Time is here to think about fall permits

Friday, July 25, 2003

With the recent cool temperatures, it's easy to start thinking about the crisp, cool temperatures of the soon-to-come fall hunting seasons. If you deer hunt in Missouri, you should think about one of the many managed deer hunts offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Missouri offers managed deer hunts for archery, muzzleloading and modern firearms from October through January. These hunts achieve deer management goals while providing additional hunting. The number of hunters allowed at each hunt is restricted to ensure both safety and a quality hunting experience.

Hunters are selected by random drawing, and all hunters have an equal chance of being selected.

Now is the time for Missouri deer hunters to apply for those hunts, and MDC makes the process easy with either a telephone or the Internet.

Through Aug. 15, hunters can apply for one of Missouri's 71 managed deer hunts by calling (800) 829-2956 between 4 a.m. and midnight seven days a week. The other option is to log on to www.missouriconservation. org/hunt/deer and select "managed deer hunt information and registration."

Telephone applications are easy with the Conservation Department's interactive voice response (IVR) system.

Making it easy

To apply by phone you need a touch-tone telephone, your conservation identification number and the information contained in the 2003 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Information booklet. The booklet is available from hunting permit vendors statewide. The information also is available online at www.missourconservation.org under key words "deer hunt." Hunters may apply individually or as a group of up to six hunters. Each hunter may apply for only one managed deer hunt each year; hunters who apply for more than one hunt will be disqualified from this year's drawing.

All applications received by the Aug. 15 deadline will receive the same consideration as those filed earlier.

Only a resident or nonresident managed deer hunting permit is valid at a managed deer hunt. The number of deer that may be taken with a single permit depends on the hunt for which they are issued. In some hunts, up to three deer may be taken, and in one hunt, four deer are allowed.

Deer taken at managed deer hunts do not count toward the season bag limit. Therefore, if you purchase regular deer hunting permits and fill them during the regular season, you may still participate and take deer at a managed deer hunt if you are drawn for one and you purchase a managed deer hunting permit.

New this year:Youngsters may also apply for the youth-only managed deer hunts on the Internet or IVR system. In the past only paper applications were accepted for those hunts.

There are five youth-only managed deer hunts for youths ages 11 through 15. Application and notification process are the same as for "regular" hunts. Youth hunters may apply singly or with one youth buddy, but not as a group. All successful applicants will be notified by mail. The signature of a parent or guardian is required for each participating youth. Youth who apply for a youth-only hunt may not also apply for a "regular" managed deer hunt.

Even if you don't intend to apply for a managed deer hunt, you might want to take steps to make the "regular" 2003 deer season a success. You can make plans to participate in MDC's "Share the Harvest" program.

Concerned about the hunger that burdens many Missourians, the Department of Conservation has found a way to help families in need. In 1992, the Department started Share the Harvest, a program that provides an easy way for hunters to donate venison to Missourians in need of red meat.

It's easy to donate meat through this program. Hunters take their venison to an approved processing plant and tell the processor how much venison they wish to donate. The processor then packages and stores the meat until it's transported to a charitable agency by the sponsor.

Growing participation

Almost half of Missouri's counties participate in the program. Of the 16 counties in MDC's Southeast Region, only two (Perry and Ste. Genevieve) have Share the Harvest programs in place.

Clubs or organizations wishing to sponsor a Share the Harvest program in their area should call their local conservation agent as soon as possible. The first contact can streamline start-up procedures.

Charitable agencies that receive the venison also may fulfill the role of sponsor.

Share the Harvest is a boost in many ways. Hunters win by doing their part to help people in need; cooperating processing plants win by getting positive feedback for their involvement and donating locker space; and sponsoring organizations win by having a project for a good cause.

Gene Myers is an area agent with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: