The Missouri Conservation Commission approved an updated definition of a pistol/handgun from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for the Wildlife Code of Missouri at its May 28 meeting in Jefferson City.

The change provides a formal definition of handguns used for hunting during the alternative-methods portion of the fall deer-hunting season.

Originally called the “muzzleloader portion” of the fall firearms deer season, the portion was renamed “alternative methods” in 2012 and MDC added several hunting methods to provide greater opportunities for hunters. Under the Wildlife Code, methods allowed to take deer during the alternative-methods portion include muzzleloaders and archery methods, crossbows, atlatl, handguns, and air powered firearms .40 caliber or larger.

Long guns, such as rifles and shotguns that fire modern ammunition, are not allowed methods during the alternative methods portion, but are allowed during the other portions of the firearms deer-hunting season.

See more in the Boone County Journal