January 2022 vol 83 no 1

Page 1


The Voice for Missouri Outdoors JANUARY 2022 - VOL 83 | NO. 1

Director’s Message

Reflecting Back, Aiming Forward, in 2022


s 2022 rolls in, we can reflect back and aim our sights full steam ahead for the coming year. I love hearing about the many success stories from our members’ hunting and fishing seasons and all the great times people have, enjoying the many recreational opportunities we have here in Missouri. All of the great things that we continue to accomplish are because of you, the members of the Federation Family! Notably, CFM attained our $100,000 match goal for the David A. Risberg Memorial Grant Fund. We surpassed that goal in October at an event hosted by CFM and John and Mary Risberg at Maritz in St. Louis. John and Mary have graciously matched donations dollar for dollar, promoting their son David's legacy that supports our affiliate organizations. This dedicated funding goes directly to our fellow nonprofits to perform boots on the ground work. We do not doubt that David is smiling down seeing all the magnificent conservation work going on in Missouri. Thanks to everyone that has and continues to donate to this worthy cause. We also had some historic legislation passed in 2021, both at the state and federal levels. Here in Missouri, we passed HB 369 a conservation omnibus bill, which included the Prescribed Burning Act. On a national level, the Federation continues to be at the forefront of Recovering America's Wildlife Act. Last fall, Senator Roy Blunt who co-sponsored this legislation, took a tour around Missouri promoting all the benefits Missourians will see because of this bill. Missouri is poised to get over $20 million dollars of funds to directly support conservation efforts. I really look for this one to cross the finish line in 2022. For 2022, our annual convention is at the Margaritaville at Lake of the Ozarks. The plan is to hold Natural Resource Breakouts virtually, earlier in the week, freeing up more time to have entertaining and educational opportunities when we gather in person. I encourage you to take advantage and collaborate in more Natural Resource Breakouts and engage in the resolution process.

We will still have our famous auctions and raffles to raise much-needed funds to support the Federation. See more information on pages 28 & 29 about the convention. Also, this coming year, we have three major programs that will be having milestone anniversaries. The Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) will be having its 20th anniversary. The Share the Harvest will be rolling over 30 years in existence, where we have donated over 4.4 million pounds of meat to deserving Missourians. Finally, Operation Game Thief (OGT) will be turning 40 years. Be sure to stay tuned about these important milestones, and how you can support these vitally important conservation endeavors. A new year also brings on a new legislative session in the Capitol in Missouri. We had a historic year in the Capitol last session where we passed so many of our priorities; it’s a session we will be celebrating for a while. Still, we will continue to protect our precious resources and preserve our heritage on the various issues arising each session. Be sure to keep an eye out for alerts as we share them with you and engage in the legislative process. Sign up for our Legislative Action Center at confedmo.org/lac. As a citizen and member of the Federation family, I hope you will feel good after doing so. Please continue to reach out to our talented staff if we can help in any way. Here's to a continued conservation success in 2022.

Tyler joins MDC Commission Chairman, Barry Orscheln, and U.S. Senator, Roy Blunt, for a picture after a press conference promoting Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. (Photo: Courtesy of CFM)

Yours in Conservation, Tyler Schwartze CFM Executive Director JANUARY - 2022



Conservation Federation January 2022 - V83 No. 1


OFFICERS Mossie Schallon - President Vacant - President Elect Zach Morris -Vice President Ginny Wallace - Secretary Randy Washburn - Treasurer

STAFF Tyler Schwartze - Executive Director, Editor


Micaela Haymaker - Director of Operations Michelle Gabelsberger - Membership Development Coordinator Colton Zirkle - Education and Communications Coordinator




Missouri State Parks Improvement Projects Funded


Mike Szydlowski Receives Master Conservationist Award


Show-me Some New Stuff


Pictures on the Wall


Pick Your Waterfowl Hunting Days


The Electric Fence


The Killdeer: Missouri's User-Friendly Shorebird


Wait, Don't Cut That Stalk


Little Kings with Mowhawks


Monumental Missouri

Departments 3 8 11 14 36


Director's Message President's Message New Members Affiliate Spotlight Agency News


Joan VanderFeltz - Administrative Assistant Emma Kessinger - Creative Director

ABOUT THE MAGAZINE CFM Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. Conservation Federation is the publication of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (ISSN 1082-8591). Conservation Federation (USPS 012868) is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September and November for subscribers and members. Of each member’s dues, $10 shall be for a year’s subscription to Conservation Federation. Periodical postage paid in Jefferson City, MO and additional mailing offices.

Highlights 6 22 23 24 28

What is CFM CLC Prairie Day CFM Board Nominations CFM Photo Contest Convention News

Send address changes to: Postmaster Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main Jefferson City, MO 65101

FRONT COVER Photo by Dan Bernskoetter in Boone County with a Canon 7D Mark II camera and 100-400 mm lens and 2X TC resulting in 800 mm. ISO 800, 1/640 sec at f/16.

Business Partners

Thank you to all of our Business Partners. Platinum

Gold Bushnell Doolittle Trailer Enbridge, Inc.

G3 Boats MidwayUSA Pure Air Natives

Redneck Blinds Rusty Drewing Chevrolet Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC

Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina Missouri Wildflowers Nursery Mitico

Simmons Starline, Inc. St. James Winery

Gray Manufacturing Company, Inc. HMI Fireplace Shop Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc. Missouri Wine & Grape Board NE Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.

NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Ozark Bait and Tackle Woods Smoked Meats

Dickerson Park Zoo Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Association Gascosage Electric Cooperative GREDELL Engineering Resources, Inc. Heartland Seed of Missouri LLC Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning Kansas City Parks and Recreation Lewis County Rural Electric Coop.

Missouri Native Seed Association REMAX Boone Realty Tabor Plastics Company Truman’s Bar & Grill United Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Silver Custom Metal Products Forrest Keeling Nursery Learfield Communication, Inc.

