Rifle range portion of Lake City Range will close March 11

The Missouri Department of Conservation will close for improvements the rifle range portion of the Lake City Shooting Range near Buckner starting Monday, March 11. All other target ranges at Lake City will remain open for public use including the pistol, trap, skeet, and archery ranges.

This closure will allow for construction work to make improvements to the overhead concrete baffles at the rifle range, said Kellie Bradfield, assistant outdoor education center manager. During construction, visitors with rifles can use the pistol range, although the target distance is limited to 25 yards.

The construction project is scheduled for 45 days. Lake City is scheduled to reopen the rifle range on May 15. However, the range will be reopened earlier if the project is completed ahead of schedule.

MDC also operates the staffed Parma Woods Shooting Range at Parkville. For information about the Lake City Range at 28505 E. Truman Road, visit http://mdc.mo.gov/lakecity. Information about the Parma Woods range is available at http://mdc.mo.gov/parmawoods.


MDC offers free spring turkey hunting classes in Kansas City

The Missouri Department of Conservation will offer free classes on how to hunt wild turkeys in the spring season at three locations in the Kansas City area. Participants will gain the skills to enjoy one of hunting’s most exciting challenges. Missouri's spring youth turkey hunting season is April 6-7, and the regular spring turkey hunting season is April 15-May 5.

• MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will offer an introduction to turkey hunting session from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 2, at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs. Experts will explain where to hunt turkeys, tactics, what equipment is needed, and safety. This class is open to participants age 11 and older. Youths ages 11-15 must be accompanied by a participating adult. Registration is required.To register, visit the MDC online events signup page, https://mdc.mo.gov/events-s3. For information, call 816-228-3766.

• The Parma Woods Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center will offer a free class on turkey hunting basics from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, March 31, 15900 N.W. River Road in Parkville. This class will also discuss wild turkey biology, hunting tactics, gear, regulations, and where to hunt. Participants must be age 8 or older. Registration is required. To register, visit the MDC online events signup page, https://mdc.mo.gov/events-s3. For more information, call 816-891-9941.

• MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will celebrate tom turkeys gobbling in the spring with a free Wild Turkey in Missouri workshop from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 6. Staff will discuss the history of wild turkey restoration, how to use turkey calls, hunting methods, and safety precautions. This workshop is offered to all ages on a walk-in basis. Children can make some turkey art using real turkey feathers. The Gorman Discovery Center is at 4750 Troost Ave. in the heart of Kansas City. For information, call 816-759-7300.

Missouri enjoys a rich turkey hunting heritage. Many MDC conservation areas offer public access for turkey hunting. MDC’s MO Hunting app offers quick access via digital devices to information about regulations, permits, and public lands. Visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoQ.


MDC announces regulation change for crappie fishing at Smithville Lake

The Missouri Department of Conservation implemented on Friday a regulation change for crappie fishing at Smithville Lake. The new regulation will allow anglers to keep a daily limit of 30 crappie, but no more than 15 crappie harvested can be greater than 9 inches in total length. This change will allow anglers to utilize an overpopulation of stunted black crappie, but it will also protect overharvest of the larger white crappie.

The Missouri Conservation Commission approved the change at a February meeting. Under the old regulation, anglers could keep a daily limit of 15 white and black crappie combined with a minimum length limit for both of 9 inches. The new regulation will have no minimum length limit for either species.

“White crappie tend to grow larger than black crappie,” explained MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Eric Dennis. “While both black and white crappie count toward the daily limit, 80 percent of the crappie in the lake are black crappie – and they are severely stunted from overpopulation.”

Most black crappie never reached 9 inches and were not harvested by anglers, Dennis said. The new regulation will allow anglers to keep more fish but also boost the average size of black crappie to more desirable lengths. While there is no length limit for white crappie, biologists encourage anglers to make most of their catch kept under 9 inches to be black crappie. That will help the fishery for both species.

For more information about fishing in Missouri, visit https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/.

Also, MDC’s MO Fishing app lets anglers use digital devices to check fishing regulations, locations, and other information about specific waters, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZJZ.

– Missouri Department of Conservation