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Missouri Wildlife Code changes take effect July 1

From the Missouri Department of Conservation

-- Changes to Missouri’s Wildlife Code scheduled to go into effect July 1 will affect the availability and cost of youth and nonresident permits.  Other changes will affect areas where the antler-point restriction is in effect, urban deer hunting zones, the timing of the antlerless and muzzleloader portions of firearms deer season and the portion of southeast Missouri where antlerless deer permits may be used.

The Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit, which has been around since 1999, will not be sold after June 30. The $17 permit entitles holders age 6 through 15 to take one turkey in the spring and one in the fall and one deer during any firearms deer hunting season segment.

The Youth Antlerless Deer Hunting Permit also is being discontinued July 1.

Instead, young hunters – whether residents or nonresidents – will be able to buy regular firearms deer hunting permits at half the price paid by adult Missouri residents. Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permits purchased during the 2009 spring turkey season will remain valid for the fall firearms deer and turkey seasons.

The order of the muzzleloader and antlerless portions of firearms deer season is reversed this year, with the antlerless portion taking place Nov. 25 through Dec. 6, and the muzzleloader portion running from Dec. 19 through 29. The Conservation Commission changed the timing of these events at the request of hunters.

Also new this year is a requirement that youths be at least 6 years old to receive landowner permits. Reduced-cost nonresident landowner deer and turkey hunting permits are no longer available, and prices for nonresident hunting and fishing permits have increased.

Another set of changes is aimed at bringing consistency to requirements for mentors of firearms hunters who have not completed hunter education. Until this year, hunters as young as 17 could serve as mentors under the requirements for some permits, while other permits required 21-year-old mentors. In certain circumstance, mentors faced no age restrictions.

This year when mentoring a firearms hunter who is not hunter-education certified and not hunting on a landowner permit, all mentors, including landowners on their own land, must be at least 18 years old and hunter-education certified unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967.  

Qualifying nonresident students may purchase resident permits this year, except lifetime permits.

New areas with the antler-point restriction include Ste. Genevieve County and the portions of Cass and Jefferson counties not included in the new urban deer zones. The antler-point restriction no longer applies to the portion of northeastern Franklin County now in the Urban Zone.

Archery antlerless deer permits now may be used in Cape Girardeau County, and qualifying air-powered guns may be used during firearms managed deer hunts.

Finally, deer hunting methods and seasons have been changed on some conservation areas in an effort to improve game management and hunting quality. Details of this and other regulation changes are explained in the 2009 Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations and the 2009 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations & Information booklet. These publications are available in July wherever hunting permits are sold or at www.missouriconservation.org.  –By Jim Low

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