Bronze Association of Missouri Electric Coop. Black Widow Custom Bows, Inc. Burgers’ Smokehouse Central Electric Power Cooperative Drury Hotels

Iron Bass Pro Shops (Independence) Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures Blue Springs Park and Recreation Brockmeier Financial Services Brown Printing Cap America Central Bank Community State Bank of Bowling Green

Your business can benefit by supporting conservation. For all sponsorship opportunities, call (573) 634-2322.

JANUARY - 2022


"The Voice for Missouri Outdoors" Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. In 1935, conservationists from all over Missouri came together to form the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) with the purpose to take politics out of conservation. The efforts of our founders resulted in the creation of Missouri's non-partisan Conservation Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Since then, CFM has been the leading advocate for the outdoors in Missouri.


Over 100 affiliated organizations Share the Harvest Corporate & Business Partnerships State & Federal Agency Partnerships National Wildlife Federation Affiliate Operation Game Thief Operation Forest Arson David A. Risberg Memorial Grants Missouri Stream Team


Conservation Leadership Corps Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance Confluence of Young Conservation Leaders Affiliate Summit Scholarships for youth and students Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt National Archery in the Schools Grants Conservation Federation Magazine


Legislative Action Center Resolutions to lead change Natural Resource Advisory Committees Conservation Day at the Capitol Staff and members testify in hearings for conservation and natural resources

Young Professionals

Conservation Federation of Missouri began


State Wildlife and Forestry Code published



Wildlife and Forestry Act passed



First deer season since 1937

Amendment 4 created Missouri's non-political Conservation Commission

First turkey season in 23 years



First hunter safety program formed

Missouri Department of Natural Resources formed



Urban fishing program formed in St. Louis; first in the nation

Operation Game Thief formed


Design for Conservation Sales Tax passed



Stream Teams formed


Parks and Soils Sales Tax passed

Missouri voters Outdoor renewed Action Parks and Soils Sales Committee formed Tax by 70.8%

Share the Harvest formed



Operation Forest Arson formed



Conservation Leadership Corps formed



Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program formed

CFM Celebrates 85 years



Parks and Soils Sales Tax renewed by voters by the highest percentage to date (80%)

Ways You Can Support CFM Membership

Life Membership

Affiliate Membership

Business Partnerships

Scholarships and Grant Support

Event Sponsorship and Product Donation

Support our efforts to promote and protect conservation and natural resources in our state. Members will receive our magazine six times a year, event information, our bi-weekly enewsletter, and the opportunity to grow our voice. CFM provides the platform for a diverse group of organizations to have their conservation voices be heard. Affiliates have the opportunity to apply for grants, receive educational training and promote the mission of their organization. CFM provides scholarships to graduates and undergraduates. We also provide grant funds to youth education programs and to affiliate projects. Contributing will help future generations initiate boots on the ground projects.

Become a life member for $1,000. Life memberships are placed in an endowment fund that allows us to continue our work in perpetuity.

Business partners will enjoy recognition in each magazine issue along with opportunities to reach and engage with our active membership. Ask us about our different Business Partnership levels. All of our events have raffles with both silent and live auctions. The contributions of in-kind products and services not only assists in raising funds for conservation, but also promote the businesses that support CFM.

Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main St, Jefferson City, MO 65101 Phone: (573) 634-2322 ~ Email: info@confedmo.org www.confedmo.org

Become a Member today! ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Description Individual Supporter Individual Advocate Individual Sustaining Youth/Student Individual Lifetime

Price $35.00 $60.00 $100.00 $20.00 $1,000.00

Name: E-mail: Phone: Address: Credit Card #: Exp. Date:

Join online confedmo.org/join

President’s Message

Welcome to 2022!


hope your Christmas holidays were happy celebrations spent with family and friends. We were fortunate to be with my husband’s family, including his 91-year-old mom, our daughter, son in law and two grandsons (ages 3 and 5). It was a special time to celebrate four generations being together on this earth! I do not know how everyone feels about standard time versus daylight savings time. You know, “spring forward one hour” in March and “fall back” in November! My brain is always fuzzy a few days, no matter which way the clock moves. This time of year, we often start our day in the dark and with the sun setting before 5:00 pm, evening outdoor activity is limited so winter can be challenging, especially during a pandemic. Good news! There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is shining brightly on a return to normal! The heartbreak of separation from family and friends has begun to heal as we finally turn the corner and look beyond COVID.

In this first magazine edition of 2022, you will read about the accomplishments CFM achieved in 2021. Staff, officers, board, members, conservation friends and partners gracefully pivoted to embrace the methods required during a pandemic to fulfill our mission. Thanks to all for stepping up to accept the challenges we faced. With an abundance of caution in 2021, we converted fund-raising events to be virtual and moved inperson events to later in the year and/or to next year. Even with reduced fund-raising opportunities, we ended the year in the black and presented a balanced budget for ’22 at the December (in person) Board meeting. A BIG thank you goes out to a disciplined staff for holding the line on expenses and to all of you who remained engaged and gave generously of your time and money! Looking ahead: • CFM will pivot and introduce a 2022 Events Schedule that includes in-person events and will also host events in a virtual format based upon what we learned during the pandemic. • CFM members will vote for 2022 Board candidates this month. The election will be conducted electronically. Visit the website to learn more about the slate of candidates and the timing of the election. PLEASE VOTE!



The 2022 State Legislative Session begins January 5! CFM will be there representing our members, and we invite you to monitor along with us via our Legislative Action Center (LAC). As prominent issues arise, we appreciate hearing your opinion. The LAC has proven to be a great tool to receive information and to act upon it most effectively. CFM’s 86th Annual Convention will be in person (March 11-13) After several years away, we return to Lake of the Ozarks, at the new Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach! Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend! See more information in this edition of our magazine as well as our website www. confedmo.org.

I have moved from cautiously optimistic to be optimistic on a return to normal in 2022. I hope as you are reading this, you are optimistic too. Be well and stay safe. Get outdoors and into the light!

"The best way out is always through." - Robert Frost

Yours in Conservation, Mossie Schallon President, CFM

Committed to Community & Conservation Owned by the members they serve, Missouri’s electric cooperatives do more than provide reliable and affordable electricity. They are active in their communities, concerned for the wellbeing of their neighbors and devoted to the rural way of life that makes the Show-Me State a special place to live, work and play. Missouri’s electric cooperatives are dedicated to protecting the land, air and water resources important to you and your quality of life. Learn more at www.amec.coop.

