News and Almanac

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From Missouri Conservationist: Feb 1996


Although a three-week spring turkey season was announced last year, the Conservation Commission recently voted to keep the season at two weeks to prevent excess hunting pressure from reducing the state's turkey population.

The 1996 spring turkey season will run from April 22 through May 5. The fall firearms turkey season runs Oct. 14-27.

During the spring season, hunters may take two male turkeys or turkeys with visible beards, and only one turkey may be taken during each week of the season. Fall hunters may take turkeys of either sex, but only one turkey may be taken during each week of the season.


Researchers are reporting steady increases in the number of eagle nests and the number of fledged eagles in Missouri. During 1995, 24 productive eagle nests produced 38 fledglings - young eagles able to leave the nests on their own.

The Conservation Department began eagle restoration efforts in 1981. For 24 years, Missouri had no productive eagle nests. Since 1984, the number of nests and young eagles has steadily increased. In 1991, 13 eaglets fledged; in 1992, 21; in 1993, 18; and 24 eagles fledged in the state in 1994.

Eagle watching has now become a popular winter pastime. "Our objective was to have 20 breeding pairs by the turn of the century and 50 pairs ultimately for the state," said ornithologist Jim D. Wilson. "We may need to upgrade our goals."


St. Louis's Frontenac Hilton will be the site of the 1996 Izaak Walton League of America's National Outdoor Ethics Conference April 18-21. The organization's last conference was in 1987.

Up to 500 hunters, anglers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts are expected to attend the conference and address outdoor ethics issues, including how expectations of outdoor experiences affect our behavior, how outdoor recreationists' behavior affects wildlife and natural resource management and how to promote responsible outdoor recreation.

For more information, write Laury Marshall, 707 Conservation Lane, Gaithersburg, Md. 20878 or call her at 301/548-0150.


The 24th Annual National Wildlife Art Show and Sale, featuring original paintings, sculpture, carvings and limited-edition prints by top nature and wildlife artists from around the world, will run Feb. 22-25 at the Overland Park International Trade Center.

All net proceeds from the event benefit wetlands preservation and wildlife conservation through Ducks Unlimited.

Admission is $6 at the door. Those under 16, accompanied by an adult, will be admitted free. A special preview party is scheduled for Feb. 22.

For more show information, write NWAS, P.O. Box 7728, Shawnee Mission, Kan. 66207, or call 913/888-NWAS.


Outdoor and nature writers can hone their skills as they study with some of the nation's best outdoor authors at a five-day Missouri Conservationist outdoor writing workshop planned for this coming fall in the Ozarks.

To receive more information about workshop dates, times, fees and instructors, write to Outdoor Writers Workshop, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, 65102-0180. Please include some information about yourself and your writing experience.


The 1996 Conservation Directory, a comprehensive listing of organizations, agencies and officials involved in natural resource use and management, is now available from the National Wildlife Federation.

The 552-page directory, which is updated annually, contains names, addresses and program areas of more than 16,000 people involved in conservation and information about more than 2,000 conservation organizations.

The directory costs $25, plus shipping and handling. For ordering information, call National Wildlife Federation, toll-free, (800) 432-6564.


Trout Unlimited is offering a full-color, double-sided poster that includes eight illustrations of threatened and endangered trout and salmon and a map of their habitat ranges.

The poster is billed as an excellent educational tool for schools, libraries, clubs, conservation organizations and resource agencies.

Posters cost $6.95, plus $1 shipping and handling. Order them from Trout Unlimited ESA Poster, 1500 Wilson Blvd. #310, Arlington, Va. Or call toll-free (800) 805-4607. Proceeds benefit TU's conservation programs.


Archery enthusiasts from around the country are expected to gather at St. Louis's America Center March 22-24 for the First Annual Bowhunters Outdoor World Exposition.

The event, dubbed Bow Expo '96, will feature bowhunting seminars by Dwight Schuh, Gene and Barry Wensel and other experts. Youth and novice archery instruction will be provided free.

The event will include hundreds of exhibits of archery and bowhunting products. Guided hunts, archery equipment and other prizes will be given away daily.

Tickets costs $6. Children under 16 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. A portion of the proceeds of the event will go toward increasing participation in bowhunting and archery.

For more information call (314) 938-4398.


The 16th Annual El Kadir Tri-State Wild Turkey Day and Calling Contest will be at The El Kadir Shrine Club in Kirksville March 2.

The competition includes professional, amateur, friction and open youth classes. Open gobbler, owl hooting and team calling contests will also be conducted. Three trophies will be awarded in each class.

The event also includes a silent auction and a 9 a.m. turkey shoot, as well as shotgun and shotgun blackpowder shoots.

Admission to the day's activities cost $1. A dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and will followed by a dance. Dinner tickets cost $10. Proceeds from the event go to the Shriners Crippled Children's Hospital and Burn Center.

For more information about the event, call Wayne Martin at (816) 665 2808.


A St. Louis development group is working with architects to modify and preserve nine non-working chimneys in a historic University City neighborhood as habitat for chimney swifts.

Chimney swifts are charcoal, swallow-like birds whose lives are spent almost entirely on the wing. They prefer large hollow shafts, such as industrial size chimneys, for nesting and roosting.

The birds winter in Peru and Chile and return to Missouri in the spring. They feed exclusively on insects and gather in large flocks before migrating south in the fall.

Does your neighborhood have suitable chimneys for swifts? The following guidelines are based on recommendations by Paul Kyle, Director, North American Chimney Swift Research Project.

Leave chimneys as tall as possible.

Chimneys should have an opening of at least 8" x 14" or 11" x 11".

Chimneys can be cleaned at the end of October.

For more information on using working and non-working chimneys for chimney swift habitat, request "Providing and Maintaining Nesting Habitat for Chimney Swifts" from Driftwood Wildlife Association. P.O. Box 39, Driftwood, Texas 78619.

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Kathy Love
Assistant Editor - Tom Cwynar
Managing Editor - Jim Auckley
Art Director - Dickson Stauffer
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Composition - Kevin Binkley
Photographer - Jim Rathert
Photographer - Paul Childress
Staff Writer - Joan McKee
Staff Writer - Charlotte Overby
Composition - Libby Bode Block
Circulation - Bertha Bainer