In Brief

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

Permit Prices

MDC seeks feedback from anglers, hunters, trappers

Missouri is home to more than 1 million anglers, 500,000 hunters, and several thousand trappers. MDC issues nearly 2.6 million hunting, fishing, and trapping permits each year. Most permit prices have remained the same for the past 20 years while costs for goods and services have increased significantly since then.

MDC is proposing price adjustments for most hunting, fishing, trapping, and commercial permits to keep up with rising costs of goods and services used to manage more than 1,000 conservation areas along with nature centers, shooting ranges, fish hatcheries, and other facilities. Most resident hunting and fishing permit prices would be adjusted by about a dollar.

MDC received initial approval on the proposed permit price adjustments from the Missouri Conservation Commission at its May 19 open meeting.

Additional revenue from permit sales will help MDC maintain and improve its nationally recognized programs and services for hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers, and others. Conservation efforts supported by revenue from permit sales include:

  • Maintaining and improving nine fish hatcheries around the state that raise and stock more than 7 million fish annually for public fishing, including about 1.3 million trout at five hatcheries.
  • Maintaining and improving more than 70 public shooting ranges around the state.
  • Continuing habitat work on nearly 1,000 conservation areas, including 15 intensively managed wetlands for public hunting and wildlife watching.
  • Expanding popular youth offerings such as the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program, which has reached more than 200,000 young archers at nearly 700 Missouri schools, and the Discover Nature Schools Program, which helps more than 87,000 Missouri students each year at more than 700 schools around the state learn about and connect with Missouri outdoors.
  • Researching the health and sustainability of deer, turkey, quail, waterfowl, songbirds, fish, bears, elk, and other species.
  • Helping more than 24,000 landowners create and maintain habitat for wildlife.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of harvest regulations for fish and wildlife game species and understanding resource-user preferences.
  • Restoring, monitoring, and protecting imperiled and endangered species and habitats.
  • Reducing and removing invasive species that threaten the health of native species and habitats.
  • Maintaining and improving 15 nature and interpretative centers around the state.

Proposed resident and nonresident permit price increases include:

  • The price of a Resident Fishing Permit would go from $12 to $13.
  • The price of a Nonresident Fishing Permit would go from $49 to $51.
  • The price of a Resident Small Game Hunting Permit would go from $10 to $10.50.
  • The price of a Nonresident Small Game Hunting Permit would go from $94 to $98.
  • The price of a Resident Spring Turkey Permit would go from $17 to $18.
  • The price of a Nonresident Spring Turkey Permit would go from $224 to $233.50.
  • The price of a Resident Firearm Deer Permit would go from $17 to $18.
  • The price of a Nonresident Firearm Deer Permit would go from $265 to $276.50.
  • The price of a Resident Antlerless Deer Permit would go from $7 to $7.50.
  • The price of a Nonresident Antlerless Deer Permit would go from $25 to $26.                  
  • All youth permits will remain half of adult resident price.
  • Those under 16 and residents over 65 years of age remain exempt from the small game hunting and general fishing permit requirements.

MDC is seeking public comments about the proposed permit price adjustments from July 4 through Aug. 2. To comment and for more information — including a complete list of permits, current and proposed prices, average prices of similar permits for surrounding states, the last year the permit prices were raised, and other information — visit

MDC will compile comments received and share them with the commission prior to their Sept. 8 open meeting when it will give final consideration to the proposed permit price adjustments. If approved, the changes would become effective Feb. 29, 2024.

New Online Application for Special Use Permits

MDC offers more than 1,000 conservation and natural areas around the state for people to get outdoors and discover nature through a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, birding and wildlife watching, horseback riding, photography and videography, hunting, fishing, and more.

