May 13, 2024

Playing the Odds: Applications Open for Public Land Elk Permits and Elk and Black Bear Permits for Residents in Arkansas and Missouri, Respectively.

Article Contact: Kent Keene,

Why It Matters: When game populations are at a point where limited, regulated hunting opportunities are necessary for their management, state fish and wildlife agencies often develop a lottery system in which sportsmen and women apply for a limited number of tags or permits. In utilizing a lottery, states are able to manage the demand for hunting opportunity when the supply for such opportunities is limited. In Arkansas and Missouri such opportunities exist for elk and, in the case of Missouri, black bear, where agency and sportsmen-led restoration and management efforts have created amazing opportunities for sportsmen and women.


  • Application periods for public land elk permits and elk and bear permits are currently open to residents in Arkansas and Missouri, respectively.
  • The availability of these opportunities highlights the success of state agency and sportsmen-led restoration and management efforts for these iconic species.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is proud to have supported the relatively recent efforts to open these opportunities in Missouri and continues to applaud the successful management of elk populations in Arkansas.

Beginning in May, hunters in the Show-Me and Natural States have the opportunity to apply for a limited number of permits to pursue iconic species that were once extirpated from much of the Midwest. In Missouri, resident hunters may apply through the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for a limited number of both elk and black bear hunting permits, while resident hunters in the Natural State may apply through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) for a limited number of public land elk permits.

The presence of both black bear and elk highlights the success of sportsmen-led wildlife restoration and management efforts, as carried out by their respective state fish and wildlife agency. Now relegated to approximately 10% of their historic North American range, elk are undoubtedly among the most iconic deer species in the world. While populations remained strong in many mountainous states, much of the Heartland saw elk disappear in response to the effects of European settlers. Likewise, black bears were once among the top predators throughout much of the nation. Today, hunters in both Missouri and Arkansas, along with several other states, can pursue these iconic species while continuing to support conservation through the “user pays – public benefits” American System of Conservation Funding.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is proud to have worked closely with partners and the MDC in support of the recently established elk and bear hunting seasons in the Show-Me State. Likewise, CSF continues to applaud the AGFC whose efforts continue to conserve both of these iconic species in the Natural State.

States Involved: /

View All news

Back TO All

In Season


Stay current with the latest news, policy activity and how to get involved.

Sign up for Newsletters


Donate today so we can keep fighting for tomorrow!

Donate Now