portion of firearms season to increase antlerless deer harvest in high deer density areas. From October 8 through October 11, hunters may use any legal deer hunting method to take antlerless deer in Boone, Cass, Christian, Clay, Cole, Greene, Jackson, Platte, St. Charles, St. Louis and Webster counties.
  • We've simplified the deer checking procedure at check stations. Hunters now have 24 hours to check their deer, and they can check their deer in any county.
  • Landowners can no longer use (home-made) farm tags. Resident landowners may obtain their no-cost permits from any permit vendor. Resident landowners can check their deer by telephone or over the Internet.


The Share the Harvest program allows hunters to donate deer meat to needy Missourians. The Conservation Federation of Missouri is coordinating a payback program that will pay $35 toward processing when hunters donate a whole deer to Share the Harvest.

During the Urban Portion of the firearms season, the processing fee for whole deer donations will be fully covered at certain processors in the open counties. Call (573) 634-2322, or visit online for a current list of participating processors.


Obtain permits early for a chance to win a lifetime hunting and fishing permit.

In partnership with the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, resident hunters have a chance to win a Missouri Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit and other great prizes. Get your Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permit or Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit by November 5, and you will automatically be entered to win.

How to count points

Each of the following counts as a point:

  • an antler point, if it is at least 1 inch long
  • the brow tine, if it is at least 1 inch long
  • the end of the main beam
  • any broken tine that is at least 1 inch long.

Tines, main beams and brow tines all count as a point if they are at least 1 inch long. A buck with the seven-point rack above with three points on one side (labeled in black) and four on the other (labeled in orange) is a legal deer in the counties shown in orange on the map on the previous page.

Does, Button Bucks and Bucks with spikes

Does, button bucks and bucks with spikes less than 3 inches are legal to take on Antlerless or Any-Deer Permits; but for deer management, it is better to take does.

Doe: LEGAL (far left)

Button buck: LEGAL (middle left)

Bucks with spikes less than 3 inches long: LEGAL (middle right)

Bucks with spikes 3 inches long or more: PROTECTED

Bucks with antlers

Bring binoculars and give yourself plenty of time to count antler points before you take a shot. Wait for a buck that has at least four points on one side.

PROTECTED: Letting these younger males mature will increase the number of adult bucks in the future. (far left)

LEGAL: A legal buck must have a minimum of four points on one side, regardless of the number of points on the other side, like these seven-point bucks. Successful hunters wait for the best shot--when the deer turns broadside. Learn to recognize antlers from this view to minimize errors in the field. (right)

Content tagged with

Shortened URL