2014 Regulations Update

Published on: Jan. 16, 2014

Missourians care about forests, fish, and wildlife. To ensure these resources are protected, the Conservation Department reviews the Wildlife Code of Missouri each year. In doing so, the Department considers hundreds of suggestions from hunters, anglers, and other citizens. Although every suggestion cannot be adopted, all are carefully reviewed. The following is a summary of key changes to the Wildlife Code. The changes will go into effect March 1 unless noted.

Missouri is a world-class place to hunt, fish, and experience nature. The following rules offer new opportunities to engage in outdoor activities.

  • Hunters who use historic methods to pursue game will have additional opportunities to do so in 2014. Crossbows and atlatls will be allowed during spring turkey season.
  • In the past, turkey hunting was prohibited on public fishing accesses less than 40 acres in size. Now, Department staff may recommend on a case-by-case basis turkey hunting on small fishing accesses.
  • Anglers who use historic methods to harvest fish will have more places to do so at Otter Slough Conservation Area. Carp, buffalo, suckers, and gar may be harvested using gigs, bows, crossbows, and atlatls throughout the area according to area regulations. Previously, only Otter Lake was open to these methods.

The Conservation Department strives to develop regulations that are precise, concise, and easy to understand. The annual review of the Wildlife Code offers an opportunity to simplify and clarify existing regulations.

  • If a person violates the Wildlife Code, the Conservation Commission may suspend, revoke, or deny permits or privileges to him or her. Before this happens, the person has the right to argue his or her case before the Commission. He or she also has the right to judicial review as provided by Missouri statutes. Several rules in the Wildlife Code of Missouri were amended to clarify these facts.
  • Hunters should be aware of new labeling requirements for harvested turkeys. Before a turkey can be possessed by anyone other than the taker, the turkey must be labeled with the taker’s name, address, Telecheck confirmation number, and, new for 2014, the date of harvest. The addition of the harvest date makes the labeling requirement for turkeys consistent with labeling requirements for other game species.

Many regulations are designed to sustain healthy plant and animal communities. Some rules regulate the harvest of certain species; others curtail the spread of invasive animals and plants.

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