Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently honored Missouri for contributions totaling $5 million to waterfowl conservation.
With this year’s state grant program contribution of $250,000, MDC has provided the resources needed to restore, conserve and enhance more than 235,000 acres of prime waterfowl nesting habitat in Canada. Why would Missouri send $5 million for habitat work in Canada? Because that habitat sends millions of ducks back to Missouri. Besides directly affecting nearly a quarter of a million acres of habitat in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), Missouri’s contributions have positively influenced an additional 1.2 million acres.
The state grants program represents a unique international funding partnership that preserves critical waterfowl habitat while working toward achieving the goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Contributions from the states are matched by DU, Inc. and DU Canada, as well as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
“MDC’s investment in Canadian waterfowl habitat yields direct, tangible returns for Missourians,” said MDC Director Bob Ziehmer. “Leveraging our contribution and money from other states four-to-one helps us protect critical nesting habitat that sends millions of ducks winging down the Mississippi Flyway to Missouri and beyond each fall.”
Waterfowl band recovery data has established a clear link between waterfowl produced and banded in Canada’s PPR and subsequently harvested in the Mississippi Flyway. Priority habitats in Manitoba stand out as a primary Canadian source of ducks harvested in Missouri. In addition to benefiting ducks, this partnership with Canada benefits a lot of other migrants.
A comparison of online permit sales for March with online sales last year indicates strong support from permit buyers.
Missourians have been able to buy hunting, fishing and trapping permits online for several years. However, the new e-Permits System launched March 1 offers some significant advantages over the old system. For one thing, you now can print permits—including deer and turkey permits—and have them in hand immediately. No waiting for permits and tags to arrive in the mail. Forgot to buy a permit, and it’s opening day? Just fire up your home computer, buy and print a permit, and you are in business! No need to drive to a big-box store and stand in line. Finally, MDC has dropped the convenience fee for online permit purchases from $2 to $1. E-Permits also allows you to save permit documents to your computer and print more as needed, without paying a replacement fee.
Apparently, all these advantages appeal to many permit buyers. From March 1 through 31, MDC sold 9,989 permits. That is nearly triple last year’s sales for the same period last year.
If you like buying your permits while stocking up on hunting and fishing supplies, you can buy permits from vendors using the old Point-of-Sale system through June 2012. After that, you still will be able to buy permits from vendors who switch from Point-of-Sale to the e-Permits System.
Fortune smiled on young hunters during Missouri’s spring youth firearms turkey season April 9 and 10, enabling them to shoot an impressive 3,898 turkeys.
This was the second year in a row of warm, sunny weather for the youth season, encouraging hunters age 6 through 15 to spend plenty of time pursuing gobblers. This year’s harvest was nearly identical to last year’s figure of 3,945. Top counties for this year’s youth season were Franklin with 101 turkeys checked, Wright and Callaway with 77 each and Polk County with 75.
Male turkeys gobble most on warm, sunny days with moderate wind. Weather across most of the state closely matched this description this year, paving the way for an excellent hunt. Youth harvests prior to 2010 ranged from 3,894 in 2005 to 2,530 in 2001, the first year of the youth hunt.
The youth season provides an opportunity for adults to focus on mentoring young hunters. The impact on the state’s wild turkey flock is minimal, since the youth harvest usually accounts for approximately 5 percent of the annual harvest.
During the spring youth turkey season, Governor Jay Nixon, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, National Wild Turkey Federation, the Missouri Department of Conservation, private landowners and volunteers hosted the annual Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt.
Missourians who yearn to learn how to trap otters under ice or clean a turtle, find out more about mountain lions or collectable traps or possibly meet representatives from international fur auction houses can do all that and more at the National Fur Trappers Association’s 52nd annual convention in Aug. 4 through 7. For those four days, Columbia will be the center of the nation’s trapping universe, with opportunities to compare notes with hundreds of trappers, shop for bargains from more than 100 vendors and attend demonstrations on dozens of topics. For more information, visit nationaltrappers.com/2011nat.html.
Missourians can help manage the Show-Me State’s growing black bear population with a phone call or a quick trip online. Citizen reports of bear sightings give MDC a huge network of observers. “Citizen reports provide information about bear abundance and distribution,” said Assistant Furbearer Biologist Justan Blair. “Documenting public observations is a cost-effective way of collecting data.” To report a bear sighting, call 573-882-9909, or fill out the report form at 1.usa.gov/fbtkOg.
