Nature Lab

By Bonnie Chasteen | November 1, 2019
From Missouri Conservationist: November 2019

Each month, we highlight research MDC uses to improve fish, forest, and wildlife management.


Digital Tools

When Agent Sarah Foran needs to check a hunter’s permit, all she has to do is scan it with her smartphone.

“Conservation agents across Missouri have embraced technology that allows us to gather information at our fingertips,” she said.

Laptop computers and smartphones have replaced the desktop computers and home office phones of old. Gone are the days of agents returning home after patrolling to listen to and return messages and check emails. Now they can pull up-to-date Telecheck history for their county, receive text messages directly from citizens, and receive email notifications detailing resource crimes from Operation Game Thief.

With smartphones and laptops as standard equipment, conservation agents and information technology specialists have been able to research and develop two new apps for assisting and improving resource law enforcement.

For the smartphone, MDC Agent was developed and downloaded on all agents’ phones, giving them instant access to Telecheck history, landowner acreage, and permits purchased. Agents can populate data-search fields either by hand or by scanning a barcode located on the permit holder’s license, which they are required to carry.

For the laptop, the newly formed Commercial Wildlife Unit developed MDC Inspect. Agents can add each captive animal held into this database by official identification, passive integrated transponder numbers, or any other unique identification the animal may have. MDC Inspect validates the location of captive wildlife held in Missouri along with any captive wildlife movement  between permit holders. This application also allows agents to fill out, sign, and print inspection forms in the field.

Digital Tools at a Glance

How agents use smartphone app

  • Check Telecheck history
  • Check landowner acreage
  • Check permits purchased

How agents use laptop app

  • Validate Commercial and Confined Wildlife permit holders
  • Validate captive wildlife location and movement
  • Create instant inspection forms

Also In This Issue

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler