From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
May 2018 Issue

In Brief

News and updates from MDC

Thank You For Sharing the Harvest

Donated deer meat goes to local food banks and food pantries.

Thousands of Missouri deer hunters donated 289,292 pounds of venison to the state’s Share the Harvest program this past deer season. The donated deer meat will help feed hungry Missourians all around the state.

Since the program was started in 1992, Share the Harvest has provided nearly 4 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to feed hungry Missourians — including this year’s donations and 198,277 pounds of venison donated the year before.

Share the Harvest is coordinated by MDC and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM). Deer hunters donate their extra venison to more than 100 participating meat processors throughout the state who grind the deer meat into ready-to-use packages. The packaged venison is then given to local food banks and food pantries for distribution to Missourians in need of food assistance.

“Hunters started Share the Harvest because they saw a need in their communities,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “And hunters remain the driving force behind this popular program that helps feed our fellow Missourians who are in need. We sincerely thank the thousands of deer hunters who support Share the Harvest, along with the many participating meat processors and sponsors.”

Processing fees are covered entirely or in part by numerous local supporting organizations and statewide sponsors, which include: MDC, CFM, Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, MidwayUSA, Inc., Missouri Food Bank Association, and United Bowhunters of Missouri.

For more information on Share the Harvest, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/Zoz.

TRIM Grants Help With Community Tree Care

MDC, in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forest Council, is administering Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance cost-share grants. The grants, known as TRIM, can help government agencies, public schools, nonprofit groups, and communities pay for community tree care through tree inventories, removal or pruning of hazardous trees, planting trees, and training volunteers and city/county employees to best care for community forests.

“By accessing these cost-share grants, Missouri communities can do more to take care of their trees,” said MDC Community Forestry Programs Supervisor Russell Hinnah. “TRIM grant recipients focus on keeping their neighborhood trees healthy and thriving, which translates to a whole host of social, economic, and environmental benefits for the community and the state. Properly caring for your community’s trees helps make your town safe and beautiful.”

The program provides reimbursements of $1,000 to $10,000 to fund up to 60 percent of a project. Projects located in communities with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation are eligible for an additional 15 percent in matching funds. The deadline for TRIM grant applications is June 1. For more information and the grant application, visit mdc.mo.gov/trim.

New Online Auction

MDC now offers used vehicles, boats, motors, tractors, trailers, farm equipment, office equipment, and other items for sale through govdeals.com, an online auction website exclusively for government and educational agencies.

The site is available 24/7 from the convenience of a computer or smart device. It replaces the semi-annual live auctions held in June and October at MDC’s Maintenance Center in Salem.

“Our move to all-online auctions with offerings posted throughout the year makes it easier and more convenient for many people to see, bid on, and buy items offered by the department,” said MDC General Services Supervisor Jeff Arnold, who coordinates the auction activities. “It also provides significant time and cost savings for MDC by eliminating the need to transport items from throughout the state to the Salem Maintenance Center, prepare each item, advertise, and staff the live auctions.”

To find auction items available, go to govdeals.com and enter “Missouri Department of Conservation” in the search box. Auction items are posted throughout the year as they become available.

Ask MDC

Got a Question for Ask MDC? Send it to AskMDC@mdc.mo.gov or call 573-522-4115, ext. 3848.

Q: Recently, a red bat has taken up residence in a small space between our house and the corner post of our carport. We haven’t disturbed it, but it hasn’t moved either. Is this normal?

A: It sounds as if this bat has chosen this space for its summer daytime roost. The habits of bats vary from species to species, but it’s not unusual for them to secure themselves in a protected spot — such as this snug location. They also like loose tree bark, hollow trees, rocky crevices, and other protected places, such as underneath shingles and siding.
They spend their days roosting and their nights foraging. A tree-dwelling species, red bats start to feed on flying insects at dusk and continue into the night. Bats tend to forage along the edges of forests and fencerows, and they’re also seen over ponds and meadows and around city streetlamps.
If this bat is not bothering you, you can leave it alone. If you don’t want it in the same crevice next season, you might seal it this winter. We would also encourage you to erect a bat house. To learn more, visit batcon.org or batconservation.org.

Bats are beneficial creatures that provide invaluable services to both natural ecosystems and humans worldwide.

Q: Is it legal to take three-toed box turtles from the wild and keep them as pets?

A: Missouri residents interested in learning more about the fascinating behavior of box turtles can possess this species without a permit.

