Hunters advised to use free landowner permits properly

Each year, Missouri conservation agents find numerous cases of misuse of landowner permit privileges.
The Department of Conservation reminds those who use its free resident landowner permits for deer and turkey hunting to comply with the Wildlife Code of Missouri by being sure they qualify for the permits, and use them properly.

Free resident landowner permits for deer and turkey hunting are issued to qualifying Missouri landowners and members of their immediate households, and to those who lease and live on qualifying land and members of their immediate households.

There are several hundred violations each year related to the misuse of landowner permits.

“While most hunters properly use their free landowner permits from MDC, we find several hundred cases each season where folks do not play by the rules – intentionally or by mistake,” says Protection Division Field Chief Dean Harre.

“Many of the violations involve people fraudulently obtaining and using the free permits when they do not qualify for them, such as claiming to be a resident landowner or lessee when they are not, or misrepresenting the number of acres they have. We also find folks who share their permits with others—which is illegal—and those who use the permits on land other than the property for which the permits were issued, which is also not allowed.”

Conservation agents conducted a statewide review earlier this year of landowner permits issued during the past several years and related violations. They found about one-third, or more than 30 percent, of those using no-cost landowner permits misuse them.

A common violation was the misuse of lessee privileges. For those who lease, they must lease and live on at least five continuous acres owned by others or be an immediate household member age six years or older of someone who does. Participation in a hunting or farming lease alone does not qualify an individual for landowner permits.

A common violation encountered in the field by conservation agents is someone using landowner permits on land they do not own, or lease but do not live on.

o help hunters determine if they qualify for landowner permits, MDC has created an online Landowner Permit Quiz.

Landowner permits can be obtained where permits are sold, through the free MDC MO Hunting app or online.