Mo. Archers Prepare for Deer Season

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation said Wednesday it expects around 250,000 bow hunters in the state to participate during deer season. The bow hunting season starts Thursday one half hour before sunrise. During the previous bow season in the central Missouri region, hunters shot a total of 6,148 deer. Statewide harvests totaled 43,281. Conservation agent and Protection Regional Supervisor, Tom Strother, said bow hunting is a part of Missouri's history.

"Archery hunting in Missouri is really a rich tradition of hunting. It's a primitive way to hunt and get back to nature. A lot of deer hunting takes place during the gun season using that modern gun but a lot of folks like to go back to the traditional methods."

Strother also said bow hunting is a safer method of killing deer in urban areas like Columbia. "Gravity takes over the arrow quicker driving it into the ground where as a bullet can travel as much as one and a half or 2 miles."

Strother said violations in the field are rare for bow hunters but on occasion he does find some people using bait to bring a deer near their campsite.

New this year for archery hunting and the MDC is an online permit registration process. Those seeking a permit can purchase one at Special use permits allowing bow hunting in some city parks and other urban areas are available through Columbia Parks and Recreation.

Nineteen-year-old Columbia resident Michael Herbst has been bow hunting for 9 years and says mid-Missouri has a lot of opportunity when it comes to hunting deer.

"I started out as a young kid on a farm and every kid on a farm wants to go deer hunting and of course once you start you get addicted. There's new opportunity with special use permits in town and our deer population is perfect still."

Shooting hours begin one half hour before sunrise and end one half hour after sunset. The season runs between September 15 and November 11 and again between November 23 and January 15, 2012.