News and Almanac

Deer tagging gets easier

Deer hunting permits and tags will be combined this year for simplicity.

Deer and turkey hunters won't have to carry pens to fill out tags. Instead, their hunting permits will double as transportation tags.

Hunters will receive a separate computer-generated permit for each deer and turkey they are allowed to kill. The permits will be printed on tear-resistant paper and will have pre-punched holes to aid in attaching them to game.

After taking a deer or turkey, the hunter should attach the appropriate permit to the animal. As in recent years, hunters will have to provide string, wire twist ties or other material to attach permits to deer and turkeys. Check station operators will remove permits and attach them to check station record sheets.

Notching permits after taking a deer or turkey will not be required this year.

Detailed information about deer hunting regulations is contained in the "1998-99 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Information" pamphlet, which is available wherever hunting permits are sold.

Early migratory bird seasons set

The Conservation Commission has approved seasons and bag limits for early migratory bird seasons, subject to final approval by federal authorities.

Seasons are:

  • Dove-Sept. 1 through Oct. 30, daily limit 15, possession limit 30;
  • Blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal-Sept. 12-20, daily limit four, possession limit eight teal in the aggregate;
  • Common snipe-Sept. 1-Dec. 16, daily limit eight, possession limit 16;
  • Sora and Virginia rails-Sept. 1-Nov. 9, daily and possession limit 25;
  • Woodcock-Oct. 15-Nov. 28, daily limit three, possession limit six.

Trappers invite public to meeting

If you've ever wondered about fur trapping-who does it, how it's done, what equipment is used or what a finished pelt looks like-you can satisfy your curiosity Aug. 5-9 at the National Trappers Association's annual convention and sport show.

Hundreds of trappers will converge that week at the Boone County Fairgrounds, located at the Oakland Gravel Road exit on Highway 63 north of Columbia. They will demonstrate their skills, share trade secrets and view manufacturers' displays of the latest hunting and trapping supplies and equipment.

The event also will feature a fur style show, an auction and a dance. The public is welcome. Admission is $7 a day or $10 for the entire event. Children under age 14 get in free.

Sportsman's Classic is Aug. 28-30

Live Boone & Crockett deer, river otters, a hunting dog demonstration with real birds, the Conservation Department's virtual-reality, shooting safety system and much more will be included in the second annual Sportsman's Classic outdoor show Aug. 28-30 at America's Center in downtown St. Louis.

Visitors can see mountain men going about their daily business in authentic period garb at a frontier rendezvous, complete with tepees and wigwams.

Bring your deer antlers for free measurement by Buckmasters scorers. Try your hand on the archery range or sit in on seminars taught by famous hunters and anglers.

You can also see hundreds of exhibits of hunting and fishing products and register for door prizes, including a fully equipped boat.

The Classic runs from 2 to 10 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Toddlers and infants get in free.

Teachers can recharge creative batteries at back-to-school bash

Teachers, home-schooling adults and adult leaders of youth groups will have a chance to learn about educational opportunities available through the Department of Conservation at the "Back-to-School Bash" Aug. 11 at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. teachers will be able to see Cybernature Surfing demonstrations and take part in 50-minute mini workshops taught by Conservation Department education workers. Attendees who come dressed in keeping with the event's 1950s theme will receive special prizes.

The event is free and includes lunch. You don't even need reservations. For more information, call (417) 888-4237.

Surplus property auction Aug. 22 at Brookfield

Everything reaches retirement age eventually, and equipment used by the Conservation Department is no exception. Some of that equipment will go on sale Aug. 22.

The type, age and condition of items on sale varies from auction to auction, but typically includes boats, cars, trucks, utility vehicles, computers, office equipment, furniture and a wide array of other items.

Buyers can preview sale items from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 21 and from 8 to 10 a.m. Aug. 22. Bidding will begin at 10 a.m.

To receive a list of sale items, write to Missouri Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, 65102-0180. Personal checks are accepted with proper identification.

Reservation system returns

Waterfowl hunters who were sorry to see the end of the reservation system at public hunting areas will be glad to learn that waterfowl reservations are back.

Hunting slots sometimes went begging under the old system when reservation holders failed to show up. As new wetland areas were developed, the supply of hunting spots grew nearly as large as demand, and the Conservation Department scrapped the reservation system, allocating all hunting spots by a daily drawing.

That system also had problems, however. The risk of striking out in daily drawings discouraged some hunters from making predawn drives to hunt areas that had drawings.

Under the new system, reservations will be issued for half the hunting opportunities at each area. Each day, reservation holders and hunters who just show up will draw for available hunting spots. This system will be in effect at Ten Mile Pond, Otter Slough, Eagle Bluffs, Montrose, Grand Pass, B.K. Leach, Fountain Grove, Ted Shanks, Duck Creek, Schell-Osage, Marais Temps Clair and Bob Brown conservation areas and Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Hunters can apply for the reservation drawing by phone on work days from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sept. 1 through Sept. 18 by calling (800) 797-3949. When calling to apply, hunters need to know their conservation identification number, which is printed on the back of Conservation Heritage Cards and all hunting and fishing permits. They also must have selected up to four areas where they wish to hunt and whether they have a preferred day of the week to hunt or will take the first available date.

