In Brief

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From Missouri Conservationist: October 2019

What Is it?

Can you guess this month’s natural wonder?

News and updates from MDC

Changing Requirements for Landowner Permits

Highlighted changes include increased acreage, discounted permits, and a landowner registry.

Starting in 2020, MDC will increase the minimum acreage requirement from five to 20 acres for resident landowners and members of their immediate households to receive free permits for deer and turkey hunting. Resident landowners with five or more acres and members of their immediate households can still hunt small game, fish on waters of the state, and trap on their qualifying properties without a permit.

Also starting in 2020, MDC will offer discounted deer and turkey hunting permits for nonresident landowners with 75 acres or more in a contiguous tract. Many nonresident landowners provide wildlife habitat work on their properties and those efforts can provide significant benefits to state wildlife resources.

MDC will also implement a landowner registry starting in 2020 for resident landowners to obtain free deer and turkey permits and for nonresident landowners to obtain discounted landowner permits. The registry is needed to help eliminate misuse of landowner permits and privileges. Conservation agents around the state find several hundred related violations each year.

Learn more at

Nonresident Hunting and Fishing Permits

MDC will increase the prices for some nonresident hunting and fishing permits starting in 2020. Permit prices have not been raised in over a decade and adjustments are needed to help keep up with increasing costs of providing conservation work and services around the state. Learn more at

Use Auto-Renewal for Online Permits  

Renewing Missouri hunting, fishing, and trapping permits is now easier and more convenient through our new online permit auto-renewal service. It allows online permit buyers to automatically renew their permits prior to the start of the next season or permit year so they never have an expired permit when they need it most.

Participation in auto-renewal is voluntary, and the service can only be activated by the permit buyer. Enrollment in auto-renewal can be done during an online permit purchase or by using the “Manage Your Account” feature. There are no additional fees for the service. Auto-renewal will automatically charge permit buyers for their enrolled permits. Learn more at

Trout Permits and Tags Going Up, and We’re Trying Something New

After 20 years, MDC will raise the prices of annual trout permits and daily trout tags starting in 2020 to better cover costs of running trout hatcheries and providing more than a million trout each year for public fishing.

Starting in 2020, the cost of an annual trout permit will go from $7 to $10 for anglers 16 years of age and older and from $3.50 to $5 for anglers ages 15 and younger. Also starting in 2020, the cost of a daily trout tag to fish at three of Missouri’s four trout parks — Bennett Spring State Park, Montauk State Park, and Roaring River State Park — will go from $3 to $4 for adults and from $2 to $3 for those 15 years of age and younger. MDC will begin a pilot program at Maramec Spring Park next year where the daily limit will be raised from four to five trout and the cost of a daily trout tag will go from $3 to $5 for adult anglers and from $2 to $3 for those 15 years of age and younger. Learn more at

Wild Webcast on Elk, Elk Hunting

Join us Oct. 9 from noon to 1 p.m. for a Wild Webcast on elk and elk hunting in Missouri. Get information on seeing wild elk in Missouri and on our upcoming elk hunting season, possibly starting in 2020. Our experts will share information, and participants can post questions throughout the webcast. Register at

Giggers get 15 More Days

MDC extended the fish gigging season by 15 days. This year’s season will run Sept. 15 through Feb. 15, 2020. The move to lengthen the season was based on feedback we received through an online survey conducted last year.

Gigging is a type of spearfishing where participants use a long forklike spear, or gig. Fish harvested by gigging are known generally as “suckers.” It is primarily a nighttime activity and is most effective in shallow, clear water. For more information, visit

Homemade Candied Pecans

Missouri pecans are smaller than southern varieties, but don’t let their size fool you. Most pecan enthusiasts find Missouri pecans rival others in sweetness and flavor. And due to a higher oil content, Missouri pecans are perfect for ice cream and candy making. Try this simple pecan recipe. It’s perfect for a last-minute gathering or just a go-to snack.

  • 4 cups (1 pound) pecan halves
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

PLACE pecans into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg white and water. Pour mixture onto the pecans and stir until the pecans are fully coated. Set aside.

In another bowl, WHISK together sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the cinnamon sugar mixture over the pecans and stir until completely coated. SPREAD them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in an even layer.

