Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors
Dec. 16, 2015
In a departure from what some other game agencies have historically recommended, the Missouri Department of Conservation is encouraging hunters and citizens to refrain from hunting troublesome feral hogs, and instead report them to the department for possible trapping and permanent removal. You’ll also read about a proposal to allow terminally ill persons in South Dakota to obtain special big game hunting privileges.
Report Feral Hogs in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) continues to work with legislators, community groups, partner agencies, and landowners to increase awareness about feral hogs and to eradicate them from the landscape. The agency reports it has learned from other states, and through trends in Missouri, that hunting does not help to eradicate hogs and instead results in expanding populations.
“Feral hogs are highly adaptable and easily avoid trapping efforts when hunters encroach into their occupied area,” explained Matt Bowyer, MDC’s wildlife regional supervisor for the southeast region. “We’re learning from other states that hog-hunting actually increases the spread of populations by pushing them into new territories and making their movements less predictable.”
However, if Missourians are afield during a prescribed hunting season and are in possession of the proper permits, such as an unfilled deer or fall turkey hunting permit, the incidental take of feral hogs is allowed. Although the Department prefers all sightings of feral hogs on public and private land be reported, landowners have the right to protect their property from harm by shooting the invasive hogs.
“Feral hogs destroy habitat, eat wildlife, compete with native animals for food, degrade our water quality, and spread disease,” Bowyer said. “We ask Missourians to partner with the Department to ensure we reduce that destruction by reporting all sightings of feral hogs so we can work together to remove the threat.”
Read more about feral hogs in Missouri.
South Dakota Proposes Big Game Hunting For Terminally Ill
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission adopted a proposal at its December meeting that would provide a terminally ill South Dakota resident the opportunity to hunt big game.
The proposal says the Secretary may authorize a resident who has been diagnosed by a licensed doctor of medicine to have a terminal illness, which is medically expected to significantly shorten their life expectancy, to hunt deer, antelope and turkey. The proposal would allow the person to get a permit outside the license lottery system and could expedite their applications to ensure they are able to hunt before they are too ill.
The proposed rule would also authorize the Secretary to provide allowances for persons ages 25 and under who are fighting cancer, other terminal illnesses or a disease that will significantly reduce their life expectancy.
Under the current system, hunters must apply for a license months ahead of a season and hope their name is chosen in the lottery system for certain types of permits.
The rule would allow hunting only during established hunting seasons, and would allow the hunter to take no more than one deer, antelope and turkey.
The proposal also allows that certain restrictions may be waived or additional terms or conditions may be imposed necessary to facilitate participation for the person receiving authorization.
The Commission will finalize this proposal at their January 14-15 meeting.
Sheriffs Drop Price of Carry Permits by One-Third
In an effort to encourage citizens to arm and defend themselves in the aftermath of recent mass shootings and terrorist-related activities in the Unites States, Paris and elsewhere, sheriffs in three Missouri counties this week announced they were lowering the cost of applying for concealed carry permits in The Show-Me State.
Wayne Merritt, the sheriff of Laclede County, told a local television station this week that in light of the shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., he wants to encourage county citizens and all Americans to defend themselves.
“The government has already said they can’t keep track of all these home-grown terrorists, so we can’t be everywhere at the same time, so people have to be able to defend themselves,” Merritt told KY3 television. “Paris, as you know, has one of the strictest gun laws in the world — people can’t just go out and buy a gun like they can in the United States.”
In addition to Laclede County, sheriffs in St Clair and Vernon also announced the price of Missouri Concealed Carry Permit applications would be dropped from $100 to $65, reflecting a decrease of 35 percent.
In announcing the CCW permit price decrease, Vernon Sheriff Jason Mosher said he believes gun ownership and firearms training help to combat a feeling of vulnerability among citizens.
“I think you’ll find that most law enforcement officers are pro CCW,” Mosher said. “The law abiding citizens that (want) background done, get training to carry a gun and protect themselves. We want to encourage that.”
Quote of The Week
“Forever old and forever new, a sunrise is always and never the same.”
– Havilah Babcock,
The Best of Babcock, 1974
(Top photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation)
J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at email@example.com.