Caney Mountain Conservation Area

Notice
NOTE: The central portion of Caney Mountain CA (Zone 1) is open to deer hunting and spring turkey hunting by managed hunt permit holders only. Managed deer hunts are by muzzleloader and archery methods only. All other permitted seasons are statewide regulations.
Early morning skylight over the Caney Mountain CA
Caney Mountain Conservation Area is in Ozark County, five miles north of Gainsville. This 7,899-acre area is characterized by unusual geology, including the roughest parts of a precipitous range of hills. These hills are a remnant of an old elevated plateau that has been dissected by numerous feeder streams. From area roads, visitors can view numerous prominent peaks, including Bear Cave Mountain, High Rock Mountain, Morrison Knob, Long Bald, and Tater Cave Mountain. The area also includes unique plant communities. Glades, savannas, forest openings, and old growth forest cover the rugged terrain along the small creek bottoms. Several of the state's rare and endangered species are being protected on the area. Caney Mountain was a stronghold of the eastern wild turkey in Missouri, even when the state population dropped to less than 2,500 birds. The area was acquired as a turkey refuge in 1940, and A. Starker Leopold, son of Aldo Leopold, the pioneer of modern wildlife conservation, prepared the first wildlife management plan. Prior to its purchase, the land had been repeatedly burned and had been subjected to open range grazing. The Conservation Department released 30 deer captured from what is now the Drury-Mincy Conservation Area here in the fall of 1940. This area then enabled both deer and turkey restoration to the rest of the state. The area still continues it's long history of wildlife habitat management today, including annual prescribed burning, wildlife food plots, managed deer and turkey hunts, wildlife population surveys, and glade and woodland restoration.
Area Map483.71 KB
Area Brochure221.40 KB
Quick Facts
Total Acres
7898.9
Area Hours
  • Sunday, 04:00 AM - 10:00 PM
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 04:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Directions
Zone 1 (Inside the fenced portion-Old Refuge): From Gainesville, take Highway 181 north 5 miles, then Caney Mountain Refuge Drive west 0.50 mile to the area headquarters.

Zone 2 (Outside the fenced portion): From Gainesville, go north on 5 Hwy 1 mile to CR 107, follow 2 miles to entrance.

Zone 3 (Outside the fenced portion): From Gainesville, go north on 5 Hwy 10 miles to Hwy Y. East on Y for 2 miles until pavement ends, continue east 1.5 miles on CR 116 to the conservation area.
For more information call
(417) 679-2363
Title
Map Info
Title
Resources

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 105 Title; Authority

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
105 Title; Authority
Rules

Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code applies to this area. The information provided reflects regulations for most activities on this conservation area but does not contain regulations for all possible uses. For more information on area regulations consult the Wildlife Code or call the phone number listed for the area in the area details section.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 110 General Provisions

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
110 General Provisions
Rules

Department areas designated as open to the public may be accessed and used for hiking; sightseeing; nature observation; entering or remaining on designated portions of department areas; possession of pets and hunting dogs; field trials; use of vehicles, bicycles, horses, and horseback riding;  collecting of nuts, berries, fruits, edible wild greens, and mushrooms; camping; tree stands; target shooting and use of shooting ranges; decoys and blinds; use of boats and motors; taking bullfrogs and green frogs; hunting; trapping; and fishing. The locations and times when department areas may be entered, remained on, or used for these activities may be further restricted by Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code, signs, this conservation atlas, or area maps. In addition to the rules of the Wildlife Code, federal, state and local laws apply on department lands.

 The following activities are prohibited on department areas and may not be authorized by a special use permit:

1. Destruction, defacing, or removal of department property

2. Digging or excavating

3. Guiding for pay

4. Military or law enforcement training by nongovernment entities

5. Placing of grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable products on land

6. Placing or using trail or game cameras or other similar devices

7. Use of paint ball, airsoft, or similar projectile weapons not specifically authorized by this Code

8. Placement of honey bee apiaries

9. Parking or storage of watercraft and commercial vehicles during closed hours

10. Use of fireworks

11. Use of remote-controlled boats or land vehicles

12. Prospecting, exploring, mining, or extracting minerals, metals, oil, natural gas, or other nonrenewable resources, except as specifically approved by the commission

13. Commercial or political advertising, except for commercial advertising by authorized concessionaires or by vendors participating in department events

Other activities not listed above, including commercial use and vending, may be authorized by a special use permit when the activity is compatible with other authorized activities. Special use permits may be issued only by the area manager or their designee. Issuance of a special use permit is at the discretion of the department. Application for a special use permit does not guarantee that one will be issued.

