News & Events
already has one small infestation of the emerald ash borer, which invariably kills ash trees. The Show-Me State conducts annual monitoring to detect potential outbreaks of the gypsy moth, which has killed millions of oaks and other trees in the eastern half of the United States by repeated defoliation.
Campers can spread non-native invasive pests by transporting firewood. Commercial shipment of wood products is another avenue of entry for exotic pests. Missouri’s external quarantine includes any firewood cut from hardwood trees and walnut nursery stock, green lumber or any other walnut material living, dead, cut or fallen. Products exempt from the ban include nuts, nutmeats, hulls and bark-free, kiln-dried lumber with squared sides. Finished products, such as furniture, instruments and gunstocks, are also allowed.
For more information on thousand cankers disease, visit mda.mo.gov/plants/pests/thousandcankers.php. If you notice a suspicious decline in black walnut trees or otherwise suspect an infestation of thousand cankers, contact the State Entomologist at 573-751-5505.
Spring Turkey Harvest
Hunters made the most of the final week of Missouri’s 21-day spring turkey season, shooting 8,263 birds. The last week’s harvest boosted the regular-season tally to 42,254, an increase of 429 from last year.
Top harvest counties for the regular season April 19 through May 9 were Franklin with 872, Texas with 755 and St. Clair with 701.
Missouri’s spring turkey season has two parts. Hunters age 6 through 15 shot 3,945 turkeys during the youth season April 10 and 11. This boosted the combined spring turkey harvest to 46,199, which is 1,491 more than last year.
Resource Scientist Tom Dailey had predicted the total harvest would be approximately 44,000. He attributed the 5-percent larger harvest to two factors.
“We had the usual mixed bag of weather during the hunting season this year,” says Dailey, the Missouri Department of Conservation’s turkey expert. “The opening weekend was pretty rough, with lots of wind and rain, and the last Saturday was windy. Other than that, though, conditions were extremely favorable for hunting.”
The second factor contributing to this year’s better-than-expected turkey harvest was a slight increase in wild turkeys’ nesting success in 2009. The Conservation Department measures nesting success by the number of poults—young turkeys—seen with turkey hens during the summer by volunteer observers.
“Compared to the long-term average, last year’s poult-to-hen ratio wasn’t what you would call great,” says Dailey, “but it was slightly better than the two previous years. It allowed turkeys to hold their own in many areas