The Missouri Department of Conservation has approved an initial plan to offer elk hunting in Missouri.

It’s asking for public comment through August 31.

It could start as early as next year, with separate times for archery and firearms seasons.

Hunting would not be allowed in the Peck Ranch Conservation Area.

Missouri has about 175 elk in Carter, Reynolds, and Shannon counties.

The conservation department wants a herd of at least 200 animals before it allows hunting to begin.

The MDC has not decided how many permits would be awarded.

But the hunting season would be limited to Missouri residents.

The permits would be assigned through a random lottery.

Click here to learn more about the proposal.