News & Events

By |
From Missouri Conservationist: Jan 2015

by Jim Low

Fall Turkey Harvest Tops 5,000

Hunters checked 5,691 turkeys during Missouri’s fall firearms turkey season Oct. 1 through 31. Top harvest counties were Greene with 165 turkeys checked, Franklin with 163, and St. Clair with 160. Adult gobblers accounted for 964 of the harvest, or almost 17 percent. Adult hens accounted for 1,588 of the harvest, or almost 28 percent. Juvenile gobblers accounted for 950, or almost 17 percent, and juvenile hens for 2,189 or about 38 percent.

  • The Central Region of the state saw about an 8 percent increase in harvest from 2013 with 759 birds.
  • The Kansas City Region dropped about 1 percent from 2013 with 681 birds.
  • The Northeast Region dropped about 3 percent from 2013 with 588 birds.
  • The Northwest Region dropped about 13 percent from 2013 with 477 birds.
  • The Ozark Region dropped by about 9 percent from last year with 784 birds.
  • The St. Louis Region harvest increased by about 9 percent from 2013 with 528 birds.
  • The Southeast Region fell by about 15 percent from last year with 687 birds.
  • The Southwest Region dropped by about 4 percent from 2013 with 1,187 birds harvested.
  • Fall archery turkey hunting continues through Jan. 15. For fall firearms turkey harvest results by county and type of bird, and other 2014 turkey harvest figures, visit

Help Us Improve Our Communications

The role of communications is a critical part of what we do at the Missouri Department of Conservation. We have millions of Missourians with varied backgrounds, interests, and levels of engagement with conservation. The Department is conducting a communications audit to determine the best way to share with Missourians about Conservation priorities and activities happening around the state.

How do we know if our communications are effective? How do we gauge our current strengths and, more importantly, our biggest opportunities for improvement and growth? We start with an audit of our communications.

Getting feedback and opinions from Missouri conservation enthusiasts is one of the most important things we do, and we hope you will participate in this audit. Your comments will help determine the best ways for the Missouri Department of Conservation to communicate with Missouri residents. We need your honest opinions.

Go to talk to to give us your feedback. This link will only be active for a limited time, so please get your responses in early. We appreciate your participation in this very important project.

Director Ziehmer Named to Blue Ribbon Panel

Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal have named Conservation Department Director Robert L. Ziehmer and 21 other members to the national Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Morris and Freudenthal, the Blue Ribbon Panel co-chairs, announced the appointments during a keynote address at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in St. Louis. The Blue Ribbon Panel includes representatives from the outdoor recreation, retail and manufacturing sectors, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups, and state fish and wildlife agencies.

The panelists will work together over the course of a year to produce recommendations and policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of the full array of fish and wildlife species.

Members of the Blue Ribbon Panelists on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources include:

  • Robert L. Ziehmer—director, Missouri Department of Conservation
  • Kevin Butt—general manager and chief environmental officer, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc. and board member, Wildlife Habitat Council
  • Jeff Crane—CEO, Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation
  • John Doerr—president and CEO, Pure Fishing Inc. and board member, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation
  • Jim Faulstich—owner, Daybreak Ranch and vice chairman, Partners for Conservation
  • John Fitzpatrick—director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and co-inventor, eBird
  • Gregg Hill—president and CEO of Exploration and Production, Hess Corporation
  • Rebecca Humphries—chief conservation officer, National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Dr. Stephen Kellert—professor emeritus of social ecology and senior research scholar, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and board member, Bio-Logical Capital; founding partner, Environmental Capital Partners
  • Jennifer Mull—chief executive officer, Backwoods Equipment Inc. and board chair of the Outdoor Industry Association
  • John W. Newman—CFO and treasurer, LLOG Exploration Company LLC and board chairman, Ducks Unlimited
  • Margaret O’Gorman—president, Wildlife Habitat Council and board member, Stewardship Action Council
  • Glenn Olson—Donal O’Brien chair in Bird Conservation and Public Policy, National Audubon Society and member, North American Wetlands Conservation Act Council and the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Advisory Council
  • Collin O’Mara—president and CEO, National Wildlife Federation
  • Connie Parker—CEO and founder, CSPARKERGROUP and board member, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the Wildlife Foundation of Florida
  • Charlie Potter—CEO, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and founder and chairman, Great Outdoors LLC
  • Steve Sanetti—CEO, National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • Lynn Scarlett—managing director, Public Policy, The Nature Conservancy
  • John Tomke—president, Ducks Unlimited de Mexico and chair, Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council
  • Dr. James Walker—vice chairman of the board, EDF Renewable Energy and board member, American Wind Energy Association
  • Dr. Steve Williams—president, Wildlife Management Institute and board president, National Conservation Leadership Institute; board member, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

