Ask the Ombudsman
Q: Can a person with a felony conviction hunt with a shotgun or rifle?
A: The short answer is, if the person has served time or had a suspended execution of sentence, probably not. There are laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and ammunition for those termed “prohibited persons” by federal statute. Among those who are deemed prohibited persons are individuals convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. For a complete list of prohibited persons, or for answers to questions on this topic, please contact your local Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or the Missouri Attorney General offices or visit their Web sites respectively.
While it may be unlawful for a prohibited person to possess a firearm or ammunition, he or she may be able to hunt by means other than firearms. Chapter 7 of the Wildlife Code provides for bow, crossbow, slingshot, atlatl and cage-type trap as methods for hunting.
A hunting permit should be available to anyone who meets the requirements found in Chapter 5 of the Wildlife Code, unless the person has had his or her hunting privilege revoked. Reasons for privilege revocation are a serious wildlife code violation, multiple code violations, failure to pay child support or injuring someone else in a hunting accident. The Wildlife Code is online. Printed versions are available at permit vendors statewide.
Ombudsman Ken Drenon will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Conservation Department programs. Write him at P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at Ken.Drenon@mdc.mo.gov.
Where to find fishing and hunting regulations for Conservation Areas.
Have you ever wondered how to find fishing and hunting regulations for a Conservation Area (CA)? Some areas, such as August A. Busch Memorial CA, have some regulations that differ from the standard statewide regulations listed in the Wildlife Code.
Special regulations for CAs can be found in a number of places. Large areas usually have their own brochure with regulations and a map of the area. Brochures are available at area headquarters or area parking lots. You can also find area brochures through our online atlas. Search the online atlas by a specific CA name or by county. Once you’ve located the area you want, click on “area brochure” for a copy of area regulations.
Some special regulations are also listed in A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations. This booklet is published annually and is available at permit vendors. A detailed list of CAs and their regulations is available on the Missouri Secretary of State Web site. Chapters 11 and 12 give rules for the Department of Conservation’s owned and leased areas.
There are hundreds of CAs in the state that provide a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. Take some time to find out the regulations for the areas you would like to visit.
Dave Guntli is the conservation agent for St. Charles County, which is in the St. Louis region. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office.
The article Young Hunter Safety, written by Bev Chamberlain, reported that Columbia was the first Missouri city to conduct a citizen-supported youth hunter safety clinic. The concept for youth hunter safety clinics is credited to outdoor writer James A. O. Crowe of the Detroit News. Crowe’s clinics were the source of many of the ideas proposed by David Chamberlain, Midwest field representative for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, to the editor-publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune, Henry J. Waters III. Waters decided to sponsor the clinic, and Columbia citizens provided the manpower. The clinic was held Oct. 31 with the assistance of approximately 100 citizen volunteers. Areas of instruction included shooting skills, firearm maintenance and sportsperson-farmer relations.—Contributed by the Circulation staff
Behind the Code
What’s in your bag? Learn bag limits for local waters.
by Tom Cwynar
Bag limits are the number of fish anglers can legally keep in one day. The Department of Conservation sets statewide daily bag limits for most species of game fish.
Many public fishing areas, however, have bag limits that differ from the statewide bag limits. These regulations are posted at water access sites and at area headquarters.
Special area regulations for Missouri’s large reservoirs and rivers and streams are also found in the Wildlife Code and in A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, which is published annually and is available wherever you buy your fishing permits. You can also find a PDF copy of the fishing regulations summary on the Department’s Web site.
Area bulletin boards and fishing regulations summaries make important reading, because anglers are responsible for knowing and following the rules that apply to the waters they are fishing. If in doubt, call the regional office for specific information about an area.
According to Fisheries Programs Supervisor Mike Kruse, anglers don’t always opt to take their bag limit for a species during an outing. However, the presence of bag limits serves to protect fish populations on those occasions when the fish are vulnerable to overexploitation.
Bag limits aren’t meant to be targets. Take only the fish you know you can use and gently release the rest.