The 2011 Missouri National Archery in the Schools (MoNASP) state tournament Feb. 25 and 26 drew 857 students in grades 4 through 12 from 49 schools across the state. Winners and others with qualifying scores advanced to the national event in Louisville, KY, May 13 and 14.
The top-scoring male student was seventh grader Colton Fry of North Wood R-IV in Salem. The top-scoring female student was tenth grader Emily Reel of Crane High School in Crane. Top scorers received Special Edition Genesis Bows.
Winning teams were Crane High School, High School Division; Ridgewood Middle School, Arnold, Middle School Division; George Guffey Elementary School, Fenton, Elementary School Division. For detailed tournament results, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3813.
MoNASP is a partnership between MDC, schools and supporting organizations. It promotes education, self-esteem and physical activity for students. More than 25,000 Missouri students from 165 schools participate in MoNASP. Since NASP’s beginnings in 2002, more than 7 million students have participated in the program through 7,350 schools in 47 states and five countries. For more information on MoNASP, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3409.
The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) recently announced a grant of $35,000 to underwrite elk restoration in Missouri. The grant will help pay for elk trapping, holding, disease testing, research, monitoring and transportation.
“We are very grateful to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation for its support of our elk restoration efforts, and for its long-standing support of numerous conservation efforts in Missouri,” said MDC Director Bob Ziehmer. “Partnerships between government and citizen conservation groups, such as MCHF, make it possible to achieve things beyond our separate means. It is a model that has proven successful time and again and is responsible for Missouri’s —and America’s—greatest conservation success stories.”
MCHF is a nonprofit, charitable organization created in 1997 to advance the conservation and appreciation of Missouri’s forest, fish and wildlife resources. Its funds come from individual donations, the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund and from sales of Conservation Heritage license plates.
“The Foundation is pleased to be able to help MDC restore elk to Missouri,” said Chris Nattinger, chairman of the MCHF board of directors. “This magnificent animal is part of our natural heritage, and we think that the public as well as the ecosystem will benefit by bringing elk back to Missouri.”
Since 1997, MCHF has provided more than $11 million for conservation and outdoor recreation. In 2010 alone, it funded 33 projects through more than $1.35 million in grants.
In addition to the MCHF grant, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has pledged $300,000 for Missouri’s elk-restoration program and the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation has pledged $50,000.
For more information about MCHF, visit mochf.org. For more information about elk restoration, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/10123.
Women interested in developing outdoor skills can get hands-on outdoor skills training at the Discover Nature Women’s Summer Workshop June 3–5 at the Windermere Conference Center in Roach, Mo.
The workshop is geared for beginners, and provides a safe, friendly learning environment. Courses include canoeing, Dutch oven/outdoor cooking, camping, fishing, fly tying, map/compass reading, archery, basic hunting, an introduction to firearms and shotgun shooting.
The workshop is open to women 18 years and older and those ages 14 through 17 when accompanied by a woman 18 years or older. The registration deadline is May 13. The workshop is free, but a refundable $20 deposit is required for registration. There is no deposit for participants under age 18.
For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3401 or contact Lynn Merritt-Goggins at 573-522-4115, ext. 3808 or Kevin Lohraff at 573-522-4115, ext. 3294. For information about the Windermere Conference Center , visit windermereusa.org.
The latest addition to the growing library of MDC books is Discover Missouri Natural Areas: A guide to 50 great places. It lives up to its name.
The book’s author, MDC Natural Areas Coordinator Mike Leahy, profiles 50 of Missouri’s more than 160 designated natural areas representing all 13 of the state’s natural communities in all four of its ecological regions. Captivating plant, animal and landscape photos illustrate summaries of the areas’ natural features, plants, animals and points of interest.
Leahy has thoughtfully provided a table that enables users to quickly compare special features, natural communities and recreational opportunities on all 50 areas. The table includes trails on 35 areas, boat access to seven, and hunting and fishing opportunities on another 34 of the areas profiled.
Also included are sections explaining natural community types, Missouri’s ecological geography, and guidelines for visiting natural areas and how to use the book’s features. There is even a glossary to explain special terms and a list of scientific names to help users who want to find more information about natural areas’ inhabitants.
Discover Missouri Natural Areas is a thoughtful gift for friends who love the outdoors. It costs $9 plus sales tax and shipping and handling. To order, call toll free 877-521-8632 or visit mdcnatureshop.com.
MDC partners with Missourians to sustain healthy streams.
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler