In Brief

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From Missouri Conservationist: June 2018

MDC Reports More CWD Positives New Cases Bring Total Number of Free-Ranging Deer in Missouri Confirmed to Have CWD to 75

MDC found 33 new cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) following the testing of 24,486 free-ranging Missouri deer through the 2017–2018 sampling and testing efforts. The new cases were from the following counties:

  • Adair (3),
  • Cedar (1),
  • Franklin (4),
  • Jefferson (1),
  • Linn (7),
  • Macon (3),
  • Perry (1),
  • Polk (3),
  • St. Clair (4),
  • and Ste. Genevieve (6).

Of the 33 new cases, 16 were from hunter-harvested deer, one was from a road-killed deer, and 16 were from our post-season targeted culling efforts in the immediate areas where previous cases have been found.

This year’s findings bring the total number of free-ranging deer in Missouri confirmed to have CWD to 75. For more information, visit MDC will again require mandatory sampling of deer harvested during the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season, Nov. 10 and 11, in and around counties where the disease has been found. We will again offer voluntary CWD sampling during the entire fall and winter hunting season for deer harvested in these same counties. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters in areas known to have CWD have their deer tested before consuming the meat. Starting in July, more information on specific counties, sampling locations, and requirements will be published in the 2018 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold and online at

Free Fishing Days June 9 and 10

Get hooked on fishing in Missouri. Our annual Free Fishing Days occur June 9 and 10. During Free Fishing Days, anyone can fish in the Show- Me State without a fishing permit, trout permit, or trout park daily tag.

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

Celebrate Prairies

Prairies help keep water clean, control flooding, improve soil, store carbon, provide wildlife habitat, and bring beauty to our lives. Prairies are vitally important but vanishing landscapes. Join MDC and the Missouri Prairie Foundation to celebrate National Prairie Day and Missouri prairies by learning more about their importance. For more information, visit

Take a Hike

Join MDC and the American Hiking Society in celebrating National Trails Day by hitting your favorite trail — or finding a new one to explore. Visit to find a trail near you. MDC’s conservation areas offer 830 miles of designated hiking trails. Share your adventure with us on Instagram at

Give Turtles a Break

Spring rains and warmer temperatures entice turtles out of their burrows in search of food, mates, and nesting sites. Sometimes these searches lead them across roadways.

MDC asks motorists to slow down when they see a turtle in the road and safely steer around it, if possible. When helping a turtle cross a road, keep human safety as the number-one concern. Check for traffic and move the turtle across the road in the direction it is traveling.

Three-toed box turtles, ornate box turtles, and common snapping turtles are species often seen crossing roads in Missouri. For more information on Missouri turtles, visit MDC’s online Field Guide at

What Is It?

what is it

Can you guess this month's natural wonder?


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

Q: Can you please help me identify this wildflower?

This is a black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), but there’s a reason it doesn’t look like the familiar yellow-and-black perennial we know and love. These flowers have been plagued by a condition called aster yellows, a chronic plant disease that affects native plants, ornamentals, and vegetable crops.

Q: A box turtle laid her eggs in my front yard. Is there a way I can protect them from predators? And, how long before they hatch?

Box turtle eggs are easy targets for predators such as raccoons, who often find the nest within three to five days due to the scent of the female turtle. But turtle nests can be safeguarded with a dome of chicken wire. Simply leave a couple of 2-inch gaps around the base of the dome. This will allow the hatchlings to slip through, while preventing predators from entering.

In Missouri, most egg laying takes place from mid-May to early July. Usually at dusk, females select an elevated, open patch of loose soil where she digs a 3- to 4-inch hole with her hind limbs. The eggs are laid mostly at night.

Accurately predicting the length of the incubation period is difficult, since several factors — humidity, temperature, and weather conditions — all play a role. Typically, baby turtles hatch in about three months. However, if eggs are laid in the late summer, hatchlings can overwinter in the nesting chamber, emerging the following spring.

Q: What animal would dig up a yellowjacket nest and why? This is the third one I’ve found this year.

Skunks, armadillos, raccoons, badgers, and even bears are major predators of yellowjackets (Vespidae). Two native species occur statewide, and an introduced German yellowjacket is expanding its range in Missouri.

These wasps often nest underground in cavities and rodent burrows. Their paperlike nests feature parallel layers of comb with downward facing cells.

They are famous for aggressively defending their nest sites and pose a significant stinging threat. Mammals mitigate the danger by digging up the nests at night when the colony is inside and motionless. Since yellowjackets rely mostly on sight to sting predators, their ability to protect the nest is greatly reduced in the dark. A single skunk can easily wipe out an entire colony in a night, eating all the adults and brood (larvae).
Yellowjackets and most other wasps don’t make honey, but they are a great source of protein for the raiding mammals.

What is It?

Green Treefrog

green treefrog

This bright-green amphibian is found mainly in the Bootheel. By day, it hides in the green leaves of the cattails, but by night, it is on the hunt. Green treefrogs (Hyla cinereal) eat insects, which helps to keep those populations in check. Males chorus in the evenings from May to early August, and together, they sound something like distant Canada geese.

