Elk Hunting and Permit FAQ

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Read this section for details about the elk hunting application process, elk permits, and elk hunting in Missouri.

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Elk Permit Application Process
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May 1–31

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The cost to apply for a Resident Antlered Elk Hunting Permit is $10.

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A hunter must be at least 11 years old by the first day of the archery portion of the elk hunting season in order to apply. For example: An applicant was born on October 16, 2010. The first day of the elk season in 2021 is October 16. This person can apply to hunt elk in Missouri in 2021 because they will be at least 11 years old by the first day of the season. This person will also have to complete an approved hunter education course before they can purchase the permit. If that person was born on October 17, 2010 or later, they would not be eligible to apply to hunt elk in Missouri in 2021.

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No. In order to hunt elk in Missouri, you must have completed an approved hunter-education course or have been born before January 1, 1967.

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No. Only Missouri residents are able to apply for an elk hunting permit in Missouri.
 

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

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Permits will be awarded through a random drawing. There will be no preference points.

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Yes. You can apply for an elk permit and for a bear permit, and a managed deer or turkey hunt in the same year. You can only apply once for each species in a given year.

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Elk Permits
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Five antlered elk hunting permits are going to be available this year. At least ten (10) percent of the permits will be awarded to approved resident landowners that own at least 20 contiguous acres within Carter, Reynolds, or Shannon counties.

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Private landowners have significantly contributed to the restoration of elk in Missouri including by providing quality habitat that elk and other wildlife utilize.
 

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No. At this time due to the small number of permits being issued, everyone who applies is applying for the same permits. The one exception is for approved landowners who have at least 20 contiguous acres within Carter, Reynolds, or Shannon counties in which case at least ten (10) percent of the permits have been set aside for these landowner applicants.

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For those selected to receive an elk permit, cost of the permit will be $50.
 

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Hunters who are selected for a permit may take one elk with at least one antler no less than 6 inches in length.

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Elk Hunting
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Those selected to receive a Resident Antlered Elk Hunting Permit can hunt in Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties excluding the refuge portion of Peck Ranch Conservation Area.

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There are two portions of the elk hunting season in Missouri. An archery portion that runs from Oct. 16-24 and a firearms portion that runs from Dec. 11-19. An elk hunting permit is valid during both portions.
 

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Allowed hunting methods during the archery portion of elk season are the same as those allowed during the archery deer and turkey season. Allowed hunting methods during the firearms portion of elk season are the same as those allowed during the firearms portions of deer season.

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Adults who accompany youth hunters ages 11–15 do not need an elk hunting permit. The adult must be 18 or older and be hunter-education certified or born before January 1, 1967. At all other times during the elk hunting season, a filled or unfilled elk hunting permit is required to assist others in taking elk, which includes calling. A filled or unfilled elk hunting permit is not required to accompany an elk hunter as long as the accompanying individual does not assist in the taking of an elk.
 

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Depending on your cell service provider and where you are within the Missouri Ozarks, cell service can be spotty. Regardless of your cell service, immediately after harvesting an elk you must notch your permit. By 10 pm on the day of harvest, you must Telecheck your elk. The elk must be left intact, be field-dressed, or be quartered with evidence of sex retained until the elk has been Telechecked.
 

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No. Prior to being reported through Telecheck, elk can remain intact, be field-dressed, or be quartered with evidence of sex retained.
 

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Yes. The majority of the area elk currently utilize is publicly owned or open to public hunting.
 

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A high percentage of the area where elk are found in Missouri is publicly owned or is open to public hunting. Much of this area has a good road network. Hunters with certain disabilities may be eligible for exemptions. If selected to receive an elk permit, contact MDC to determine if you qualify.
 

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Yes, provided they have valid archery deer hunting permits.
 

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Any person can help a hunter retrieve a harvested elk from the field.

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General Information
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For additional information about elk and elk hunting in Missouri, visit these web pages:

There will be information about the elk hunt in the 2021 Elk Hunting Digest that will be available online starting May 1.