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Hunting & Fishing

2020 Changes to Missouri Hunting and Fishing

November 19, 2020

Change has been an inevitable occurrence in 2020. COVID-19 has changed lives, businesses, events, and countless other areas. Hunting and fishing in the state of Missouri are no different. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has worked hard to overcome these challenges over the past year, but there have still been a few changes to Missouri hunting and fishing. 

Each spring, recreationists flock to Missouri’s lakes, streams, and fishing ponds. Pre-spawn fishing and spring turkey hunting mark the start of a new-year for Missouri outdoor enthusiasts.

The MDC recognized these difficult times and waived the need for fishing permits and trout stamps for much of March and April. This encouraged families to take advantage of the spring weather and enjoy fishing without the cost of a yearly fishing license. During this time, I spoke with several families who took their kids fishing for the first time and found a new way to get outside. 

Changes will continue this fall as deer and waterfowl hunters alike will see changes during their season. In years past, deer hunters in select counties had been required to check their harvest at MDC sampling areas to gather data in at-risk chronic wasting disease (CWD) areas.

This fall, these sampling areas will remain open. However, the previously mandated sampling will be voluntary during the 2020 deer season. Deer hunters will have the option to check their deer at various locations around the state and are still highly encouraged to do so. More info on sampling stations can be found here: MDC Sampling

Missouri’s highly-trafficked and managed waterfowl hunting areas will also experience change during the 2020-2021 season. The typical early-season reservation system was canceled along with all youth season drawing for hunting positions. Managed hunt circumstances will be decided on an area-by-area basis this fall/winter. The MDC has created guidelines for these areas depending on the COVID-19 severity in that specific area. Some areas will operate as normal (with social distancing in place), and some areas will be reliant 100% on the weekly online drawing process. Specific information on these areas can be found here: Procedural Levels for Waterfowl Managed Hunts

As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite these changes to Missouri hunting, Missouri hunters will still enjoy their favorite time of the year as always. While things are different this year, it is more important than ever to take advantage of the outdoors and to do so in a fun and safe way!

About the Author
Alec Wardenburg joined National Land Realty in 2019. Before joining the team, Alec previously held an ag sales role for several years with Manna Pro Animal Health. During his time there, he gained experience relating to feed sales, animal health supplements and equine/pet nutrition. Currently, he is a commodity settlement specialist with Bunge Grain Merchandising in Chesterfield, MO. He is also in the Missouri Army National Guard where he is a 2nd lieutenant in a horizontal engineering platoon. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management with a minor in plant sciences and military science. As a Land Professional, Alec is eager to work hard for his clients in the Missouri area. Born and raised in the state, he has a great understanding of the types of land and resources available within different regions of Missouri. Additionally, he’s had the opportunity to travel, work and hunt/fish in most areas of his home state. Not only has this allowed him to have a better understanding of the recreational opportunities in different areas, but it has also enabled him to network with local landowners and feed/seed dealers. When Alec isn’t working, he enjoys spending time hunting waterfowl, deer and turkey hunting throughout Missouri and South Dakota, as well as crappie fishing in the spring. He currently resides in Lake Saint Louis with fiancè, Hannah and black lab, Deuce. View Alec's Listings and Reviews on