Contact: Kent Keene, Lower Midwestern States Coordinator
On July 22, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted formal comments to the Missouri Conservation Commission in support of changes to Missouri’s furbearer hunting regulations. First reported by CSF on July 6, these regulatory changes were proposed by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and would create several new opportunities for sportsmen and women who were interested in managing coyote and nuisance wildlife populations using nighttime hunting methods.
CSF’s letter primarily focused on proposed changes that would create a special coyote season during which hunters would be able to use nighttime hunting technologies, including artificial light, night vision, thermal imaging, and infrared optics to hunt coyotes. This proposed change, similar to one currently being considered in Kansas, would allow the use of these technologies during a specific season. In Missouri’s case, this season would occur from February 1 to March 31. In the support letter, CSF applauded the increased opportunity that these proposed regulations would provide for Missouri’s sportsmen and women while reaffirming CSF’s support of state fish and wildlife management agencies as the entity best equipped to make science-based management decisions at the state level.
Also included in the proposed changes was language allowing landowners, and those authorized by the landowner, to use nighttime hunting technologies to hunt feral swine on private lands without prior permission from a Missouri conservation agent. Currently, nighttime technology may be used when hunting feral swine on private lands with prior consent from a state conservation agent.
The public comment period for these proposed changes will remain open through the end of July. Those who wish to provide comments may do so by visiting MDC’s website.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?