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Conservation Connection: Managed Hunts

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(KPLR) - You might have heard about or seen some state parks in the St. Louis area closing for managed deer hunts.  There are actually 20 to 30 such hunts around St. Louis each year.  What is a managed deer hunt and what’s the purpose?  Urban Wildlife Biologist Erin Shank joins us with some answers.

Q. What is a managed hunt and how does it differ from the regular hunting seasons?

  • Allow for a limited number of hunters to participate in a hunt at a specific location.
  • Each managed hunt has site-specific requirements and limits on harvest.
  • Managed hunts differ from regular hunting seasons in that they are not open to anyone; hunters are selected in advance to participate.

Q. What’s the purpose behind managed hunts?

  • Department of Conservation offers managed hunts with the objective of achieving particular deer management goals
  • No natural predators, so hunting is the only way to control deer numbers
  • For example, managed hunts in St. Louis County focus on harvesting antlerless deer with the objective of curbing the deer population growth.
  • Too many deer in a given area can cause more vehicle accidents, degrade habitat from over browsing, lower overall health of deer herd

Q. Who can participate in managed hunts and how?

  • Hunters in-state and out-of-state who are 11 years or older may apply
  • Hunters may put their name in the lottery system for the chance to be drawn in one particular hunt
  • Interested hunters apply online between July 1 and August 15 each year

Q. Where/when are some managed hunts being held in the St. Louis area?

  • Klamberg Woods in Ellisville
  • Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood/ Sunset Hills
  • Rockwoods Reservation, Rockwoods Range
  • Babler State Park in Wildwood
  • Cuivre River State Park in Troy
  • Columbia Bottom Conservation area in north St. Louis County,
  • Forest 44 Conservation Area in south St. Louis County

Q. What are some things people who don’t hunt should be aware of when using areas while managed hunts are in progress?

  • Some of these areas are closed to the public during hunts-- such as Klamberg Woods, Powder Valley, Babler State Park, and Rockwoods Reservation
  • Be mindful of area signs notifying you that the area is closed; you can be ticketed for trespassing if you enter a closed area

Other areas remain open. It’s good to simply be aware that there may be hunters in the woods so that you aren’t surprised if you happen upon someone in a tree stand or a hunter loading a harvested deer into a truck.

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