Member News

Why I Became a Life Member of CFM: Colton Zirkle


t didn’t take long for my parents to realize I was an outdoorsman. At a very early age, I was crawling around, catching bugs. I spent every moment I could either in the backyard or at my grandparents’ farm discovering new creepy crawlers. Soon after, my mother began taking me to the Northwest Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to walk their trails and see all the critters they had inside. Thus sparked my love for conservation. My high school biology teacher nominated me for membership in the Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC). Through CLC I got to learn how to be involved in conservation at the state level and how to share my voice in the management of our natural resources. After working for Missouri State Parks and MDC, I have come to work here at the Conservation Federation of Missouri. The staff, members, partners, and affiliates do so much, not only to manage our wildlife and improve habitat, but to protect our rights as sportsmen and women. Outside church and the NRA, I couldn’t think of a better place to donate $1,000. As Theodore Roosevelt said, this work is for those “in the womb of time.”

Become a CFM Life Member When you purchase a Life Membership with CFM, your money is added to an endowment supporting the administration of the organization in perpetuity. Each year, we draw earnings from the endowment, so your contribution will truly be supporting the CFM for the rest of your life and beyond. This is an important funding source for our Federation. We hope you will consider joining the over 300 dedicated conservationists who have already made a life commitment to the Conservation Federation of Missouri by becoming a Life Member today at www.confedmo.org/join.

Contact CFM at (573) 634-2322 or email info@confedmo.org



Member News

WELCOME NEW CFM MEMBERS Kathryn Allen, Columbia

Katy Hulsey, St. Clair

Samuel Routt, Wentzville

Connie Blackmore, Columbia

Brenda Irwin, Imperial

Victor Salguero, Saint Louis

Bernard Brantner, Brownin

Shelby Keefer, Kahoka

Steven Scott, Rocheport

John Breite, Frankford

Tod Kinerk, Salem

John Shaw, Kansas City

Joy Brumble, Kingsville

John Krejci, Saint Louis

Bob & Doris Sherrick, Peculiar

Wanda Carras, Springfield

T. Wayne Lewis, Jackson

Carter Stoelzel, Nixa

Ivan Carroll, Clarence

Bob Lottes, Perryville

Eddie Sydenstricker, Mexico

David Crafts, Saint Louis

Patrick Market, Columbia

Karen Turnbough, Saint Clair

W. Edwin Dodson, Saint Louis

Marjorie Meredith, Columbia

Larry Uzzell, Winfield

Dick Elgin, Saint James

Alan Miller, Fenton

David Woods, Sparta

Burton Follman, Saint Louis

William Nowack, Owensville

David Zimmerman, Crystal City

Thomas Glueck, Devils Elbow

Richard Orf, Saint Charles

Scott Hargis, Warrenton

John Ritchie, Richmond

Hansil Hartle, Stoutsville

Paul Rivard, Chesterfield

George & Linda Hoover, Liberty

Don Rolwing, Sikeston

CFM thanks the 178 members that renewed since our last publication.

USPS Statement of Ownership

JANUARY - 2022


It’s your


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Affiliate Highlights

L-A-D Foundation


he largest private landowner in Missouri, with nearly 150,000 acres, the L-A-D Foundation is a non-profit organization whose 144,000 acre Pioneer Forest in the Current and Jacks Forks watersheds operates as a model demonstration forest combining sustainable forestry and ecological stewardship. Set within an Ozarks landscape encompassing over 2 million acres, and harboring more than 35 globally significant species, our land adjoins public lands owned by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Mark Twain National Forest, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Missouri State Parks. As a conservation focused non-profit who participates directly in the local economy and community, we are uniquely positioned to build partnerships between the public and private sectors for tangible results for people and nature. Since its founding by Leo A. Drey in 1951, Pioneer Forest has been managed through an uneven aged, single-tree selection method that extensive data has confirmed regenerates the forest, provides regional logging, sawmill, and end product jobs for the local economy, and is ecologically good for the landscape.

The L-A-D Foundation's Chalk Bluff on the Jacks Fork River. (Photo credit: Neal Humke)

Producing over 16. 5 million board feet annually, we are at the heart of the local economy, and a significant economic force in the timber industry statewide. Drey formed the L-A-D Foundation in 1962 to purchase and maintain other areas of ecological and cultural significance and we still own and provide free lease for the public benefit to iconic places such as Dillard Mill State Historic Site, Grand Gulf State Park, and Hickory Canyons Natural Area among others. Operating from a strategic plan adopted in 2020, we have recently hired Foundation Manager, Roger Still, and expanded our commitment to ecological stewardship by also adding Chief Ecologist, Rebecca Landewe. Looking ahead, CFM members should expect that L-A-D Foundation will continue to manage our forest health in the same sustainable manner we have for the past 60 years, pursue increased ecological stewardship on all our lands to the benefit of a wide range of habitats and species, expand our collaborations, particularly in the Ozarks, with a wide range of public and private sector partners, and ensure that our unique organization is positioned to provide public benefit for Missourians into the next generation. Roger Still Pioneer Forest and L-A-D Foundation founder, Leo Drey, next to an old growth white oak. (Photo credit: L-A-D Foundation)



Affiliate Highlights

Affiliate Organizations Anglers of Missouri

Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society

Missouri Taxidermist Association

Association of Missouri

Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Missouri Trappers Association

Missouri Community Forestry Council

Missouri Trout Fishermen's Association

Bass Slammer Tackle

Missouri Conservation Agents Association

MU Wildlife & Fisheries

Burroughs Audubon Society

Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation

Electric Cooperatives

of Greater Kansas City

Science Graduate Student Organization

Missouri Conservation Pioneers

Northside Conservation Federation

Capital City Fly Fishers

Missouri Consulting Foresters Association

Open Space Council of the St. Louis Region

Chesterfield Citizens Committee

Missouri Ducks Unlimited- State Council

Ozark Chinquapin Foundation

Missouri Forest Products Association

Ozark Fly Fishers, Inc.

