Deer Management

Deer Management 

In August 2020, the Des Peres Board of Aldermen adopted legislation the allow trained archery hunters to hunt deer within city limits with a permit from the Des Peres Public Safety Department. An ordinance prohibiting the supplemental feeding of deer was also enacted in 2019 alongside a request to the Missouri Department of Conservation seeking permission to host a managed archery hunt in Phantom Forest and Bittersweet Woods in 2020. 

All three measures can be viewed in their entirety below: 
Ordinance Legalizing Archery Hunting of Deer
Ordinance Prohibiting the Supplemental Feeding of Wildlife and Deer
Resolution Seeking Permission to Host a Managed Archery Hunt 

Obtaining Permission to Bow Hunt


The Des Peres Department of Public Safety is responsible for maintaining all records, permits and files for the ordinance allowing archery hunting of deer. Effective November 25, 2020, bow hunting shall be permitted within the city limits of Des Peres provided hunters have successfully completed the required application process as defined below. 

2020 Archery Season & Hunting Requirements


The 2020 bow hunting season starts on September 15 and concludes January 15 with a break between November 13 and November 25. However, the City will not issue permits until hunting seasons restarts on November 25 to allow sufficient time for Public Safety to develop the necessary forms and internal procedures to govern the program. Those forms are now available below. 

To obtain permission to hunt, property owners must satisfy a number of requirements including but not limited to completing a Notification of Intent to Hunt application from Public Safety, providing a certificate of completion of an approved archery hunter safety course, and notifying in writing all contiguous properties of the planned hunt. Additionally, the ordinance does not authorize hunts on tracts of land under two acres unless adjacent property owners combine their parcels to form at least two acres.

All hunters are required to hunt from an elevated position at least 10 feet high that faces the interior of the property, and arrows must be shot at a downward angle to prevent any arrow from landing closer than 25 feet from a side or rear property line and 75 feet from a front yard property line. It is unlawful for a person to discharge an archery device within 30 yards of any dwelling or vehicle without express authority. Likewise, it is unlawful for any archery device to be discharged within 200 yards of a church, school, or playground unless the owner of such property has provided express written consent to such discharges of closer proximity at specified dates and time periods.

How to Apply 

Des Peres property owners seeking permission to host an archery hunt must complete the following steps: 
  1. Submit electronically your Intent to Hunt to initiate the process. All households participating the hunt must individually submit applications for each property. From there, a member of the Department of Public Safety will make contact with each applicant, inspect the hunting location(s) for compliance with the ordinance, ensure that all hunters possess the mandatory credentials, and collect all the necessary forms. 
  2. Distribute to all neighboring properties (sharing a common property line not separated by a street) the Contiguous Neighbor Notification & Deer Retrieval Permission Form. Those forms must then be submitted to the Department of Public Safety for review and approval. 
  3. Pending completion of the above requirements, your assigned contact with the Department of Public Safety will issue a permit to allow archery hunting on the premises for a prescribed period to which all authorized hunters must carry at all times. 
For questions about all-things deer management in Des Peres including guidance for pursuing an archery permit, please contact Lieutenant John Preuss at 314-835-6234 or by email at jpreuss@desperesmo.org.