Hundreds of Missourians' hunting licenses have been revoked
JEFFERSON CITY - More than five hundred Missourians have lost their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department of Conservation commission meeting Thursday.
According to a press release, the department suspended or revoked hunting and fishing privileges of 285 individuals who failed to comply with child support laws, and it suspended or revoked one or more hunting, fishing and trapping privileges of 293 individuals in accordance with the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
Other individuals' licenses were suspended until they complete a training after they injured people while hunting.
Aaron Jeffries, the deputy director of the state's Department of Conservation, expected there to be several hundred cases for just child support violations.
"We average a couple hundred at each commission meeting," Jeffries said. "That, then, encourages that individual to catch up with their payments, which a lot of people do to enjoy hunting and fishing here in Missouri, and the process does work."
Last year, the department suspended or revoked hunting and fishing licenses of 280 individuals for child support violations.
Jeffries said the commission revokes licenses to keep people accountable and protect the environment from poaching and contamination.
Dogwood Hills School of the Severely Disabled in Eldon visited Runge Conservation Nature Center on a field trip Wednesday.
Laura Baucom, a teacher at the school, believes teaching conservation from a young age is necessary.
"The important thing is just teaching our kids to be respectful of animals and the outdoors," Baucom said.
The commission meets five times a year, but Jeffries says each meeting brings new challenges.
The commission will discuss possible changes to the upcoming deer season, but Jeffries says the commission will likely keep the season similar to past years since "people get used to the season structure."
An open meeting was held at the Department of Conservation's main building Friday at 8:30 a.m. for the public's comment on new land acquisitions, administration changes, and general regulation changes.
(Editor's Note: This story has been updated with new information.)