Columbia Audubon Society

Missouri Grouse Chapter of QUWF

Ozark Land Trust

Conservation Foundation of

Missouri Hunter Education

Ozark Trail Association

for the Environment

Missouri Charitable Trust

Instructor's Association

Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club

Deer Creek Sportsman Club

Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation

Perry County Sportsman Club

Duckhorn Outdoors Adventures

Missouri Master Naturalist

Pomme De Terre Chapter Muskies

Festus-Crystal City Conservation Club Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Forest Releaf of Missouri Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

- Boone's Lick Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist - Great Rivers Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist - Hi Lonesome Chapter

Gateway Chapter Trout Unlimited

Missouri Master Naturalist

Greater Ozarks Audubon Society

- Miramiguoa Chapter

Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri Greenway Network, Inc. James River Basin Partnership L-A-D Foundation

Missouri Master Naturalist - Osage Trails Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist - Springfield Plateau Chapter

Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation, Inc. Quail Forever & Pheasants Forever River Bluffs Audubon Society Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association South Side Division CFM Southwest Missouri Fly Fishers St. Louis Audubon Society Stream Teams United Student Air Rifle Program Tipton Farmers & Sportsman's Club

Land Learning Foundation

Missouri National Wild Turkey Federation

Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers

Little Blue River Watershed Coalition

Missouri Native Seed Association

Troutbusters of Missouri

Magnificent Missouri

Missouri Outdoor Communicators

United Bow Hunters of Missouri

Mid-Missouri Outdoor Dream

Missouri Park & Recreation Association

Watershed Conservation Corps

Mid-Missouri Trout Unlimited

Missouri Parks Association

Wild Bird Rehabilitation

Midwest Diving Council

Missouri Prairie Foundation

Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitation

Mississippi Valley Duck

Missouri River Bird Observatory

Wonders of Wildlife

Missouri River Relief

World Bird Sanctuary

Missouri Association of Meat Processors

Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc.

Young Outdoorsmen United

Missouri Atlatl Association

Missouri Rural Water Association

Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation

Missouri Smallmouth Alliance

Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative

Missouri Society of American Foresters

Missouri Birding Society

Missouri Soil & Water

Hunters Association

Missouri Bow Hunters Association

Conservation Society-Show-Me Chapter

Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy

Missouri Sport Shooting Association

Missouri Chapter of the

Missouri State Campers Association

American Fisheries Society

Missouri State Parks Foundation

JANUARY - 2022



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Member News

James River Basin Partnership Summer Intern Experience


eing a student at a state university, I have been given many amazing opportunities in the biology world. My particular interest in stream ecology forced me to look for opportunities outside of the university to get the experience and exposure I wanted. Luckily, I live in the Ozarks, where we love our water. While attending field trips to many of our local water quality contributors, such as the wastewater treatment plant and tours of urban streams, I asked about groups that may take a volunteer or intern. The response always included praises for the James River Basin Partnership (JRBP). As fate would have it, a group at Missouri State made it known to me that JRBP was looking for an intern. I quickly contacted them for information about the position. It turned out that they hadn’t even made the flyer for the position yet! Once the flyer was available, I reviewed it and applied. I was fortunate enough to get an interview where I met Todd Wilkinson, Tim Smith, and Brent Stock. They were quite a fun group, and I could tell this would be a great opportunity for whoever got the position. Lucky enough, I got the call! The rest is history, literally. While working with JRBP, my primary mission has been to tend to their historical collection, which resembled an untended garden due to their limited staff. I weeded through all their historical collections, from CDs and photos to newspaper articles. Picking through the collections, I witnessed how far JRBP had come. Since the organization started in 1997, the local media has changed their verbiage about the James River significantly due to the diligent work from JRBP and partners. In addition to working on historical records, I have assisted with office organization and their river outreach programs. JRBP is a small grass-root organization that produces a high yield per employee. Despite the large workload and small staff, everyone in the office is very friendly. From the two contract employees who are full of jokes and knowledge: Tim Smith and Loring Bullard, to Kathrine the QuickBooks wizard, and the two full-time employees, Todd Wilkinson and Brent Stock. The office is full of fun.

Great fun fishing the James! (Photo: James River Basin Partnership)

If any other students are fortunate enough to get a position with JRBP, I would tell them that the staff will treat them fairly, with kindness, and give plenty of outreach experience opportunities. This is the first job I’ve had where the role felt self-benefiting rather than a benefit to the organization. This has been the best work environment I have ever experienced. If given the opportunity again, I would take the position. Their mission statement is exactly what I believe in. They provide education about our water to the people of the community through hands-on experience to all ages as well as types of living. The James River basin includes many diverse communities, and JRBP unites all of them under the message of clean water fun. Working with the people at JRBP has taught me to be a better communicator, paddler and given me unmatched experience in how non-profits work. I have met many indispensable members of our community who believe in and dedicate their time to our waterways. As a student who sometimes feels hopeless about the future of water quality, people like the ones who support this organization keep me motivated. Hannah Robinson JANUARY - 2022


Member News

CFM Celebrated Affiliates in 8th Annual Affiliate Summit


he 8th Annual Affiliate Summit was held September 9, 2021 in a hybrid format. CFM welcomed representatives from 23 different affiliate organizations. The workshop provided affiliates with various information including: Risberg Grant opportunities, legislative training, Operation Game Thief, and the Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative. In addition to the informational sessions, the event gave affiliates the opportunity to learn more about the Conservation Federation of Missouri. Thank you to our sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, and the National Wildlife Federation. CFM Affiliates Represented: Columbia Audubon Society Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative DuckHorn Outdoors Adventures Ducks Unlimited Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Greater Ozarks Audubon Society LAD Foundation Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters Assn. Missouri Bowhunters Association Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation Missouri Parks Association Missouri Prairie Foundation Missouri River Bird Observatory Missouri Rock Island Trail Missouri Trappers Assocication MO Ducks Unlimited Ozark Trail Association Quail Forever Show-Me Chapter SWCS St. Charles City Parks and Recreation Dept. Stream Teams United Mo Grouse Chapter



