New deer regs in MO

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Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
8,027
Location
missouri
I guess some of my(and many other landowners) comments have finally received some attention with MDC. New regs for 2023 will allow landowners (with minimum acre requirements) to have input on quality and/or population control by utilizing the so called "Deer Management Assistance Program". A new feature of the program is allowing multiple landowners to cooperate in order to meet the 500 acre minimum. I'm about two football fields short of this minimum on my home place but with this cooperative agreement clause, myself AND 5 other neighboring properties of 20-350 acres can now join the program.
Individual landowners can choose how their and is managed. Myself and the next larger farm are looking for population control (to reduce crop damage)by way of increased antlerless tags. The smaller acreage owners are mostly looking at some sort of antler quality improvement and reducing the pressure on their food plots.
I got motivated and within 24 hours have at least initial cooperation from 4 of the 5 possible participants whose land contributes most to our immediate area over population. I'm waiting on a phone number for #5.
There's always some sticky details but I'm hoping this works out. Best I could determine from the press release, the additional tags are 'assignable' so in theory (and with some consideration) the non-resident, buck hunters can assign their antlerless tags and even more venison goes to 'share the harvest program'.
I'm going to start making the MDC contacts as soon as I get time. There may be some lag due to limited time for either a biologist or bunny cop to look at the land. I hope they show up some evening when there's 30-40 deer munching on the rye cover crop here.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
8,027
Location
missouri
My older Son attended the local CWD public meeting a few days back. He had more info about some changes in progress that may allow landowners to manage resident deer populations better.
It's about time. Just a rough estimate that annual crop damage on this farm alone is $5000+(that's right out of our pockets) and we've had over $10K in vehicle damage in the past 18 months.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
8,027
Location
missouri
Thanks for that. I don't claim to be knowledgeable about long term deer management but I DO know what I see. I complained to everyone I met about MDC making decisions that affected the livelihood of those who support the state's game populations w/o bothering to ask us what we think. I'm not alone in this and the comments must have reached a level that demanded action. There was mention that some of our worries were being overridden by a large turnout of sentiment by the 'tree hugger' faction.
We had another increase of CWD reports following the 2022 season which may have some effect on our north farm. If those CWD control rules are emplaced, that's basically wholesale slaughter. I hope it doesn't come to that. It would be so much better to allow more select (liberal) harvest parameters for licensed hunters IMHO.
MDC has never (to my knowledge) paid damage reimbursements or transferable herd reduction permits such as many western states do. MDC answer to crop damage complaints was to offer permits to kill does/fawns during summer leaving the carcasses to rot. Twenty(ish) years ago, I did some crop damage removal on a fee basis but soon got disenchanted with the results. There was no follow up, just put a bullet in them and let them run off to die or suffer--not the way I work.
I'd much rather harvest the meat for those who need food and ensure the animals weren't wasted.
 

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