Deer Hunting in Missouri

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  • B
  • 1,200,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 500,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $17 and Up

    A firearms any-deer permit is $17 and an archer’s hunting permit is $19. Additional antlerless-only permits are $7.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $225

    A non-resident archery or firearm permit is $225 and additional antlerless-only permits are $25.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 205"

    Taken by Larry Gibson in Randolph County in 1971. The buck ranks No. 3 of all time.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 508

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 333 7/8"

    Picked up in 1981 in St. Louis County, ranks No. 1 of all time.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 343

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Melissa Bachman killed this Missouri beauty. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Bachman)

Season Dates (2019):

Archery season is Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 and Nov. 27 to Jan. 15. The main firearms season is Nov. 16-26. Firearms alternate methods season is Dec. 28 to Jan. 7 and firearms antlerless-only season is Dec. 6-8. Youth seasons are Nov. 2-3 and and Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

There are antler-point restrictions in some counties. These are the dates set when published, please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: B

It may be surprising to see Missouri with a grade of B, but the only reason the state does not garner an A is simply because of hunting pressure. It certainly is not because there are not awesome possibilities for deer hunting success. Missouri has logged a mind-blowing number of trophy whitetails into the Boone and Crockett record books. Not only that, but the state is also home of the enormous world record non-typical, aptly named the Missouri Monarch, which was found incidentally and not taken by a hunter. The state still has tremendous potential for producing huge trophies, but there are a lot of hunters and a lot of competition for top areas.

What’s the downside? The deer-to-hunter ratio indicates just how much hunting pressure is on those deer. Factor in that almost every hunter gets two deer permits means there are around 1 million permits going up against 1.3 million deer each season. Also, new for this year -- the CWD zone has expanded to encompass additional counties. Check to see if where you hunt will be affected this season. And EHD has pounded parts of the Show-Me State in recent years. That said, Missouri is still prime ground to hunt. If you haven’t, you should.  

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Looking for a big deer in Missouri? He could be lurking most anywhere in the state, but the best odds of success are found in northern Missouri where there are better soils and plenty of agricultural areas to provide ample food sources. This is where the larger deer are consistently found. The southern portion of the state has a deer population that is less dense. Missouri has some areas set aside with a four-point antler restriction, which obviously is to help bucks survive longer and have a chance to move into an older age class. Barb Keller, the cervid coordinator for Missouri, says as far as trophy hunting and harvest in the state, everything has been fairly the same over the past few years with no significant changes. So although there is a good bit of hunting pressure in the state, it is definitely a place to consider when looking for a chance at a true trophy.

Missouri Harvests

  • Andrew Thornton

    Washington, Missouri

  • Richard Hays

    Shelbina, Missouri

From the Realtree Trophy Den