BAKE for about 45 minutes at 300 degrees. To ensure they bake evenly, stir every 15 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven, let them cool completely.

Recipe courtesy


Got a Question for Ask MDC?

Send it to or call 573-522-4115, ext. 3848.

Q: We found this mushroom on our property. Could you help us identify it?

A: This appears to be a young puffball in the genus Calvatia, possibly Calvatia craniiformis. Craniiformis are medium to large puffballs that often develop distinctive, skull-like shapes as they mature. When sliced open, this mushroom’s flesh is initially white but changes to olive-yellow as it matures.

This species is also thought to be a choice edible when immature. Use caution when ingesting them because other types of white mushrooms — such as the poisonous destroying angel (Amanita bisporigera) — have stages in which they could be mistaken for a puffball. Be sure to cut through any puffball from top to bottom to confirm it is pure white inside, like a marshmallow, with no sign of a cap or stem.

Craniiformis are saprobic, meaning they live in and derive their nourishment from dead, organic matter, and are usually found growing singly. Look for them on the ground in grassy areas or in open woods.

Q: Where and when should you put up a wood duck nest box in Missouri?

A. Since natural cavities can be scarce, wood ducks readily use nest boxes. Sites near wetlands, rivers, and lakes are preferred. Boxes can be installed on posts in the water, at least 3 feet above the high-water mark, facing south or west. If installing on land, choose a site within 100 feet from the water with no branches around the entrance hole and point the nest box toward the water. Predator guards should be installed. Wood ducks pair up in January. It’s a good idea to put nest boxes up well before the launch of breeding season, which starts in early April and continues through August. Building a wood duck nesting box is sure be a rewarding experience. Featuring brightly hued plumage, male wood ducks are one of Missouri’s most-beautiful breeding residents. Females’ feathers are
more subdued, but a distinguishing characteristic is the white eye ring that tapers to a point behind the eye. For building plans, visit short.

Q: I found this tarantula dead in late September, perfectly intact. What might have killed it?

A: This tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi) is a male, and it probably died while wandering in search of a mate. As mature tarantulas approach the end of their lives, often in the autumn of their seventh year, they leave their home territories in search of females. By this time of their lives, the urge to procreate is so strong that even when presented with food, they rarely take the opportunity to eat.

After a few weeks of wandering, the males have either found mates or have exhausted themselves trying.

These spiders prefer dry, rocky glades where they live in silk-lined burrows in natural cavities such as rodent or reptile burrows. Shy and unaggressive, they prefer quiet and peaceful settings far away from people. But in late summer, they are commonly seen crossing roads in southern Missouri.

What Is it?

Snow Fungus

Snow fungus (Tremella fuciformis), also known as white jelly mushroom, is part of a group of jelly fungus that grows mostly on dead deciduous trees. Its irregular shape is composed of firm, gelatinous lobes. The translucent white fungus can reach up to 7 cm across and 4 cm high. Common in tropical and subtropical climates, it can also be found in Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas.

Agent Advice

Mark Skelton, Butler county Conservation Agent

Early season for Canada geese and brant opens statewide Oct. 5. Get out early and scout the birds prior to hunting. Visit the agriculture fields they tend to frequent and get a sense of their behavior patterns. Birds can see color, so camouflage is key during this season. Blinds are useful, but natural cover works just as well. To hunt Canada geese and brant, you will need a Small Game Hunting Permit, a Migratory Bird Hunting Permit, and a Federal Duck Stamp. For more information on the early season for Canada geese and brant, check out Page 16 of the “Migratory Bird and Waterfowl
Hunting Digest 2019–2020”.

CWD: Info to Know for the 2019–2020 Deer Season

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a deadly, infectious disease in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family that eventually kills all animals it infects. There is no vaccine or cure. CWD is spread from deer to deer and through the environment.

MDC has found 116 cases of CWD in Missouri since 2012 out of more than 100,000 deer sampled, so the disease remains relatively rare in the state. There have been no reported cases of CWD infecting people, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends having deer tested for CWD if harvested in an area known to have the disease. The CDC also recommends not eating meat from animals that test positive for CWD. For more information on CWD, visit

MDC is continuing its efforts to limit the spread of CWD in Missouri by finding new cases and slowing its spread to more deer and more areas.

