Outdoor Recreation

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From Missouri Conservationist: Oct 2007

Scout it Out

Dove Hunting

  • Name: Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area
  • Location: 2.5 miles north of Livonia on Route N in Putnam County
  • For more information: Call (660) 785-2420 or visit our online atlas, keywords "Rebel's Cove"

Nearly a stone’s throw away from the Iowa border in north central Missouri hunters will find some of the state’s best dove hunting opportunities. Rebel’s Cove Conservation Area, just north of Livonia in Putnam and Schuyler counties, contains 45 acres of managed sunflower fields that draw in doves by the scores.

The dove season is open until Nov. 9. Mourning doves, Eurasian collared-doves and white-winged doves are legal to hunt. The combined daily bag limit of all three species is 12, with a combined possession limit of 24. Full details on dove hunting regulations are available in the 2007 Migratory Bird Hunting Digest, available wherever hunting permits are sold.

After your hunt at Rebel’s Cove CA, nature viewing, fishing, hiking and camping are among the activities you can enjoy in the area’s rich mixture of habitats, which include grasslands, diverse marshes and timbered bluffs that line the winding Chariton River.

Rebel’s Cove CA is just one of the 100 conservation areas with fields managed for dove, for more information on these areas see the links listed below.

Hunting Heritage

New law protects hunter rights and riverine habitat.

Governor Matt Blunt recently signed into law the Hunting Heritage Protection Areas Act. The legislation preserves Missourians’ rights to participate in hunting and other outdoor sports within heritage protection areas, which are defined as the 100-year flood plains of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The new law also protects the flood plains from development by prohibiting the authorization of new tax increment financing projects in many hunting heritage protection areas.

New Youth-Only Seasons

Giving kids a chance to get hooked on hunting.

The thrill of following a bird dog on the trail of game and firing as quail or pheasants explode into the air await youngsters ages 6 though 15. Oct. 27–28 youth in Missouri will have quail and pheasant hunting opportunities all to themselves during the state’s first-ever youth-only quail and pheasant hunting seasons. The youth pheasant season is in the north zone only. Youngsters who are not hunter education certified need properly licensed, hunter education trained adults to take them afield. The adults cannot hunt but are encouraged to assist youths. Kids with hunter education training can go afield on their own. For information about hunting in Missouri see the links listed below.

Feathered Fascination


Ever have to evade birds that appeared to be on the attack? Swooping and dashing at potential predators to drive them away is a defense technique that is called mobbing. Chickadees, titmice, jays, blackbirds and crows are among the many species of birds that mob. Species that have overlapping territories during the nesting season will combine efforts to mob a common threat.

While ornithologists know that mobbing occurs often, they are unsure of the exact benefits mobbers seek to gain. Some suggest mobbing might be a way to teach young birds to identify enemies. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Handbook of Bird Biology offers these four theories on the value of mobbing:

  • To inform the predator that the mobbers are alert to its presence, encouraging the predator to leave and hunt for prey elsewhere.
  • To protect offspring by hampering the predator’s search for the vulnerable young.
  • To alert members of the flock to the presence of a predator.
  • To reveal to larger predators the location of the smaller predator being mobbed.

Mobbing is just one of several techniques birds use to defend themselves. To learn more about bird behavior see the links listed below.

Help Endangered Bats

Don’t disturb hibernating grayand Indiana bats.

Cool formations and interesting wildlife make caves wonderful places to explore. A small percentage of Missouri’s caves are home to endangered gray and Indiana bats. Both species of bats usually roost in very large numbers, up to hundreds of thousands, which makes them extremely vulnerable to disturbance. If you happen upon a cave and find big clusters of bats in it, you undoubtedly have stumbled upon one or the other of these endangered bats. Disturbance by humans is among the main reasons that these bats are endangered. Each time the bats are awakened from hibernation they use up vital fat reserves that cannot be replaced in winter. Excessive disturbance can cause bats to die or abandon a cave. For this reason, we advise people who encounter a large group of bats in a cave to quietly retreat and allow the bats to roost undisturbed.

Details on the habits and habitats of Missouri bats is available on the Department of Conservation Web.

This Issue's Staff

Editor in Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Staff Writer - Arleasha Mays
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Ruby
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler