In Brief

By MDC | December 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: December 2022

Get Certified

MDC offers updated training for prescribed burning

MDC invites landowners, land managers, and contractors to harness the power of prescribed fire to both achieve their land-management goals and benefit native plants and wildlife through the updated training — Prescribed Burning for Missouri Land Managers.

Prescribed burning mimics the historical occurrence of fire that shaped our plant communities, but it is conducted under a prescription of specified environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, fuel moisture, wind speed, and direction.

Landowners, land managers, and contractors can become certified prescribed burn managers through a self-paced three-hour online prescribed burn course followed by an all-day field exercise to demonstrate skills learned. There is a $25 fee for the online course, but the cost may be covered through a coupon or agency code from an MDC private land conservationist.

Learn more from MDC about prescribed fire, prescribed burn certification classes, field exercises, and more at

Discover Nature with Eagle Days

From December through February, Missouri’s winter eagle watching is spectacular. Because of Missouri’s big rivers, many lakes, and abundant wetlands, the Show-Me state is one of the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle viewing. Each fall, thousands of these great birds migrate south from their nesting range in Canada and the Great Lakes states to hunt in Missouri. Eagles take up residence wherever they find open water and plentiful food. More than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during winter.

Discover nature with MDC through Eagle Days events around the state. Some events will include live eagle programs, exhibits, activities, videos, and guides with spotting scopes. Some events require registration. If you can’t make an MDC Eagle Days event, there are other local events and hot spots for winter eagle viewing.

You can also enjoy watching bald eagles on your own. Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge. Early in the morning you can see them flying and fishing. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars.

Get Holiday Gifts from MDC

Have nature lovers on your holiday gift list? MDC’s online Nature Shop makes holiday shopping a breeze for anyone interested in nature-themed gifts. Offerings include the ever-popular Natural Events Calendar, a variety of books, and more for all ages.

Purchase items through the MDC online Nature Shop at, by calling 877-521-8632, or at one of MDC’s nature centers located across the state. Nature centers are located in Kirkwood, Cape Girardeau, Springfield, Kansas City, Blue Springs, and Jefferson City.

Order early in anticipation of slower shipping deliveries. Applicable tax, shipping, and handling costs will apply.

Also, remember hunters and anglers on your list. Hunting and fishing permits make great gifts. Buy permits from vendors around the state, online at, or through the MDC free mobile apps, MO Hunting and MO Fishing, available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

Congratulations to 17 New Conservation Agents

MDC welcomes 17 new conservation agents, who graduated from the 2022 Conservation Agent Training Academy in October.

Prior to graduation, the new agents spent six months housed at the Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City. They received more than 1,200 hours of intense instruction both in and out of the classroom throughout the state. Agents received training in criminal investigations, defensive tactics, firearms qualifications, and technical instruction in fish, forest, and wildlife management. Training also included courses in legal studies, communications and conducting education programs, and first aid/first responder and CPR certification.

The 17 new agents who joined the 195 existing MDC agents in serving and protecting Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife resources include: Ryan Catron, Avery Crisp, Kenneth (Drew) Davis, Ricky Dawson, Cole Eidson, Nicholas (Nick) Freeman, Landon Leonard, Makayla Leppert, John Lowe, Austin (A.J.) Musche, Jacob Myers, Katlin (Katie) Potter, Samuel (Sam) Schick, Katie Stoner, Taylor Stutzman, Taressa Wise, and Paul Wright.

The new agents have been assigned their counties. They will be involved in field training operations and special assignments while under the supervision of veteran field agents for a six-week period during which they will acquire vital field experience.

Agent Advice
Statistics Elements

Aaron Burnett
Cooper County
Conservation Agent


Don’t let the cold temperatures keep you from enjoying the wonders of Missouri’s natural resources. Get out and discover one of our managed wetlands located throughout the state. Enjoy a walk, taking in the variety of birds and other wildlife that call our wetlands home. Or take the opportunity to harvest a duck. If you’re hunting, be sure you are properly licensed, including your Federal Duck Stamp and Small Game and Migratory Bird permits. Stay within your daily bag limits. If you’re hunting in a group, keep harvests separate or identifiable. Always use steel shot, as lead is prohibited on wetlands. For more information, visit the Migratory Bird and Waterfowl Hunting Digest 2022–2023 at



Sardinian raisin-and-nut shortbread cookies

Bernadette Dryden
Right to Use

This cookie, enjoyed throughout the Italian island of Sardinia, traditionally uses English walnuts and almonds. However, the recipe adapts well to Missouri nuts, giving it a Show-Me flare! Here, we’ve substituted Missouri-grown pecans and hickory nuts for the English walnuts. These gems are sure to add holiday cheer to any cookie tray.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange or tangerine peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange or tangerine juice
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup pecans and/or hickory nuts, coarsely chopped

Cream butter, sugar, and citrus peel in food processor or electric mixer. Beat in eggs one at a time; then beat in juice. Add flour and salt, mix well. Stir in raisins and nuts. Wrap dough in plastic (it will be moist) and refrigerate at least four hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll out dough on floured surface to about 3/8-inch thick. With a floured knife, cut into diamonds (cut 1½-inch-wide strips first, and then crisscross strips in diagonal cuts spaced 1½ inches apart). Arrange on ungreased baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to racks.


  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange or tangerine juice

Mix powdered sugar with juice. Brush glaze over warm cookies. Cool and store cookies in airtight containers.

What is it?

Eastern Gray Squirrel Tail

The eastern gray squirrel has a distinctive bushy gray tail fringed in white. It is slender and smaller than its close relative, the fox squirrel. Typically reaching 21 inches from nose to tail, the eastern gray squirrel’s body is gray, and the belly is white. Sometimes black-furred squirrels occur in the same litter with gray ones, and these may be entirely glossy black or show gradations between black and gray.




Also In This Issue

Coyote vs trumpeter swan

These photographs from Missouri Conservationist readers are worth well over 1,000 words.

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler