As numerous small game and bird seasons are underway in the Ozarks, local agents from the Missouri Department of Conservation are constantly aware of poaching activity, illegal means of harvesting, as well as excessive waste crimes involving wildlife in Missouri’s hunting areas and waterways. 

One such instance of the latter transpired last week in the northwest portion of Cedar County when MDC agent Derek Farwell was alerted to a pile of dead waterfowl dumped near 1481 Rd. and Route N, in the Caplinger Mills area.

Making time to follow up on the report, Farewell made his way to the described location and found 13 birds — four geese and nine ducks — which had been shot, then dumped without any usable meat being harvested from any of the carcasses, making for a clear case of excessive waste — often referred to as want-and-waste.

“This is something none of us here in the department can stand,” Farewell said. “It’s a total waste, whether it’s just a thrill-kill or someone not wanting to clean what they’ve shot, there is just no sense in it.” 

Farwell also noted the crime’s impact may not just affect bird populations or the person(s) responsible for a wildlife crime because “it can make for a terrible image for all the ethical bird hunters out there who do the right thing, too.”

Though Farwell would not comment on any leads or potential suspects, he confirmed his department’s involvement with the matter and an investigation currently is underway.

Farwell also encouraged anyone with information regarding this instance — or any questionable or illegal activity involving wildlife — to report any information they may have.

 “People can report this type of activity or any other type of poaching anonymously,” Farwell said. “They can call me directly or our Operation: Game Thief hotline. We always encourage communication from the community.”

Operation: Game Thief can be reached 24/7, toll-free by calling (800) 392-1111; Farwell can be reached personally by calling (417) 830-6162.

Additional information regarding hunting/fishing seasons, rules, regulations, or hunting and trespassing can be found by visiting www.mdc.mo.gov. 

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