Elk hunting season might arrive in Missouri as early as 2020.

According to MDC Elk and Deer Biologist Aaron Hildreth, who presented the elk-hunting plan at the meeting, the Missouri Department of Conservation will begin offering a limited season for hunting elk once the herd of about 175 animals reaches a minimum of 200 with an annual herd growth rate of at least 10 percent and a herd ratio of at least four cow elk for every bull elk.

Research done by the Missouri Department Of Conservation says that the herd will likely meet these requirements by 2020.

If the herd does not meet the requirement by 2020, Aaron Hildreth says there is still hope, “If the elk population is below desired numbers in early 2020, the Conservation Commission may choose to not open the online application process or issue any permits for a fall 2020 hunt,” he explained. “We will then focus on 2021.”

The proposed plan suggests a nine-day archery season and a nine-day firearms season.

The hunting zone will be limited to Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties, but will exclude the special refuge portion of Peck Ranch Conservation Area where elk were initially reintroduced.

The number of permits for a possible 2020 hunt has yet to be determined.

To learn more about the Elk hunting season framework, click here.