It’ll likely get more expensive to hunt and fish in Missouri, but not by much.

The Missouri Conservation Commission gave initial approval last month to raising the costs for several permits, including hunting, fishing, combined hunting and fishing, trapping, turkey and deer permits, and others. Aaron Jeffries is deputy director for the Department of Conservation.

“I think we all realize that nothing costs the same that it did a year or two years ago,” he said. “The cost of conservation business has continued to go up over the past couple of years, especially when you look at habitat management on our conservation areas.”

Jeffries said even with the proposed fee hikes, hunting and fishing permits in Missouri will still be much cheaper than they are in surrounding states.

“I think deer is…$17 – it’s going to increase to $18, so, a $1 increase,” Jeffries said. “(A) fishing permit (is) $12; you’re gonna go to $13. There’s not a lot of things that you can do for for $12 or $18 nowadays and have such a great recreational opportunity.”

Jeffries also said the average deer hunting permit in surrounding states costs over $50.

Most of the proposed increases range from 50 cents to a dollar more per year for in-state residents, more for out-of-state visitors. The increases are slated to help MDC pay for much-needed repairs and renovations.

“You know many of us have been to Bennett Springs, that’s close to a $50 million project,” Jeffries said. “Once we’re done with Bennett, we’re going to be looking at Montauk Hatchery, that would probably be well over $50 million. Our wetlands are quite expensive and have really taken a beating from the floods.”

Public comments will be accepted from July 4th through August 2nd, and a final vote by the Conservation Commission is scheduled in September. The price hikes would take place next February.

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