ST. LOUIS, Mo.—For Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Agent Jeff Breuer, coming to St. Louis County was an easy transition. He grew up here.
Breuer took over the reins from retiring agent Gary VanMatre in May and joins standing agent Denise Hunsaker in his new assignment in St. Louis County. He comes from Jefferson County where he served as conservation agent since 2000.
“I was ready for something different. I like the idea of doing migratory bird and waterfowl enforcement. I have that opportunity here, especially at Columbia Bottom,” Breuer said.
In fact, Breuer stated that the 4,300-acre conservation area in Spanish Lake is probably his favorite in all of St. Louis County.
“It’s beautiful and there’s so much opportunity there,” he said. “I just enjoy working the area, checking hunters, seeing the doves flying. It was just beautiful seeing the sun come up and checking the hunters. You almost forget you’re in St. Louis County when you’re up there.”
Breuer also enjoys the idea of getting to work the many public fishing lakes available to anglers in St. Louis County. The lakes and ponds of his new county mark a change from working the smaller streams and creeks of Jefferson County. Agent Breuer also likes to spend time patrolling rivers, and anticipates the Mississippi, Missouri and Meramec will offer enough water miles in St. Louis County to keep him busy.
Born and raised in St. Louis County, Breuer earned his bachelor’s degree in Justice Systems from Truman State University, and a Masters of Public Policy Administration from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.
A pleasant discovery for Breuer is the fact that despite its urban image, St. Louis County actually has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts. Breuer said he has already made field contacts with a number of archery deer and dove hunters so far this season.
“Many people don’t realize there’re a lot of hunting opportunities in St. Louis County, you just may have to get off the beaten path to find them,” said Breuer.
Breuer’s main drive for serving as a conservation agent is his passion for being outdoors and protecting the resource.
“I love working outdoors, being in the woods or on the river bottomlands or walking around a lake,” he said. “That’s always been my favorite part of my job, doing the wildlife law-enforcement part of it.”
When not on duty, Breuer enjoys staying active to keep in shape, doing a little reading as time allows, and collecting coins . . . mostly silver and half dollars.
Breuer cautions that it’s easy to associate an urban county like St. Louis with crowds, traffic, highways and congestion. But he urges nature lovers to give it a closer look. There are many hidden outdoor gems in the area, like Columbia Bottom and other MDC areas.
“Check the MDC atlas because there are lots of conservation areas in the county,” he said. “There’s plenty of opportunity to get out there and really experience nature and enjoy the woods.”