From the Missouri Department of Conservation
-- Turkey hunters have until Feb. 28 to apply for managed hunts during Missouri's 2011 spring turkey season.
Hunters can apply online for most of the hunts listed in the spring turkey hunting guide.
Missouri offers special spring turkey hunts at August A. Busch, Bois D'Arc, Caney Mountain and Weldon Spring conservation areas (CAs) and at Current River State Park and Smithville Lake. These hunting opportunities are allocated by random drawing.
All 19 managed turkey hunts are listed in the 2011 Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, which is available online at www.mdc.mo.gov/793.
The booklet has application instructions and details of 2011 turkey-hunting regulations. The print version will be available from hunting permit vendors statewide in mid-February.
In addition to 12 events open to all firearms turkey hunters, this year's offerings include managed hunts for archers, youths age 11 through 15 and for people with disabilities. All take place during the youth turkey season April 9 and 10 or the regular turkey season April 18 through May 8.
Hunters may apply individually or in groups of up to three for most hunts. Youth hunts accept applications only for single hunters or pairs. An individual applying as a member of a party has the same chance of being drawn as someone who applies alone. Successful applicants will receive notice of their hunt dates and other information by mail. Drawing results will be posted March 21 at www.mdc.mo.gov/hunt/turkey.
Applications can be made by phone for hunts at Smithville Lake at (816) 858-5718 and Bois D'Arc CA at (417)742-4361. Applications for other hunts are online at http://mdc4/applications/managedhunts/showhunts.aspx.
The number of hunters allowed to take part in each managed hunt ranges from 10 to 40. Participants in some hunts must complete a pre-hunt orientation. Consequently, hunters are urged not to apply for these hunts if they cannot attend the orientation.
The bag limit for managed hunts is one male turkey or turkey with visible beard. Turkeys taken during a managed hunt count toward the season limit of two. Hunters who shoot a turkey during a managed hunt before April 25 may not take another during the first week of the regular turkey season.
All-terrain vehicles are prohibited on areas with managed turkey hunts.
The 2011 Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet lists conservation areas where turkey hunting is allowed, and information about area regulations.
Missouri has some of the best turkey hunting in the nation, thanks to the combined efforts of MDC, citizen conservationists and landowners in a 25-year restoration program. Today Missouri's fall turkey population is between 500,000 and 600,000 birds. To learn more about wild turkeys in Missouri, visit http://bit.ly/g8Uclc.