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Ask the Ombudsman

Q: In the booklet A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, there is a reference to “Pools 20–26” on the Mississippi River. What does “Pools 20–26” mean and where are they?

A: From St. Louis north (upstream), there are a series of locks and dams on the Mississippi River. The pools refer to the water that is impounded by the locks and dams. For example, Pool 26 is the stretch of the river upstream of Lock and Dam No. 26 near Alton, Ill. It extends north to Lock and Dam No. 25, near Winfield, Mo. Upriver of Lock and Dam No. 25 is Pool 25. You can see the locks and dams on the Missouri State Highway Map. “Pools 20–26” is that stretch of the river from Alton, Ill. to Keokuk, Iowa.

Q: Can you tell me how to use purple paint to post my property against trespassing?

A: That method of posting is described in Missouri Statute No. 569.145. It calls for the placing of purple paint marks on trees or posts around the area to be posted. There is no specific shade of purple that is required, but I would describe most of what I’ve seen as a “plum” color. Each mark should be a vertical line of 8 inches in length and the bottom of the mark must be between 3 and 5 feet off the ground. The marks should be no more than 100 ft. apart and should be readily visible to persons approaching the property. Unauthorized entry is trespass in the first degree, and a class B misdemeanor.

Ombudsman Tim Smith will respond to your questions, suggestions or complaints concerning Department of Conservation programs. Write him at PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, call him at (573) 522-4115, ext. 3848, or e-mail him at Ombudsman@mdc.mo.gov.

Time Capsule

September 1959

The Story of the Mourning Dove was written by W.O. Nagel about a movie made by the Conservation Department on doves. Charles W. Schwartz directed and photographed the 36-minute movie. A dove can lay two to three eggs per clutch and can average four broods in a season. After hatching, the parents remove the egg shells from the nest to avoid attracting predators. The young doves are fed by both parents who produce a “rich, semi-liquid food in the crop, called pigeon milk.” By 11 or 12 days the youngster is about ready to fly on its own while the adult is “brooding” a new clutch. — Contributed by the Circulation staff

Agent Notes

Pre-season scouting can pay off!

Many hunters are looking for an “edge” so they can harvest a trophy deer. Pre-season scouting may be the “edge” most hunters need to find success.

Scouting should be focused on a few fundamental elements: what and where are the food and water sources, how the deer travel to and from these food sources (ridge tops, river bottoms and timbered fence rows) and the location of the bedding areas. Knowing these basic aspects will help with understanding the movement patterns of deer.

Older mature deer are cautious and typically enter feeding areas after other deer have entered and established that the area is safe. For this reason, it’s important to know where the deer are entering and exiting these areas. Early season hunting is a great time to set up on the edges of the hunting area and observe. Once you know where the deer are entering and exiting the area, it’s time to move in. Look for a natural “funnel” (downed trees, rock outcropping, or creek banks and ditches) that force the deer to travel along certain trails to and from the feeding area.

Be careful. Too much human activity and disturbance will pressure the deer to want to leave the area, especially during the season. If you need to re-scout and move the set up during the season, try to limit your scouting and movements to the late-morning and early afternoon hours.

Eric Abbott is the conservation agent for Atchison County, which is in the Northwest Region. If you would like to contact the agent for your county, phone your regional Conservation office.

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