Conservation Commission sets 2013 turkey, deer season dates

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JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Conservation Commission set dates for 2013 turkey- and deer-hunting seasons at its December meeting, giving hunters plenty of time to schedule vacation.

The Commission set the following dates for turkey hunting.

  • Youth season, April 6-7
  • Regular spring season, April 15-May 5
  • Fall firearms turkey season, Oct. 1-31

Bag limits and shooting hours remain the same as last year. Additional details, including spring managed turkey hunts and regulations for spring turkey hunting on conservation areas, will be published in the spring turkey hunting regulation guide in March.

The Commission set the following dates for 2013-2014 firearms deer hunting.

  • Urban portion, Oct. 11-14
  • Early youth portion, Nov. 2-3
  • November portion, Nov. 16-26
  • Antlerless portion, Nov. 27-Dec. 8
  • Alternative methods portion, Dec. 21-31
  • Late youth portion, Jan. 4-5

The Conservation Commission also simplified requirements for tagging harvested deer, effective June 1, 2013. Other deer-hunting regulations will be set in the spring of 2013. Details will be published in the fall deer and turkey hunting regulation guide.

Missouri offers some of the nation’s finest deer and turkey hunting. However, this wasn’t always the case. In 1925 Missouri’s deer herd was estimated at 500 animals and in the 1950s the Show-Me State had only about 2,500 turkeys.

Today, deer and turkey hunting are big business in Missouri as a result of restoration efforts by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the help of conservation partners and private landowners. Approximately 155,000 turkey hunters spend more than $125 million each year on travel, food, lodging and hunting equipment. In all, the economic impact of turkey hunting in Missouri is more than $248 million annually and supports more than 2,300 jobs.

More than 500,000 deer hunters spend more than $750 million each year directly related to deer hunting in Missouri annually. These expenditures generate more than $1 billion in business activity and support more than 11,000 jobs.