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Hunting, fishing and trapping permits to change next year

Sunday, November 2, 2008 | 6:06 p.m. CST; updated 10:28 p.m. CST, Sunday, November 2, 2008

COLUMBIA — Hunters, anglers and trappers will have to dig deeper into their pockets next year. The Conservation Commission has increased permit prices across the board and increased the minimum land acreage from five to 80 acres for landowners to qualify for free landowner permits.

By increasing permit prices, the Conservation Department expects a projected increase in revenue of $5 million for the 2009 permit year.

Some of these changes, effective March 1, include increasing resident hunting and fishing permits from $19 to $22, migratory bird from $6 to $8, resident archer's deer and turkey from $19 to $23, resident firearms deer hunting from $17 to $20, and nonresident firearms deer hunting from $175 to $225.

"We understand that people don't like price increases, especially from a government agency," said Greg Jones of the Missouri Department of Conservation. "Costs go up for everything. We have to pay the same prices for gasoline and equipment that everyone else does in order to maintain the level of service for our constituents."

Jones said the Conservation Department goes through a periodic re-evaluation process to review operating expenses, projected revenue needs for five to six years and how Missouri's prices compare to other states.

"In general we try to keep our permit prices low compared to other states," Jones said.

According to the Department of Conservation's 2007 permit distribution and sales summary, Missouri permit prices are one of the lowest when compared to surrounding states. For the 2008 permit year — which mirrors the hunting season, beginning March 1 and continuing through the following February — Nebraska's resident hunting and fishing combination permit costs $53.50 and Kansas' nonresident firearm deer permit costs $395.00.

"We have cheap entertainment as far as we're concerned with hunting and fishing," said Lee Brandkamp, owner of Powder Horn Guns & Archery.

Brandkamp said he does not think most of the public has heard of the changes, but he has "heard some grumblings from people already."

"As far as public opinion goes, any time you raise permit prices, people aren't happy," Brandkamp said.

Under the proposal, on July 1 free landowner deer and turkey permits will only be available to those owning a contiguous 80 acres, instead of the previous minimum of five acres.

Bill Heatherly, wildlife programs supervisor for the Department of Conservation, said that any number would be arbitrary, but that the goal was to better reflect the original intent of acknowledging the production landowner.

"Back in the old days when it was first started, it was for production landowners who derived a significant income from the land. Basically, farmers," Heatherly said.

Heatherly said approximately 78,000 people will be affected by the landowner changes.

The free landowner permits allow the purchaser to hunt on their own land. Permits must be purchased in order to hunt in other areas. Heatherly said that about a third of the affected landowners already purchase permits.

Lessees will no longer qualify for landowner privileges under the new rules.

Hunters have 30 days to comment on the proposal to the Department of Conservation.

Boone County ranks eleventh in the state in terms of permit sales, totaling 43,249 permits for the 2007 permit year according to the 2007 permit and sales summary. Missouri permit sales decreased from 2.10 to 2.01 million from 2003 to 2004, and have remained close to the 2 million mark since. In terms of dollars, sales have been fairly stable the last few years, accumulating $32.01 million in the 2007 permit year.

Other changes that will go into effect between March and July 2009 include eliminating youth deer and turkey hunting permits; setting a resident and nonresident youth discount of 50 percent; creating resident senior "forever" permits; allowing nonresident college and technical school students to purchase resident permits; and establishing a light goose Conservation Order Permit.

For a complete listing of amendments and the reasoning behind the changes, go to http://mdc.mo.gov/regs/permitfaq.htm.

 


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Comments

Von Brottlund November 3, 2008 | 10:20 a.m.

I can NOT believe that you try and say that you are trying to get back to the true intent of the law, at that time no farmer or landowner worked as hard toward land management or conservation as those today. YOU will be doing a great dis-service to ALL landowners and hunters every where. As a land owner of 60 acres you have just insured that NO ONE will be allowed to hunt on me for any reason. Since you do not care why should I. You have also insure that I will worry more about what I can get out of my land instead of allow portions to remain wild and usable to nature, AGAIN IF YOU DON'T CARE WHY SHOULD I. I allow several acres to remain wild, I don't burn brush piles but create them for the animals to use and so that my kids can hunt. We don't over hunt but do hunt, but you DON'T CARE! You want the money, money, money and you call yourself conservation agents. What a let down! I pay my taxes and believe in raising my kids right, teach them that the conservation agents and department are there to insure their right and ability to hunt for life and that they should always follow the regulations set. AGAIN you don't care, you just want the money, I am so disappointed in those that are making the decissions here, especially since you know that the majority of land owners and SMALL farmers own 40 acres or less but then you are counting on that aren't you!

You have a state that has come such a great ways in the conservation area and the attitude has gotten to be a good one I think. People care and work toward the same goals but here you are making changes that are not only STUPID and NON-BENEFITIAL but alienating the very people that have helped you achieve the goals set. WHAT STUPIDITY!

Unbelievable!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 3, 2008 | 11:03 a.m.

Obviously people are forgetting this is being done so the Conservation Department can look at the "harvest numbers" and judge whether they need to release more or less tags per that area of the state.

Anybody who has hunted alot in their past knows this is one way of controlling the amount of hunters per area plus the amounts of animals taken per area.

(Report Comment)
My Name November 3, 2008 | 11:26 a.m.

We have the 1/8 tax to help out with the "costs". Most states do not have this so the Conservation does not need to feed us lines about how they NEED the extra money. They want the extra money but not NEED it. Maybe the 1/8 tax should be gotten rid of if they are going to change these permits.

Charles....you have no idea what you are talking about. They can look at harvest numbers. Land owners have had to get tags for the last couple years the same as someone that has to buy them. They also have to either call in their deer or have them checked...the same as someone who buys tags. The only difference is that the land owner did not have to fork over any money.

(Report Comment)
Sandra Smith November 3, 2008 | 11:58 a.m.

If you're angry with this new MDC regulation, you can send a letter to each of the four MDC commissioners. You can find their addresses on www.takebackthemdc.com. Make our voices heard!!

(Report Comment)
D Hobbs November 4, 2008 | 1:25 p.m.

With the population of deer exploding close to urban areas, and with mostly small acreage owners living close to those population centers, it doesn't make sense to penalize the hunters who would help maintain these herd numbers - the small landowner! I have a little over 20 acres very close to Springfield. I'm not expecting anyone to knock on my door for permission to hunt such a small area. My sons and I are the ones that will help regulate these smaller acreage, population center "problem herds". Please don't take away our incentive to help balance the system.

(Report Comment)

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