CWD Management Zone

MDC’s CWD Management Zone consists of counties in or near where CWD has been found. The 29 counties in the CWD Management Zone for this season are: Adair, Barry, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Putnam, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington.

Mandatory CWD Sampling Nov. 16 and 17

Hunters who harvest deer in any counties in the CWD Management Zone during opening weekend of the November portion of fall firearms deer season (Nov. 16 and 17) are required to take their harvested deer (or the head with at least 6 inches of neck attached) on the day of harvest to one of MDC’s numerous CWD sampling stations throughout the zone. Sampling and test results are free. Hunters who harvest deer in counties no longer part of the zone are not required to participate in sampling.

Learn more at under Mandatory CWD Sampling, or from MDC’s 2019 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold and online at short.mdc.

Voluntary CWD Sampling All Season Statewide

MDC is offering free voluntary CWD sampling and testing of deer harvested anywhere in Missouri throughout the entire deer hunting season (Sept. 15 through Jan. 15, 2020) at all MDC regional offices during regular business hours and through participating taxidermists and meat processors within the CWD Management Zone. Get locations and more information at under Voluntary Sampling.

Before Having Deer Sampled

  • Field dress and Telecheck deer before arrival at a sampling station.
  • Bring the carcass or just the head with at least 6 inches of the neck attached.
  • Capes may be removed in preparation for taxidermy before going to a sampling station.
  • The person who harvested the deer must be present.
  • The hunter’s conservation number will be required, along with specific location of harvest.
  • If using a paper permit, have it detached from the deer for easy access.
  • If using the MO Hunting app, have permit and Telecheck information available.
  • Position deer in vehicles with head and neck easily accessible.

CWD Test Results

Get test results for CWD-sampled deer online at Results are free and will be available within four weeks after the sampling date.

Carcass Disposal

Carcasses or remains of CWD-infected deer can expose other deer to the disease. Process deer as close as possible to their harvest location. Place remaining carcass parts in trash bags and properly dispose of them in the trash or a landfill. If necessary, bury or leave remains at the harvest site.Learn more at under Carcass Disposal. New regulations on carcass movement and disposal will go into effect in 2020. Learn more at

Share the Harvest

Missouri’s Share the Harvest program helps deer hunters donate venison to those in need. To participate, take harvested deer to an approved meat processor and let the processor know how much venison is to be donated. Learn more and find participating processors at

Deer harvested within the CWD Management Zone may only be donated to approved processors in the Share the Harvest CWD Testing Program located within or directly adjacent to the CWD Management Zone. Processors not participating in the Share the Harvest CWD Testing Program cannot accept deer from CWD Management Zone counties. Deer harvested outside of the CWD Management Zone may be donated to any Share the Harvest processor.

For deer sampled for CWD before being taken to an approved processor for donation, present the CWD barcode number provided at the sampling station to the processor as proof of sampling. If a sample has not been collected before donation, the processor will collect the sample or remove the head and submit it to MDC for sampling. Learn more at under Share the Harvest.

Feeding Ban in CWD Management Zone

Feeding deer or placing minerals for deer unnaturally concentrates the animals and can help spread CWD. The Wildlife Code of Missouri prohibits the placement of grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable natural and manufactured products used to attract deer year-round within counties in the CWD Management Zone. Exceptions are feed placed within 100 feet of any residence or occupied building, feed placed in such a manner to reasonably exclude access by deer, and feed and minerals present for normal agricultural or forest management, or crop and wildlife food production practices. The feeding ban does not apply to food plots or other agricultural practices. The feeding ban no longer applies to counties removed from the CWD Management Zone.

Antler-Point Restriction

Counties within the CWD Management Zone do not have an antler-point restriction (APR). Protecting young bucks from being harvested in areas where CWD has been found can increase the spread of the disease. The APR has been reinstated for some counties removed from the zone. Learn more from MDC’s 2019 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold and online at

Firearms Antlerless Permits

The increased availability of firearms antlerless permits for some counties in the CWD Management Zone can help prevent undesired population increases in local deer numbers around where CWD has been found. Learn more from MDC’s 2019 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold and online at 11

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler