The Conservation Department and the University of Missouri are initiating a five-year study to evaluate white-tailed deer survival, reproduction, and movement patterns within two different Missouri habitats. The study will provide information about recent large-scale changes in habitat, hunter goals, deer densities, and harvest vulnerability and the effect of these changes on deer survival, reproduction, and movements. Information
gained from this project will be used to fine-tune deer population models, disease management protocols, and localized management.
Research will occur in the central Ozarks and northwest regions of the state to explore the effects of regional habitat differences, land ownership, and harvest regulations. The Ozark study area will include Douglas, Howell, Texas, and Wright counties. The northwest study area will include Nodaway, DeKalb, Gentry, and Andrew counties.
Beginning in January 2015, researchers will capture deer of all ages and both sexes and place GPS collars on 120 deer in each study area. Target study samples will include 30 yearling bucks, 30 adult bucks, 30 females (yearling and adults combined), and 30 fawns. Each year, the sample of collared deer will be replenished to replace natural and hunting mortalities, as well as deer maturing to older age classes. Adult deer will be captured and collared from January through March, and pregnant females will be given a transmitter used to alert researchers when a birth occurs, allowing the research team to locate
and collar fawns.
This is a collaborative project among the Department, University of Missouri, and most importantly, Missouri landowners and hunters. Many research activities will occur on private property, including adult deer capture, locating fawns, and investigating mortalities. If you have property within the study area counties and are interested in learning more about the research, contact Emily Flinn at Emily.Flinn@mdc.mo.gov. The Department is excited and appreciative to conduct this research project with the assistance of Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Funds.
You can discover nature from now through February at organized Eagle Days events, or enjoy eagle viewing on your own. Missouri is one of the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle viewing. More than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported around Missouri’s large rivers and reservoirs during the winter.
Organized events include live-eagle programs, exhibits, activities, videos, and guides with spotting scopes to help participants see eagles perched in trees, flying, and fishing. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars.
For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/16598.
The Conservation Department and the Missouri 4-H Foundation will conduct a survey in January to gauge public opinion about available services and usage of unstaffed Conservation Department shooting ranges.
The Conservation Department’s 70 unstaffed shooting ranges make Missouri a national leader in access to free, publicly owned shooting ranges. The Department is partnering with the Missouri 4-H Foundation for a voluntary survey. Survey staff provided by 4-H will ask range users to answer a series of questions about their experience using the ranges. The survey will take place at approximately 40 shooting ranges between Jan. 31 and Dec. 31, 2015.
The mission of the Conservation Department’s range program is to provide a safe place to practice shooting and archery skills for Missouri citizens.
The survey will help the Department gain a better understanding of the needs of citizens using the ranges and adapt range management to those needs.
The partnership reflects the two organizations’ long-standing commitment to promoting shooting sports. “Missouri 4-H is a national leader in youth shooting sports with a significant interest in the quality of the experience at the shooting ranges in our state,” said Missouri 4-H Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Reams, “so we’re very pleased to implement this important program on behalf of the Conservation Department and the public. We encourage range users to participate in this survey to help the Department to continue providing the best facilities for our states’ hunting and shooting enthusiasts.”
Celebrating 64 years of service to 4-H youth, the Missouri 4-H Foundation secures and manages funds for the MU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, provides higher education scholarships, and recognizes 4-H volunteers. MU Extension 4-H is a community of 276,921 youths from across Missouri learning leadership, citizenship,
and life skills.
The Conservation Department also maintains five staffed shooting facilities around the state to provide safe, family-friendly places to practice shooting and archery skills. Missouri has a rich history of hunting and shooting sports, including being a national leader in public range development.
For more information about Department shooting ranges, including locations, hours, and driving directions, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/6209.
On April 26, 2014, Donna Coble, executive director of Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, accepted the Excellence in Urban Forest Leadership Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. The national awards competition recognizes individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to tree planting, conservation, and stewardship.
Forest ReLeaf was recognized for its work in high-need areas throughout Missouri. It earned special praise for its efforts in Joplin, where it has shipped and helped plant over 5,000 trees to replace those lost in the May 2011 tornado. Describing Forest ReLeaf’s work, The Arbor Day Foundation said, “Forest ReLeaf has helped to restore the urban tree canopy and — more importantly — helped to restore hope in communities, like Joplin, devastated by disaster and working to rebuild and recover.”
