Women interested in developing outdoor skills in 2001 should look into the Conservation Department's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) and Beyond Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BBOW) programs.
BOW events offer participants a chance to learn about several outdoor activities in a single weekend. The YMCA of the Ozarks near Potosi will host a BOW gathering May 18 through 20, as will the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation near Osceola Sept. 14-16. Sessions will include rifle and shotgun shooting, canoeing and wild game cooking.
BBOW workshops offer women a chance to apply skills learned earlier. Participating in a BOW workshop is not required for BBOW events, but anyone taking part in activities that involve shooting must have completed a certified hunter education course. Upcoming BBOW events include:
The Conservation Department also will host two Hands-On Outdoor Training (HOOT) family education events this year. The YMCA of the Ozarks is the site of a family outdoor skills workshop April 27-29, and the Presley Center hosts a HOOT parent-and-child skills workshop July 20-22.
Several other events, including archery and muzzleloader deer hunts and two firearms deer hunts, are still in the planning stage. For more information, call (573) 751-4115, ext. 3189 or ext. 3608.
Missourians with a strong interest in forest management can become certified as Master Tree Farmers through a series of workshops in February and March.
The workshops are offered cooperatively by the University of Missouri and Clemson University in South Carolina. They will be presented in video format via satellite at 12 Missouri locations. Each workshop will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on seven consecutive Tuesday evenings beginning Feb. 6 and ending March 20. A hands-on workshop will be offered in several areas throughout the state following the video series.
The program is patterned on the highly successful Master Gardener Program sponsored by the University of Missouri Extension Service. The goal is to train a corps of master tree farmers who will share their expertise with others interested in wise, sustainable forest management.
Topics will include forestry as an investment, managing for pine, managing for hardwoods, timber marketing, security and harvesting, wildlife management and forestry services for landowners.
Attendance is limited to 25 participants at each location. The cost is $30 per person. For more information, call:
Beginning with the 2001 spring turkey season, qualifying nonresident landowners can apply to buy turkey and deer hunting permits at reduced prices.
Applicants must own at least 75 contiguous acres within a single management unit to qualify.
Permit prices are:
Details about how many permits may be obtained and application procedures will be printed in the 2001 Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet, which will be available by March 1 wherever hunting permits are sold.
Kids and parents who have enjoyed learning about nature through the light-hearted music of "Critter Rock" will want to be on hand at St. Louis and Kansas City area premier parties for the "Critter Rock" video.
The parties will introduce the just-released video, in which "Critter Rock" creator Jan Syrigos sings her whimsical tunes. She and her backup group of youngsters also play learning games. Syrigos will be on hand to autograph copies of her tapes, CDs and videos.
Premier parties begin at 7 p.m. March 9 at Burr
Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center in Blue Springs and 7 p.m. March 16 at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. The Burr Oak Woods event will include a snack and judging of a "rock critter" contest for the best pet rock.
Woodland wildflowers are a welcome sight after a long, cold winter, and if you have trees on your property, you can create a woodland garden of your own.
You may have to clear undesirable vegetation or amend the soil before you plant. Inventory remaining trees and shrubs and consider adding small, native understory species, such as flowering dogwood, witchhazel or red buckeye. Sites around houses often need additional organic matter. Avoid disturbing roots when working around trees, and never use a rotary tiller to loosen soil under trees.
Woodland natives lend seasonal interest to your garden. Many are especially attractive to wildlife. Spicebush swallowtail butterflies depend on the spicebush during their larval stage. Hummingbirds delight in red buckeye blooms, and songbirds relish bright red dogwood berries. Remember, it is not acceptable to dig plants in the wild. The Grow Native! nurseries are reputable sources of nursery-grown stock.
Tips for Success:
Native Woodland Species
To get a copy of the brochure and a list of nurseries that sell wildlife-friendly plants, send a self-addressed envelope to Grow Native!, P.O. Box 104671, Jefferson City, MO 65110. When buying plants, look for the Grow Native! tags, which guarantee that your plantings will have what it takes to thrive and attract wildlife.
For an unusual outdoor experience, join the staff of Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center for a Vulture Venture from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at Branson.
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery on Lake Taneycomo hosts one of Missouri's largest turkey vulture winter roosts. The free Vulture Venture is a great way to get a close look at these intriguing birds of prey through telescopes.
After viewing the vultures, you can go inside the hatchery for a chance to see and photograph Turk, a live turkey vulture from the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield. Kids of all ages will have a chance to learn how vultures use updrafts to fly without flapping their wings. A few lucky participants will be transformed into make-believe vultures to discover how the birds are adapted for their unique lifestyle. At the end of the day, everyone will be encouraged to watch more than 200 vultures swoop into the roost in a breathtaking phenomenon known as "kettling."
For directions or more information about the Vulture Venture, call (417) 334-4865.
The 2001 Summary of Missouri Hunting & Trapping Regulations contains errors that could be confusing to hunters and trappers. The last item in a table of bag limits on page 17 implies that beaver can be taken with a hunting permit. Beaver cannot be taken legally with a hunting permit.
Of concern to muzzleloader deer hunters is an entry on page 15 that incorrectly lists the opening day of muzzleloader deer season as Dec. 2. The opening date is Dec. 1.
Other errors in the booklet include:
On page 28, a map shows the bag limit for muskrats in Zone B as 20. This should read "Any number."
If you are interested in streams, you may want to visit the Big River Festival June 2-3 at Washington State Park near DeSoto.
The free event is sponsored by the Missouri Stream Team in cooperation with the Missouri departments of Conservation and Natural Resources. Activities will include displays, storytellers, a reenactment of an early settler's encampment, local foods and crafts, fishing and other demonstrations, guided nature walks, games, pony rides, hands-on stream activities, including canoeing, and a live otter program.
Exhibitors will include the St. Louis Herpetological Society, the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance, the Gateway Retriever Club and Becoming an Outdoorswoman.
Event organizers are looking for other groups interested in presenting nature-related programs or demonstrations of outdoor skills. For more information, contact Kevin Meneau, August A. Busch Conservation Area, 2360 Highway D, St. Charles, MO 63304, (636) 441-4554, ext. 239.
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