In Brief

By MDC | February 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: February 2023

2023 Hunting and Fishing Permits on Sale

Don’t be caught unprepared — purchase your new year’s permits now

MDC reminds Missouri hunters and anglers that related annual permits expire at the end of February, including 2022 permits for small game, fishing, trout fishing, and combination hunting and fishing.

Buy Missouri hunting and fishing permits from vendors around the state, online at, or through our 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.

Apply Online for Spring Managed Turkey Hunts Starting Feb. 1

Missouri turkey hunters can apply online during the month of February for 2023 spring turkey managed hunts at 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 1 and 2 with the regular spring season running April 17 through May 7. Learn more about turkey hunting in Missouri at

“Woody the Singing Forester” Inducted into Conservation Hall of Fame

MDC recently honored Herschel “Woody the Singing Forester” Bledsoe posthumously by inducting him into the Missouri Conservation Hall of Fame. Bledsoe died in 1991 at age 67. He is the 46th inductee.

Bledsoe began his career with MDC in 1942 as a towerman and firefighter and came to be known as “Woody the Singing Forester” for his musical entertainment promoting forestry conservation and the dangers of wildfires. He was also the voice of Smokey Bear in Missouri in the 1950s and 1960s and made hundreds of personal appearances with an animated Smokey at county fairs throughout the state. Bledsoe also produced and hosted our Missouri Outdoors television show in the early 1960s. The popular show aired until 2007 with episodes still available online.

Listen to the “Singing Forester” through our vintage video circa 1960 at Learn more about Woody at

Winter Trout Harvest Begins Feb. 1

MDC Fisheries staff have stocked more than 80,000 rainbow trout in urban-area lakes around the state for winter trout fishing. 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. Find locations at

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.

Three Elk Harvested During 2022 Season

Missouri hunters harvested one bull elk during the archery portion of the 2022 elk hunting season, Oct. 15–23, and two bull elk during the firearms portion, Dec. 10–18. The three Missouri hunters were each selected for one of five elk permits issued in 2022 through a random drawing of 9,684 applicants.

Elk are a native species in Missouri but were extirpated in the state in the late 1800s due to unregulated hunting. Missouri’s first elk hunt in 2020 came after years of restoration efforts by MDC, numerous partners including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and many supporters including local communities and area landowners. Learn more about elk at Learn more about elk hunting in Missouri at

agent advice
Statistics Elements

Corporal Eric Long
Reynolds County
Conservation Agent


Crow hunting is an enjoyable and often overlooked hunting season. Missouri’s crow season runs from Nov. 1 to March 3. During that time, crows can be taken in any number by shotgun, rifle, handgun, archery, and falconry. Hunters are required to possess a small game hunting permit. Crow hunters will be most successful early in the morning or late in the evenings near roosting or feeding areas, such as cattle pastures. The use of electronic calls, combined with decoys, will attract crows within shooting range. The sounds of feeding crows and owls hooting seem to be most effective in luring large groups. For more information, visit

Species of Conservation Concern


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the scaleshell, a medium-sized freshwater mussel, as a federally endangered species in 2001. Scaleshell historically inhabited 56 rivers of the Mississippi River basin from Alabama to Oklahoma, north to Canada and Ohio. Scaleshell is now limited to 18 streams across its historic range but can only be consistently found in three rivers in Missouri — the Gasconade, Meramec, and Bourbeuse rivers.

Jim Rathert
Right to Use

Why It’s Imperiled

As with all rare freshwater mussels, scaleshell have declined due to reduced water quality, sedimentation, channel destabilization, altered stream hydrology, and habitat destruction. Scaleshell use freshwater drum as a host species during a portion of their life cycle, so any threats to freshwater drum or barriers to fish movement would also indirectly affect scaleshell.

MDC Restoration Efforts

Working cooperatively with partners at the USFWS and Missouri State University, methods were developed to be able to artificially propagate scaleshell in a laboratory or hatchery. Working cooperatively with USFWS and researchers at Iowa State University, research was conducted to understand the genetics of scaleshell populations in Missouri.

What Can You Do?

Avoid activities that reduce water quality, encourage natural stream flows and streamside vegetation, and follow best management practices for projects near streams. Reestablish protective riparian corridors and stabilize streambanks to reduce sedimentation, control nutrient enrichment of nearby waterways, and exclude livestock from streams.

what is it?

Northern Bobwhite Tracks

Take a hike this winter and see how many tracks you can find in the snow. One of those tracks may belong to a northern bobwhite. These ground-dwelling quail live in coveys and peck and scratch near and underneath the brushy cover they prefer. Their calls — bob-WHITE — carry a long distance, so you may hear them before you see their tracks. MDC is helping reverse declining populations through public education, recreation opportunities, and landowner assistance.


This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler