Fall hunting seasons don't start for another month, but there are changes to Fort Leonard Wood's hunting and fishing regulations that anyone planning to hunt, fish or otherwise recreate outdoors on the installation should become familiar with as soon as possible.

First and foremost, it is now mandatory for all persons hunting on Fort Leonard Wood to check in and check out of hunting areas using the Fort Leonard Wood iSportsman portal. Introduced here last year, you can register at the site at https://ftleonardwood.isportman.net.

Once registered, users can use it to start checking in and out, purchasing necessary permits and more. The most up-to-date Fort Leonard Wood Hunting and Fishing Regulation 210-21 can also be found on the iSportsman home page under the "regulation" tab. All hunters should familiarize themselves with the regulations, as well as the 2018 Missouri Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations prior to signing into a hunting area.

"It is easy to register an account, and once complete you'll be assigned a six-digit number, which is required for display on the windshield each time you sign in to an area to hunt," said William Force, Supervisory Police Officer, Conservation Law Enforcement.

By registering at the iSportsman site, you can also download a free Outdoor Recreation Permit for activities other than hunting and fishing, such as picking berries and mushrooms, riding horses, hiking, looking for shed antlers, spelunking and more.

Another benefit of the iSportsman site is safety, Force said.

"By checking in on iSportsman, Conservation Law Enforcement will be able to locate individuals who may need assistance from emergency services," he said.

Hunters should make sure to use the correct permits for each season. Force recommends having physical copies on hand, noting that it is the hunter's responsibility while afield to provide permits for inspection by Conservation Law Enforcement Officers.

"There were many hunters during the 2107 season who were unable to provide proof of permits on their smart device," he said. "Many times the hunter was unable to pull up their permits on the MO Hunting app while afield. It is strongly encouraged that those afield have in possession a paper copy of their Missouri State Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit, along with the FLW Sportsman Permit. Conservation Law Enforcement will cite those who cannot produce appropriate permits while afield during the 2018 fall deer and turkey seasons."

After harvesting, but before transporting a deer or turkey, hunters must notch their permits, tearing a small notch in the month and day of the harvest. If using the MO Hunting app, hunters can select the permit they wish to use from the list in the app and follow the prompts on the screen.
Feral hog rules

There are some specific rules and scenarios hunters will need to keep in mind if and when encountering feral hogs on post this year.

FLW Regulation 210-21 Paragraph 6, states "Feral hogs may be taken on Fort Leonard Wood only incidentally while hunting for deer following all legal seasons, restrictions and methods. Specifically, baiting and trapping and the use of dogs to pursue feral hogs are not authorized on Fort Leonard Wood."

That said, hunters should stay away from feral hog traps put in place this year. Corn has been planted in hunting areas 14, 15, and 36A by the Natural Resources Branch.

"This was done to entice feral hogs into very large traps to be euthanized by a Department of Agriculture employee working full time on Fort Leonard Wood to eradicate feral hogs," Force said.

The cornfields may be hunted over by those checked into the hunting area via the Fort Leonard Wood iSportsman site.

The feral hog traps are, at all times, off limits to all persons, as are the hogs which may be in the traps. It is also illegal to harvest a deer that enters incidentally into the hog trap.

Also, while it is legal to hunt over a harvested crop, it is not legal to add grain or other crops, such as apples, to the field after it has been harvested.

Other rules

Other rules hunters should be aware of before heading out this fall include:

-- The use of bait while hunting is illegal. During the first week of the 2017 Archery Season, a citation was issued to an individual hunting over bait. Mineral Blocks, including salt, are not considered bait, however, mineral blocks that contain grain or other food additives are prohibited.

-- It is illegal for hunters to clean a deer carcass in a river, creek or pond.

-- Archery hunters may take one antlered deer prior to Nov. 10 and two turkeys of either sex.

-- Firearms turkey hunters may take two turkeys of either sex between Oct. 1 and 31.

-- Firearms turkey hunters should remember that shotguns capable of holding more than three shells in a magazine and chamber combined are prohibited.

-- Deer and turkeys must be checked by 10 p.m. on the day they are harvested. When Telechecking your deer or turkey, hunters will be asked a few short questions that biologists will use to gather information on the ages of deer and turkey harvested. The required information can be referenced on page 62 of this year's Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations.
Training available

Organizations on Fort Leonard Wood can contact Conservation Law Enforcement officials and request a 90-minute overview of Fort Leonard Wood hunting and fishing regulations. Briefings include time for questions and answers.

To request a briefing, or for more information about hunting on Fort Leonard Wood, call Force at 573.596.5002 or 573.433.6000 or send an email to william.d.force.civ@mail.mil.