The Missouri Department of Conservation reminds hunters to be aware of baiting regulations as they prepare for the November firearms deer season, which runs from Nov. 11 through Nov. 21. The use of bait to attract deer, including grain or other feed placed or scattered, is illegal during the fall hunting season.
Southeast Region Protection Branch Captain Russell Duckworth emphasized the importance of these regulations. “They are designed to help limit the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease among deer populations and to ensure the principle of fair chase is upheld,” he explained.
Captain Duckworth outlined the following baiting regulations:
- An area is considered baited for 10 days following the complete removal of the bait.
- A violation can occur if a hunter takes or attempts to take a deer with the aid of bait when the hunter knows, or should reasonably know, that the area is or has been baited.
- It is unlawful to place bait in a manner that causes another person to violate the baiting rules.
- The use of doe urine and other scents to attract deer is permissible, provided they are not used in conjunction with grain or other food products.
- Mineral blocks, including those made of salt, are not classified as bait unless they contain grain or other food additives, which are not allowed.
- On conservation areas, the placement of mineral blocks and salt is prohibited.
- Hunting over a harvested crop field is legal; however, adding grain or other crops post-harvest is not.
- Hunters should be aware that additional regulations apply within CWD Management Zones.
- Crop manipulation practices, such as mowing or knocking down, do not qualify as baiting.
“Hunters who take deer in 39 of the 52 counties within the MDC CWD Management Zone on the opening weekend, Nov. 11-12, must bring their harvested deer or the head to a mandatory CWD sampling station on the day of harvest,” Duckworth stated. He assured hunters that both sampling and testing are free of charge.
MDC also provides self-service freezer head-drop locations throughout the CWD Management Zone. These facilities offer instructions, packing supplies, and tags. Note that these freezer head-drop stations will not be operational on Nov. 11-12 in counties requiring mandatory sampling, where hunters are obliged to present their deer at an official CWD sampling station. Nevertheless, freezer head-drop stations in counties without mandatory sampling will remain open during this time.
Learn more about CWD and find mandatory CWD sampling station locations and voluntary drop-off sites near you at this link or in MDC’s 2023 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold. Get more information on sampling and head-drop locations online at this link. Hunters can get their CWD test results for free online at this link. Results are available within four weeks or less from the time of sampling.