This owl is still teaching lessons

Charles S. Long of Hartsburg wasn't looking for a lesson in wildlife law when he spotted a big dead bird beside Highway 63 the day after Christmas in 1980, but he got one. And thanks to his honesty and persistence, Runge Conservation Nature Center now has a display mount of a great horned owl.

Long stopped to examine the road-killed bird and found it in almost perfect condition. Thinking it would look good in his den, he took it to a taxidermist. There he got an unpleasant surprise.

"He told me I had broken several laws, some of them federal, and he would have nothing to do with the owl," recalls Long.

Rather than compound his error, Long went straight to his boss, the superintendent of the Missouri Highway Patrol, and asked for help. They decided to request permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to have the owl mounted for display in the Patrol's museum.

Federal officials weren't happy about Long's having the owl carcass, but they eventually granted permission to mount the bird.

Earlier this year the Patrol remodeled its museum and decided not to keep the owl mount. Long offered it to Runge Conservation Nature Center and, after getting permission from the Fish and Wildlife Service, moved the bird to its new home.

You can see the bird that taught Long a lesson about wildlife law in the nature center's main foyer. It also makes occasional appearances in nature center programs.

Duck, turkey calling contests Aug. 28 & 29

Missouri will host two national wildlife calling championships in August.

The U.S. Open Wild Turkey Calling Championships will start at 9 a.m. Aug. 29 in conjunction with the Outdoor Guide Sportsman's Classic outdoor show at the America's Center in St. Louis. The event will feature appearances by a bevy of nationally renowned turkey callers. Further information is available by calling Dawn Stoltz at (314) 846-3435, or Claudette Roper at (314) 535-9786.

State and regional qualifying contests for the World Duck Calling Contest will be held Aug. 28-29 at Sportsman's Outfitters and Marine in Lee's Summit.

Competition will begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 and at 8 a.m. Aug. 29. Winners will go on to compete in the World Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Ark.

This event also features demonstrations and displays by equipment manufacturers, custom call makers and decoy carvers. For more information, call (816) 524-2277.

Bird experts need your help finding new doves

A new bird is moving into Missouri, and conservation officials need the help of hunters and other conservation-minded citizens to monitor the species' spread.

The Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) spread across Europe earlier this century and now is moving rapidly across the United States. It first appeared in Florida during the early 1980s and was last reported in 22 of the lower 48 states.

The first documented report in Missouri came from Marion County this year. It has since been verified in Cape Girardeau and St. Louis counties.

The Eurasian collared dove is similar to the ringed turtle dove (Streptopelia risoria), a common pet-shop species that sometimes escapes from captivity. Both birds have a dark band on the back of the neck and more squared off tails than Missouri's native dove, the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura).

Eurasian collared doves are larger and grayer than mourning doves. Their call has three syllables, Kuk-koooo-kook, compared to the mourning doves' series of five to seven mournful coos. Unlike mourning doves, Eurasian collared doves often squawk in flight.

Eurasian collared doves and ringed turtle doves interbreed and produce hybrids. All three species frequent bird feeders and areas where waste grain is available.

Competition between the Eurasian collared dove and the native mourning dove seems to be minimal, but data to support this belief also is minimal. The exotic doves could compete with mourning doves for nesting sites or food. The new birds also might spread diseases among native species.

A study under way at the University of Florida is using DNA to identify sources of the introduced birds. Birdwatchers and dove hunters can help collect information. Sightings are critical and will help define range expansion and nesting activities.

Reports of Eurasian collared doves and ringed turtle doves seen at bird feeders can help scientists track the exotic species' spread. Hunters who kill these birds by mistake while hunting mourning doves can provide valuable information, too.

Please report any sightings to John H. Schulz, (573) 882-9880 ext. 3218, or Jim D. Wilson (573) 751-4115 ext. 196.

If you shoot or find a Eurasian collared dove or ringed turtle dove, DO NOT FREEZE IT. Freezing destroys any chance of looking for diseases or parasites. Keep specimens refrigerated or at room temperature and contact Schulz immediately.

Permit Price Adjustments

Effective March 1, 1999

At its June meeting, the Conservation Commission approved the following changes in hunting and fishing permits and prices.

  • Resident Permits Current Fee New Fee
  • Combination Hunting & Fishing $15 $19
  • Fishing $9 $11
  • Small-Game Hunting $9 $9
  • Trapping $10 $10
  • Spring Turkey $11 $15
  • Fall Firearms Turkey $11 $11
  • Archery $15 $17
  • Firearms Deer or Firearms Any Deer $11 $15
  • First Bonus Deer $11 $11
  • Second Bonus Deer $11 $7
  • All Muzzleloader Deer $11 N/A
  • Managed Deer Hunt N/A $15
  • Resident/nonresident Permits
  • Youth Deer & Turkey N/A $15
  • Trout $6 $7
  • Migratory Bird $4 $6
  • Daily Fishing $3 $5
  • Daily Hunting $5 $10
  • Nonresident Permits
  • Fishing $30 $35
  • Small-Game Hunting $60 $65
  • Furbearer Hunting & Trapping $75 $80
  • Spring Turkey $75 $125
  • Fall Firearms Turkey $75 $75
  • Archery $75 $110
  • Firearms Deer or Firearms Any Deer $110 $125
  • First Bonus Deer N/A $75
  • Second Bonus Deer N/A $50
  • All Muzzleloader Deer $110 N/A
  • Managed Deer Hunt N/A $125