From the mdc.mo.gov website
2008 Deer Season Changes
[ul][*]The experimental antler-point restriction proved to be popular with hunters in the pilot counties in north and mid Missouri. The antler restriction produced more adult bucks in the harvest but only increased doe harvest in the central group of counties. Although not all population/harvest management objectives were achieved, there were no negative biological consequences. Since a majority of hunters in northern and central many counties wanted the program expanded to areas where they hunt, the restriction was added to 36 more counties for this year. Although there was generally good public support, the counties of Platte, Clay, Jackson, Cass, St. Charles, St. Louis and Jefferson were not recommended for the antler restriction because the management goal is to provide liberal harvest opportunities in these urban areas.
[*]Keeping the deer population at a healthy level that also offers hunters plenty of opportunities is an ongoing part of deer management. In parts of southwestern Missouri, deer numbers have declined and hunters say the deer population is below the desired level. As a result, hunters will be limited to only one antlerless firearms permit in Barry, Barton, Christian, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, Stone, Webster and Wright counties. For the same reason, Christian and Webster counties were removed from the urban counties portion of the firearms season. However, in Miller County, deer populations have been gradually increasing. Miller County has historically had deer populations at modest levels where antlerless permits were appropriate, but inclusion in the antlerless portion was not. Recent increases in the Miller County deer population now warrant its inclusion in the antlerless portion of the 2008 firearms deer season.
[*]Another change for 2008 was the additional firearms hunting opportunity for youth during their winter school holidays. Youth hunters age 6-15 will be able to try out new deer rifles and other hunting equipment they receive for Christmas on Jan. 3-4. This change should have little impact on the deer population, while allowing youth a special time to hunt when they are out of school and the holidays are over [/ul]
2009 Deer Season Changes
[ul][*]For 2009, the following firearms deer hunting season dates have been set:
[ul][*]Urban zone portion: Oct. 9-12, 2009
[*]Early youth portion: Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2009
[*]November portion: Nov. 14-24, 2009
[*]Antlerless portion: Nov. 25, Dec. 6, 2009
[*]Muzzleloader portion: Dec. 19-29, 2009
[*]Late youth portion: Jan. 2-3, 2010 [/ul]
[*]These changes will result in six additional days of firearms hunting oppportunity when compared with 2007 and four more days when compared with 2008. The November portion will end before Thanksgiving, but the antlerless portion will be held over that holiday to allow more hunting opportunities.
[*]In 2009, the urban zones will no longer be defined by county boundaries but rather they will reflect more localized areas within counties. This change will help better target high-density the urban deer populations. [/ul]
Some changes to the deer season that were being considered were not enacted at this time, such as an October antlerless season and moving the opening of the November portion of the season one week later. However, a number of significant changes were put in place for both 2008 and 2009. Department of Conservation staff will evaluate the impact of these changes on deer population status, harvest trends, hunter and landowner attitudes and overall deer herd health for the next three years. After the evaluation period is complete, we will use the information gained to assist with developing deer hunting regulations for the 2011 season.