By GUIDON staffApril 6, 2017
Missouri's 2017 youth turkey hunting season begins Saturday and continues through Sunday. The regular spring turkey season is scheduled April 17 through May 7.
Those planning on turkey hunting, or participating in any hunting season throughout the year on Fort Leonard Wood, should familiarize themselves with the post's hunting regulations.
Copies of "Fort Leonard Wood Regulation 210-21 Hunting and Fishing Regulations" are free and available at the Outdoor Adventure Center.
Hunters should read the regulations for seasons, means and methods, limits and checking game, including Telechecking. Regulations are also available electronically at www.wood.army.mil/doimspt/FLWPublications/R210-21.pdf.
State hunting permits may be purchased at the OAC along with a required Sportsman Permit with appropriate season stamp.
The OAC is a state vendor and the only entity on or off Fort Leonard Wood that sells the Sportsman Permit. The OAC is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays through Sundays.
Permits must be on your person while afield/hunting.
To sign in to hunt on Fort Leonard Wood, persons must either physically check in at range control or apply by email through the post's hunting and fishing website www.wood.army.mil/dptm/handf.htm to be issued a Fort Leonard Wood Hunting Area Access Pass.
Individuals who sign in to hunt must call range control to sign out of the hunting area no later than 10 p.m.
The Missouri Department of Conservation lists information about each of its hunting seasons online at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/seasons. Here are some details about the upcoming turkey seasons:
The youth turkey season is open to hunters ages 6 to 15.
Hunting hours for the youth turkey season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Hunters need a spring turkey hunting permit, which will also allow them to participate in the regular spring season.
Youth hunters are limited to one male turkey or a turkey with a visible beard. Hunters should keep in mind that the bird taken during the youth season counts as the first bird for the first week of the regular season. Youth hunters may not harvest a second bird until April 25.
Spring turkey season
Hours for Missouri's regular spring turkey season are one-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. each day.
Hunters must have a spring turkey hunting permit.
Hunters are limited to harvesting two male turkeys or turkeys with visible beards. Hunters may take one turkey during the first week of the season, April 17 through 23.
Hunters who do not harvest a turkey during the first week may harvest two turkeys during the second and third week of the season. Hunters may not take two turkeys on the same day.
Weapons and equipment allowed during both the youth turkey season and the regular spring season include:
-- Shotguns with shot not larger than No. 4;
-- Longbows, recurve bows, or compound bows;
-- Hand-held string releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quick point sights;
Hunters may not use:
-- Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells in a magazine and chamber combined;
-- Shot larger than No. 4 (in use or in possession);
-- Any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game;
-- Thermal imagery equipment or night vision equipment (in use or in possession);
-- Recorded calls (in use or in possession).
The use of dogs or live decoys is prohibited, as is the use of bait, which includes grain or other feed placed or scattered so as to attract turkeys. An area is considered baited for 10 days even after complete removal of the bait. A hunter can be in violation even if he or she did not know an area was or is baited. It is illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.
Hunters have a responsibility and must use risk-management skills to ensure everyone is safe. Review the safety tips below as a starting point for hunting safety this season. Before, during, and after hunting seasons, take time to think through all of your actions. Remember that your life or the lives of others depend on your smart decision-making process.
-- If you are not hunting, try to steer clear of areas where hunters may be.
-- Attend a Hunter's Safety Course even if it is not required where you hunt.
-- Hunt in pairs and have a first aid kit available.
-- Take a cell phone and let someone know where you will be and when you will return.
-- Know how to properly handle your weapon and follow all archery/firearm safety rules.
-- Make sure all of your equipment is in good working condition.
-- Know Missouri's Purple Paint Statute, to avoid hunting on private property.
-- Scout the area you plan to hunt, to ensure you are not endangering others.
-- Know side effects of prescription drugs and never drink alcohol while hunting.
-- Report observed violations of the law to a conservation agent or police.
-- Be sure of your target. Never point a weapon at anything that has not been identified.
For more information about hunting and fishing on Fort Leonard Wood, call the OAC at 573.596.0131, ext. 64223 or visit its webpage at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com/us/leonard wood/programs/outdoor-adventure-center-oac.
Update your MDC app
Turkey hunters who use the Missouri Department of Conservation's "MO Hunting" free mobile app will need to perform an app update to telecheck harvests for the spring turkey season. The new versions will provide updated turkey telecheck information.
Both Apple and Android users will need to install the app update to telecheck turkey harvests. Apple users must have at least the iOS 9.0 version to use the updated MO Hunting app. Android users must have at least Android 5.0.
For more information, go online to mdc.mo.gov/mohunting.