Signs, posted regulations, or area maps may further restrict activities, including designating portions of department areas as open or closed to public use. Departmnet areas or designated portions of department areas may be closed, or regulations may be changed, through posting to protect the public from hazardous conditions and threats to public safety, to protect fish and wildlife resources, and for special events or resource management activities where public use conflicts are likely to occur. All persons entering, remaining on, or using a department area shall abide by signs, posted regulations, and area maps.

 

Waste containers located on department areas may be used only for disposal of garbage, trash, refuse, or rubbish generated on the department area. NOTE: Waste containers are not provided on all department areas.

 

Collecting wild animals (including invertebrates) and their unprocessed parts is prohibited except under the provisions of a valid Wildlife Collector’s Permit, or as otherwise authorized in the Wildlife Code. 

Collecting or possessing wild plants and their unprocessed parts is prohibited except by a Letter of Authorization for Plant Collecting, or as otherwise authorized in the Wildlife Code.

 

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 115 Closings

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
115 Closings
Rules
This department area is open for public use from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily; however, hunting fishing, trapping, dog training, camping, launching and landing boats is allowed 24 hours a day on areas where these activities are permitted.
Parking or storing watercraft or commercial vehicles is prohibited on department areas during closed hours.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 135 Wild Plants, Plant Products, and Mushrooms

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
135 Wild Plants, Plant Products, and Mushrooms
Rules
Vegetation, including trees, may not be cut or destroyed. The only exception is that willows (Salicaceae spp.) may be cut for use in constructing on-site blinds.
Collecting or possessing wild plants and their unprocessed parts is prohibited except under the provisions of a valid Letter of Authorization for Plant Collecting, or as otherwise authorized in the Wildlife Code.
Nuts, berries, fruits, edible wild greens and mushrooms may be taken only for personal consumption; EXCEPT on locations designated as Missouri Natural Areas, taking edible wild greens is prohibited.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 130 Vehicles, Bicycles, Horses, and Horseback Riding

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
130 Vehicles, Bicycles, Horses, and Horseback Riding
Rules

 

Unless otherwise posted, bicycles, including electric bicycles as defined in the Missouri Wildlife Code, are allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic and service roads (designated in the online conservation atlas). Bicycles must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic or service roads, or on multi-use trails posted as open to bicycles.   Bicycle use is not allowed on service roads passing through designated natural areas (designated in the online conservation atlas). Groups of 10 or more people using bicycles on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.

 

State laws regarding the operation, registration and required equipment apply to the operation of motor vehicles on locations open to vehicular traffic on department areas.

 

Except as otherwise posted, the speed limit on department areas is 45 miles per hour.

 

Unless otherwise posted, bicycles, including electric bicycles as defined in the Missouri Wildlife Code (Chapter 20- Definitions), are allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic and service roads (designated in the online conservation atlas) . Bicycles must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic, service roads, or on multi-use trails posted as open to bicycles. Bicycle use is not allowed on service roads passing through designated natural areas (designated in the online conservation atlas).   Groups of 10 or more people using bicycles on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.

This department area also has multi-use trails open to bicycles. On multi-use trails and service roads designated as open to bicycles, bicycles are prohibited during all portions of the firearms deer hunting season in November, December, and January and during the spring turkey hunting seasons in April and May on this area. 

 

Equestrian use is allowed on roads open to vehicular traffic. Horses must stay on roads open to vehicular traffic or on multi-use trails posted as open to horses. Groups of 10 or more people using horses on a department area must obtain a special use permit from the area manager. The area manager can be contacted at the phone number listed in the area details section for this department area.

This department area also has multi-use trails open to equestrian use. On multi-use trails designated as open to equestrian use, horses and horseback riding is prohibited during all portions of the firearms deer hunting season and during the spring turkey hunting seasons.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 140 Camping

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
140 Camping
Rules
Camping is allowed only as designated in the "Things To Do When You Visit" section for this department area. If camping is not listed as an activity in this section, camping is prohibited on the area. Designated camping areas may or may not have defined campsites. Seasonal closures and restrictions may apply to all camping on department areas.
On department areas where camping is allowed, camping is limited to a period of 14 consecutive days in any 30-day period. Personal property must be removed at the end of the 14-day period. Unless a special use permit is obtained, total camping days on all department areas are limited to a total of 30 days within one calendar year. Groups of more than 10 people must obtain a special use permit prior to camping. To obtain a special use permit, contact the area manager at the phone number listed for this area in the area details section.
Quiet hours are in effect in camping areas from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. Visitors who are not occupying a campsite are required to leave the campground by 10 p.m.
On camping areas with established campsites, only two camping or sleeping units are permitted in each site.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 150 Target Shooting and Shooting Ranges