Forest ReLeaf is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Louis. Since their start in 1993, they have distributed over 150,000 trees for planting projects in virtually every county in Missouri. They accomplish this with a staff of three full-time and one part-time employees and a large group of dedicated and hard-working volunteers.
To learn more about Forest ReLeaf visit moreleaf.org.
This month, Missourians have the chance to be part of a 115-year tradition by participating in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Each year, more than 70,000 volunteers fan out in 2,400 locations to document bird life in their home areas. Their observations become part of the most comprehensive data set revealing population changes, ranges, and movements of bird populations across the continent. Scientists rely on this trend data to better understand how birds and the environment are faring and what needs to be done to protect them. Every local count is part of this vast volunteer network and continues a holiday tradition that stretches back over 100 years. This year’s counts will take place between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. To find a count near you, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/15017.
Are you wondering how to find the right gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list without breaking the bank or even leaving home? The Nature Shop online could be the answer.
The 2015 Natural Events Calendar has 365 days’ worth of visual thrills and insights into natural phenomena from meteor showers to wildlife birthing seasons. At $7, plus shipping and sales tax, where applicable, it is the bargain of the year.
Paddlers on your list would love a copy of the recently updated Paddler’s Guide to Missouri. The $8 guide has been substantially expanded to include color photos, maps, and minute details about Missouri’s most popular float streams, plus dozens of lesser tributaries. In all, the book covers 58 rivers and streams in every corner of the state.
Another great buy is Cooking Wild in Missouri, a lavishly illustrated guide to cooking the Show-Me State’s bounty of wild game, fish, mushrooms, nuts, and fruits. The 200-page book has recipes ranging from Italian gelato and Korean barbecued venison to classic American dishes. For $15, this book has something for every cook on your shopping list.
Discover the unique history of the “Missouri Model” of wetland and waterfowl management in the large format, richly illustrated new book Waterfowl Hunting and Wetland Conservation in Missouri — A Model of Collaboration. All net proceeds from sales of this $40 book will be dedicated to wetland and waterfowl conservation that benefits Missouri.
You can see the full selection of books, greeting cards, DVDs, CDs, and more at mdcnatureshop.com. Order online or by calling toll-free 877-521-8632. Many Nature Shop items also are available at conservation nature centers.
For hunters and anglers, how about a lifetime permit? The Resident Lifetime Small Game Hunting Permit costs as little as $35 for Missouri hunters 60 or older. The same permit is an amazing bargain at $275 for Missouri residents 15 and younger. Lifetime Conservation Partner Permits, which include hunting and fishing privileges, start at $70 for Missouri residents 60 and older.
Lifetime permits are not available over the counter. For information about how to apply for one, visit mdc.mo.gov/8849, call 573-522-4115, ext. 3574, or write to Lifetime Permits, Missouri Department of Conservation, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180.
You can discover the unique history of the “Missouri Model” of wetland and waterfowl management and support wetland and waterfowl management programs with a new, large-format, and richly illustrated book, Waterfowl Hunting and Wetland Conservation in Missouri — A Model of Collaboration. Careful planning, skillful execution of well-designed strategies, public and private partnerships, strong citizen support, and dedicated funding have all led to the quality wetland habitats and migratory bird populations that Missourians enjoy today. This new book chronicles and celebrates related efforts and the resulting successes. The book’s authors, many of them former waterfowl biologists and wetland managers, donated their services to produce the book. Sponsors, anchored by Bass Pro Shops, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Ducks Unlimited, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, and private citizens, have covered all production costs. This is a must-have book for all serious migratory bird hunters, and all proceeds from sales of the book will be dedicated to wetland and waterfowl conservation that benefits Missouri.
The book is available for purchase through the Nature Shop at mdcnatureshop.com or visit mochf.org for further information.
The October Commission meeting featured presentations and discussions regarding the Discover Nature Schools program, the Mississippi River Basin, strategic guidance for healthy forests, fish, and wildlife, and personal services trends. A summary of actions taken during the Oct. 16–17 meeting for the benefit and protection of forest, fish, and wildlife, and the citizens who enjoy them includes:
The next Conservation Commission meeting is Dec. 11 and 12. For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/3430, or call your regional Conservation office
Editor In Chief - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Managing Editor - vacant
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler