Bushytails and bronzebacks are legal May 25

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JEFFERSON CITY–Whether your taste in outdoor activities runs toward fishing or hunting, May 25 is a day to mark on your calendar.

Missouri’s hunting season for gray and fox squirrels opens May 25 and runs through Feb. 15, 2014. Legal methods include rifles, shotguns, or archery equipment. The aggregate bag limit is 10 squirrels and the possession limit is 20.

“Aggregate” means hunters may harvest any combination of fox and gray squirrels so long as they do not exceed 10 squirrels total in one day. If hunters bag a daily limit two days in a row, they will have a possession limit of 20 squirrels. After that, they must eat or give away some squirrels before going hunting again in order to stay within the possession limit.

Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, known collectively as black bass, may be caught and possessed throughout the year from impoundments and in areas other than the Ozarks. These “other” areas are defined as the Mississippi River, all waters north of the south bank of the Missouri River, the St. Francis River downstream from Wappapello Dam, and streams in that portion of southeast Missouri bounded by a line from Cape Girardeau following Missouri highways 74 and 25, U.S. highways 60, 67, and 160, and the west bank of the Little Black River to the Arkansas state line. Black bass may be caught year-round in the defined area of the Ozarks, but they must be released immediately after being caught from March 1 through the Friday before fourth Saturday in May.

The daily limit on black bass in most of the state’s waters is six, with a possession limit of 12. However, many lakes and streams are subject to special daily and length limits. These are listed in the 2013 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations. The booklet is available from permit vendors, Missouri Department of Conservation offices, and online at mdc.mo.gov/node/11414. The 2013 Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations is available at mdc.mo.gov/node/3611416.

-Jim Low-