Special Circumstances Close Missouri State Parks for Hunting

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Missouri state parks are set up as wildlife refuges and closed to hunting, unless there are special circumstances. This year five state parks find themselves with these special circumstances and a rare opportunity for hunters. The deer population has exploded, and is wreaking havoc on the ecosystem of the park.

For one weekend in November and in December the state parks will close to all other visitors, allowing only deer hunters into the parks. The deer hunters were selected through a random computer draw and already have their permits. They are the hunters that applied this summer for the annual special managed hunts, and only those hunters with these permits will be allowed to partake in the hunts.

Special hunts will be conducted at the following parks on the following weekends:

Nov. 19-20 - Pomme de Terre State Park near Pittsburg, including the campground and state park marina (the Hermitage area of the park will remain open).

Dec. 10-11 - Ha Ha Tonka State Park near Camdenton. Knob Noster State Park near Knob Noster. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park near Columbia. And Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and Historic Site near Lawson. From KSPRabc33.com.


COMeatHunter's picture

Great idea and glad Missouri

Great idea and glad Missouri has the sense to use hunters to help control the deer population, a win-win for everybody.  Kudos to Missouri.

hunter25's picture

It looks like we were all

It looks like we were all temporarily confused by the title on this one. Now that we have it straightened out though it appears like a great opportunity for the lucky tag holders. I would assume this is an antlerless hunt as it's goal is to reduce the herd and probably leavea lot of good wildlife viewing for others later. The great thing os that this does not reduce you normal tag count for your regular hunts. MOre opportunity to hunt and if needed a lot more meat to fill the freezer or donate to others. good luck to nay of the guys that drew this limited tag. I have a cousin over there but don't think he hunts much. Maybe I need to give him akick to get him going again.lol

Ca_Vermonster's picture

That's great to hear.  But,

That's great to hear.  But, from the title of the article, i misunderstood.  I thought they were closing the state parks in Missouri FOR hunting.  I was going to say that's a bummer.

Very cool to see the hunters there have an opportunity to harvest some good venison.  It goes to show what can happen if you allow animals like that to be de facto protected, but with proper nutrition to reproduce.  They will grow beyond the carrying capacity of the land.  A controlled herd is a healthy herd. The animal rights people do not see that, they just think things will go on as normal if you stop killing them.  The 20 Million whitetails in the US would become 40 Million in a heartbeat if nobody hunted them.

Hopefully all the hunters will be successful, and have a safe weekend of hunting!

Retired2hunt's picture

  Yet another very positive


Yet another very positive article on Missouri hunting.  Over the past two to three months we have read many positive articles on Missouri.  They obviously have a well managed hunting program.

This is a great additional opportunity for the hunters of Missouri.  The ability to cull an over-populated deer herd within the state's park system allows for additional hunting for the computer picked and lucky hunters.  It also provides additional venison meals for the hunters and possibly the needy.  And also an opportunity at a very nice buck that has been using the park wildlife refuge to grow into a trophy.

I also very much agree with closing the parks off to non-hunters during these special circumstance hunts.  Closing the parks maximizes the safety scenario and lowers the odds of having an accident.  I understand these are state parks and open to the general public and maybe even tax-payer funded but closing them for two days to manage the deer herds that are currently destroying the ecosystem is the right decision.  There are many states that have these same park hunts but do not close the parks off to non-hunters.  Their reasoning may be due to the hunting opportunities being far enough away from where the general public would be.  This does not guarantee a hiker or others with animal interests do not accidentally or intentionally wander into the hunt area.

 I cannot find what these permits allow for harvest but found on their web site that each permit may allow 1 or 2 deer.  And that the deer harvested from these special managed hunts do not apply to the regular harvest allowances for the regular season.  Good for Missouri hunters!




groovy mike's picture

I thought from the headline that this article would be opposite

Now this is cool.  I thought from the headline that this article would be telling exactly the opposite story – that parks were closed to hunting due to special circumstance.  I am glad to see that it is the other way around!  And that Missouri state parks are open for hunters to do what hunters do best – control the deer population when it has exploded due to artificial restrictions within the ecosystem of the park.

It makes sense for safety’s sake to close the parks to all other non-hunting visitors and to allow only deer hunters into them. I know that I have encountered hikers and dogs on public land who had no idea that it was opening day and what danger they were putting themselves and their unleashed pets in by roaming through the woods without safety orange or other precautions during hunting season.