Rule changes that appear in the 1999 Wildlife Code, which is available now, become effective March 1, 1999, and are highlighted in this summary. Hunters, anglers and trappers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with rule changes before venturing afield.
Several fishing rule changes are being established in 1999.
The opening date of the black bass season in streams in a portion of the state is the fourth Saturday in May. This regulation change eliminates confusion about whether reference to Memorial Day (the traditional opening weekend) means the traditional date or the official observance date of the holiday.
The location of the no-fishing zone on the Osage River and Lake of the Ozarks is changed to 525 feet on the left descending bank and 977 feet on the right descending bank below Truman Dam. This is to further restrict the harvest of large catfish in this area.
A regulation change opens significant tributaries of the Meramec and Current River trout special management areas to fishing with all lures and baits (fishing rules on special trout areas on the two rivers limit tackle to artificial lures and flies so more fish survive after hooking and release).
There is a new authorization for people with disabilities to fish by methods not described in the Wildlife Code if the disability prevents fishing by prescribed methods.
The closing date of the winter snagging, snaring and grabbing season for fish will be aligned with the closing date of the gigging season. Effective March 1, 1999, the ending date of the seasons will become January 31.
Landowners who have ponds that were stocked with fish by the Conservation Department will be allowed to stock other species of fish in those ponds. A list of the fish species allowed appears in the Wildlife Code.
A daily tag at Montauk, Bennett Spring and Roaring River state parks and Maramec Spring Park, where trout are stocked daily, is $3; the tag is $2 for anglers 15 years of age and younger. A winter no-creel trout permit is $5.
A significant change allows resident and non-resident deer hunters to use either a modern firearm or a muzzleloading firearm on a single permit. Hunters will no longer be required to choose one type of firearm over the other prior to the season. The December portion of the firearms deer season will still require use of a muzzleloader, but the change provides nine days of additional hunting opportunity during December for hunters who previously had elected to hunt with modern firearms during the firearms deer season.
An amendment extends the amount of time a hunter may possess and store legally taken or acquired deer. Deer left for processing at a commercial processing plant shall be claimed by the owner by May 1 following the season when taken.
Youngsters under the age of 12 will be allowed to purchase a Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit and to hunt deer and turkeys while under the direct supervision of a licensed, hunter education-certified, adult hunter. Previously, young people under 11 years of age were not allowed to purchase firearms deer and turkey hunting permits. Youth permit buyers are not required to display a hunter education certification card.
An amendment establishes resident and non-resident managed deer hunting permits. These permits are used for managed hunts that take place at special times or in areas (parks or refuges, etc.) not normally open to hunting.
The opening date of the squirrel season is the fourth Saturday in May. This regulation eliminates confusion about whether reference to Memorial Day (the traditional opening weekend) means the traditional date or the official observance date of the holiday.
An amendment closes the gray partridge hunting season, because partridge populations are insufficient to sustain a hunting season.
For the 1999 spring turkey season, immediately after harvest hunters must notch their permit to invalidate it, then tag the bird with the yellow transportation tag supplied when the permit was purchased.
[Web Note: The above paragraph is a correction to a statement in the printed edition of the Conservationist Magazine that stated that the tag did not need to be notched and served as a transportation tag]
Bobcats may be hunted in all or portions of 24 additional counties. This same amendment provides coyote hunters additional opportunities to pursue coyotes at night during a time of year (prior to and including spring turkey season) conducive to dog training activities.
Amendments open all or portions of 24 additional counties to bobcat harvest and allow traps to be set beginning at midnight of opening day-November 20-rather than at sunrise that day.
Permits- A Missouri Conservation Heritage Card or a Social Security number are required to purchase a permit. A person may use another person's Missouri Conservation Heritage Card to purchase a permit on their behalf.
Prices for many permits will change in 1999, while others either remain the same or decrease (see the table on page 27). For Missouri residents, the combined permit fee adjustments represent a 12 percent increase over 1998 prices, while nonresident permits will increase by approximately 22 percent overall. The increase in nonresident permit fees reflects the need to maintain parity with surrounding states with respect to what Missouri sportsmen are charged for nonresident permits in other states.
The increased permit revenues are needed to offset increased operational costs and enhance programs that provide direct benefits to Missouri hunters and anglers. It is unfortunate that prices for goods and services must be increased at times, and it would be much easier for all of us if the cost of food, cars, housing, utilities, clothing and other necessities of life would remain constant. However, this is not the case.
For deer and turkey hunting permits in particular, the fee increases for 1999 reflect additional costs associated with expanded season opportunities, such as the recent addition of a third week to the spring turkey hunting season. The fee for the fall turkey hunting permit will not change. Likewise, consolidation of the muzzleloading and firearms deer hunting permits into a single firearms permit for 1999 provides nine days of additional hunting opportunity during December for hunters who previously had elected to hunt with modern firearms.
Although the firearms deer hunting permit increases to $15 for 1999, the cost for the first bonus deer permit remains the same at $11, while the cost for the second bonus deer permit was decreased to $7. The net result is that, for hunters who purchase a firearms deer hunting permit and two bonus permits in 1999, the total cost of the permits ($33) remains unchanged from 1998.
Resident immigrants who possess the proper documentation from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service may receive resident permit privileges-even though not citizens-provided they otherwise meet Missouri residency requirements.
An amendment adds a new section that authorizes wildlife breeders to sell dressed and processed quail, pheasants, partridges and game bird eggs at retail and to commercial establishments. An additional amendment allows dressed and processed quail, including bobwhite quail, to be bought, sold and possessed by commercial establishments when possession is accompanied by a valid invoice or bill of sale.
There will be a longer period for review of field and retriever trial permits by the Conservation Department. The Conservation Department will allow additional field trial days for raccoon hunters-at night during or five days prior to the spring turkey hunting season.
For additional information about regulations and particularly authorized public use activities on conservation areas, contact your nearest Conservation Department office. See page 13 for a list of offices and phone numbers.
Public comments about any regulations are always welcome. Written comments and suggestions should be directed to the Regulations Committee, Missouri Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City MO 65102-0180.
To speed the purchase of permits, Missouri Conservation Heritage Cards are available for $2. These cards store pertinent permit information, including hunter education certification, on a magnetic strip (similar to a credit card). Request an application at any permit vendor or Conservation Department office, or write the Missouri Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180.
The Conservation Department's worldwide web home page address is <http://www.mdc.mo.gov/>.
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