Thanks to the observant eye of a concerned citizen, Missouri Department of Conservation Protection Branch Corporals Brad Hadley and Eric Long were able to make contact with a large group of non-resident squirrel hunters that were camping and hunting in and around the Current River Conservation Area.
The group, containing 16 hunters, had been hunting for two days and harvested 471 squirrels. Missouri regulations allow for the daily harvest of 10 squirrels and a personal possession limit of two daily limits for a total of no more than 20 squirrels in possession. Missouri regulations also require that all game be separate and identifiable to each hunter. In total the group of hunters had harvested 151 squirrels over the allowed possession limit. All hunters were cited for possession of overlimit of squirrels and warnings were issued for failure to keep wildlife separate and identifiable.
Over the past few years, small game species such as squirrel have been sought after more vigorously by hunters. Several groups of non-resident hunters have been cited throughout Missouri for over limit of squirrels during that time, authorities said.
“Of course, all hunters, regardless of resident status, are welcome and encouraged to hunt in Missouri, but all hunters must know the regulations prior to hunting,” Hadley said. “Gross overlimit of squirrel such as cited [in this case] are damaging to the local populations and it is also stealing from other hunters who abide by the regulations.”
Residents who are enjoying Missouri’s resources and you see something that is unusual or illegal, contact a local conservation agent or Operation Game Thief at 800-392-1111.