MDC agent answers common questions about Alternative Methods deer hunting season

The alternative methods portion of the firearms deer season begins Dec. 26 and runs through Jan. 5, 2021. I get more questions regarding this season than all others combined, so let’s go through some frequently asked questions. 


If I didn’t harvest a deer in the November portion of the firearms season, can I use my permits for the alternative methods season? Yes. Firearms deer permits are valid during all portions of the firearms deer season. 


How many deer can I harvest during this season? The limits apply to all portions of the firearms deer season combined. So only one antlered deer may be taken during the firearms deer season (all portions combined). Each county has a limit on the number of firearms antlerless deer hunting permits you may fill during the firearms deer season (all portions combined).


Do I have to wear hunter orange during this season? Yes.


I thought this was the muzzleloader season, but I heard we can use pistols. What pistols are legal? MDC changed the name of the season to give more opportunities to hunters who would like to use a different method to harvest a deer. Methods allowed are

1. Longbow, compound bow or recurve bow

2. Atlatl.

3. Centerfire handgun.

4. Air-powered gun

5. Muzzleloaders

6. Crossbow 


The definition for a handgun is: Any firearm originally designed, made and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore, with a barrel less than 16 inches in length, measured from the face of the bolt or standing breech (excluding any muzzle device not permanently attached to the barrel), and an overall length less than 26 inches as measured between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the firearm (excluding any pistol brace, muzzle device, or other firearm accessory not permanently attached to the firearm). The use of a pistol brace is specifically authorized, and a second hand may be used for support when firing.

For more information about MDC regulations, contact your local conservation agent. Violations can be reported to Operation Game Thief at 800-392-1111.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423