Conservation agents wrap up firearms deer season poaching cases

News from the region
Published Date

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- Conservation agents in Missouri’s Southeast region issued 225 citations and 238 written warnings for Wildlife Code violations during the 2011 fall firearms deer season.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the cited violations included hunting without a deer permit, refusing inspection by an agent, attempting to take deer from a public roadway or motor vehicle, baiting, failure to wear hunter orange and other violations. Twenty-two violations were not deer related.

Ken West, Protection Division supervisor for MDC’s Southeast Region, said finding wildlife violators is a rewarding task for conservation agents.

“Poaching is not hunting and our agents work hard to sort out the poachers from the ethical hunters,” West said.

West said citation numbers are about the same this year as in previous years. The noticeable change was in the number of warnings, about 50 more than average, which were given for tagging violations. West said this was due to some grace the agents gave in regards to the new “bag it-tag it” permit system.

“Some of those were honest mistakes, most were not,” West said. “We choose to give warnings the first year of a regulation change, but next year there won't be valid excuses for failure to properly tag deer.”

MDC coined the phrase “Bag it. Notch it. Tag it. Check it.” this year to help hunters remember when they harvest a deer to first notch the date on their deer permit, then put the permit in a clear plastic bag and attach the bagged permit to their harvested deer.

West said agents will give citations, not warnings, for tagging violations in the near future. He said it is the duty of the hunter to be informed of Missouri’s Wildlife Code and ensure their hunt follows legal methods.

“Hunting ethically and legally is not only about staying out of trouble, but also setting a good example and being a good steward of conservation,” West said. He added that there’s nothing better than legally harvesting a deer and showing off that success.

“The vast majority of hunters we check are law-abiding, safe sportsmen,” West said.

Deer season will continue with the Muzzleloader portion Dec. 17-27 and a late youth portion Jan. 7-8, 2012. Copies of the Wildlife Code and the 2011 Fall Deer and Turkey Guide are available at no cost anywhere permits are sold, at MDC offices and online at

The MDC’s Southeast Region spans 16 counties reaching from the eastern and southern borders of the state as far north as Ste. Genevieve and St. Francis Counties, and west to Wayne and Reynolds Counties.