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
150 Target Shooting and Shooting Ranges
Rules
An unstaffed range is located on this department area. Target shooting is not allowed anywhere on this area except for designated shooting range(s).
Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Ranges may be closed to public use at any time for maintenance or department sponsored events or programs.
Possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on all ranges and associated parking lots.
Groups of more than 10 people must obtain a special use permit prior to using the range. To obtain a special use permit, contact the area manager at the phone number listed for this area in the area details section.
Use of the range shall be in accordance with posted rules or as authorized by special use permit. All range users must allow an agent of the Department or other certified law enforcement officer to inspect their permits, firearms and ammunition.
A static archery range is located on this department area. Only archery equipment may be used on locations designated as an archery range. The use of arrows, bolts or darts containing any type of explosive or incendiary material is prohibited. Other special regulations may apply to the use of targets on archery ranges.
A rifle and/or handgun range is located on this department area. Only paper targets attached to the provided target holders may be used.
Fully automatic firearms are prohibited except with a special use permit. The use of incendiary (including tracer ammunition), armor piercing or explosive ammunition is also prohibited.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 120 Pets and Hunting Dogs

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
120 Pets and Hunting Dogs
Rules
Pets and hunting dogs are permitted but must be on a leash or confined at all time. Hunting dogs may be used off the leash and unconfined for hunting and training for the purposes of chasing, locating, tracking or retrieving game on portions of conservation areas designated as open to hunting and dog training. Locations and times where pets and hunting dogs are permitted may be further restricted by area brochures or signs. A valid small game hunting permit is required to train dogs in pursuit of wildlife.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 180 Hunting, General Provisions and Seasons

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
180 Hunting, General Provisions and Seasons
Rules

Hunting is prohibited on some conservation areas, but allowed on others. Special regulations may apply to hunting. To determine the hunting regulations for this conservation area, consult the Missouri Code of State Regulations in Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code at https://www.sos.mo.gov/cmsimages/adrules/csr/current/3csr/3c10-11.pdf.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 145 Tree Stands

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
145 Tree Stands
Rules
Only portable tree stands are allowed on department areas from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31. Unattended stands must be plainly labeled on a durable material with the full name and address, or Conservation Number, of the owner and be removed from the area before Feb. 1. Use of nails, screw-in steps, and any material or method that would damage the tree is prohibited.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 155 Decoys and Blinds

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
155 Decoys and Blinds
Rules
Decoys and Blinds are permitted on this department area, but must be disassembled and removed daily. Blinds constructed on-site may only be constructed from willows (Salicaceae spp.).

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 125 Field Trials

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
125 Field Trials
Rules
Field trials are prohibited on this department area.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 200 Fishing, General Provisions and Seasons

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
200 Fishing, General Provisions and Seasons
Rules

Fishing is prohibited on some conservation areas, but allowed on others. Special regulations may apply to fishing. To determine the fishing regulations for this conservation area, consult the Missouri Code of State Regulations in Chapter 11 of the Wildlife Code.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 160 Use of Boats and Motors

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
160 Use of Boats and Motors
Rules
Boats (including sailboats) may be used on waters located on department areas. On lakes and ponds, boats may be used only on waters designated as open to boats. State laws regarding the operation, registration, and required safety equipment apply to watercraft being operated on waters under the control of the department. Boats may not be left unattended overnight.
Only electric motors are permitted on lakes and ponds of less than 70 acres.
Electric motors and outboard motors are permitted on lakes of 70 or more acres. Outboard motors of any size may be used, but outboard motors in excess of 10 horsepower must be operated at slow, no-wake speed.
The use of houseboats and personal watercraft are prohibited.
Float tubes may only be used for authorized fishing or hunting activities.

5202 - 3CSR 10-11 - 187 Trapping

Chapter
3CSR 10-11
Rule Number
187 Trapping
Rules
Trapping in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Wildlife Code is allowed only with a special use permit. To inquire about the availability of a special use permit for trapping on this department area, contact the area manager at the phone number listed for this area in the area details section.
Range Name: Shooting range - Caney Mountain
Range ID: 1522
Maintenance Days:
Varies
Business Hours:
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.
Range Type:
Archery Field Target
Target Distance:
10,20,30,40
Disabled Access: No
Range Name: Shooting range - Caney Mountain
Range ID: 1523
Maintenance Days:
Varies
Business Hours:
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.
Range Type:
Rifle/Pistol
Target Distance:
25,50,100
Disabled Access: No
Range Name: Shooting range - Caney Mountain
Range ID: 1587
Maintenance Days:
Varies
Business Hours:
1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless posted otherwise.
Range Type:
Archery Static Target
Target Distance:
-
Disabled Access: No

