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Saturday, February 04, 2006 : infoZine Staff :

Managed Hunts Offered Where Missouri's Turkey Saga Began

By Jim Low

Explore Missouri's turkey-hunting roots with a managed youth, archery or firearms hunt at Caney Mountain Conservation Area in Ozark County.

Gainesville Mo. - Looking out over the rocky glades of Caney Mountain Conservation Area in Ozark County, or standing in one of its steep, silent hollows, it's easy to feel as if you have been transported back in time. The remote, untamed character that makes the area appealing to modern-day hunters also made it one of the last refuges for the wild turkey.

Today, hunters can savor the area's history and the excitement of spring turkey hunting in a series of managed hunts sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

When the Conservation Department began its turkey restoration program in the 1950s, it estimated the state's total wild turkey population at fewer than 2,500. Caney Mountain was one of the few places where the birds survived, so the agency made it a refuge. Once the local flock was large enough, biologists trapped Caney Mountain birds and used them to re-establish turkey populations in other areas.

The program, along with conservative hunting regulations and strong citizen support, succeeded so well that Missouri now leads the nation in turkey harvest. Last year's combined spring and fall turkey harvests totaled more than 69,000 birds.

This year's managed hunts include one for 10 hunters ages 6 to 15, another for up to 30 archers the first week of the spring turkey season and two more hunts for 30 archery or gun hunters each during each of the final two weeks of the spring turkey season.

The application period is Feb. 14 through March 14. You can apply by calling (800) 829-2956 or online at mdc.mo.gov/cgi-bin/mgm-turkey/hunts.htm.

· Banned
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I wonder if these are like management deer hunts and don't count towards your regular season limit??


· Senior Member
19,586 Posts
I'm applying for the Smithville Lake Managed Turkey Hunt (youth & disabled) this year, for the very first time.

Once they start accepting applications for this years' hunt, and I'm able to talk to the lake manager, I'll post more info.

Another article for ya....

Hunters with mobility impairments and those who would like to hunt on public areas where access is restricted should apply now.

JEFFERSON CITY--The Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are taking applications for managed spring turkey hunts at four locations. Hunters who relish the thought of hunting public land where access is limited and those with disabilities that limit their mobility will be especially interested in these hunts.

The Corps of Engineers will sponsor its annual event for disabled turkey hunters May 1 and 2 at Mark Twain Lake in northeast Missouri. This hunt has openings for 18 permanently disabled (non-ambulatory and semi-ambulatory) hunters with valid 1999 spring turkey hunting permits and hunter safety certification cards.

Applications for the Mark Twain Hunt must be postmarked by March 31. Participants will be selected by random drawing at 1 p.m. April 5. For applications or additional information, contact the Mark Twain Lake Management Office, RR 2, Box 20-A, Monroe City, MO 63456, phone 573/735-4097.

Hunters who want to take part in managed spring turkey hunts at Weldon Spring and August A. Busch Memorial conservation areas in St. Charles County have less than a month to get their applications in the mail.

The managed hunts will take place during the regular spring turkey season April 19 through May 9 under statewide regulations. Hunters will be selected for the managed hunts by random drawing. Each hunter whose name is drawn will be assigned to hunt during one of four periods during the 21-day season.

Hunters may apply individually or in groups of up to three per hunting party. When applying as a party, do not send individual application cards for each member of the party. If the group is unsuccessful, each person listed on the application will be notified. Only the hunter listed first on group applications will be notified if the party is drawn for a hunt.

Successful applicants will be charged a $3 administrative fee, but money should not be sent with applications. Hunters whose names appear on more than one application will be disqualified. Completed applications must be postmarked at a post office no later than March 5.

Missouri residents who are permanently confined to wheelchairs automatically qualify to participate in one of the managed hunts at the Busch Area. They need only complete a separate application card and forward it to the Missouri Department of Conservation along with a supporting statement by a licensed physician and a $3 processing fee.

As many as 40 hunters a day will be allowed to hunt on the refuge area at Peck Ranch Conservation Area (CA) hunt throughout the three-week turkey season. Getting a slot to hunt on the 11,000-acre refuge should be no problem, since the daily quota of hunters seldom is reached.Hunters must check in and out at Peck Ranch CA headquarters so biologists can record their success as part of a research project. Registration begins at 4:45 a.m. each day of the season, with hunting slots allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters can scout the refuge from 4:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 17 and 18.

Only the refuge part of Peck Ranch CA is included in the special hunt. The area outside the refuge fence will be open to the public for hunting. All turkey hunters in the area-whether they hunt inside or outside the refuge-are asked to examine birds they kill carefully for markers that show they are part of the research project.

Radio transmitters are easy to see, but the aluminum wing tags are more easily missed. Hunters need to look on the leading edge of the wing section nearest the bird's body. The tags are only about one-eighth of an inch wide and three-quarters of an inch long. Hunters should mention finding tags or transmitters when they bring turkeys in to check stations.

Primitive camping is available for turkey hunters adjacent to Peck Ranch CA headquarters. The headquarters building can be reached by turning north off Highway 60 at Winona onto Highway H and then turning right onto a gravel road at the sign for Peck Ranch Conservation Area. For more information, call Peck Ranch, (314) 323-4249 or 323-4359.

- Jim Low -
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