Agent Advice from Will Carr, Jasper County Conservation Agent

If the deep croak of Missouri’s bullfrogs and green frogs are calling your name, you’re in luck. Frogging season opens at sunset on June 30. This is a great time to introduce kids to outdoor sports. Frogging is fun, hands-on, and the weather is usually pretty nice. Since the action occurs at night, it’s best to scout your location beforehand. Be on the lookout for sinkholes, root wads, or anything that may trip you up in the dark. This is a unique season because frogs can be harvested with a fishing or a hunting license and an artificial light can be used. For a full list of legal methods, check the Wildlife Code of Missouri. Get hoppin’!

Gooseberry-Blueberry Crunch

These are two fruits that you are unlikely to find fresh in Missouri at the same time.
Gooseberry season usually is ending by the time blueberries begin ripening. However, should you have socked away a few bags in your freezer during the picking
season for each, you can make this quick little treat when the cold wind blows.

Serves 6–8


  • 4 cups gooseberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup water


  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or combination)

PREHEAT oven to 375ºF. In a large bowl, combine gooseberries, blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water; mix well. Pour into a greased 8½- by 8½-inch baking dish. IN a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, butter, and nuts. Sprinkle topping over fruit. Bake for about 1 hour or until berries bubble, top is nicely browned, and mixture is set.

Fresh or Frozen, Sweet or Tart

The amount of sugar in this recipe makes for a slightly tart result. Should you like things a little sweeter, add a bit more sugar. If nature has allowed for both berries to be available concurrently, then, by all means, try this dessert with the fresh fruit. However, frozen berries work well, and there is no need for thawing, either.

MDC Sets Migratory Game Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

2018 Migratory Game Bird Hunting

Mourning Doves, Eurasian Collared Doves, and White-Winged Doves

  • Season: Sept. 1 through Nov. 29
  • Limits: 15 daily and 45 in possession combined total for all three species
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Sora and Virginia Rails

  • Season: Sept. 1 through Nov. 9
  • Limits: 25 daily and 75 in possession combined for both species
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Wilson’s Common Snipe

  • Season: Sept. 1 through Dec. 16
  • Limits: 8 daily and 24 in possession
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

American Woodcock

  • Season: Oct. 15 through Nov. 28
  • Limits: 3 daily and 9 in possession
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

2018–2019 Waterfowl Hunting


  • Season: Sept. 8–23
  • Limits: 6 daily and 18 in possession
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset



  • North Zone: Nov. 3 through Jan. 1, 2019
  • Middle Zone: Nov. 3 through 9 and Nov. 15 through Jan. 6, 2019
  • South Zone: Nov. 22 through 25 and Dec. 3 through Jan. 27, 2019

Bag Limit: 6 ducks daily with species restrictions of:

  • 4 mallards (no more than 2 females)
  • 3 scaup
  • 3 wood ducks
  • 2 redheads
  • 2 hooded mergansers
  • 2 pintails (new limit)
  • 2 canvasbacks
  • 2 black ducks
  • 1 mottled duck

Possession Limit: Three times the daily bag or 18 total, varies by species
Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset


  • Season: Same as duck season dates in the respective zones
  • Limits: 15 daily and 45 in possession
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Snow Geese (White and Blue Phases) and Ross’s Geese

  • Season: Nov. 11 through Feb. 6, 2019
  • Limits: 20 blue, snow, or Ross's geese daily with no possession limit
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

White-Fronted Geese

  • Season: Nov. 11 through Feb. 6, 2019
  • Limits: 2 daily and 6 in possession
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Canada Geese and Brant

  • Season: Oct. 6–14 and Nov. 11–Feb. 6, 2019
  • Limits: 3 Canada geese and brant in aggregate daily, 9 in possession
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Light Goose Conservation Order

  • Season: Feb. 7 through April 30, 2019
  • Limits: No daily or possession limits
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset

Youth Hunting Days

  • North Zone: Oct. 20 and 21
  • Middle Zone: Oct. 20 and 21
  • South Zone: Nov. 17 and 18
  • Limits: Same as during regular waterfowl season
  • Hours: Same as during regular waterfowl season

Falconry Seasons

Falconry season for doves

  • Season: Sept. 1 through Dec. 16
  • Limits: 3 daily and 9 in possession, singly, or in the aggregate (any ducks, coots, or mergansers taken by falconers must be included in these limits)
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Falconry seasons for ducks, coots, and mergansers

  • Season: Open during duck seasons (September teal season, youth hunting days, and duck seasons) and Feb. 10 through March 10, 2019
  • Limits: 3 daily and 9 in possession, singly, or in the aggregate during the regular duck hunting seasons (including teal and youth seasons) and extended falconry seasons (any doves taken by falconers must be included in these limits)
  • Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset

More Information

For more information on migratory-bird hunting and waterfowl hunting, visit and select the specific species, or get a copy of the Waterfowl Hunting Digest and Migratory Bird Hunting Digest available beginning in July where hunting permits are sold.

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