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Those who like hunting in the state of Missouri will be very pleased come the next hunting season. The regulations that prevented hunters from harvesting the game bird in the lower half of the state have been amended and now pheasant hunters can practice the sport in any part of the state.

The recently released 2015 Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet announced the new regulations.

The state’s pheasant hunting weekend starts on the weekend of October 24-25 with a youth only weekend. The regular season follows from November 1 and continues through until January 15, 2016.

Restrictions on the harvest still remain in place in the state. Only male birds can be harvested and the daily bag limit is still limited to two. Hunters will also be kept to a possession limit of four. There are a number of valid permits, including the Daily Small Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting and Fishing or Small Game Hunting permits.

The previous restrictions on pheasant hunting were that hunters could only practice their sport in the counties north of Interstate 70 and a portion of St Charles County. There was also a southeast zone consisting of Dunklin, New Madrid, Pemiscot and Stoddard counties, where pheasants could be hunted.

According to state official Beth Emmerich, the increase in available hunting land will make it easier for hunters to understand the harvest rules but will not have a massive impact on the overall pheasant populations.

“Hens are protected from harvest and one rooster often mates with multiple hens. Our rooster-only hunting season has very little impact on overall population size and growth,” Emmerich stated when announcing the changes to the hunting laws. “Habitat is what’s key for developing and maintaining wildlife numbers, including game birds such as pheasants and quail. Pheasant populations improve with ample nesting and brood-rearing habitat, including open grassy and agricultural fields.”

Emmerich also noted that not all areas of the state have pheasants. According to her, the Northwest of the state has the largest population but some areas just don’t have the right habitat for the bird to flourish.

Have you hunted in Missouri? Would you go now it is legal across the state?

Let us know in the comments below.

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