Area hunters won't be subject to four-point restriction this fall

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The four-point antler restriction will not be implemented in the Southeast Region of Missouri for this fall's deer season. The Missouri Conservation Commission made that decision at its monthly meeting in March.

"I think it's good to wait a few more years to see what the results are from the pilot counties where antler point restriction have been implemented," said Harriet Weger, Missouri Department of Conservation Southeast Region wildlife supervisor.

Four-point antler restrictions were implemented in 29 northern and central Missouri counties in 2004. Statewide survey results indicated hunters favored the four-point restriction more than other regulations changes as a way to manage the state's deer population. A proposal to expand the program to the Southeast Region was, however, opposed by a majority who attended a series of recent public meetings across the region.

The restrictions require that a buck must have a minimum of four points on at least one side before it could be taken by a hunter. The objective of the restrictions is to shift harvest pressure from bucks to does, increasing doe harvest and allowing more bucks to reach an older age.

During public meetings, attendees and some biologists expressed concern that a four-point restriction would result in a lower deer population in the Southeast Region. Many hunters expressed concerns the deer population was already too low.

MDC biologists will continue to evaluate the effects of the four-point restrictions in the pilot study through 2007 and make recommendations to the Conservation Commission on whether the program should be expanded.

For more information, contact the MDC Southeast Region office at (573) 290-5730.

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