Maisah Khan sharing information about Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience initiative. (Photo: Courtesy of CFM)

If your organization did not send a representative, please consider doing so next year. Reach out to the affiliates who attended to learn more about how the workshop might benefit your organization. We hope to see you there! Michelle Gabelsberger Membership Development Coordinator

Member News

Pull for Conservation: Central - A Growing Success


he 15th Annual Pull for Conservation Central took place on August 14th at Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports, near Columbia. Competitors had the option of participating as an individual or a team of two. Side games of a 5-stand and pheasant chucker were also enjoyed by many shooters. Brian Coleman and Harold Mabrey received the top score of 72 out of 75 targets in the team shoot. Curt Macilin received the top score of 48 out of 50 targets in the individual course. 191 shooters took part in this year’s shoot. Important funds were raised at the event in station sponsor and registration fees benefitting the Conservation Federation of Missouri. A special thanks to our title sponsors, Bass Pro Shops of Columbia and Central Electric Power Cooperative. Central Electric’s members are Boone Electric Cooperative, Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Callaway Electric Cooperative, Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, Howard Electric Cooperative, Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, and Three Rivers Electric Cooperative. This event’s station sponsors were as follows: AJ’s Automotive, Associated Electric Cooperative, Association of MO Electric Coops, Bob McCosh, Bogg’s Creek, Boone County Lumber, Capitol Solutions Consulting, Brian Bernskoetter, Central Electric Power Coop, Chariton Legacy Farm, Chris Hamon, Conservation Employees Credit Union, CZ-USA, Dents Unlimited, Hulett Heating and Air Cond., Hunting Works for Missouri, Joe Machens Ford Lincoln, MidwayUSA, Mike and Mossie Schallon, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Missouri Conservation Heritage Found., Missouri Conservation Pioneers, Niklas Financial, Platte-Clay Electric Coop, Randy Washburn, Remax – Boone Realty, Scott & Sara Pauley, SelecTurf, Sho-Me Power, and Truman’s Bar and Grill.

A huge thank you goes out to all those that volunteered the day of the shoot, which included students and parents from the Conservation Leadership Corps, 4-H Shooting Sports team, and Missouri Youth Sport Shooting Alliance. A special thanks goes out to Tom Russell and Norm Stucky, longtime CFM Board Members, who dedicate their time and talents each year to help CFM pull off such a great event. We couldn’t do it without their dedicated support, along with all the volunteers that help the day of the event. An entire list of scores can be viewed on our webpage: https://www.confedmo.org/pull-forconservation-central/ We appreciate everyone that came out to support CFM, and we hope to see everyone again next year on August 13th.

CFM Executive Director Tyler Schwartze, Central Electric Coops Mark Newbold, and Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe take a picture before the shoot got underway in August. (Photo: CFM)

JANUARY - 2022



www.confedmo.org/join SCAN ME TO JOIN

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Member News

Conservation Leadership Corps Hosted Prairie Day


he Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) thrives on various donations and inputs from CFM members and beyond. This year, 2022, the CLC program will celebrate its 20th anniversary and through the help of many volunteers, nearly 900 students have been through the program in that time. Last fall, our current class of CLC students had the opportunity to visit CFM Board Member Tom Westhoff’s farm. Tom invited our students out to his prairie planting. He and his wife Pat have spent decades working on their property to restore wildlife habitat from croplands and pasture. They have one of the most biologically diverse prairie plantings anywhere with over 175 species of native plants. In years past, the Westhoffs have partnered with Jon Wingo of Pure Air Natives to sell their seed and share them with others who would like to plant native species on their own properties. On a cool, misty October morning, CLC students and volunteers convened at the Westhoff’s farm to collect seed and learn about prairie plantings. Before heading out into the field, Tom and Pat gave us a quick history of the property and shared with us their passion for the outdoors and the wildlife and its habitat. Jon Wingo also came to give us a briefing on the day’s activities. We would go out to collect seeds from specific plants which would then be processed by Pure Air Natives to be sold to individuals in Missouri and beyond. We started off collecting seed heads from New England aster. This plant is in the Asteraceae family along with other familiar species like sunflower and dandelion. The New England aster has a small, about quarter-sized, round purple flower. We clipped these tops off, careful not to lose the seeds, and placed them in large breathable seeds for transport. We spent most of the morning focusing on the one species.



CLC students collecting New England aster seed heads at Tom and Pat Westhoff's farm in central Missouri. (Photo: Courtesy of CFM)

Tom and Pat provided us with lunch which was another great time for our students to network with each other face to face. The world hasn’t allowed us many of those opportunities lately and it’s wonderful to see our students interacting with each other and building their networks and friendships that will last for years. After lunch, we were back out into the prairie planting collecting seed from hairy mountain mint, rigid goldenrod, and bottled gentian. Jon and his employees process the plant material our students collected until it is pure, viable seed to be sold and shipped out. To top off our educational day, the Westhoffs donated the proceeds from the seeds we collected to benefit the Conservation Leadership Corps. Thank you to Tom and Pat Westhoff, Jon Wingo, Zachary Morris, and to all who donate their time and money to make the CLC program a success. As Zach and I can tell you as CLC alumni, this program has done a lot to mold us into the conservationists we are today. Colton Zirkle Education and Communications Coordinator

Member News

CFM Board Nominations


lections for CFM Board and Officer positions are now open. Please take the time to go and vote at www.confedmo.org/boardelections/. The Nominating Committee selected the following nominees as candidates in the 2022 board and officer election. A bio and short video of each candidate will be available on the CFM Website. A request for CFM Officer and Board Nominations for 2022 was made back in July. Eight officer nominations and 30 at-large nominations were received. To develop the slate, the Nomination Committee reviewed, evaluated, and assessed each nominee which resulted in a ranking for each position. CFM members now have a slate of candidates with their nomination bio. CFM members can read about the roles and responsibilities of each position at www. confmo.org/boardelections/ as well as the preferred (but not required) qualifications and experience for each. The nominee’s bios and short video on CFM’s website will give voters a chance to hear nominees express their views.

