Deer hunters will have a rare opportunity to harvest a whitetail deer in three Missouri state parks during managed deer hunts to alleviate deer overpopulations Dec. 8-9, Missouri State Parks announced. During the hunts, the parks will be closed to everyone except the deer hunters.
By law, state parks are established as wildlife refuges and hunting is not permitted except under special circumstances. However, these special hunts are being used as a resource management tool because the deer population is too large for the environment of the park and resources in the park are being damaged.
Special hunts will be conducted Dec. 8-9 at the following parks:
• Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park in Wildwood.
• Cuivre River State Park near Troy.
• Watkins Woolen Mill State Park near Lawson.
The hunts will be conducted following guidelines established by the Missouri Department of Conservation, which regulates hunting of wildlife in the state. Hunters who will be participating submitted special applications this summer for the Department of Conservation’s special managed hunts, which are held annually. Hunters were selected through a random computer drawing. Only those hunters who already have a special permit will be allowed to participate in the hunts.
“These hunts provide benefits for the hunters and for state parks. They provide hunters with a unique opportunity to help us manage the deer herd and provide protein for the family table, or for another family through the Share the Harvest program,” said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Missouri State Parks administers state parks and historic sites throughout Missouri. All other state parks and historic sites, other than the three mentioned, will not be affected by the hunts and will remain open to the public.
For more information on Missouri state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.