by Jim Low
Missouri is a great place to hunt and fish. If you are planning a fishing or turkey-hunting trip this spring, remember that you can buy permits online, using the e-Permits system at mdc.mo.gov/node/9258. The system allows you to buy permits on any computer with Internet access and print and use them immediately.
All fishing and hunting and trapping permits and the Apprentice Hunter Authorization are available through e-Permits 24/7. E-Permits look like traditional permits and are about the same size.
Deer and turkey tagging procedures have changed with e-Permits. The main difference is that permits no longer include a removable transportation tag. Instead, the permit itself is the transportation tag.
Hunters are encouraged to put e-Permits inside zip-lock bags and attach them to deer or turkeys with string, twist-ties, wire, plastic cable ties or tape. Another option is to obtain free permit holders from a conservation agent. Protecting paper permits in this way will keep them readable and make it easier to write confirmation numbers on them when Telechecking deer and turkeys.
You can print a replacement copy of a permit. Permits may not be shared and additional copies of a permit do not provide additional valid permits for the buyer or others to use. Find more information about e-Permits at mdc.mo.gov/node/10900.
Missourians care about conserving their fisheries resources. The growing popularity of a multi-lure fishing rig commonly called the Alabama rig has many anglers wondering whether it is legal and whether it could be so effective it hurts fishing. The answers are yes and no.
The Alabama rig, also known as an umbrella rig, consists of a jig head attached to several wire leaders, each tipped with a snap swivel. The arrangement makes it possible to fish several lures on one line, simulating a small school of baitfish. An umbrella rig is not considered a lure, because it is incapable of catching fish unless lures or baits are attached to it.
The Wildlife Code of Missouri allows no more than three lures or baits with hooks on each pole and line. So anglers may attach no more than three baits or lures with hooks to the rig.
Anglers can meet this requirement several ways. One is to put only three lures on the rig. Another is to put more than three lures on the rig but clip the hooks off all but three. This preserves the illusion of a school of fish without exceeding the legal number of hooks. Anglers also may attach spinner blades, marabou streamers or other hookless attractors to add flash and action.
Questions frequently arise concerning how to count treble hooks or lures such as crankbaits, with more than one hook. Under the Wildlife Code, treble and double hooks are the same as single hooks. Furthermore, any lure, such as a crankbait, is considered a single, hooked lure. So it is legal to put three crankbaits, each carrying three treble hooks, on an Alabama rig.
Conservation helps women discover nature. Women can get hands-on outdoor skills training at the Discover Nature Women Summer Workshop, June 1-3, at the Windermere Conference Center in Roach on the Lake of the Ozarks.
The workshop is open to women ages 18 and older, but girls age 14/17 may also attend when accompanied by an adult woman. The registration deadline is April 30, and a $20 deposit is required at the time of registration. Your deposit fee will be returned when you check in at the event. To register, you must fill out a form and mail it in with your deposit check. You can find a PDF of the form to download and print, at mdc.mo.gov/node/3959 or you can call Lynn Merritt-Goggins at 573-522-4115, ext. 3808, or email at Lynn.Merritt-Goggins@ mdc.mo.gov. Participants are responsible for making room and meal reservations with Windermere at 573-346-5200. For more information about the workshop, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3958.
The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) has named eight Missourians as its 2012 Conservationists of the Year. Each is proof of how deeply Missourians care about conservation.
Dave Pace, Salem, is chairman of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. In presenting the award, CFM President Mike Schallon noted Pace’s tireless efforts to promote Missouri’s elk restoration program.
Keith Hannaman, Blue Springs, received the Conservation Educator of the Year Award for his work establishing an outdoor classroom for Blue Springs South School and for his involvement in state, national and international conservation education efforts.
Freelance writer Steve Jones, Sullivan, Received the Conservation Communicator of the Year Award for three decades of fighting for conservation causes.
Private landowner Frank Oberle, Novinger, received the Wildlife Conservationist of the Year Award for his contributions to prairie conservation.
Wayne Lovelace, Elsberry, received the Forest Conservationist of the Year Award. Lovelace is president and CEO of Forrest-Keeling Nursery. He has led several forestry organizations, and his development of the root-production method for growing tree seedlings has contributed significantly to restoration of bottomland hardwood forests.
Missouri State Senator Kevin Engler, Farmington, and State Representative Steven Tilley, Perryville, shared the Conservation Legislator of the Year Award. Both were cited for their commitment to enhancing and protecting natural resources.
Professional Conservationist of the Year Elsa Gallagher, Excello, began her career with MDC where she specialized in quail management, working tirelessly to promote early successional habitat with private landowners and government agencies. She currently is a regional biologist for Quail Forever.
Missouri’s elk herd is growing, and this year’s elk restoration work is benefitting from experience gained in 2011.
Restoring elk to Missouri is one way MDC works with citizen conservation groups to sustain healthy wildlife. MDC, in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, brought 34 elk from Kentucky to Peck Ranch Conservation Area (CA) last May. This year, it has captured 39 cow elk and 15 bulls in Kentucky with help from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. MDC will receive two-thirds of this year’s trapped elk, which are expected to arrive here in May after stringent veterinary health screenings. Virginia will get the remaining elk.
Missouri’s share of this year’s captured elk will join the 36 elk already living here. Most of the 13 mature cows already in Missouri, along with those that will arrive this spring, are expected to be pregnant and give birth to calves in early summer.
MDC is tracking the movements of Missouri’s growing elk herd. The elk are behaving as expected, exploring their new home but mostly staying in the vicinity of green browse fields and open woodland habitat available within the 346-square-mile elk-restoration zone in Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties. They moved away from hunters during three managed deer hunts at Peck Ranch CA, but quickly returned to the same places after hunters left.
The elk spread out more during summer, while cows were rearing their calves. In the fall, they came together in three loosely organized groups as dominant bulls gathered “harems” of cows.
MDC plans to close the refuge area at Peck Ranch CA during the spring and early summer, as it did last year. While this is an inconvenience to turkey hunters, it is necessary to avoid disturbance of elk newly arrived from Kentucky and cows with newborn calves. The portion of Peck Ranch CA outside the marked refuge fence remains open to hunting and other activities.
Take a trip through conservation history by watching MDC’s 75th-anniversary television special, The Promise Continues.
The video journey from 1937 to the present traces Missouri’s groundbreaking conservation movement through historic photos, movies and recordings of Missouri conservation pioneers. These citizens and professionals turned the promise into a reality and turned Missouri into a great place to hunt, fish, hike and generally enjoy nature.
The list of cities, stations and times in April the program will air:
|St. Louis||KPLR/cw||15||2 p.m.|
|Kansas City||KCTV /cbs||14||Noon|
|KODE /abc||14||5 p.m.|
|St. Joseph||KQTV/ab||14||1:30 p.m.|
Over the past 26 years, the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has created millions of acres of upland and wetland habitat for wildlife by offering payments to farmers for taking highly erodible farmland out of production. Efforts continue with the USDA’s and Missouri Farm Service’s recent announcement of a CRP general sign up March 12-April 6.
According to the FSA website, “CRP is a voluntary program that helps agricultural producers use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to control soil erosion, improve water and air quality and develop wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and costshare assistance. Contract duration is between 10 to 15 years.”
The USDA estimates that 6.5 million CRP acres are scheduled to expire nationwide in September with more than 377,000; of those acres being in Missouri.
For more information on the CRP general sign up, contact the local USDA Service Center and speak with an FSA representative or MDC private land conservationist. Visit the FSA website at fsa.usda.gov/crp for details.
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