A Missouri Department of Conservation biologist says state residents have made it clear they want the first elk hunt in the state to be open to all Missourians, regardless of income level.
Aaron Hildreth says he heard that comment several times during three recent public meetings on the possibility of elk hunting returning to the state.
The Springfield News-Leader reports if the state's elk herd continues to grow, a hunt could occur as soon as 2020.
Hildreth said most people also want the hunt limited to Missourians, who pay an eighth-of-a-cent tax to support conservation. He says if the herd grows, non-residents perhaps could seek a permit in the future.
Elk were reintroduced in Missouri in 2011.
Hildreth says it could be a year before elk regulations are finalized.