I don’t think this land registration thing is going well for the Missouri Department of Conservation. I and many other landowners have vowed to hunt on our own land this year without registering it, and the whole idea has turned lots of deer hunting landowners into skeptics of what the MDC is and what their objectives are.
This week I got a letter from the department saying that if I will register my land they will give me ten free deer permits which I can give to anyone. But I can only get them if I register my land with them. Boy it seems like in the last year or so they have gone a little bit crazy. Ten deer on 20 acres!!
Instead of trying to get information on hunters and their land, I wish they would concentrate on the big decline in wild turkey numbers. If a hard look is not taken at cutting back limits and seasons wild turkeys will decline even more. I am not sure they have biologists competent enough to take over the problem that so many outdoorsmen are observing with turkeys. Is the wild turkey biologist today the same one who instigated the “gobbleteers” program a few years back?
That was the idea he came up with to get landowners involved in reporting on spring gobbling activity on their land in order to win a new shotgun. Lots of suburbanites got in on it too. You were to sign up, then report the times in the day you heard various gobblers gobbling on your place by keeping a little notebook and pen in your pocket. That’s all you had to do… just send in your report, how many you heard and the times of each gobble.
If you think I am suppressing a laugh about that as I write, you are correct. Dozens of farmers joined in who just fabricated what they heard over a two-month period, (nothing could be verified) waited to hear if they won the shotgun. Can’t you just see that biologist sitting in his Jefferson City cubicle with that pile of gobbleteer info trying to figure out what to do with it! Again, I am snickering a little as I write.
The new letter is from some lady employee that I will bet is somewhere between 25 and 30 years old and grew up in a big city. I think I will call her and ask her, and report back in another column. Her title is MDC wildlife health specialist. It is complicated, talking about CWD and ‘share-your-harvest’ and land registration in the same pages. The letter says if you do everything she wants, you can receive a 60-dollar reimbursement for taking your deer to an approved processor. You should call about that! I don’t think you can get paid for all ten deer.
But you can’t get anything (no ten deer-no 60 dollars) unless they get the info on you and your land through their newly instigated land registration requirement. You need to get all this done by their deadline on August 28. If you didn’t get the letter as a landowner you might call Ms. Alicia Burke at 573-815-7901 ext. 2898.
If you own 20 acres or less you had better get in on killing 10 deer on your land this fall, because in a couple of years they will move the requirement to 40 or perhaps 80 acres and you will be out of luck, just another deer hunter. But your land and all your info will still be in their files so that is something their agents can use to make you special, should you kill a big buck with valuable antlers.
MDC says that their only interest in all this is to “slow the spread of CWD”. Reminds me of how they were fining boat owners to “slow the spread” of zebra mussels. That didn’t work so well, did it? Zebra mussels are everywhere. Better luck this time. Maybe they can make CWD just disappear, especially if we all will kill ten deer!
My Outdoor Journal magazine, fall issue– will go to print soon. Ninety-six color pages makes it larger than any other outdoor magazine you will find on newsstands. It is full of info on the outdoors you cannot read anywhere else, and we print letters from people who cannot get their opinions published anywhere else. To get it, call me at 417 777 5227. Fewer and fewer newsstands will carry it this fall, as our long-time distributor has gone out of business. Please visit my website, www.larrydablemont.com Write to me at Box 22, Bolivar Mo 65613 or email me at lightninridge47@gmail.com.