However, we caution against making a box turtle a long-term pet since they can live well over 50 years. If you plan to keep one longer than a week, please be mindful of what it needs to remain healthy. Box turtles are quite fragile in captivity and are not easy to maintain long-term. Without proper sunlight, fresh water, and a nutritious diet, they are prone to developing respiratory and eye infections. A large outdoor pen with morning sun and afternoon shade is the best way to keep them during the summer months. Once adopted for an extended period, a box turtle cannot be successfully returned to the wild.
 For more information about box turtle care, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/Zqp. If you remove a turtle briefly from the wild to study it, please return it to its original location. Box turtles depend on familiar habitat to find food and shelter. They also have a strong urge to return, which can lead to them being killed on the road.

Although there’s no indication three-toed box turtles are declining in Missouri, turtles generally have been declining statewide, mainly due to loss of habitat, vehicle strikes, and poaching. During this time of year, many turtles are seen crossing roads and many are run over accidentally. Please be alert to these animals. If you want to help them cross, first ensure the safety of humans and then move the turtle in the direction it was traveling.

For a complete understanding of the rules related to the confinement of native species, please consult the Wildlife Code of Missouri.

What is it?

Can you guess this month's natural wonder?

Close up images for What Is It

Agent Advice

Jason Langston, Oregon County Conservation Agent

May is traditionally the start of summer, and what better way to kick it off than on the water with family and friends. Missouri is a great place to fish, so grab your pole before heading to the water. Check local regulations for the body of water you’re visiting and pack the proper baits and lures. Catch-and-release is a fun way for young kids to experience fishing and conserve the resource.

If you want to enjoy the water from a canoe, kayak, or boat, don’t leave shore without proper life jackets. Have a picnic on a gravel bar — there’s nothing better on a warm summer day. Do your part to keep the rivers clean and pick up any trash you see. See you on the water!

We Are Conservation

Spotlight on people and partners.

CCLS’s Green Team

Katie Clark’s children attend Christ Community Lutheran School (CCLS) in Webster Groves. As a parent, she enjoys working with students, other parents, teachers, and administrators on the school’s Green Team.

Learning to be Green for Life

The CCLS Green Team participates in a number of Gateway-area projects, including the U.S. Green Building Council — Missouri Gateway Chapter Green Schools Quest, LEAP (a program of EarthWays Center, a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden), and No MOre Trash, a partnership between the Missouri departments of Conservation and Transportation.

In Their Own Words

Speaking for the Green Team, Clark said, “Little choices make a big difference. We found that by making small tweaks to the way students disposed of their lunch waste, we would divert literally tons of debris away from the landfill and into recycling. Given the many terrific resources available to help, making a sustainable difference is actually manageable, teachable, and fun.”

What’s your conservation superpower?

Free Fishing Days

Looking for a fun way to get family and friends outside to enjoy nature? Get hooked on fishing with our annual Free Fishing Days June 9 and 10. During Free Fishing Days, anyone can fish in the Show-Me State without buying a fishing permit, trout permit, or trout park daily tag.

Other fishing regulations remain in effect, such as size limits and number of fish an angler may keep. Special permits may still be required at some county, city, or private fishing areas. Trespass laws remain in effect on private property.

Conservation makes Missouri a great place to fish, and Free Fishing Days encourages people to sample our state’s abundant fishing opportunities. Get more information on fishing in Missouri from A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, available where permits are sold and online at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing.

Did You Know?

  • Missouri has more than 1 million acres of surface water, and most of it provides great fishing.
  • More than 200 different fish species are found in Missouri. > 20 are game fish.

What Is It?

White Crappie

White Crappie

Because it reaches a fairly large size and is readily caught, white crappie (Pomoxis annularis) ranks as one of Missouri’s most popular panfishes. Crappie anglers enjoy great success bank-fishing or slow-trolling with small minnows near submerged trees or other cover. White crappie is more abundant and widespread than its close relative species, the black crappie.

Also in this issue

Turtle captured in a net

Protecting Missouri Turtles

New regulation eliminates commercial turtle harvesting.

baskets of peppers at the farmers market

Eating Close to Home

Locavores put emphasis on foods’ origins.

Hydrilla

Halting the Horrible Hydrilla

A new invader threatens Missouri waters and fisheries.

And More...

Related content in this issue Related content in this issue
This Issue's Staff:

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen

Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler