Miscellany

Ask the Ombudsman

Q: Is it permissible for me to reduce the size of my e-Permits to make them easier to fit in my wallet?

A: Yes, reducing the permits is allowed as long as they remain easily readable. More information about e-Permits is available at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/10900.

Q: What are the small, biting gnats that have been such a problem in recent springs, and what can be done about them?

A: I expect that you have observed one of a number of species of small flies that are commonly called black flies or buffalo gnats. They lay their eggs in or near rapidly flowing water, so the unusually wet spring seasons that we’ve had recently in much of Missouri have led to outbreaks, especially in our northeastern counties. As with mosquitoes, the female flies must have a blood meal in order to reproduce, and they will bite humans, pets, livestock or poultry. The flies feed outdoors during the day, so you may wish to keep pets indoors and minimize your own exposure during the day or wear light-colored clothes and long sleeves. Contact your veterinarian regarding protection of livestock. The pests are usually gone with the arrival of hotter, drier summer weather. More information is available at this link: www.ento.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/blackflies.htm.

Q: I want to go morel hunting this spring. What are the regulations regarding collecting them from public land?

A: Most public lands allow mushroom collecting for personal consumption (noncommercial purposes) and no permit is required. Collecting is allowed on conservation areas except on the grounds of several conservation nature centers and our headquarter office grounds in Jefferson City. Missouri’s state parks allow collecting and specify a limit of two gallons per person per visit. Mark Twain National Forest allows collecting with no quantity specified.

Ombudsman Tim Smith will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Department of Conservation programs. Write him at PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at 573-522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at Ombudsman@mdc.mo.gov.


Agent Notes

E-permits save Missourians time, fuel and money.

As we begin a new permit year we also begin a new permit type. Those of you headed out to hunt turkeys this season will have a new option for purchasing permits. EPermits are permits you purchase and print from home. You simply go to MDC’s secure website and purchase the permits you need. We encourage you to save the purchased permit to your personal computer in the event you need an extra copy. Permits will also continue to be available at local permit vendors. Because e-Permits are printed on regular paper, it is best to stick them in a sandwich bag to protect them from the elements. The permit is designed with dates around the outside edge. When you harvest your deer or turkey, void the permit immediately by notching the month and date of harvest. The voided permit should then be attached to the turkey or deer using wire, twine, tape or a rubber band. The final step will be Telechecking your animal. A simple way to remember these steps is “bag it, notch it, tag it, check it.”

Like many people, I find change can sometimes be challenging. I argued against Telecheck at its conception. I thought it was impersonal. However, hunters have found that Telecheck saves them time and expensive fuel. Agents have discovered new ways to detect game law violations by utilizing Telecheck. Telecheck has worked out to be a great change for our state. I hear concerns from hunters about the new permit system. I’m confident we will soon see the advantages of e-Permits, just like we have with Telecheck. More information about e-Permits is available at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/10900.

Tammy Pierson is the conservation agent for Ray County. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office listed on Page 3.


Outdoors Calendar

To view fishing and hunting seasons, visit www.missouriconservation.org/seasons/.

For complete information about seasons, limits, methods and restrictions, consult the Wildlife Code and the current summaries of “Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations” and “Missouri Fishing Regulations,” the “Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information,” the “Waterfowl Hunting Digest” and the “Migratory Bird Hunting Digest.” This information is on our Web site at www.missouriconservation.org/8707.