At-Large Board Positions (12): • Jeff Blystone • Wally Iman • Jerry Presley • Norm Stucky • Kelley Brent • Steve Jones • Tom Russell • Jake Swafford • Earl Cannon • Nathan ‘Shags’ McLeod • George Seek • David Urich • Christopher Hamon • Leanne Tippett-Mosby • Emily Sinnott • Ryan Verkamp • Keith Hannaman • Zach Pollock • Emily Tracy-Smith • Randy Washburn

Executive Committee (2): • Robert Brundage • Ethan Duke • Bill McGuire Secretary: • Emily Lute • Lisa Allen Treasurer: • Bill Lockwood Vice-president: • Ginny Wallace President-elect: • Bill Kirgan

NWF Representative: • Should Joe Engeln be retained as the NWF representative? • Should Dana Ripper be retained as the NWF Alternate Representative?

Sample Ballot Voting in this election will take place electronically during the month of January. Please go to www.confedmo. org/boardelections/ to let your voice be heard. President-elect (vote for one): Bill Kirgan Vice-president (vote for one): Ginny Wallace Treasurer (vote for one): Bill Lockwood Secretary (vote for one): Lisa Allen Emily Lute Executive Committee (vote for two): Robert Brundage Ethan Duke Bill McGuire

At-Large Board members (vote for 12): Jeff Blystone Jerry Presley Kelley Brent Tom Russell Earl Cannon George Seek Christopher Hamon Emily Sinnott Keith Hannaman Emily Tracy-Smith Wally Iman Norm Stucky Steve Jones Jake Swafford Nathan McLeod David Urich Leanne Tippett-Mosby Ryan Verkamp Zach Pollock Randy Washburn NWF Representative: • Should Joe Engeln be retained as the NWF representative? yes no •

Should Dana Ripper be retained as the NWF Alternate Representative? yes no

JANUARY - 2022


Member News

CFM's Photo Contest Winners Announced


FM is proud to announce the winners of our 2021 Photo Contest! Thank you to all who entered their photos, voted on their favorites, and shared in this contest. We are very pleased to share so many wonderful photos of landscapes, wildlife, and the people that enjoy our outdoors. Look for these photos again in a special article in the CFM magazine and watch for many of the submitted photos to be included in CFM's social media and publications in the future. At the bottom of this article, you can learn about our contest sponsor, the Land Learning Foundation.

Best of Show: "Black Bear Cub," by Bailey O'Brian. Miss O'Brian took this photo while volunteering with the Missouri Department of Conservation's 'bear crew.'



Member News

(Top) Get Outdoors: First Place in this category goes to Ginny Wallace. Her photo, "Sunset Kayak," was taken after supper while camping at Pomme de Terre State Park. Ginny's husband Mervin was in the perfect spot for her to capture this picture.

(Left) Missouri's Natural Areas: "Rocky Falls Glory," by Bill Cooper takes First Place in this category. As you can see, the leaves of fall make this scene especially spectacular. JANUARY - 2022


Member News

Tracks and Traces: This indigo bunting was captured in photograph by Patricia Westhoff. Titled, "Morning Song," this picture takes First Place in this category. "Nature is so full of joyful sounds and this indigo bunting did not disappoint," said Mrs. Westhoff.

Contest Sponsor: Thank you to the Land Learning Foundation for being our title sponsor of this event! Prizes were awarded to our contest winners through a generous donation from LLF.



All Aquatics: "First Time Out," takes First Place in this category. Photographer Rodney Pennington said this was his granddaughter's first time to sit in the pilot's seat.

We appreciate their partnership and their continued generosity toward CFM and our mission to protect Missouri's outdoors. Land Learning Foundation is committed to fostering stewardship through outdoor experience, education, and conservation. Learn more at: www.landlearning. org/.

Outdoor News

Ken McCarty Receives the 2021 Natural Areas Association’s Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award


en McCarty, Missouri State Parks natural resource management program director, recently received the 2021 Natural Areas Association's Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award. The Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award recognizes excellence and achievement in managing reserves, parks, wilderness, and other protected areas. It is given in memory of Carl N. Becker, former Natural Areas Association president and a conservation leader. This award recognizes individuals or groups who have who exhibit the qualities exemplified by Becker, including: • Making a significant contribution to finding solutions for problems related to identification, protection or management of natural areas. • Developing or improving strategies that directly contributed to resolution of issues related to natural areas. • Contributing to major advances in the protection of natural areas. For three and a half decades, McCarty has directed natural areas stewardship for the state park system within the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. McCarty has been instrumental in the restoration, preservation and management of many of the 92 parks and historic sites throughout the state of Missouri. “I have been fortunate to spend a long career in a state with abundant public lands and natural features among our constellation of tremendous natural resource professionals, organizations and individuals,” says McCarty. Some of McCarty’s many career achievements include: • McCarty’s impactful career with Missouri State Parks has spanned more than 35 years. During this time, he has been a champion of natural areas stewardship and guided management of 38 natural areas within the state park system. • McCarty served on the Missouri Natural Areas Committee for most of his career and as a committee chair since the early 2000s. Under McCarty’s chairmanship, 28 new natural areas have been added to the Missouri system – an addition of 30,665 acres.

McCarty is highly respected as one of Missouri‘s best landscape ecologists and as an authority on the subject of landscape restoration. For Paul Nelson‘s seminal book, “The Terrestrial Natural Communities of Missouri”, he wrote Chapter 2 on Ecological Management. McCarty has initiated, facilitated and fulfilled natural resource projects throughout Missouri State Parks. Some have been complex and required a high degree of ecological understanding, scientific reasoning, fineresolution engineering and extreme persistence. McCarty helped to initiate many of the first large-scale glade and woodland restoration projects in Missouri, and still provides guidance and oversight for such projects today. McCarty’s broad set of skills and interests has led to many contributions to our understanding of natural history, including his work to survey the native bees of Missouri, which to date includes 7,192 collections as well as documentation of seasonal habitat use by various bee species.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

JANUARY - 2022


Celebrate 86 Years of CFM! Conservation Federation of Missouri Annual Convention Don't miss CFM's largest event of the year!

