SPRINGFIELD — It’s opening weekend, and bow hunters get the first shot at all deer and turkey in the Missouri wilderness.
The opportunity for hunting in Missouri starts with archery season which is open from September 15 until January 19.
Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation says, while it may not the busiest weekend of the hunting season, bow hunting is still rising in popularity.
“The November firearm season is still the top dog in Missouri hunting. That is still the most participated in hunting activity in Missouri. Bow season is a season that is growing in popularity, and a big reason for that is the mindset of the hunter. Hunters are always wanting to go to that next level of challenge,” Skalicky says.
The thrill for hunters of getting out in the woods for the first time of the year is a plus for rural areas.
“A lot of the economic ripple effect is felt in the smaller communities. Money for gas, may spend money for lodging, they spend money for meals, so there’s still that economic ripple effect that you get with firearm deer season,” says Skalicky.
However, this isn’t just a deer season. You can hunt turkey too.
“People who hunt turkeys with bow — that is truly taking it to the next level of challenge. A lot of your preparation is target shooting.”
Matt Rarrick and his team at Archery Quest in Springfield have been ready for months.
“Huge time of the year. Everybody’s gearing up and getting ready to roll out for opening weekend. We started getting busy right after the fourth of July weekend, it just keeps going uphill and it will continue on until gun season,” Rarrick says.
Firearms season gets started in November, but Rarrick says there’s just something different about using a bow.
“Bow season is for the most part is a lot calmer, everything is more quiet, more laid-back, more peaceful,” says Rarrick.
A normal bow hunting tag gets you a limit of two deer, and two turkeys, that will run you $19 bucks.
For a full list of hunting seasons, rules, and regulations, click here for the Missouri Department of Conservation website.