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MDC reminds hunters to use free landowner permits properly

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds people using its free resident landowner permits for deer and turkey hunting to comply with the Wildlife Code of Missouri by being sure they qualify for the permits and use them properly.

MDC issues free resident landowner permits for deer and turkey hunting to qualifying Missouri landowners and members of their immediate households and to those who lease and live on qualifying land and members of their immediate households.

According to MDC, conservation agents around the state find several hundred violations each year related to the misuse of landowner permits.

“While most hunters properly use their free landowner permits from MDC, we find several hundred cases each season where folks do not play by the rules – intentionally or by mistake,” said MDC Protection Division Field Chief Dean Harre. “Many of the violations involve people fraudulently obtaining and using the free permits when they do not qualify for them, such as claiming to be a resident landowner or lessee when they are not or misrepresenting the number of acres they have. We also find folks who share their permits with others – which is illegal — and who use the permits on land other than the property for which the permits were issued, which is also not allowed.”

MDC conservation agents conducted a statewide review earlier this year of landowner permits issued during the past several years and related violations. They found about one-third (more than 30 percent) of those using no-cost landowner permits misuse them.

A common violation was the misuse of lessee privileges. For those who lease, they must lease and live on at least five continuous acres owned by others or be an immediate household member age six years or older of someone who does. Participation in a hunting or farming lease alone does not qualify an individual for landowner permits.

A common violation encountered in the field by conservation agents is someone using landowner permits on land they do not own, or lease but do not live on.

To help hunters determine if they qualify for landowner permits, MDC has created an online Landowner Permit Quiz at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/permits/qualifications-resident-landowner-permits/landowner-permit-quiz.

Landowner permits can be obtained where permits are sold, online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, or through the free MDC MO Hunting app available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

For more information, go online to huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/permits/qualifications-resident-landowner-permits, or see pages 20 and 21 of MDC’s 2018 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold.