2014 hunting and fishing permits available beginning March 1

Friday, February 21, 2014 | 6:44 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Nearly 1 million fishing and hunting licenses were sold to Missouri residents last year, and the state Department of Conservation expects similar sales this year.

In the past five years, the number of resident permits for fishing, deer and small game hunting plus combination fishing and hunting licenses has topped 900,000 each year.

Permits for the 2014 season will be available March 1 for purchase online, over the phone or at retail vendors. There are 1,100 stores across the state certified by the Conservation Department to issue permits, said Greg Jones, the permit services supervisor.

Some new regulations will take effect during the 2014 season, including size and daily number limits for blue catfish catches on the Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake and their tributaries in an effort to improve the population of the fish. Those changes will begin March 1.

The daily limit for blue catfish will be 10 and anglers can only catch two fish over 34 inches. Any fish between 26 and 34 inches must be released.

According to Julie Love, an accounting technician with the department, the number of permits issued to Missouri residents in 2013 can be categorized as such:

  • 493,839 fishing permits
  • 47,819 small game permits
  • 130,083 combined permits for fishing and small game
  • 277,575 firearm deer permits.

The 2014 prices for yearlong permits are consistent with last year's costs: $12 for fishing and $17 for firearm deer hunting.

Jones said the department does not foresee any major changes in the number of permits it issues, despite a poor deer harvest in 2013. The department reported 250,787 deer were caught in Missouri last year, while the 10-year average is 293,056.

"Our permit sales have been relatively stable over the past few years," Jones said.

Turkey hunters can expect changes this spring. The turkey population will include fewer jakes — adolescent turkeys — because of a smaller 2013 hatch.

The population size will remain stable becaue of large hatches in 2011 and 2012, but turkeys are likely to be older than normal, according to the department's website.

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