“Conservation means balancing the sustainability of fish and wildlife with the many needs of humans for clean air and water; land; food and fiber; dependable energy; economic development and recreation,” said Morris. “By assembling this panel of highly regarded leaders and problem solvers, we will find a way forward that safeguards not only vital natural resources, but also our nation’s economic prosperity and outdoor heritage.”

“With fish and wildlife species and natural resource-based enterprise at stake, we can’t afford an ‘us vs. them’ mentality,” said Freudenthal. “It is time to create certainty for both industry and the conservation community by building a 21st century funding model.”

State hunting and fishing license dollars, federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear, and motorboat fuel taxes have provided the backbone for funding states’ fish and wildlife conservation programs over the past century. However, there has always been a significant gap in dedicated funding for conserving the 95 percent of all species that are neither hunted nor fished.

Only partially filling that gap is the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, the sole federal source of funding to state agencies to prevent new endangered species listings. Since 2010, the program’s funding has been cut by more than 35 percent while petitions for federal endangered species listing has skyrocketed by 1,000 percent.

“Dedicated funding allowing for the management of all fish and wildlife, whether game or nongame species, is essential for this nation,” said Bob Ziehmer, Missouri Department of Conservation director and representative for state fish and wildlife agencies on the Blue Ribbon Panel. “Many species are declining in abundance and will continue to do so if we don’t work toward establishing a sustainable funding source for our nation now and into the future.”

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies began its quest to secure sustained funding for fish and wildlife diversity conservation in the early 1990s. The launch of the Teaming With Wildlife coalition, which now includes nearly 6,400 organizations, was a critical step in demonstrating broad and diverse support for dedicated fish and wildlife funding.

The co-chairs expect to add approximately three more individuals and four Ex Officio participants to the Panel before it convenes its first meeting in early 2015.

To learn more about AFWA’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Fish and Wildlife Resources, visit and

Order Tree Seedlings Now

Winter is prime time for planning habitat-improvement projects, and George O. White State Forest Nursery now offers more flexibility than ever in ordering seedlings for wildlife plantings.

As always, the Conservation Department’s nursery at Licking has a wide variety of tree and shrub species. This year’s offerings include 14 oak species, seven evergreens, black walnut, pecan, tulip poplar, bald cypress, persimmon, four dogwood species, wild plum, ninebark, witch hazel, black chokeberry, redbud, and much more. Prices range from 16 cents to 80 cents each, depending on species, size, and quantity. Seedlings are available in bundles of 10 or 25, as they were last year. The catalog and order form are easy to find at To see how the nursery grows your quality bare-root seedlings, attend their open house and tour the facility from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. April 4. Please call 573-674-3229 to order a catalog or reserve a time for the tour, as space is limited.

Discover Nature Schools Goes to the Fair

Recognition for outstanding nature-related science fair projects is available again this year through the Discover Nature Schools (DNS) program. No extra work or travel are involved. Teachers simply email photos and descriptions of projects for judging. Winners receive ribbons, medals, or plaques for their achievements, and four state winners will receive classroom equipment used to deliver DNS at their school.

Teachers, not students, must submit entries for the DNS Science Fair competition. Submission criteria have been simplified and shortened this year. To qualify, students must be enrolled in a class teaching a science unit that is part of the Conservation Department’s DNS. Entries must show a connection to at least one DNS activity.

