Missouri Bill Helps Protect Stateâ€™s Whitetails- (02/24) Missouri Legislation before the Missouri senate will increase penalties against poachers who abuse the stateâ€™s wildlife resources. Senate Bill 665, introduced by Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, would fine poachers of whitetail bucks and make them pay restitution to private property owners for damages. The bill was amended on Feb. 15 to allow for the development of a process by which a convicted poacher would also pay restitution to the state based on the deerâ€™s Boone & Crockett score, a figure that could be as high as $7,500. The amendmentâ€™s language was originally presented to the legislature as SB 757 by Sen. Dan Clemens, R-Marshfield. The Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Bowhunting Council, Whitetails Unlimited and private landowners are among those who favor SB 665. Representatives from each group testified before the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, Parks and Natural Resources Committee, which approved the bill by a vote of 9 to 0. It now goes to the Senate floor for a vote. Sportsmen support wildlife conservation programs and state regulations, which protect the resources and have led to abundant populations of whitetail and many other wildlife species. These hunters, anglers and trappers annually fund wildlife conservation programs to the tune of $2.63 billion, nationally. In Missouri, more than 400 whitetail poaching incidents have been documented in the past five years, and sportsmen want the state legislature to help stop the abuse of the resource they protect. The Senate Agriculture, Conservation, Parks and Natural Resources Committee voted in favor of SB 757 on Feb. 15. The Missouri Bowhunting Council lobbied the committee in support of the bill. Take Action! Missouri sportsmen are urged to contact their state senators to support SB 665. Ask your senator to vote in favor of the bill to protect the wildlife resources in Missouri. To contact a Missouri senator, call (573) 751-3659 or use the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org.