Missouri sells deer hunting licenses “over-the-counter.” Anyone who meets the legal requirements to deer hunt can simply purchase a license and go. In other states, like our neighbors - Illinois, Iowa and Kansas - non-resident hunters and sometimes residents too, must apply for deer hunting licenses and hope to be lucky enough to draw a tag.

Missouri sells deer hunting licenses “over-the-counter.” Anyone who meets the legal requirements to deer hunt can simply purchase a license and go. In other states, like our neighbors - Illinois, Iowa and Kansas - non-resident hunters and sometimes residents too, must apply for deer hunting licenses and hope to be lucky enough to draw a tag.

Be thankful Missouri has shunned the chance to chase big dollars. Instead, we have very affordable licenses for both residents and non-residents, thus allowing more people to hunt. Because of this, Missouri is a national in hunter recruitment. To me, that is way more important than how many bucks your state is putting in the record books each year.

However, while Missouri is an over-the-counter license state, there are some hunts that take place in our state each year that do require hunters to apply and hope to be drawn. This year, more than 100 different managed hunts will take place from mid-September through January. These hunts open the gates to normally protected properties, such as conservation areas, state parks, national wildlife refuges and urban parks, to hunters.

The application period run July 1-31. Both residents and non-residents can apply for these hunts online at www.mdc.mo.gov. An electronic drawing is used to select the winners. Drawing results will be available August 15. Those fortunate souls lucky enough to draw a tag will receive area maps and other information regarding their hunts in the mail.

According to a MDC press release, more than 100 managed deer hunts throughout the state for archery, muzzleloading, and modern firearms from mid-September through mid-January at conservation areas, state and other parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public areas. Some managed hunts are held specifically for youth or for people with disabilities.There are archery, crossbow, muzzleloader, historic methods and modern firearms hunts available to apply for.  

These hunts are fun and exciting because you never really know what you’re getting into. There are incredible animals on all of these properties, and while you can do as much homework as you like, once the hunt starts anything can happen. You never know if you’re going to take home a doe or bag the buck of your lifetime. Also, these hunts are great because they help achieve MDC’s deer-management goals for the state.

MDC offers the following tips for your application process:

You may apply for only one managed deer hunt each year. If you apply for more than one, you will be disqualified from this year's drawing and will not receive a preference point.

Some managed hunts require hunters to attend a mandatory pre-hunt orientation. If you cannot attend the orientation, do not apply for these hunts.

If you apply as one of a party on the application or as an individual, your chances of being drawn for a managed deer hunt are the same as everyone else's.

If you have a medical condition that limits your mobility, please contact the manager of the area on which you want to hunt before applying for a managed hunt. Some areas may not have the access you require, and you may want to apply for a hunt on a different area.

Not sure which hunt to select? Visit Managed Deer Hunt Summaries for a summary of how many people applied for previous year’s hunts and how many deer were taken.

Get more information on managed deer hunts, preview hunt details, and apply starting July 1 at mdc.mo.gov/managedhunt.

See you down the trail…