MDC proposes banning hog hunting on conservation areas

Posted January 28, 2016 at 9:31 am

At its meeting on Jan. 22, the Missouri Conservation Commission voiced initial approval for recommended changes to the Wildlife Code of Missouri that would prohibit the hunting of feral hogs on lands owned, leased, or managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).

The next step in the rulemaking process includes a 30-day public comment period on the proposed regulation changes, which will run from April 2 through May 1. Public comments can be submitted by mail to: Missouri Department of Conservation, Regulations Committee, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0180. Comments can also be submitted by email to, or online at

Following final Conservation Commission consideration of citizen input and staff recommendations this summer, the anticipated effective

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    The Great Woodcock hike

    by Gordon Hutchison, The Shootist

    Dear Don:

    You asked me to let you know how the woodcock hunt went the other day. I guess this time of year, the deer and duck stories start falling all over one another, and a good bird hunting story, with dogs, on public land—well, it’s enough to get any editor’s heart a-tripping, right?

    There’s a lot of walking with this kind of hunting. I can tell you a lot about walking. Hell, I could make a whole magazine

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    The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that angler Shane Doherty of Fort Scott, KS, set the first fishing state-record of 2016 by catching a 2-pound-2-ounce gizzard shad measuring 19 and 13/16 inches. Doherty caught the fish by pole and line on Jan. 8 at a private strip pit in Vernon County. The previous pole-and-line record for gizzard shad was 1-pound, 14 ounces set in 2015. For more on state-record fish, visit MDC’s website at Photo

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    Of gadwalls and geese…The wanderings of a King

    There are lots of species of ducks. When I was only 11 or 12 years old I knew all of them, because I had a little booklet that the Department of Interior had put out for duck hunters. Dad bought me my Missouri guides license that summer and my very first duck stamp. I don’t know which one I was prouder of. He watched while I signed the duck stamp, the way a grade-schooler would, with my tongue stuck out the corner of my mouth. That signature had to be just right.

    Dad and Grandpa

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    MDC sets new Truman Lake spotted bass regulation

    Anglers at Truman Lake will have increased chances to keep spotted bass as part of their creel limit. Beginning March 1, a new regulation will reduce the length limit on spotted bass caught at Truman Lake from 15 inches to 12 inches. Bass population studies by Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) biologists have shown that spotted bass grow slower than largemouth bass, and many adult spotted bass never reach 15 inches, said Mike Bayless, MDC fisheries management biologist.

    During the last five years, population

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    The lowdown on trees

    I bought a tree years ago, something called a Bradford pear tree. The darn thing hasn’t produced a pear yet. It does produce a pretty white blossom in the spring, outside my office window where it has grown from just a twig to a tree about 15 feet tall and four or five inches diameter at the base.

    Most years it seems as if those white blossoms last just about long enough to know they were there…yesterday. And gone tomorrow. Here on Lightnin’ Ridge there are redbuds

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    Missouri deer-hunting seasons end with harvest of nearly 280,000

    Missouri’s 2015-2016 deer-hunting seasons ended Jan. 15 with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reporting a preliminary total harvest of 279,401 deer. Top counties for the overall seasons were Texas with 5,812 deer harvested, Franklin with 5,463, and Howell with 5,440. Hunters harvested 258,341 deer during the 2014-2015 deer hunting seasons.

    In area counties – Cedar County hunters checked 2,513 deer: 1,206 does, 296 button bucks and 1,011 antlered bucks. St. Clair County hunters checked 3,695 deer: 1,791 does, 446 button bucks and 1,456 antlered bucks. Vernon County checked 2,701 deer, 1,197

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    New Year’s Wish: A longer lasting year

    You know what I would like to see out of this new year? I would like to see it last longer. February lasts long enough and so does August. But April and May and October and November are way too quickly gone. Every time I watch one of those wonderful months pass, I realize that as I age, I have a good chance of not seeing another of them come again. At least there will be fewer of those wonderful months than I could once count on.

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    Hideout guns – .22 magnum rimfire derringers

    by Gordon Hutchinson, The Shootist

    A group of firearms instructors was standing around, waiting for a meeting to begin. One of the guys, the best pistol shooter among that relatively talented group, pulled a little North American Arms .22 Magnum revolver out of his pocket, and began showing it around.

    These little guns are well made single-action (the hammer has to be manually cocked to fire it), five-shot revolvers in either .22 Long Rifle, or .22 Magnum, and fit inside the width of a man’s palm. In other

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