Missouri commission reverses hunting regulations for landowners

Bowing to public criticism and a worsening economy, the Missouri Conservation Commission today decided to reverse proposed regulations that would have charged thousands of Missourians to hunt deer and turkeys on their own land.

The board also voted against raising the price of resident hunting and fishing permits as it had proposed Sept. 26.

Price hikes for nonresident permits, however, were kept intact and will go into effect July 1, 2009.

The proposed change affecting landowners was a hot-button issue. The Department of Conservation proposed that landowners would have to own at least 80 acres to receive free deer- and turkey-hunting permits — a big change from the 5 acres that had been the standard for years.

Word of that proposal set off an angry reaction from many landowners, who flooded the Department of Conservation with calls, e-mails and letters.

At its meeting today, the Conservation Commission took that feedback into account when it voted to leave the acreage requirement at 5 acres and the cost of resident licenses as it is.