The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently set turkey and deer hunting dates for the 2023-2024 seasons along with regulation changes for the 2023-2024 deer-hunting season.

The regulation changes include a new firearms early antlerless portion, a new firearms CWD portion and changes to firearms antlerless permit numbers in most counties. The hunting dates and regulation changes were approved by the Missouri Conservation Commission at its Dec. 2 open meeting in Jefferson City.

“The changes to deer hunting regulations for the 2023-2024 deer season were motivated by increasing deer numbers throughout much of Missouri and in response to changes in the distribution of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the state,” said MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle. “With a growing deer population in most Missouri counties, we’re increasing opportunities for hunters to harvest deer both within and outside of the CWD Management Zone next year.”

2023-2024 hunting dates


•Spring Youth Portion: April 1 – 2

•Regular Spring Turkey Season: April 17 through May 7

•Fall Firearms Turkey Season: Oct. 1 – 31


•Sept. 15 through Nov. 10 and Nov. 22 through Jan. 15, 2024


Firearms Early Youth Portion: Oct. 28-29

Firearms November Portion: Nov. 11-21

New: Firearms CWD Portion: Nov. 22-26 (in open counties – Texas not included)

Firearms Late Youth Portion: Nov. 24-26

Firearms Late Antlerless Portion: Dec. 2-10 (in open counties).

Firearms Alternative Methods Portion: Dec. 23 – Jan. 2, 2024

New: Firearms Early Antlerless Portion Oct. 6-8 (Texas County is included).

Two firearms antlerless permits are available for hunting in Texas County.

More: MDC will offer a new firearms early antlerless portion Oct. 6-8 for 2023 in the same 100 counties open for the firearms late antlerless portion Dec. 2-10. Get regulation details and a map of open counties from the MDC website at

“With deer populations being at desired levels in most counties but continuing to increase, additional antlerless harvest is needed to stabilize deer numbers,” said Isabelle. “The creation of an early antlerless portion of firearms deer season and increasing the availability of antlerless permits in most counties will provide hunters with more opportunities to harvest antlerless deer and help meet our deer-management goals.”

According to MDC, firearms antlerless seasons that occur prior to the primary firearms season are not uncommon and several Midwestern states have established similar season portions.

“The early antlerless portion will help to increase antlerless deer harvest prior to the November portion of firearms season when the focus of many hunters is on harvesting a buck,” said Isabelle. “The timing of the early antlerless portion was designed to occur when weather conditions are generally comfortable and during a time that will minimize conflict with archery hunters, who spend the most time hunting during late October and early November as the rut approaches.”


MDC has also increased the number of firearms antlerless permits hunters can fill in most counties, including allowing hunters to fill a firearms antlerless permit in Butler, Carter, Scott, and Wayne counties. MDC has also increased the number of firearms antlerless permits from two to four in 82 counties.

“Prior to 2014, firearms antlerless permit numbers were unlimited in 74 counties,” said Isabelle. “However, following the severe hemorrhagic disease outbreak that occurred throughout much of the state in 2012, we became much more conservative with firearms antlerless permit numbers to allow the deer population to rebound.”

He noted the deer population has steadily increased during the last decade, necessitating the liberalization of antlerless harvest opportunities to slow population growth and keep the deer population at desired levels.

Get regulation details and a list and map of allowed antlerless permit numbers by county from the MDC website at

Detailed information on the new firearms early antlerless portion, the new firearms CWD portion, and changes to firearms antlerless permit numbers by county will also be included in the MDC 2023 Fall Deer & Turkey Regulations and Information booklet, available starting in July where permits are sold and online at

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1 Comment

  1. Could not get a copy of the fall deer and turkey hunting regulations..tag seller said MDC wasn’t sending as many as they should ..he said they are being cheap about it…and I don’t like it at all….

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