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Published on: Jan. 18, 2012

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Missourians care deeply about our state’s forests, fish and wildlife. To ensure these resources are protected, the Conservation Department’s Regulations Committee reviews the Wildlife Code of Missouri each year. In doing so, the Committee considers hundreds of suggestions from hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Although every suggestion cannot be adopted, all are carefully reviewed. The following is a summary of key changes to the Wildlife Code. For the complete Wildlife Code, visit the link listed below. Most changes will take effect March 1, 2012, unless noted. Each is a reflection of the Department’s commitment to work with you and for you to sustain healthy plant and animal communities, increase opportunities for Missourians to experience nature, and promote public safety.

Many regulations are designed to sustain healthy plant and animal communities. Some rules involve harvest regulations; others are set to curtail the spread of invasive plants and animals that threaten Missouri’s native species.

  • To provide hunters more options during the muzzleloader portion of the firearms deer season, additional hunting methods will be allowed.
  • Didymo, or rock snot, is a single-celled alga that forms thick, slimy mats in cold-water streams. Left unchecked, didymo can blanket entire stretches of water, reducing food for fish such as trout, degrading water quality and making it impossible to fish. Didymo can spread by hitching rides in the porous soles of waders and fishing footwear. Once it gains a toehold, it’s nearly impossible to eradicate. To keep didymo at bay, waders or footwear that have porous soles of felted, matted or woven fibrous material have been banned at trout parks and in certain trout streams.
  • Effective March 1, waders or footwear that have porous soles are banned at trout partks and in certain trout streams in order to stop the spread of didymo. Missouri is a world-class place to hunt, trap, fish and experience nature. The following regulation changes increase opportunities for Missourians to engage in these activities.
  • To provide hunters and trappers more opportunities to sell their furs, the Resident Fur Handlers Permit was rescinded on July 1, 2011. Now, people with a valid permit to hunt or trap may possess, transport and sell furs throughout the year.
  • Hunters with developmental disabilities who have taken a hunter-education course but failed to pass the certification tests now may purchase firearms permits. However, they must carry a physician’s statement as proof of their disability and hunt in the immediate presence of a properly licensed hunter age 18 or older who is hunter-education certified or was born before Jan. 1, 1967.
  • Members of the U.S. military currently assigned as patients to Warrior Transition Brigades, Warrior Transition Units or military medical centers now may take wildlife (except deer, turkey and migratory birds) and fish (except trout) without a permit. They may also purchase resident turkey and deer permits regardless of where they live.
  • In the past, hunters could not use crossbows or firearms to hunt frogs on conservation areas but could use these methods to take frogs on non-Department lands. Beginning with the 2012 frog season, which starts at sunset on June 30, bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken on conservation areas using crossbows, pellet guns and .22 caliber or smaller rimfire rifles or pistols.
  • All-day dove hunting will be offered at August A. Busch Memorial, Bois D’Arc, Eagle Bluffs, Lake Paho, Longan, Marais Temps Clair, Otter Slough, Ten Mile Pond, White River Trace and White Memorial conservation areas. Only partial- day dove hunting was allowed at these 10 areas previously.
  • Hunters who enjoy pursuing game using primitive methods will have additional opportunities in 2012. Atlatls may be used during the fall archery deer and turkey seasons. An atlatl is a rod or board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the hand, a 5- to 8-foot-long dart.
  • To provide hunters more options during the muzzleloader portion of the firearms deer season, additional hunting methods will be allowed. These include archery methods, crossbows, atlatls, handguns firing expanding-type centerfire ammunition, and air-powered guns, .40 caliber or larger, that are charged only from an external high-compression power source.
  • According to new Wildlife Code regulation changes, bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken on conservation areas using crossbows, pellet guns and .22 caliber or smaller rimfire rifles or pistols, beginning at sunset on June 30.

How Regulations Are Set

According to new Wildlife Code regulation changes, bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken on conservation areas using crossbows, pellet guns and .22 caliber or smaller rimfire rifles or pistols, beginning at sunset on June 30.

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.

  1. Changes proposed by the public and staff are brought to the Committee to review.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. If the director approves the change, the proposal is submitted to the Conservation Commission, four citizens appointed by the governor.
  5. 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.
  6. Publication of proposed changes in the Missouri Register 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.
  7. 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.

 

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