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FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — With a new hunting season approaching, it’s important to note some policy changes that affect Fort Leonard Wood.

Pulaski County is on the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone, and deer harvested on Nov. 13 and 14 will require mandatory testing. However, it is wise to have any deer harvested this archery or firearm season tested for CWD. Samples can be dropped off at the Fort Leonard Wood Outdoor Adventure Center on FLW K any time except Nov. 13 and 14, when they need to be taken to the Pulaski County CWD testing site at the Waynesville Public School Career Center, 400 GW Lane, in Waynesville.

Baiting for wildlife is prohibited on Fort Leonard Wood due to Pulaski County being added this year to the CWD management zones — all salt products and mineral attractants are also prohibited on post this year. In addition, the Antler Point Restriction has been removed for the CWD Management Zone on Fort Leonard Wood. This was done so young bucks are no longer protected from harvest because the young bucks can spread the disease to new areas as they search for territories or mates.

The No. 1 violation from the 2020 hunting season was area access violations. Everyone is reminded that they must check-in and check-out of open areas using the Fort Leonard Wood iSportsman website. All recreational activity is conducted via the website, from purchasing appropriate permits to determining when areas are open or closed, along with sign-in and sign-out procedures.

Please also remember that check-in and check-out procedures must be completed on the same day access is desired and all recreational users must display their six-digit iSportsman registration number in the front windshield of their vehicle any time they are checked in. Be sure to confirm check-in prior to going afield and also confirm check-out of the area prior to 10 p.m.

Other common violations last year were failure to tele-check deer as prescribed, failure to wear hunter orange, hunting over bait, having a loaded firearm within 100 feet of a roadway and hunting in closed areas. Remember to notch your deer tag immediately upon retrieving the harvest and keep it with the harvest during transport.

In accordance with FLW 190-11, all crossbows and compound bows being transported for use on Fort Leonard Wood must be declared at any installation access control point. Crossbows are required to be registered, in the same manner as other firearms, and the registration receipt (FLW Form 1835 or FLW Form 1835-A) must be kept with the weapon at all times. The registration process can be found here.

Feral hog traps are off limits at all times to all persons, as are the hogs which may be in traps. It is illegal to harvest a deer that enters a hog trap or to hunt in close proximity to a baited feral hog trap. Feral hogs may be taken on Fort Leonard Wood only incidentally, while hunting for deer following all legal seasons, restrictions and methods.

Some of the more important hunting dates for the upcoming season include:

  • Archery Deer and Turkey Season is Sept. 15 to Nov. 12 and Nov. 24 to Jan. 15;
  • Early Youth Firearm Season is Oct. 30 and 31;
  • Firearm Deer Season is Nov. 13 to Nov. 23;
  • Late Youth Firearm Season is Nov. 26 to 28;
  • Antlerless Only Season is Dec. 4 to 6 (Pulaski County, including Fort Leonard Wood); and
  • Alternative Methods Season is Dec. 25 to Jan. 4.

It is the hunter’s responsibility while afield to provide both state and Fort Leonard Wood permits for inspection by a Conservation Law Enforcement Officer. Many times, hunters are unable to pull up their digital permits on the Missouri Hunting App while afield, so it is recommended, but not required, that everyone keep a paper copy of your Missouri State Deer and Turkey hunting permits with you. Upon registration with iSportsman, there is a basic Recreational Users Permit, that is issued free of charge. For additional recreational activity, the following permits are required:

  • The FLW Sportsman Permit is $15, and is required for all hunting and fishing activities. For those who are 60 percent disabled or under the age of 16, this fee is waived.
  • Archery Deer and Turkey Permit is $5.
  • Firearm Deer Permit is $5.
  • Fall Firearm Turkey Permit is $5.

There are five permanent ground blinds, located in Hunting Areas 3, 7, 14, 26A and 32. These are available for use by all patrons, on a first-come basis. However, they are designed primarily for disabled hunters, so it is expected that abled bodied persons will defer use at all times.

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

The Missouri wildlife code requires all unattended tree stands be labeled with full name, address and telephone number, or conservation ID number. In all cantonment hunting areas, only temporary stands may be used and must be removed upon the conclusion of the day’s hunting.

All other recreational activity that may occur during the fall hunting seasons are governed by FLW 215-3; Usage of Non-Hunting and Fishing Recreational Activities. For activities other than hunting and fishing, it is required that those recreating outdoors register with iSportsman and obtain the free Outdoor Recreation Permit that will enable you to check-in and check-out of areas.

The potential to have an encounter with black bears has increased dramatically over the past several years, with numerous confirmed reports of young males out foraging and looking to establish new range. They typically move at dawn and dusk, are very wary of human activity and tend to scare easily. In any instance with a bear encounter, stand tall and make noise. Everyone is encouraged to visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website for more information concerning bears.

Missouri introduced a black bear hunting season this year, which runs from Oct. 18 to 27. 50 people were selected by MDC in a lottery to hunt this season. If you are one of the 50 selected, you can hunt on Fort Leonard Wood during this time by shotgun or bow method only — no high-caliber rifles. All black bear hunters will have to call 800.668.4045 daily before hunting to ensure the five bear limit has not been met. If it has, the season will close early.

Let’s have a great hunting season this year. Know your surroundings, dress appropriately for the weather, use a safety harness while in tree stands, let someone know where you are hunting and handle all weapons safely.

Call 573.596.5002 or 573.528.8136, email jason.a.ploss.civ@mail.mil or visit the Fort Leonard Wood website for more information regarding hunting on post.