If you’re a homeowner or landowner who doesn’t hunt, but is having problems with deer, the solution to your problems may lie in the hunting season that opens soon.
Missouri’s archery deer season starts Sept. 15. As usual, this hunting opportunity consists of two segments that wrap around the November firearms season. The first part of the state’s archery season is Sept. 15-Nov. 10 and the second part is Nov. 22-Jan. 15. Technically, it’s the archery deer and turkey season because turkeys taken by archery methods are legal harvests during this season, too. However, when most people refer to “bow season,” they’re talking about archery deer hunting.
Hunters are reminded that they can pursue deer by archery methods within the city limits of Springfield as long as they follow the guidelines laid out in the city’s archery hunting ordinance. This means there will likely be some bow hunters looking for places to hunt deer within the city.
Also, it means that some citizens who are having problems with deer munching on their ornamental shrubs or gardens may have an opportunity to finally solve these troubles. Whether you live inside Springfield’s city limits or in rural parts of southwest Missouri, if you do not have the time or interest to hunt deer, but are having deer problems, you might be able to remedy your whitetail problems by asking for help from people who do hunt.
This doesn’t have to be a blanket invitation that opens your property to all hunters. You can still be selective about who you allow on your property. Talking to neighbors or asking people at your work place, church or other social gathering spot if they’d be interested in hunting deer are good ways to stay in control of the hunting traffic on your land.
Bow hunting is often a viable solution to deer problems on small parcels of land. Because it’s often done from a tree stand (something you can require if you ask someone to hunt on your property), the archery shot is downward and not across the landscape. As you, the property owner, talk to prospective landowners, here are some questions to ask:
How long have you been archery hunting for deer?
When will you be hunting (ask for specific dates and time of day)?
What kind of vehicle will you be driving?
Will you bring anyone with you?
Can you give me a courtesy call the day before?
None of these questions are invasive. You’re merely trying to learn more about the individuals whom you’re going to trust to be on your property. It needs to be remembered that archery hunting in the city limits of Springfield is only allowed on land consisting of two acres or more. However, the ordinance also states that adjacent property owners can combine their parcels of land to satisfy the two-acre requirement. So, if you and your neighbors are having the same deer problems, you may be able to pool your concerns and figure out a way that hunting can be done on your lots.
There are also questions responsible and courteous hunters should ask landowners. These questions may help with this year’s hunting and may pave the hunts for future hunts at this location, too.
Where are the property boundaries?
Are there restrictions on when or where I can hunt?
How do your neighbors feel about hunting?
Can I use a tree stand, screw-in steps, etc.?
Do you mind if I field dress the deer on your land? (If the answer is “yes,” ask where you can do this so the waste parts will be in an out-of-the-way area.)
More information about this year’s archery season or about other upcoming deer hunting opportunities can be found in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s “2017 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information” booklet. This free publication can be found at all Missouri Department of Conservation offices and all places that sell hunting and fishing permits. Information about deer hunting can also be found at www.missouriconservation.org
Francis Skalicky is the media specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation. For more information about conservation issues, call 417-895-6880.