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story.lead_photo.caption Couretsy of Missouri Department of ConservationHunter Joe Benthall is pictured with the bull elk he harvested Dec. 12, 2020, in Shannon County. Benthall harvested the first elk of Missouri’s inaugural hunt after reintroducing them nearly a decade ago.

The Missouri Conservation Commission approved Missouri's second elk-hunting season Thursday.

The commission approved the Missouri Department of Conservation's recommendation of issuing five permits for hunting bull elk for the 2021 season, according to an MDC news release.

At least one permit will be for qualifying area landowners with the remainder for the general public.

Missouri's second elk season comes after years of restoration efforts of the native species by MDC and partners including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

During last year's inaugural elk season, all five hunters who were drawn were able to take an elk.

MDC has designated a nine-day archery portion from Oct. 16-24 and a nine-day firearms portion from 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 the state.

"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," MDC elk and deer biologist Aaron Hildreth said in the department's news release.

MDC will require a $10 application fee for all applicants. Those selected 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.

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 drawing May 1-31 at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, through MDC's MO Hunting app, through a permit vendor, or by calling 1-800-392-4115.

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

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