Deer - Archery

Dates
Early Portion - Outside Fenced Portion Only
to
Late Portion - Outside Fenced Portion Only
to
Public Text

During all portions of the firearms deer hunting season, all persons hunting any game, and also adult mentors accompanying them, must wear a cap or hat and a shirt, vest, or coat of the color commonly known as hunter orange, which must be plainly visible from all sides. Camouflage orange garments do not meet this requirement. Exceptions to this rule include the following: Migratory game bird hunters; Archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited; hunting on federal or state land where only archery methods are allowed; hunting only on an archery permit during the Alternative Methods Portion; hunting in a county that is closed during the Antlerless Portion; and hunting small game or furbearers during the Alternative Methods Portion.

Hours

One half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

Limits

Deer may be taken in accordance with permits held. Hunters may take only two antlered deer during the firearms and archery deer hunting seasons combined. The following restrictions also apply:

Only one antlered deer may be taken prior to the November portion of the firearms deer hunting season. Except, youth hunters who harvest an antlered deer on an archery permit prior to the November portion, may harvest their second antlered deer during the Early Youth Portion of the firearms deer hunting season.

Antlerless permits MAY NOT be used.

Methods

The following archery methods are allowed: longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, crossbows, and atlatl.

The following methods are prohibited in use or possession while deer hunting: Firearms (except any person may carry concealable firearms, as defined in Chapter 571, RSMo, on or about his/her person while archery hunting, and firearms possessed under this exception may not be used to take wildlife while archery hunting); arrows, bolts, and darts containing any drug, poison, chemical, or explosive; and electronic calls or electronically activated calls.

Deer - Firearms

Dates
Alternative Methods - Outside Fenced Portion Only
to
Antlerless - Outside Fenced Portion Only
to
November Portion - Outside Fenced Portion Only
to
Youth - Early Portion - Outside Fenced Portion Only
to
Youth - Late Portion - Outside Fenced Portion Only
to
Managed Deer Hunt - Inside Fenced Portion Only
to
Public Text

During all portions of the firearms deer hunting season, all persons hunting any game, and also adult mentors accompanying them, must wear a cap or hat and a shirt, vest, or coat of the color commonly known as hunter orange, which must be plainly visible from all sides. Camouflage orange garments do not meet this requirement. Exceptions to this rule include the following: Migratory game bird hunters; Archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited; hunting on federal or state land where only archery methods are allowed; hunting only on an archery permit during the Alternative Methods Portion; hunting in a county that is closed during the Antlerless Portion; and hunting small game or furbearers during the Alternative Methods Portion.

Archery hunting permits are not valid during the November Portion of the Firearms Deer Hunting Season. Hunters using archery methods during this portion must possess a valid firearms deer hunting permit.

Hours

One half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

Limits

The following limits apply outside the fenced portion of the area:

Deer may be taken in accordance with permits held. Hunters may take only two antlered deer during the firearms and archery deer hunting seasons combined. The following restrictions also apply:

Only one antlered deer may be taken during all portions of the firearms deer hunting seasons (This includes landowners in possession of both landowner any-deer hunting permits and regular any-deer hunting permits).

Only one antlered deer may be taken prior to the November portion of the firearms deer hunting season. Except, youth hunters who harvest an antlered deer on an archery permit prior to the November portion, may harvest their second antlered deer during the Early Youth Portion of the firearms deer hunting season.

Antlerless permits MAY NOT be used.

The following limits apply inside the fenced portion of the area:

Additional deer may be taken at special managed deer hunts established annually by the department. A person may apply for and participate in only one (1) managed deer hunt during a permit year except that persons permanently confined to a wheelchair may participate in more than one (1) hunt. Persons selected to participate must purchase a Resident or Nonresident Managed Deer Hunting Permit and abide by rules established for the hunt. Consult the Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information Pamphlet for more information about the specific limits for the managed hunt(s) on this conservation area.

 

Methods

Outside Fenced Portion - Archery and Firearms Methods during a portion of the deer season when the method is allowed: Longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, crossbows, and atlatls; centerfire pistols, revolvers, or rifles using expanding-type bullets; shotguns (including .410) with slugs only; air-powered guns, .40 caliber or larger, charged only from an external high-compression power source; muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms and/or muzzleloading or cap-and-ball handguns, including revolvers, .40 caliber or larger.

