This is because unlike traditional above-water lights that must be mounted to a boat, underwater lights are available as portable drop cords that can be used with a variety of water craft.
Hunters who enjoy pursuing game using primitive methods will have additional opportunities. Atlatls may now be used to take bullfrogs and green frogs with a hunting permit. They also may be used to take deer during the firearms deer season except for the muzzleloader portion. An atlatl is a rod or board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the hand, a dart 5 to 8 feet in length.
To allow trappers and hunters more opportunities to sell their furs at national and international auctions, the Resident Fur Handlers Permit will be rescinded July 1, 2011. On and after this date, hunters and trappers with valid permits that allow the taking of furbearers may possess, transport and sell furs throughout the year.
Trappers who use cable restraint devices should be aware of two changes. Cable restraints can now be used for the duration of the furbearer trapping season, which runs from Nov. 15 to Jan. 31. In addition, the Wildlife Code was rewritten to clarify that only coyotes, red foxes and gray foxes may be taken alive with cable restraints from Feb. 1 through the last day of February.
Some regulations are developed to foster public safety or the personal safety of individual hunters, trappers and anglers.
To protect the personal information of sportsmen and women, the Conservation Department now allows the collars of hunting dogs and most hunting, fishing and trapping equipment to be labeled with the owner’s name and address, or Conservation Number. Conservation Numbers, which can be found on all permits, do not reveal personal information, but they give conservation agents what is needed to identify who owns the dog or equipment.
The Conservation Department has more than 1,000 conservation areas in the state. To keep plant and animal communities healthy and provide quality hunting, fishing and other outdoor experiences, area managers sometimes request regulation changes. You can see all the regulations for a specific conservation area by searching the online Conservation Atlas at www.MissouriConservation.org/2930.
How Regulations Are Set
Each year, the Conservation Department’s Regulations Committee reviews the Wildlife Code to ensure Missouri’s forests, fish and wildlife are protected. Here’s how the process works.
- Changes proposed by the public and staff are brought to the committee to review.
- The committee researches the effects of the proposed regulation changes. Information reviewed may include costs to taxpayers, effects on wildlife populations, user group surveys, public comments and feasibility studies.
- When research shows a change would improve management of a natural resource or provide more opportunities for Missourians to enjoy nature, a proposed regulation change is sent to the Conservation Department’s director.
- If the director approves the change, the proposal is submitted to the Conservation Commission, four citizens appointed by the governor.
- If passed by the Commission, the proposed changes are filed with the secretary of state and published in the Missouri Register. A link to the Register can be found at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/4871.
- The filing begins a 30-day public comment period. If no comments are received, the final regulation is filed and becomes effective either 30 days after publication in the Missouri Code of State Regulations or on the date specified in the proposal.
- When comments are received, the proposal is reviewed. Based on the public’s comments, the Commission may decide to drop, modify or implement the regulation.