Ask the Ombudsman
Q: Why is the Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit no longer available?
A: The Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit led to confusion, especially regarding the youth portions of the firearms deer season and also the youth spring turkey season. The permit is no longer available as of July 1, 2009, but any Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permits purchased for the 2009 spring turkey season will be valid for the 2009 fall deer and turkey seasons (through Jan. 3, 2010). In place of the youth permit, resident and non-resident youth, ages 6 through 15, can now purchase deer and turkey permits for half the cost of resident permits. The stricter bag limits imposed under the youth permit are replaced by the limits for the resident permits.
Q: What has happened to all of the songbirds around my feeders? I’m not seeing them around like I did earlier in the year.
A: There are several reasons why you may be noticing fewer birds in early October. Many migratory species that spend the summer in Missouri have moved south for the winter. Birds that summer to the north but move south into Missouri for the winter have not yet arrived in great numbers. With a few strong cold fronts, many of those birds will reach Missouri. There is also some sorting of ranges among our resident birds that occurs at this time of year. The cardinals you see in your yard in the summer are often not the same cardinals you will see in the winter. By the end of October, the number of birds around your feeder should increase.
Ombudsman Tim Smith will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Department of Conservation programs. Write him at PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at Ombudsman@mdc.mo.gov.
Share the joy of the hunting season with a youth.
“Dad, how big is he?”
“Kyle, don’t move, he is pretty close.”
A few tense seconds go by and boom! My Dad’s 30–06 hits its mark on the six-point buck. The buck ran only a few yards before it went down. W
e waited a few minutes before approaching the deer. My father tagged the deer and then he started field-dressing it. At that point all I could think about was the excitement and thrill my father and I had on that cool November opening day of deer season. From that day on I have been hooked on deer hunting.
It has been 17 years since that hunt, and I can remember every detail. Although I didn’t harvest that six-point buck, I knew from that day on I wanted to be a hunter. I started learning the ins and outs of all types of hunting. As I grew older, hunting became a very important part of my life.
It is a great feeling to go out during youth and regular firearms deer season and see experienced hunters showing our youth the pleasures of hunting. It has been a long time since my first deer hunt. The memories I made with my dad and family will stay with me forever, just as they will for any youth hunter. This year I encourage every veteran hunter to share the thrill of deer hunting by taking a youth to the woods this deer season.
Kyle Booth is the conservation agent for Pemiscot County, which is in the Southeast Region. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office.