When Does Deer Season End in Missouri

For many hunters it’s easy to put deer hunting season in the back of their minds once December and January roll around. After all, there are plenty of distractions centering around the holidays. And it’s easy for hunters to simply throw in the towel and say to themselves: “Next year is my year!” Well, we think some of them are missing out on some late season opportunities at harvesting a nice buck, or at the very least, filling their freezer with an antlerless deer or two. Although in a big buck state like Missouri, we might be tempted to hold on just a little longer in hopes of putting a tag on that big guy that evaded us all through the regular archery and firearms deer season.

The good news is there’s still some time to make that happen through the rest of December and a little into January–for the hunters willing to brave the tougher conditions. In fact, deer hunting late can sometimes open opportunities at deer who were far too wary during the October and November portions of the season when most hunters were in the woods.

Missouri Deer Seasons Remaining in 2022

When Does Deer Season End in Missouri

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We’ve already passed the regular firearms deer hunting that runs in November and the antlerless portion of firearms season that runs in December. The Missouri Department of Conservation doesn’t let these seasons run quite so long as other states. That leaves hunters with two remaining white-tailed deer season options in the Show Me State to round out the year. According to mdc.mo.gov, these are the seasons that are in play until the New Year.

  • Deer Archery – Nov. 23, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2023
  • Deer Firearms: Alternative Methods – Dec. 24, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023

And that’s it for what’s left of Missouri’s seasons. Rather simple and to the point. Either way, it’s not going to be easy, as the centerfire rifle or shotgun will need to stay home for the remainder of the year. You’ll need specific deer hunting permits to participate in either of these. For the archery season dates, you’ll need an archer’s hunting permit or an archery antlerless permit. For the alternative methods firearms, a firearms any-deer hunting permit or a firearm antlerless deer hunting permit are both valid.

Hunting Regulations to Know for Missouri’s Late Seasons

Aside from the permits, there are some important regulations to know for these two remaining seasons. For starters, at least 47 counties in Missouri have antler-point restrictions. See the map above from the MDC which indicates APR counties in gray. In these counties, “an antlered deer must have at least four points on one side to be taken.” This counts the end of the main beam and all points that are at least 1-inch long. Missouri does allow hunters to tag a button buck or a spike with antlers less than 3 inches long on an antlerless any-deer permit. Just be careful and make sure the points are shorter than that before you shoot, or you could be having an awkward conversation with a game warden.

In the alternative methods portion of the season, most hunters are likely going to be using muzzleloaders. Missouri is rather liberal with what they allow for muzzleloaders. Although they do define a legal one as being at least .40 caliber or larger. Modern inline muzzleloaders that only fire one shot at a time and multi-barrel muzzleloaders or cap-and-ball firearms are also allowed. One interesting twist here is hunters can carry a .40 caliber or larger cap-and-ball revolver with them in addition to a rifle. Not many other states allow that.

Another interesting thing Missouri allows is the use of centerfire pistols or revolvers in the alternative methods season. You need to use expanding type bullets, but this is a great option for anyone who doesn’t like the messy nature of blackpowder.

Additionally, hunters can utilize airguns .40 caliber and larger during this season. Missouri is also one of the few states that allows the use of atlatls for hunting. These primitive weapons are perfectly legal during the archery and alternative methods portions of the season. Just be sure the dart is 5-to-8 feet in length.

If you’re hunting the archery season, longbows, compounds, and recurve bows are all legal. Missouri doesn’t make any restrictions on draw weight or release devices. Crossbows are also legal for use by all hunters.

That’s basically all that’s left of the Missouri hunting seasons for deer. With the rut mostly wrapped up, and hunting pressure down from the throngs of people who poured into the woods during opening weekend of the firearms season, it’s a great time of year to be in the woods and try to fill your freezer. At the very least, you’ll get your money’s worth out of your hunting license by spending more time in the treestand through the holidays and into the New Year.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels


The post When Missouri's Deer Season Ends, The Key Dates to Know appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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