by Jim Low
As of March 1, you can buy most hunting and fishing permits at home, using the new e-Permits system. The system allows you to print permits on your computer printer and use them immediately. You will not need a color printer to print permits.
All sport fishing and hunting permits are available through e-Permits. So are trapping permits and the Apprentice Hunter Authorization. They still look like permits and are about the same size as in the past. Commercial permits and lifetime permits are available from MDC’s Central Office, 573-751-4115.
The change to e-Permits is part of MDC’s continuing effort to improve services and keep permit costs low in spite of declining revenues. Hunters and anglers now can buy permits online 24/7, anywhere they have access to a computer and printer. If they prefer to buy permits from vendors, as they always have, that option remains open to them. They also can buy permits by calling toll-free 1-800-392-4115.
Vendors will continue to print permits on existing material until July 2010. Vendors will continue to use the old, Point-of-Sale permit system until July 2012, when they will have the option of moving to the new all-online system. Existing permits will be phased out between July 2012 and July 2013. After that, permits purchased from vendors will be on regular printer paper.
Missourians have been able to buy permits online since 2002. However, under the old online system, buyers received only confirmation at the time of purchase. They used this confirmation while waiting to receive the actual permits through the mail, which could take up to two weeks. This was no help to turkey and deer hunters, who need actual permits to tag game. With e-Permits, turkey and deer hunters can buy permits, print them and use them immediately.
Deer and turkey tagging procedures have changed with the change to e-Permits. The main difference is that permits no longer include a removable transportation tag. Instead, the permit itself is the transportation tag. Deer and turkey permits have months printed along one edge and dates on another edge. Hunters will notch the month and day as part of recording their harvested game and attach the permit to the animal. They will continue to check harvested animals through the Telecheck system.
E-Permits are not printed on adhesive-backed material, so hunters will need to provide a means of attaching them to harvested game. Hunters are encouraged to put e-Permits inside zipper-type sandwich bags and attach them to deer or turkeys with string, twist-ties, wire, plastic cable ties or tape. Protecting paper permits in this way will keep them readable and make it easier to write confirmation numbers on them when Telechecking deer and turkeys. You also can print extra copies of permits in case one gets lost or ruined. As always, permits may not be shared and additional copies of a permit DO NOT provide additional valid permits for the buyer or others to use.
The change to e-Permits will reduce costs as MDC phases out software, hardware and special permit material used in the old, Point-of-Sale permit system. When fully implemented, e-Permits will reduce the cost of issuing permits by approximately $500,000 annually.
Low permit cost is one reason the Show-Me State is a great place to hunt and fish. Missouri residents pay $12 for an annual fishing permit, while residents in the eight neighboring states pay an average of $20.80 for the same privileges. Missouri’s $17 Resident Any-Deer Permit is a fantastic bargain compared to the average of $46.63 for equivalent privileges in surrounding states. More information about e-Permits is available at mdc.mo.gov/node/10900.
Elk that will form the nucleus of Missouri’s restored elk herd are in a holding pen in Bell County, Ky., undergoing veterinary testing and treatment. This year’s trapping effort netted a good mix of cows and young bulls. Nearly all of the mature cows captured this year are expected to be pregnant. State and federal officials conducted the first round of veterinary testing in January. The elk received injections to kill internal and external parasites. Veterinarians administered a tuberculosis skin test and drew blood for other disease testing. The elk got ear tags and microchip identification tags. After a three-month quarantine period, the elk will be brought to a holding pen at Peck Ranch Conservation Area. They will get GPS collars when they arrive in Missouri so the MDC can monitor their movements. Spending time in the pen at Peck Ranch will give the elk time to get used to their new surroundings before they are released into the 346-square-mile elk restoration zone in parts of Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties. To read regular updates on elk restoration, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/11350.
April is No MOre Trash month, and the Conservation and Transportation departments are using the event to encourage people to clean up roadsides, parks, rivers and streams. It isn’t just about picking up litter, but also about hosting events to teach how to prevent litter from happening in the first place. More than 21,000 volunteers removed more than 128,000 bags of trash and many more truckloads of debris from public areas last April. With your help, we can do even more this year. Anyone can hold a No MOre Trash Bash event and get a free lapel pin for their efforts. Besides recognition, volunteers get exercise, fresh air and cleaner places to work, live and play. For more information or to report your trash-busting accomplishments, visit nomoretrash.org.
Over the past 25 years, the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has created millions of acres of upland and wetland wildlife habitat by taking highly erodible farmland temporarily out of production. From March 14 through April 15, landowners will have a chance to enroll land in CRP, benefitting quail, pheasants, ducks, deer, turkeys and a wide array of nongame wildlife. This includes cropland that is currently not in CRP, as well as existing CRP contracts that expire September 30, 2011. CRP rental rates have improved, giving landowners an extra incentive to enroll acreage. Check with your USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office to learn the new soil rental rate.
In addition, FSA offices accept applications for some high priority practices anytime through their Continuous Conservation Reserve Program. Landowners can enroll field borders and areas around sensitive streams and ponds in practices such as CP21 Filter Strip, CP22 Riparian Forest Buffer and CP33 Habitat Buffer for Upland Birds. You still receive annual payments for enrolling field edges in these practices. The payments actually can be higher, thanks to sign-up incentives. In some cases, you also can receive up to a 90-percent cost share to establish approved vegetation.
A study by the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute showed that farmers came out ahead when they enrolled cropfield edges into Continuous CRP practices such as CP33. For a complete report visit: fapri.missouri.edu.
Other USDA programs, administered by NRCS, such as the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program and the Environmental Quality Incentive Program help landowners develop better grazing systems and wildlife habitat. In Missouri, these programs provide funds for installing conservation practices. Contact your NRCS Office for more information.
Cold-loving brown and rainbow trout are biting right now in dozens of places around Missouri. Trout fishing begins March at Missouri’s four trout parks. MDC stocks trout in ponds for winter fishing at lakes in St. Charles, St. Louis and Jackson counties, St. Louis City, Ballwin, Ferguson, Jennings, Kirkwood, Overland, Kansas City, Liberty, Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Joseph, Jackson, Kirksville, Mexico and Sedalia. Want a wilder trout adventure? Try one of Missouri’s 17 red, white, and blue ribbon trout streams or Lake Taneycomo, home of the state-record brown trout (28 pounds, 12 ounces!). For more information, see pages 16 through 20 of the 2011 Summary of Fishing Regulations, available at permit vendors statewide or at mdc.mo.gov/node/3104.
This year, the Department will consider duck season dates for the next five years. Zone boundaries for the 2011 through 2015 hunting seasons also will be set this year. First, however, we want to hear from duck hunters at the following Duck Season Dates and Zone Boundaries Workshops. The workshops will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Details are available by calling the number listed for each workshop.
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