Despite the challenges surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, from school closings to social distancing, many Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) properties currently remain open.
Conservation areas offer an opportunity to get out, clear the mind, breathe some fresh air and reconnect with the outdoors during a difficult time. Though many MDC areas remain open, many of its offices and nature centers are now closed. Likewise, the MDC advises the public to maintain a safe social distance from other people, even while outdoors, and to keep groups small, including only people within the same family or household.
One good way to get outdoors is to participate in the upcoming turkey hunting seasons. The 2020 youth turkey hunting season is April 4-5. Youth may pursue turkeys for a half hour before sunrise until sunset. Limits are one male turkey or turkey with a visible beard, and youths who take a turkey during the youth season may not harvest a second turkey until April 27. The regular spring turkey season is April 20-May 10, with shooting hours from a half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m.
Starting this year, resident landowners with 20 or more contiguous acres and nonresident landowners with 75 or more contiguous acres qualify for landowner deer and turkey permits and must submit their property information to the MDC Landowner Permit Application to receive them.
The new landowner permit application provides MDC and permit vendors with secure records of landowners and members of their households who qualify for the free and discounted permits, along with proof of land ownership and boundaries of the properties for which the free and discounted permits apply.
Learn more about the MDC Landowner Permit Application and apply online through the secure MDC webpage at mdc.mo.gov/landownerpermits. The page also provides answers to common questions.
For a paper application or more information on the landowner permit application, go online, email [email protected] (link sends e-mail), call MDC Permit Services at 573-522-0107 and select Option 1, or mail a request to: Missouri Department of Conservation, Permit Services Landowner, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180.
For more information about valid permits, hunting limits and allowed and prohibited methods, visit huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/turkey/turkey-seasons-hours.