Missouri deer hunters could be in for big changes.
The Department of Conservation is proposing reductions in season length and limits in the wake of declining deer populations.
Among the proposals:
▪ Maintaining the timing of the statewide firearms season in November, but reducing the length of the hunt from 11 days to nine.
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▪ Reducing the length of the antlerless firearms season from 12 days to three.
▪ Eliminating the firearms urban zone season.
▪ Reducing the limit of antlered deer from two to one in the archery season.
The department also proposes expanding the late youth deer season from two days to three and have it begin the Friday after Thanksgiving, instead of early January. And crossbows would be a legal weapon in the archery season.
The agency is seeking public input on the proposals, which were formulated after a series of public meetings last summer.
Public meetings will be held throughout February and March to gain further feedback. The first meeting will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center.
To provide feedback, go the Department of Conservation’s website at mdc.mo.gov/node/28079.
Noted pro fisherman to speak
Hank Parker, host of the national “Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine” television show and member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, will be the featured speaker at the Bassmaster University presentations during the Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic this weekened.
Parker is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Independence store and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Olathe store.
Local pros also will present seminars at both stores Saturday and Sunday.
Quail hunting success
Aaron Jeffries is excited about the comeback quail and pheasants are mounting in Missouri.
Jeffries, assistant director of the Missouri Department of Conservation and an avid bird hunter on his days off, enjoyed his best season in years.
He and his dad, Mike, along with other hunting partners, shot 179 quail and 23 pheasants in the recently completed season.
They hunted both private and public land in central, west-central, southwest, northwest and northeast Missouri.
“We saw a lot more birds than we have the past few years,” Jeffries said. “And we heard good reports from other hunters.”
A sure sign of spring
How do you know that spring is on its way? The Johnson County Park and Recreation District is talking trout.
The annual stocking and fishing opener is just around the corner. Plans call for Kill Creek Lake to be stocked at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 25 and Shawnee Mission Park Lake at 3:45 p.m.
Both lakes will then be closed to fishing until 8 a.m. Feb. 28, when the season opens.
One big change is that Heritage Park Lake will not be stocked with trout this year.
To reach outdoors editor Brent Frazee, call 816-234-4319 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter.com at fishboybrent.