1996 Wildlife Code Changes

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Published on: Jan. 2, 1996

Last revision: Oct. 20, 2010

pike has been removed and the length limit for muskellunge has been extended from 30 to 36 inches. Paddlefish may not now be possessed from the James River from below Lake Springfield Dam to the Hwy. 160 bridge.

  • For nongame species of fish, legal methods include gig, longbow, crossbow, snaring, snagging, grabbing and falconry with a limit of 20 in the aggregate.
  • Fish included in this category may be taken by gig from streams and impoundments between sunrise and midnight from September 15 to January 31, and from impounded waters between sunrise and sunset throughout the remainder of the year.
  • Fish that can be collected and used as live bait are listed in the Wildlife Code. All bluegill, green sunfish and bullheads more than 5 inches in total length and other fish more than 12 inches in total length must be released by anglers collecting live bait. Up to five mussels and clams may be collected daily and used for live bait. Asiatic clams may be taken and possessed in any number.
  • Methods for frogging have been extended to include hand, handnet, gig, longbow, trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, snagging, snaring or grabbing, and an artificial light may be used. Methods for catching turtles have been similarly extended, but shooting turtles with firearms is prohibited except as provided in the Wildlife Code.

    • It is no longer legal to shine a spotlight on any wildlife during the hours of darkness, except raccoons or other furbearing animals when treed with the aid of dogs. This regulation prohibits casual spotlighting at night that is not associated with legal, night hunting for animals like raccoons. The rule does not apply to use of a light by a landowner or lessee (as defined in the Wildlife Code) on property under his or her control.
    • Archers may use scopes and quickpoint sights in addition to illuminated sights. The requirement that hunters training dogs during closed hunting seasons may not carry firearms has been clarified. Squirrels have been added with rabbits as animals that can be taken in cage-type traps during open hunting seasons, and the squirrel hunting season has been extended - from the Saturday before Memorial Day to January 15, with a daily limit of six squirrels.
    • The spring wild turkey season will now begin annually on the Monday closest to April 21 and be 14 days in length. The fall firearms wild turkey season will begin annually on the second Monday in October and be 14 days in length. In both spring and fall seasons, only one turkey may be taken during the first seven days of the season, and only one turkey may be taken per week. Hunters may not carry shotshells loaded with shot larger than No. 4 when hunting turkeys. The fall archery deer and turkey season has been extended to January 15.
    • Other regulations set out the use of traps and snares by trappers. Otters have been added to the list of animals that can be trapped during the1996 season. Certain watershed areas where beaver trapping was prohibited have been opened in 1996. Regulations for the operation of fee hunting areas have been clarified. A youngster under the age of 15 may hunt on such areas without permit when accompanied by a properly licensed adult hunter. Rules also establish a permit and requirements for operation of hound running areas for training hounds.
    • Other regulation changes clarify the use of documents in lieu of a commercial permit; the consignment of pelts or carcasses by fur buyers and dealers for storage or processing; and the need for a bill of sale by persons who receive or purchase deer heads or deer antlers still attached to the skull plate.
    • A loophole in the possession and trade of sublegal size mussel shells and species of mussels not open to harvest in Missouri has been closed, and the prohibition of direct physical contact between confined wildlife and the public has been clarified.


    • For additional information on regulations contact your nearest Conservation Department office.
    • The Department of Conservation welcomes all public comment as it develops new regulations or modifies existing ones. Written comments should be directed to the Regulations Committee, Missouri Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City 65102 0180.
    • You can now purchase a permit by telephone, with the use of a Visa or Mastercard, and verify hunter education status, by calling the Conservation Department central office at (573) 751-4115 or, until June 30, (314) 751-4115.
    • Heritage cards, which speed the purchase of permits, are on sale for $2. The cards store permit information, including hunter education certification, on a magnetic strip, similar to a credit card. Request an application at a Conservation Department office, nature center or service center, or write to Missouri Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City 65102-0180.


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