JEFFERSON CITY, MO. Out-of-state hunters will pay more for Missouri deer and turkey hunting permits this year.
Also, states that impose the highest nonresident permit prices on Missouri hunters and that includes Kansas will pay even more.
The Missouri Conservation Commission voted last June to increase nonresident deer and turkey hunting permit prices by $20.
The Commission was responding to complaints from Missourians that they pay more to hunt in other states than nonresidents do here.
"The difference in fees sort of makes it seem as if hunting deer and turkey in Missouri is less desirable than in bordering states," said director Jerry Conley. "That's not true. Our deer and turkey hunting are top-notch, and many Missourians resent the difference."
To bring Missouri's nonresident deer and turkey hunting permit prices closer to neighboring states, the Conservation Commission approved a $20 increase for Nonresident Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permits (from $125 to $145), Nonresident Archer Deer Hunting Permits (from $100 to $120) and Nonresident Managed Deer Hunting Permits (from $125 to $145).
The Commission also added $20 to the cost of Nonresident Spring Turkey Hunting Permits (from $125 to $145) and Nonresident Fall Turkey Hunting Permits (from $75 to $95).
Some states Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma charge significantly more for their nonresident permits than other states around Missouri.
To take this into account, the Conservation Commission voted in January to tack a $25 surcharge onto nonresident deer permits for those states' residents.
Both the $20 across-the-board increase and the $25 surcharge go into effect July 1, when 2002-2003 fall deer and turkey hunting permits go on sale.
However, it's still cheaper for nonresidents to hunt deer and turkey in Missouri than in most bordering states.
For example, in Kansas, the cost to Missourians is $275.
Conley said the Conservation Department surveyed nonresident permit buyers and heard several arguments against increasing the fees. Some said that increasing the cost of nonresident permits would make it harder for family members from out of state to take part in family deer hunting traditions.
Others noted that out-of-state deer hunters boost Missouri's economy and help keep the state's deer population in check.
"Hunting in Missouri is an excellent value," Conley said. "Even with the increases, we are proud that our permits will be significantly less expensive than those in surrounding states."