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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Department of Conservation officials have announced the state’s first modern elk hunting season in a statement on April 8.

However, the department will only give out five permits, based on a random lottery drawing. Four will be for the general population, and one will be for qualifying landowners.

The four general permits will also require a $10 application fee to be considered. Landowners will not have to pay an application fee. All five permits holders, once selected, will be required to pay an additional $50 permit fee.

The season will consist of nine days of archery, Oct. 17-25, and nine days of firearms, Dec. 12-20. Those holding permits may hunt bull elk during both of these periods. At least one of the bull’s antlers must be longer than six inches.

“The allowed hunting methods for each season will be the same as for deer hunting,” MDC elk and deer biologist Aaron Hildreth said. “The timing of the season was designed to come after the peak elk breeding during late September and early October.”

The MDC first floated the possibility of an elk hunting season back in July, 2019. Officials said that they wanted the state’s elk population to grow above 200 with an annual growth rate of at least 10%.

Hildreth said those goals have been achieved.

Find out more about elk hunting in Missouri, here. Further restrictions, including which counties hunting is allowed, can be found in the link.

Those looking to apply may do so from May 1-31 on the MDC’s website, here.