JEFFERSON CITY Mo. – Turkey hunters have until Feb. 28 to apply for managed hunts during Missouri’s 2013 spring turkey season. A list of all 19 managed turkey hunts and application instructions are available at the Missouri Department Conservation (MDC) website, mdc.mo.gov/node/11252.
In addition to 10 hunts open to all firearms turkey hunters, this year’s offerings include a managed hunt for archers, seven hunts for youths ages 11 through 15, and one hunt for people with disabilities. Managed hunts will take place during the youth turkey season, April 6 and 7, or the regular turkey season, April 15 through May 5.
Hunters may apply individually or in groups of up to three for most hunts. Youth hunts accept applications only for single hunters or pairs. An individual applying as a member of a party has the same chance of being drawn as someone who applies alone. Successful applicants will receive notice of their hunt dates and other information by mail. Drawing results will be posted March 15 through May 5 at mdc.mo.gov/node/11788
Participation in managed turkey hunts is free. Hunters may apply for only one hunt.
Participants in some hunts must complete a pre-hunt orientation. Hunters should not apply for these hunts if they cannot attend the orientation.
The bag limit for managed hunts is one male turkey or turkey with visible beard. Turkeys taken during a managed hunt count toward the season limit of two. Hunters who shoot a turkey during a managed hunt before April 23 may not take another turkey during the first week of the regular turkey season. All-terrain vehicles are prohibited on areas with managed turkey hunts.
MDC uses managed hunts to provide hunting opportunities in areas where hunting under normal regulations is not practical. For example, conservation areas in urban areas offer excellent opportunities for hunting deer and turkey. However, opening them to the large number of hunters who live nearby would lead to crowding, and that would reduce the quality of hunting experiences and create safety problems. It also would result in shooting too many deer or turkeys, and hunting opportunities would quickly disappear. To avoid such problems, MDC holds drawings and carefully regulates how many people can hunt these areas and how many deer or turkeys they shoot.