Dates set for Missouri’s second elk-hunting season

Photo courtesy Jeff Girdner Gene Guilkey of Liberty harvested this 6x7 bull elk on public land in Shannon County Dec. 16, 2020, during Missouri’s first elk-hunting season, which ended Dec. 20. Four other hunters who were drawn for permits were also successful in harvesting elk during the season. Missouri’s second year of elk seasons will be Oct. 16-24 (archery) and Dec. 11-19 (firearms).

Five permits for hunting bull elk will be issued for Missouri’s second annual elk-hunting season in 2021. At least one permit will be for qualifying area landowners with the remainder for the general public.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has designated a nine-day archery portion running Oct. 16-24 and a nine-day firearms portion running Dec. 11-19. The five permits will be for bull elk and will be valid for both portions. All permits will be assigned through a random drawing. Only Missouri residents are eligible to apply for and purchase elk-hunting permits in Missouri.

“The timing of the season was designed to come after the peak of elk breeding during late September and early October and to avoid, as much as possible, the elk season coinciding with portions of the firearms deer season,” explained MDC elk and deer biologist Aaron Hildreth.

MDC will require a $10 application fee for all applicants. Those selected for each of the five permits must pay a $50 permit fee. All permits are nontransferable.

MDC will limit the random drawing to one application per-person, per-year with a 10-year “sit-out” period for those drawn before they may apply again.

Beginning this year, at least 10 percent (with a minimum of one) of the elk-hunting permits will be awarded to approved landowners with 20 or more contiguous acres in Carter, Reynolds or Shannon counties. This year one permit will be set aside for qualifying landowners.

All elk-hunting permits, including those allocated to approved landowners, can be used in Carter, Reynolds and Shannon counties, except the refuge portion of Peck Ranch Conservation Area.

“The allowed hunting methods for each season portion will be the same as for deer hunting,” Hildreth said. “The permits will allow for the harvest of one bull elk with at least one antler being six inches or greater in length. Successful hunters must Telecheck their harvested elk by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest, like for deer.”

During Missouri’s inaugural elk season in 2020, all five hunters that were drawn harvested an elk. Learn more about their hunts in the Missouri Conservationist article, “Talking and Stalking: Inaugural class of elk hunters share lessons learned,” online at

Apply and check online

To apply for an elk permit, applicants must be Missouri residents at least 11 years of age by the first day of the hunt. Those selected to receive a permit must have their hunter-education certification or be exempt by age (born before Jan. 1, 1967) before they may purchase the permit. All applications must be completed online or at a local vendor.

Apply for the random elk-permit drawing May 1 - 31 online at, through MDC’s free MO Hunting app, through a permit vendor, or by calling 1-800-392-4115.

To be considered for the elk-hunting permits allocated to approved landowners, qualifying landowners that have at least 20 acres in Carter, Reynolds or Shannon counties are required to submit their property information through MDC’s Landowner Permit Application at before applying for an elk-hunting permit.

Results of the random elk-permit drawing will be available by July 1. Applicants can check to see if they have been selected for an elk-hunting permit at by logging into “Manage Your Account” and selecting “View My Special Hunt History.”

For more information on elk hunting in Missouri, visit

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

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