Let your voice be heard!

March 6 - 10, 2021 - Virtual March 11 - 13, 2021 - Margaritaville, Lake of the Ozarks

Be a part of the resolution discussions that affect your outdoor passions.

Annual Conservation Award Ceremony

Natural Resource Breakouts Virtually March 6 - 10 in the evenings.

Archery & Shooting Sports Big Game, Turkey & Furbearers Education & Outdoor Recreation Environment & Ecology Forest Resources & Management Grassland & Prairies Public/Private Lands Rivers, Streams & Fisheries Upland Wildlife Wetlands & Waterfowl

Meet the Conservation Leadership Corps

Education Seminars This is the time for conservationists to gather and share fellowship, present awards and discuss resolutions to improve the outdoors.

Banquet Live & Silent Auctions



Sunday - Thursday, March 6 - 10

Register online at: confedmo.org/convention or mail below registration to:

Natural Resource Breakouts - Virtual

Friday, March 11

Resolution Committee Social Hour Conservation Awards Ceremony

CFM 728 West Main St. Jefferson City, MO 65101

General Registration Package:

Saturday, March 12

Keynote Session Education Seminars General Assembly Board & Affiliate Leader Luncheon Young Professionals Event Social, Silent Auction & Raffles Banquet & Live Auction

Sunday, March 13

Member: All 10 Natural Resource Breakouts, Education Seminars, General Assembly, Awards Ceremony & Silent Auction Non-Member: All sessions, Awards Ceremony, Silent Auction, and a one-year membership (new or renewing members)

Saturday Night Banquet Registration Package: Silent and Live Auctions, Raffles, Games, Speaker and Dinner.

Board Meeting

Accommodations: Lodging must be made with the Margaritaville Lake Resort at (573) 348-3131. Room block ends February 10.

Registration Closes March 1st at 5:00 p.m.

No General Registration required if only attending Saturday Night Banquet or for youth under 18.

Register now for CFM's 86th Annual Convention Name(s): ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: (______) _______-________ E-mail: ______________________________________________________________ Special Needs: (Dietary, Access, Handicap, etc.):_____________________________________________________

First Time Attendee :

____Yes _____No Quantity

General Registration Package Member- $50/person Non-Member- $80/person Awards Ceremony RSVP


$ No Cost

Saturday Night Banquet Package- $60/person Grilled Top Sirloin Chicken Carbonara Vegetarian Eggplant Parmesan Children's Meal (12 & under) - $15/child - Chicken Strips and Fries Table Reservation for 10- $575/table (please choose 10 meals)

Registration Total

$ $ $ $ $ $

Credit Card #: _______________________________ Exp. Date: ___/_____ Signature:________________________



JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

Revenue Bonds Sold to Fund Improvement Projects at Missouri State Parks


issouri State Parks has proposed a total of 28 revenue bond funded projects at 22 different parks across the state. Total cost for all potential projects is estimated to be $68 million and the projects will be completed over a five-year period. There were $60.2 million in bonds sold on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.



The majority of the projects fall into two main categories, campground upgrades and expansion (with a lifespan of up to 40 years) and the development of new cabins (with a lifespan of up to 80 years). The revenue bond projects were identified using occupancy data for camping and lodging, visitor comments and park staff recommendations.

Feature Story Visitor demand for additional lodging and campsites, including the need for campsites with increased amenities such as 50 AMP electric, sewer and water hookups, in the Missouri State Parks system continues to increase. In response to demand for more lodging opportunities, the revenue bond project proposal includes campground expansions and fullservice cabins, as well as camper cabins and yurts which have proven successful in Missouri State Parks. Some project details are still under development. To learn more and for the latest information on each project, visit www.mostateparks.com/revenue-bonds.

Improvement Projects Timeline

2022 Johnson’s Shut-Ins Onondaga Cave Montauk River Roaring River 2023 Big Lake Current River Echo Bluff Lewis and Clark Table Rock Wakonda Watkins Mill Weston Bend 2024 Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial Lake of the Ozarks St. Francois Harry S Truman Wakonda 2025 Long Branch Stockton 2026 Cuivre River Finger Lakes Thousand Hills Table Rock Trail of Tears

Missouri State Parks Photos: Finished campsites and cabins may look similar to this campsite already in Missouri state parks. (Photo: Courtesy of Missouri State Parks)

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

Mike Szydlowski of Columbia Receives Master Conservationist Award


he Missouri Conservation Commission and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulate Mike Szydlowski of Columbia on being the latest recipient of the MDC Master Conservationist award. Szydlowski is a resource professional and the K-12 Science Coordinator for the Columbia Public Schools District. The Commission bestowed the Master Conservationist award to Szydlowski on Oct. 21 in conjunction with a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the preparation for construction of the unique Boone County Nature School.



Szydlowski was and continues to be instrumental in the development of the Boone County Nature School in partnership with MDC. This ground-breaking conservation effort is a future magnet school for fifth graders throughout Boone County. It will feature indoor and outdoor classroom space and laboratory space designed to connect students with nature through hands-on learning. An opening date is still being determined.

