Black bass, squirrel seasons open May 28

Friday, May 13, 2016

By CALEB PRYOR

Mo. Dept. of Conservation

Squirrel hunting has always been one of my favorite outdoor pastimes. As a young boy, I spent many a day in the squirrel woods with my old bolt-action .22. It also was a great way for my father and I to get to spend some time together.

With turkey season over and most all hunting seasons closed, what better way to get out in the woods than to chase some squirrels. Here are some regulations you should keep in mind while squirrel hunting.

Hunters can pursue fox and gray squirrels from May 28 through Feb. 15 with rifles, shotguns and other legal firearm methods, along with archery equipment, slingshots or atlatls.

The daily limit for hunting and trapping is 10, with a possession limit of 20. Valid permits for squirrel hunting are archery hunting, daily small game, small game hunting and fishing, and small game hunting.

Hunters with valid permits can also take squirrels with cage-type traps. Traps must be plainly labeled on a durable material with the user's full name and address, or conservation number. Squirrel traps must have openings measuring 144 square inches or less, for instance, 12 inches by 12 inches. Hunters must attend their traps daily. The same regulations apply to rabbits and groundhogs during their respective seasons.

Get more information on squirrel hunting from MDC's 2016 Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations, available where permits are sold, or online at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/squirrel.

Also opening the same day is black bass season. The black bass catch-and-keep season applies to most streams south of the Missouri River for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted or Kentucky bass, and runs from May 28 to Feb. 28.

Anglers may catch these species legally all year, anywhere in the state. They may keep legal-sized bass caught from impoundments all year long, statewide. In most of the state's waters, the daily limit on black bass is six, with a possession limit of 12.

Black bass taken from streams must be at least 12 inches long in most areas.

Additional, specific regulations may apply to specific waters or areas.

Anglers must have a valid fishing permit or be exempt.

Get more information on bass fishing from MDC's 2016 Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, available where permits are sold, or online.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, conservation agent Caleb Pryor, by phone at 573-300-3693, or by email at caleb.pryor@mdc.mo.gov.

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