SIKESTON -- The Department of Conservation continually modifies regulations in order to ensure adequate harvest of wildlife while maintaining healthy populations for reproduction.
Since these populations can increase for decrease, regulations must adapt to keep pace with wildlife numbers.
Sometimes, the species numbers are acceptable but too many animals of one sex are in the overall population.
Beginning in 2004, the Department of Conservation implemented an antler-
point restriction for deer harvest in come counties which restricted hunters to harvest only bucks with at least four antler points on one side of their rack during all seasons other than the two-day youth season.
This area included 29 counties in the northwest part of Missouri and continued southward into some of the counties in the center portion of the state.
The ideal of this regulation is to increase doe deer harvest to reduce the overall deer herd and, at the same time, increase the number of larger bucks.
Landowners have the opportunity to harvest additional does on their land during the season with additional antlerless deer permits. The implementation of this regulation has shown to be successful in other states that have a need for increased doe deer harvest.
There will be public meetings held in January 2006 to discuss deer and turkey management including the possibility of expanding the antler-point restriction to some counties in southern Missouri, including Scott County.
Scott County is a very diverse county with flatland and hills with deer and turkey populated throughout the county.
These meetings will be from 7-9 p.m. at four locations in southeast Missouri. The meetings are being held to get input from the public on management options. Deer and turkey biologists will be at each meeting to give presentations and listen to your comments.
The locations and times are:
Piedmont -- Clearwater Youth Center, Jan. 9.
Marble Hill -- Methodist Church on Highway. 34 E, Jan. 10.
Perryville -- Perryville Community Center, Jan. 12.
Cape Girardeau -- MDC Nature Center, Jan. 18.
Many hunters have expressed concerns about the fact that our deer populations in this area are not at excessive levels as they are in the 29-
county area currently using this harvest restriction.
I've had many questions regarding the regulations and whether or not we would see it implemented in our area.
I understand these concerns and ask that all deer hunters attempt to make one of these meetings and make your feelings known prior to a decision being made.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me at 471-5737 or the Southeast Regional Office at 290-5730.