The deer, quail, rabbit and squirrel seasons have ended. Many Missouri hunters are on a two-month hunting break until the opening of spring turkey season on April 18. If you are already itching to start planning your turkey hunting, the 2011 spring turkey booklets are now at pemit vendors statewide and on the Department’s website. The photo of the strutting gobbler on the cover is enough to raise a turkey hunter’s pulse rate.
As was begun last year, the booklet contains a table of all of the conservation areas statewide where turkey hunting is allowed. Any special considerations for an area, such as non-toxic shot requirements, archery only, or managed hunts only are indicated on the chart. Managed spring turkey hunts are listed along with instructions on how to apply. The application period for those hunts continues through the end of February.
Spring turkey permits will go on sale on March 1, and hunters will then be able to purchase and print their permits from home computers, using the new e-permits procedure. Permits can still be purchased at permit vendors statewide, beginning on March 1, as was done in the past. The required “Be Safe” stickers for your shotgun receiver are also available at permit vendors. This year’s permits will use a notching system of month and day of harvest in place of the old removable transportation tags. The Telecheck system continues as before with the requirement to obtain your Telecheck confirmation number by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest.
Spring may be a month away and turkey season even farther off but that doesn’t mean we can’t start dreaming and planning. Get a copy of the spring turkey booklet for periodic perusing. It might just get you through this late winter gap in the hunting seasons.