Missouri hunters will have a new method of taking game available to them this fall in the form of crossbows, which will be legal for use on turkey and deer this fall. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has opened the archery turkey and archery deer seasons to crossbows in hopes of promoting hunting opportunities for all age groups across the state.
The change was made, first and foremost, to allow the state's youth more access to the sport of hunting and to encourage older hunters to stay afield. Local authorities are of the opinion that the legalization of crossbows will help bring prospective new hunters into the fold.
"In the end, if we recruit more hunters, more women hunters, get youngsters out earlier and keep more old-timers in the field, we win," Brandon Butler, Executive Director of the Missouri Conservation Federation, wrote in a column for the Columbia Daily Tribune. "Many say crossbows should help with recruitment efforts."
According to the Missouri Secretary of State, both turkey and deer can now be harvested with the use of a crossbow, as the previous “hunting method exemption” has been eliminated. Missouri is the 26th state to allow the use of crossbows for hunting applications.
The state's 2016 archery deer season opens on Sept. 15 and closes Nov. 11. A second season runs from Nov. 23, 2016 through Jan. 15, 2017.