Managed Archery Hunt Scheduled for December at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center
A managed archery deer hunt will be held next month at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. This is the second year for the hunt. Last year, six hunters harvested nine deer.
MDC officials say the hunt is necessary because large numbers of deer at the nature center cause problems not only for the facility but also for the health of the deer.
“This managed archery hunt is not seen so much as a hunting opportunity, but rather a tool for Springfield’s urban deer management,” said MDC Urban Wildlife Biologist Ashley Schnake. “The goal is to decrease deer numbers to benefit all wildlife that call the Springfield Conservation Nature Center and surrounding areas home.”
This year’s archery hunt will be held December 9-11, and all trails will be closed during that time. The visitor center will be open on Saturday, December 9, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hunters who have been selected through the Missouri Department of Conservation’s managed hunt drawing will be required to hunt from elevated tree stands while maintaining a distance of at least 35 yards from adjacent residential areas. They’ll be allowed to take three deer each, only one of which may be antlered, and they’re required to attend a pre-hunt orientation.
“We don’t want to eliminate deer from the Nature Center because they are an important part of the ecosystem and we know people enjoy seeing them,” said Springfield Conservation Nature Center Manager Linda Chorice. “However, we also value the natural communities that are being harmed by too many deer and we want to ensure that deer populations are healthy. There has to be a balance.”
A program on the current challenges being posed by deer at the nature center and about the upcoming managed hunt will start at 7 p.m. on November 28 for ages 10 and up. The program will also include information on managed hunts on City Utilities land at Fellows Lake and Lake Springfield. Registration for "Oh Deer! Managing Urban Deer Populations" is required by calling the nature center at 888-4237.