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MDC holding open houses, taking comments on future elk hunting

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host public open houses in December and take comments on options for a future, limited elk-hunting season in Missouri. MDC will hold the open houses in communities around its elk management zone in Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties. They will run from 6-8 p.m. and be:

Dec. 3 at Van Buren High School Cafeteria, 202 W. College in Van Buren;
Dec. 4 at Ellington City Hall, 100 Tubbs Ave. in Ellington; and
Dec. 6 at Eminence High School Cafeteria, 17829 S. Sixth St. in Eminence.

At the open houses, MDC staff will inform the public about how the Department is managing wild elk in and around its elk management zone in the Ozarks, including herd size and anticipated growth, herd health, and how MDC is working with area landowners.

MDC staff will also seek public input for a limited, future elk hunting season, including season timing, season length, hunting methods, permit allocation, future landowner opportunities, and more. Staff will also be available to answer questions.

For more information on MDC’s elk management, hunting options, and the open houses, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/ZpQ.

Learn more on MDC elk restoration and management from this MDC video at youtube.com/watch?v=APJKVTJh7EM.

Once common throughout most of Missouri, elk disappeared from the state about 150 years ago due to over-hunting and habitat loss. MDC has reintroduced more than 100 free-ranging elk to a large restoration zone between Ellington and Winona in Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties. The 346-square-mile elk restoration zone includes Peck Ranch and Current River conservation areas. Learn more about elk in Missouri from MDC at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/elk.

For more information on the open houses, contact MDC Public Involvement Coordinator Michele Baumer at 573-522-4115 ext. 3350, or Michele.Baumer@mdc.mo.gov.