DNS does not have to be mentioned in the project. However, entries must meet criteria for display rules and safety guidelines listed on the Academy of Science-St. Louis Science Fair website,

The competition takes place in three rounds. Round 1 is judged by teachers at participating schools. Teachers submit winning entries for Round 2 by March 15. Conservation Department education consultants judge Round 2 and send winners on to Round 3, which is judged at the Conservation Department’s Central Office in Jefferson City by May 1.

The Discover Nature Schools program is taught in nearly 90 percent of Missouri school districts, and the program continues to grow every year. To view submission criteria for the DNS Science Fair and download an entry form, visit

2013 Conservation Opinion Survey

In 2013, a statistically valid survey of Missouri adults was conducted for the Department of Conservation by a team from the University of Missouri. Results from the survey include information on Missourians’ interests and participation in forest, fish, and wildlife activities and conservation issues. The survey has been conducted about every 10 years since 1980. Missouri households were randomly selected to receive the survey questions. Results from the survey are used to guide management, regulations, and to meet expectations of Missourians for conservation.

If you responded to the survey, thank you! Look for more information on this survey in the February Conservationist.

November Deer Harvest up 6 Percent

Building on a strong opening weekend harvest, Missouri hunters went on to check a total of 167,205 deer during firearms deer season Nov. 15 through 25. The number exceeds last year’s harvest of 157,273.

The Missouri Department of Conservation reports the top harvest counties were Howell, with 3,418 deer checked; Franklin, with 3,338; and Texas, with 3,170.

This year’s harvest is 6 percent larger than last year’s figure and 10 percent below the previous

5-year average for the November portion of firearms deer season. When added to the previous

urban and early youth portions of this year’s firearms deer season, the November portion harvest brings the year-to-date total to 185,890. Archery deer season runs through Jan. 15.

The white-tailed deer is Missouri’s most popular game species. Missouri has nearly 520,000 deer hunters and almost 2 million wildlife watchers who enjoy deer.

Activities related to deer hunting and watching annually contribute $1 billion in economic activity to state and local economies, and they support more than 12,000 Missouri jobs.

Did You Know?

Conservation education enriches our quality of life.

Missouri National Archery in the Schools (MoNASP) Program

  • What is MoNASP? The Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program is modeled on the National Archery in the Schools Program, which began with a simple idea — teach kids the basics of archery as a part of school curriculum. Since NASP’s beginnings in 2002, millions of kids across the nation have participated in the program.
  • Why does it work? Nearly everyone — regardless of age, size, or physical ability — can succeed at archery. Kids love archery, and archery helps kids excel. Statistics show that school archery programs improve attendance, increase self-esteem and physical activity, help kids relate better to subject matter, and get kids outdoors.
  • How does it work? Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program supports international-style target archery in 4th- through 12th-grade physical education classes during the school day. The Department offers schools new to MoNASP a $1,500 equipment-reimbursement grant to help get started in the program.
  • Who is participating? For the school year of 2014–2015, more than 125,000 students in grades 4 through 12 are participating in MoNASP during the school day in over 450 Missouri schools. Last year, more than 1,200 students qualified for and participated in the State MoNASP Tournament held in March.
  • What do Missouri students think of MoNASP? “What I love about archery is you get to shoot bows and arrows in gym class. It’s a lot of fun!” says Jordan Lewis, MoNASP student.

How do I learn more? Visit, or call MoNASP coordinator Eric Edwards at 573-522-4115, ext. 3295.

What is it?

Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss

On Page 1 are rainbow trout hatchlings spawned at Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson. Rainbow trout require waters that are constantly below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are limited to Ozark spring branches, spring-fed streams, and Lake Taneycomo, where cold water flows from the lower levels of Table Rock Reservoir. Although small, self-sustaining populations have been established in some streams, most populations are maintained by continuous stocking. Trout raised in the hatchery grow faster than those in the wild, reaching 10 inches their first year. Hatchery brood stock spawn in October and November, whereas wild trout in Ozark springs spawn in late December through early February. In nature, the female digs a shallow pit on clean, gravelly riffles, fanning it hard with her tail. One or more males fertilize the eggs as they are shed. The female resumes digging upstream, covering the eggs by gravel carried by the current. No parental care is provided. Rainbow trout eat a variety of animal life, such as aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, snails, and small fishes. —photograph by David Stonner

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Nichole LeClair Terrill
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