In Brief

By MDC | January 1, 2021
From Missouri Conservationist: January 2021

Buy Your 2021 Hunting and Fishing Permits

MDC reminds hunters and anglers that permits expire at the end of February

Don’t get caught without a permit! Many annual permits, including 2020 permits for small game, fishing, trout fishing, and combination hunting and fishing expire at the end of February.

Buy Missouri hunting and fishing permits from one of many vendors around the state, online at, or through MDC’s free mobile apps, MO Hunting and MO Fishing, available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

Save time by buying hunting and fishing permits for multiple people in a single transaction. Select the Additional Customer option during the permit purchase.

Commercial and lifetime permits can be purchased only through the MDC Permit Services Unit by calling 573-522-0107 for an application.

Give A Gift Back To Nature

MDC forestry staff reminds you not to throw that cut Christmas tree into the trash after the holidays. Recycle it! Many communities have a Christmas tree-recycling program. If not, there are several creative ways to make further use of your tree.

Place the tree in the backyard to offer cover for wildlife, or under bird feeders for temporary shel­ter. Add some post-holiday treats as ornaments by coating pinecones with peanut butter and adding bird seed.

Have your tree shredded or chipped for mulch, or place cut branches over dormant plants to pro­vide a bit of insulation during the winter and to add organic matter as the needles fall.

You can also sink the tree in a pond to enhance fish habitat by giving them a place to rest, nest, and escape predators. Multiple live trees make the best cover, so work with friends, family, and neighbors to combine efforts. Anchor the trees with concrete blocks and sink them in a row about 8 feet deep.

If you used a balled live evergreen and your ground is still soft enough to dig, add it to your home landscape for years of enjoyment and wild­life cover.

Winter Trout Harvest Begins Feb. 1st

MDC fisheries staff stocked more than 70,000 rainbow trout in urban-area lakes around the state for winter trout fishing beginning last November. Many of these areas allow anglers to harvest trout as soon as they are stocked, while other areas are catch-and-release until Feb. 1.

Beginning Feb. 1, all urban-area lakes allow the harvest of trout. The daily limit at these locations is four trout with no length limit. All Missouri resi­dents older than age 15 and younger than age 65 must have a fishing permit. All nonresidents over age 15 must have a fishing permit. To keep trout, all anglers, regardless of age, must have a Missouri trout permit.

Find locations of winter trout fishing areas at


Apply For Spring Managed Turkey Hunts

Missouri youth, archery, and firearms turkey hunters can apply online for 2021 spring turkey managed hunts Feb. 1–28 at­keyhunts. Managed hunt details and application procedures are outlined on the webpage. Drawing results will be posted starting March 15.

Spring turkey hunting youth week­end will be April 10–11 with the regular spring season running April 19 through May 9.

Detailed information on spring tur­key hunting will be available in MDC’s 2021 Spring Turkey Hunting Regula­tions and Information booklet, avail­able where permits are sold beginning in February. To learn more about turkey hunting in Missouri, visit MDC’s web­site at

Buy Missouri hunting permits from numerous vendors around the state, online at, or through the MDC free mobile app — MO Hunting — available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

Hunters Harvest 176,604 Deer During  November Firearms Portion

Deer hunters in Missouri harvested 176,604 deer during the November portion of the fall firearms season Nov. 14–24. Of the 176,604 deer harvested, 95,654 were antlered bucks, 16,045 were button bucks, and 64,905 were does. Top har­vest counties were Howell with 3,496 deer harvested, Frank­lin with 3,409, and Texas with 3,374.

“Hunters posted an impressive harvest total given the challenging conditions, particularly on opening weekend,” said MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle. “Typi­cally, about half of the harvest occurs during the first two days of the season. Unfortunately, hunters were greeted by rain and high winds to start the season, resulting in harvest numbers falling behind last year’s mark early.”

Among the successful hunters was World War II Marine veteran Robert McGrath, 98, who took a nine-point buck on private land. McGrath, who is from the Millersburg area and still owns property there, lives in Columbia with his son. His family says he has inspired and encouraged many generations of hunters, anglers, shooting sports enthusiasts, and nature lovers. They find it quite incredible that he can continue to go out and enjoy one of his lifelong passions. No matter what your age, you can still get out and enjoy the outdoors.

MDC reported three firearms-related hunting incidents during the November portion of the firearms deer season with all being non-fatal and self-inflicted.

Hunters checked 179,960 deer during the 2019 November portion of firearms deer season, with 91,917 being antlered bucks, 17,330 being button bucks, and 70,713 being does. For ongoing preliminary harvest totals by season, county, and type of deer, visit extra.

For harvest summaries from past years, visit

The alternative methods portion runs through Jan. 5, and archery sea­son runs through Jan. 15.

Agent Advice
Statistics Elements

Kyle Dick
Atchison County
Conservation Agent


If 2020 had you cooped up and you want to kick-off the new year with healthy habits, check out your nearest conservation area. You will find plenty of opportunities to hike in a safe, socially distanced atmosphere. When hiking in the cold, layers are key. Avoid cotton fabrics, and opt for moisture-wicking fabrics like wool. Wear waterproof shoes or boots. Stay hydrated. Know the signs of cold-related injuries — frost bite and hypothermia — and stop if you get too cold. There is no need to tough it out. It’s ideal to hike with others, but if that’s not possible, tell someone your route. To find a place to hike near you, visit eagle

What Is It?

Pancake Ice

If you’ve been near a lake or river in the winter months, you may have seen circular slabs of ice dotting the water’s surface. Known as pancake ice, these frozen disks, which resemble lily pads, range from 1 to 10 feet in diameter and up to 4 inches thick. They form in areas with some wave action and air temperatures just below freezing. In time, the individual pancakes can freeze together to form a solid sheet of ice.

Also In This Issue

Monarch Butterfly
Serving Nature and You: Fiscal Year 2020.

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

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

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler