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Science and the Environment

Share Your Thoughts on MO's Deer at Upcoming Meetings

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Deer (Credit: Dawn Scranton; Flickr)

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/share-your-thoughts-mo039s-deer-upcoming-meetings_83984.mp3

When the Conservation Department was started in 1936, there were only a few thousand deer in Missouri.  The 1980s and 90s saw a rapid growth in the state’s deer population, and regulations were set to try to stabilize that growth.

Jason Sumners, a resource scientist with the Conservation Department, says the regulations have reduced deer numbers in many places, and it’s time now to assess the situation.  That’s where the meetings come in.

“We're going to the public to get some feedback on what we think they desire from the deer population based on, you know, survey data and other comments that we've heard and insure that we're headed in the right direction," he said.

The department wants the public to share opinions on what Missouri’s deer population should look like and what combination of hunting seasons, bag limits and hunting methods should be in place to achieve those goals.

Free range white-tail deer, he says, are important to Missouri’s economy.  According to a release from the Conservation Department, the animals support 12,000 jobs and generate more than $1 billion in economic activity annually in the state.

To find a meeting near you, click here.