Inside Fenced Portion - Managed Hunt - Various methods apply during each managed hunt. Consult the current Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information Booklet for more information.

Turkey - Archery

Dates
Early Portion
to
Late Portion
to
Public Text

During all portions of the firearms deer hunting season, all persons hunting any game, and also adult mentors accompanying them, must wear a cap or hat and a shirt, vest, or coat of the color commonly known as hunter orange, which must be plainly visible from all sides. Camouflage orange garments do not meet this requirement. Exceptions to this rule include the following: Migratory game bird hunters; Archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited; hunting on federal or state land where only archery methods are allowed; hunting only on an archery permit during the Alternative Methods Portion; hunting in a county that is closed during the Antlerless Portion; and hunting small game or furbearers during the Alternative Methods Portion.

Hours

One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Limits

Two turkeys of either sex. Both turkeys may be taken on the same day.

Methods

The following methods are allowed for hunting turkey: Atlatls, bows, and crossbows.

The following methods are prohibited for turkey hunting: use of dogs, bait, or live decoys. Hunters also may not possess firearms (except any person may carry concealable firearms, as defined in Chapter 571, RSMo, on or about his/her person while archery hunting, and firearms possessed under this exception may not be used to take wildlife while archery hunting); arrows, bolts, and darts containing any drug, poison, chemical, or explosive; and possession of electronic calls or electronically activated calls.

Turkey - Fall Firearms

Dates
to
Public Text

During all portions of the firearms deer hunting season, all persons hunting any game, and also adult mentors accompanying them, must wear a cap or hat and a shirt, vest, or coat of the color commonly known as hunter orange, which must be plainly visible from all sides. Camouflage orange garments do not meet this requirement. Exceptions to this rule include the following: Migratory game bird hunters; Archery hunting within municipal boundaries where the discharge of firearms is prohibited; hunting on federal or state land where only archery methods are allowed; hunting only on an archery permit during the Alternative Methods Portion; hunting in a county that is closed during the Antlerless Portion; and hunting small game or furbearers during the Alternative Methods Portion.

Hours

One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Limits

Two turkeys of either sex. Both turkeys may be taken on the same day.

Methods

The following methods are allowed for turkey hunting: shotguns, with shot no larger than No. 4, atlatl, bow, and crossbow.

The following methods are prohibited for turkey hunting: use of dogs, bait, electronic calls or live decoys. Hunters also may not possess a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined; shotshells loaded with shot larger than No. 4; arrows, bolts, and darts containing any drug, poison, chemical, or explosive; and electronic calls or electronically activated calls.

While in the act of pursing or hunting turkey with an atlatl, bow, or crossbow on a fall firearms permit, the possession of a firearm is prohibited (except any person may carry concealable firearms, as defined in Chapter 571, RSMo, on or about his/her person while archery hunting, and firearms possessed under this exception may not be used to take wildlife while archery hunting).

Turkey - Spring

Dates
Youth Season - Outside fenced area
to
Regular Season - Outside fenced area
to
Hours

During the youth spring season, one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

During the regular spring season, one-half hour before sunrise to 1:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time.

Limits

Two male turkeys or turkeys with a visible beard, with the following restrictions:

Only one turkey during the first week of the regular spring season. Hunters who are unsuccessful during the first week, may take two turkey during the second and third week of the season, but both turkey may not be taken on the same day. A turkey harvested during the youth spring season counts toward a hunter's spring season bag limit.

During the spring youth season, only one male turkey or turkey with a visible beard. Youths who take a turkey during the youth season may not harvest their second bird until the second Monday of the regular spring season.

Methods

The following methods are allowed for turkey hunting: shotguns, with shot no larger than No. 4, atlatl, bow, and crossbow.

The following methods are prohibited for turkey hunting: use of dogs, bait, electronic calls or live decoys. Hunters also may not possess a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined; shotshells loaded with shot larger than No. 4; arrows, bolts, and darts containing any drug, poison, chemical, or explosive; and electronic calls or electronically activated calls.

  • Camping

    • Designated Camping Sites
    • Individual Campsites
  • Hunting

    • Deer
      • Archery and Firearms
      • Antlerless Permits Allowed
    • Bear
      • Archery and Firearms
    • Turkey
      • Archery and Firearms
    • Rabbit
    • Squirrel
    • Dove
  • Tours

  • Bird Watching

  • Managed Hunts

  • Shooting Range

    • Archery
    • Rifle or Pistol
  • Trails

    • Biking
    • Horseback
    • Hiking
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