Aside from the new age requirements, Aldermen loosened other restrictions, including permitting crossbows to be used in the hunt – along with other archery implements – and decreasing the minimum acreage on which to hunt from two acres to three-quarters of an acre. The ordinance was last revised in 2015.

Hunters as young as ten years old will now be able to participate in the Osage Beach Managed Deer Hunt after the city’s Board of Aldermen approved new rules for the annual event at its Sept. 5 meeting. Previously, only hunters age 18 and over could participate.

Although the age limit for participants has been lowered, minors taking part in the hunt will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian with a valid hunting license. The Osage Beach annual deer hunt began Sept. 15.

Aside from the new age requirements, Aldermen loosened other restrictions, including permitting crossbows to be used in the hunt – along with other archery implements – and decreasing the minimum acreage on which to hunt from two acres to three-quarters of an acre. The ordinance was last revised in 2015.

The new regulations took effect in time for the 2019 hunt. The bill was given both its first and second reading at the Sept. 5 meeting.

Not all aldermen were in favor of the new guidelines. Aldermen Kevin Rucker and Tyler Becker voted against the bill’s passage. The four remaining aldermen voted in favor of it.

Rucker said he had concerns regarding safety.

“It is unlawful to discharge an archery devise with in 150 of a church or school,” he said in an email. “I wanted it to be any structure to add more safety.”

He also had concerns related to hunter safety courses.

“I wanted to investigate the Hunter Safety classes and see if there are enough available to require this class; and what proof of completion is there?” he continued.

Becker did not respond to an email request for comment. The ordinance went before the board with the support of City Administrator Jeana Woods.

“Making changes to our current deer hunt program is needed to entice more participation but yet maintain safety,” Woods said, according to an agenda summary.

Currently, the city’s Department of Public Works oversees the hunt. Rucker said he would prefer the Osage Beach Police Department monitor the yearly hunt and provide enforcement.

The revised ordinance also removes stipulations about field dressing deer carcasses.

While the bill did revise some parts of the municipal deer hunt ordinance, much of it was left intact. Hunting with firearms is still forbidden in the ordinance. Hunters must also obtain permission from landowners before accessing a property.

The city’s deer hunt coincides with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Deer Archery Hunting Season, which in 2019 runs from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 and Nov. 29 to Jan. 15, 2020.

Hunters interested in participating in the city’s archery deer hunt must complete a hunt orientation through the city and submit an application for an Osage Beach managed deer hunt permit.