Lawmakers Return to the Capitol
In the coming days, most Missourians will take a deep breath and try to put the election behind them. Members of the Legislature, however, will be heading back to work. The governor has called the General Assembly into session to pass a supplemental budget bill. The Second Extra Session of 2020 will begin Thursday, Nov. 5.
As is always the case when the governor calls an extra session, the scope of our work is limited to the issues he outlines in his proclamation. In this case, the governor wants us to pass legislation necessary for Missouri to take advantage of federal resources available through the CARES Act and other programs enacted by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional measures could be added by the governor, but I anticipate this session will stay on track and conclude fairly quickly. As it stands now, the House of Representatives will begin the process by developing a supplemental budget bill. The Senate is expected to come to Jefferson City later to take up the measure. I’ll keep readers informed as additional developments merit.
The Best 11 Days of the Year
It would come as no surprise to learn your thoughts aren’t focused on budget negotiations in Jefferson City, right now. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking about the start of deer season. Hunters have been harvesting deer using archery methods since Sept. 16, and we’ve already seen some impressive bucks taken. For countless other outdoorsman, much of the past month has been spent sitting alongside a tree, dressed in full camo, trying to call in a big Tom turkey.
For many of us, however, the most-anticipated time of the year is the 11 days in November when deer can be hunted with firearms. This year’s firearms deer season runs Nov. 14 through Nov. 24. Experienced hunters are familiar with the rules governing deer season, but a few reminders are in order. Anyone hunting deer must possess a valid permit from the Department of Conservation. Missouri residents who own at least 20 acres of land may qualify for a free permit to hunt deer on their own property. Holders of any-deer hunting permits may take one deer, with or without antlers. There is no limit to the number of additional antlerless deer tags you may purchase or fill in the 16th Senatorial District, which includes Camden, Crawford, Dent, Phelps and Pulaski counties. Landowners can also request additional antlerless tags. In Camden, Phelps and Pulaski counties, bucks can only be taken if they have at least four antler points on one side of their rack.
Deer hunting is limited to daytime hours, which is defined as one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour past sunset. Any centerfire pistol or rifle that expels a single bullet with each pull of the trigger is allowed. Anyone hunting during the firearms portion of deer season is required to wear a hunter orange hat and coat or vest. You can find more information about deer hunting in Missouri online at www.huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/deer.
Due to concerns about COVID-19, hunters taking deer in Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zones are not required to bring their deer to a sampling station this year. Crawford County is the only portion of the 16th Senatorial District under CWD rules. Hunters in Crawford County who would like to voluntarily submit a deer carcass for testing can do so at one of three sampling stations in the county. Sampling is required for Crawford County hunters who wish to donate excess deer to the Share the Harvest Program. Any other hunter can arrange donations through participating meat processors.
The annual deer season is one of Missouri’s most treasured traditions. Spending time in the woods provides a welcome respite from the stresses and challenges of our complex lives today. Taking that first deer is a time-honored rite of passage for youngsters and the shared experience builds bonds that cross generations. I hope everyone who has a desire to participate in Missouri’s various deer seasons has an opportunity to do so. I wish you success, and I will be looking forward to hearing tales of your hunts, and seeing the photos of the harvest you post online. Be safe, and enjoy this most wonderful time of the year.
It’s my honor to serve as your senator for the 16th District. If you have questions or need any assistance, please call my office at 573-751-5713 or log onto my webpage at https://www.senate.mo.gov/brown for more information.