Missouri conservation agents discovered 16 violations and issues 13 citations during an archery compliance check during the Veterans Day weekend in Howell, Phelps and Texas counties.
Jerry Elliott, protection district supervisor, said this compliance check was similar to checks the agents conduct at trout parks when they check all resource users.
“As deer were reported on Telecheck, a pair of agents would dispatch to the hunter’s address to verify the harvest and make sure it was taken in compliance with the Wildlife Code,” Elliott said.
Telecheck is the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) automated deer and turkey harvest data system. When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they report the harvest through the automated system over the phone or Internet. MDC uses the data in Wildlife Code enforcement and the information helps biologists determine proper management for both species.
The group patrol was conducted from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. While checking 37 deer, agents found multiple infractions. Seven violations were a result of individuals hunting without a permit or with an invalid permit; one illegally possessed wildlife; three for taking deer in closed season; two failed to tag or check their harvest; one was cited for use of bait while hunting; one for taking more than their limit; and one felon was in violation for illegal possession of a firearm.
“The majority of the violations came from hunters who had landowner permits and had harvested a deer on land that was not valid,” Elliott said.
To hunt with a landowner permit, the hunter must be a Missouri resident, who owns at least five continuous acres, and their immediate household members age 6 or older, or be a Missouri resident who leases and lives on at least five continuous acres owned by others, and their immediate household members age 6 or older. These landowner permits are only valid on qualifying property for which the permits were issued.
Elliott said it is every hunter’s responsibility to know Missouri’s Wildlife Code. He said hunters have access to the regulations at the location where they purchase their permits.
“Our intention is to ensure safe, fun and ethical hunting opportunities now and in the future,” he said.
Elliott said agents involved in the compliance check reported several favorable comments from hunters.
“Legal hunters were glad to see us out,” Elliott said. “They know conservation efforts keep our state full of great hunting opportunities.”
Firearms deer season opened Saturday and ends Nov. 26. The second archery deer season is Nov. 27 through Jan. 15, 2014.
For more information about deer hunting in Missouri, go online to mdc.mo.gov.