Some activities on these areas require a special use permit, and we have made it easier to get one through our new online application at

A special use permit is required for certain activities on conservation areas, including:

  • Groups of more than 10 people camping, horseback riding, bicycling, and using shooting ranges.
  • Furbearer trapping.
  • ADA vehicle use for people with mobility disabilities using motorized vehicles where public vehicles are not allowed on conservation areas.
  • Athletic competitions of human strength or skill such as races and other competitive events.
  • Geocache and letterbox placement.
  • Photography and videography only if it involves access during closed hours or to portions of areas closed to public use, use of drone, use of a prop, set, or equipment larger than a single person can carry, or the total daily number of people participating with a photographer or videographer for the primary purpose of photography and videography is more than 10.
  • Drone use.
  • Commercial uses.
  • Ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms, ceremonies of life, etc.
  • Other group or special activities at the discretion of the area manager.

Once the no-cost online permit application is completed through the simple, user-friendly webpage, it will be sent to the appropriate MDC staff for the listed conservation area. With MDC’s new special use permit application process, both staff and permit applicants will have complete permit information through a digital permit file to keep, print, or have on mobile devices. It also allows the applicant to follow-up on the approval process.

Application for a special use permit should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event or activity. Applications submitted later will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed to be processed by the requested date. Not all requests for special use permits will be granted. Permits may be denied to avoid user conflicts, resource damages, safety concerns, or other reasonable justification at MDC’s discretion.

Photography/Videography Permit Changes

MDC no longer requires commercial permits and the associated fees for photography and videography on MDC areas. A special use permit and an associated fee may still be required for photography and videography on MDC areas in situations that involve more than 25 people or that have the potential to harm resources or create conflict with other area users. A special use permit is also required for access to MDC areas during closed hours or to portions of the area closed to public use; with use of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) or drone; with use of props, sets, or equipment that are more than a single person can carry; or when more than 10 people will be participating in the activity over the course of the day.

Apply Online for Managed Deer Hunts

Deer hunters can apply online during July for a shot at more than 100 managed deer hunts throughout the state for archery, muzzleloading, and modern firearms from mid-September through mid-January at conservation areas, state and other parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public areas. Some managed hunts are held specifically for youth or for people with disabilities. Hunters are selected by a weighted random drawing. Draw results will be available Aug. 15 through Jan. 15. Applicants who are drawn will receive area maps and other hunt information by mail.

Get more information on managed deer hunts, preview hunt details, and apply starting July 1 at

Details about managed hunts can also be found in our 2023 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet available starting in early July at MDC offices and nature centers, from permit vendors around the state, and online at

Agent Advice
Statistics Elements

John Lowe
Washington County
Conservation Agent


The dog days of summer are here. To beat the heat, folks flock to nearby waterways to boat and fish. Before you go, be aware of area regulations and proper safety precautions. Possession and length limits can change within the same stretch of a waterway, so be familiar with where you’re angling. Also, be sure to have proper fishing permits. If you are boating, all passengers should have life jackets available and those 7 and younger should wear them at all times. Finally, if you are packing drinks and snacks, be sure there are no glass containers on the water and all trash is carried out at the end of the day. For more information, visit A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations at

We are Conservation

Wild Ones

Wild Ones is a nonprofit, environmental, education, and advocacy corporation with over 108 chapters across 32 states, four of which are in Missouri. Through the work of their volunteers, the St. Charles chapter’s mission is to promote benefits of biodiversity and landscaping with native plants. Embracing their mission, Wild Ones is giving visitors of the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area (CA) an opportunity to learn more about native plants and their benefits.

A group of volunteers
Right to Use

Growing possibilities

Since 2020, Wild Ones volunteers have spent over 400 hours weeding invasives, creating new paths, and planting over 150 native species in the gardens at the Busch CA. The chapter plans to incorporate technology by using the iNaturalist application and QR codes in addition to using plant tags.

In one volunteer’s words

“Our dream is to have an area where visitors can see the beauty and benefits of native plants,” said Mary Meinhardt.

What is it?

Widow Skimmer

There are eight families of dragonflies in North America, distinguished by their detailed wing vein patterns and colors. All dragonflies have slender, elongated abdomens and two pairs of horizontal wings. The widow skimmer has distinctive dark wing markings that seem like mourning garb. Females and young males usually have brownish wingtips, and the abdomen has a brown stripe down the center flanked by two yellow stripes.

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