Feature Story When completed, the 111-acre campus located on the Waters-Russell Unit of the MDC Three Creeks Conservation Area will feature a sustainably designed nature school building, an outdoor pavilion, a unique council house structure, restored native habitats and native crops, a fishing pond, and access to trails that lead to a landscape of streams, caves, and sinkholes on Three Creeks. Each year, nearly 11,000 students will attend the Nature School for 5-10-day periods for specialized conservation-related learning. Learn more at boonecountynatureschool.com. “Mike embodies and lives the conservation mission in everything he does, especially lighting that spark in kids to learn about and be active in conservation,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “He’s also been pivotal, along with Columbia Public Schools, in our collaboration on the new Boone County Nature School where fifth graders in Boone County will get to be out in nature and learn about our natural resources through the lens of the environment, culture, and economics. We are incredibly thankful for Mike’s passion and proactive approach to connecting the next generation of conservationists to nature and getting them excited about science.” Szydlowski was nominated for the Master Conservationist award by Missouri River Relief for his extensive and ongoing commitment to conservation. Missouri River Relief is a nonprofit dedicated to connecting people to the Missouri River. According to his nomination form, “He [Szydlowski] works with 100 secondary science teachers and 400 elementary science teachers in developing engaging science curriculum, assessments, professional development, and opportunities that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.” The Next Generation Science Standards is a multistate effort to create new education standards that are "rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education." Learn more at nextgenscience.org/. Missouri River Relief added, “Mike has been the driving force behind many robust conservationrelated programs, spreading a love of conservationeducation-related activities throughout the schools in Columbia and across the state.” One of the conservation-related programs Szydlowski helped coordinate is the Missouri River Days field trip with Missouri River Relief to help fourth graders develop a better understanding of the Missouri River.

Some of Szydlowski’s other efforts include organizing and leading efforts to have more than 1,000 second graders participate in field-trip activities on bird banding, owl-pellet dissection and bird adaption. He also helps students across the school district learn about and maintain beehives at various schools to show the importance of bees in the ecosystem. Szydlowski also organizes field trips for hundreds of students to learn about conservation at Great Smokey Mountains National Park in Tremont, Tennessee and the Teton Science Schools in Jackson, Wyoming. He has also secured grant monies to replace trash cans throughout the school district with a three-tier waste system in school cafeterias to reduce waste and promote recycling. Students will have a hands-on role in the new program. Szydlowski also secured grant monies to install aeroponic tower gardens -- based on technology used by NASA -- in every elementary school in the district to implement hands-on learning. Szydlowski has been a driving force in having Fairview Elementary School in Columbia become the first place-based public school in Missouri. The placebased education will help students examine subjects using the environment, culture, and commerce through community service and being outside in nature as much as possible. He also organized and participated in numerous efforts to remove invasive bush honeysuckle from locations around Columbia and across the state. In addition to his other conservation efforts, Szydlowski writes a weekly science article for kids for the Columbia Daily Tribune newspaper. Szydlowski is the 65th recipient of the Master Conservationist Award, which was first presented in 1942. The award honors living or deceased citizen conservationists, former MDC commissioners, and employees of conservation-related agencies, universities, or organizations who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the state’s fisheries, forestry, or wildlife resources, including conservation law enforcement and conservation education-related activities. Learn more at mdc. mo.gov/about-us/awards-honors/master-conservationist.

Courtesy of MDC Szydlowski and his award are shown here with MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. (Photo: Courtesy of MDC)

JANUARY - 2022


Agency News

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION MDC Reports Missouri Hunters Took 12 Black Bears During First Season


he Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Missouri hunters harvested 12 black bears during the state’s inaugural bear-hunting season, which ran Oct. 18–27. More than 6,330 hunters applied for 400 permits for the season with the maximum total harvest for the season being 40 bears. “This was an incredibly successful first bear hunting season for Missouri given that we have a highly regulated season, that bears in the state are widely distributed throughout some pretty rugged wilderness, and that many hunters had never hunted bears before,” said MDC State Furbearer and Black Bear Biologist Laura Conlee. “A harvest of 12 bears in our first season is testament to the hunters. Bear hunting is an extremely challenging endeavor, especially under the framework that we established. This was a new experience for many hunters, and they put in the work to be successful and take advantage of this new hunting opportunity," Conlee continued. Conlee added that MDC took a conservative approach in developing its bear-hunting regulations. “Our highly regulated and limited season included a sustainable maximum harvest of 40 bears, which is about 5% of our total bear population,” Conlee said. “We also prohibited baiting and the use of dogs, limited hunting to 10 days, and restricted the number of hunters who could participate. With any new season, it is difficult to predict hunter success, so we took a conservative approach to limiting the number of hunters and length of the hunting season. This was to ensure we didn’t overharvest the bear population in any one zone.” Bear hunting in Missouri is limited to Missouri residents and restricted to three designated areas of southern Missouri called Bear Management Zones (BMZ). Each permit issued is for a specific BMZ and hunting is limited to public or private property within the BMZ.



Permit and harvest quotas for the 2021 bear season were: • BMZ 1: Permit quota of 200 with a harvest quota of 20 bears. • BMZ 2: Permit quota of 150 with a harvest quota of 15 bears. • BMZ 3: Permit quota of 50 with a harvest quota of 5 bears. The more than 6,330 hunters who applied during May to hunt a specific BMZ paid a $10 application fee. The 400 hunters selected for permits through a random drawing of all applicants then paid a permit fee of $25. Among those selected for permits, Kelsie Wikoff of Hume harvested a 268-pound boar (male bear) in Zone 1. She said she had spent 48 hours in a tree stand over three days since the season began Oct. 18 and harvested the bear Oct. 21. Including Wikoff’s harvest, black bears harvested during the first season were from the following BMZs: • BMZ 1: Nine (9) bears harvested. • BMZ 2: Three (3) bears harvested. • BMZ 3: Zero (0) bears harvested. According to the Wildlife Code of Missouri, the harvest limit is one bear per permit. Only lone black bears may be taken. Hunters may not take bears that are known to be in the presence of others bears, including female black bears with cubs. Bears may not be disturbed, pushed, harassed, or taken from a den. Bear hunters must wear hunter orange, make reasonable efforts to retrieve shot bears, and may not leave or abandon commonly edible portions. Learn more about bear hunting in Missouri at mdc.mo.gov/ bearhunting.

Agency News

Black bears were historically abundant throughout the forested areas of Missouri prior to European settlement but were nearly eliminated by unregulated killing in the late 1800s, as well as from habitat loss when Ozark forests were logged.

Bear numbers in Missouri are increasing each year by approximately 9% and are expected to double in less than 10 years. As bear numbers continue to increase, MDC will use a highly regulated hunting season as an essential part of population management.

Over the last 50 years, bear numbers and range in Missouri have grown to around 800 black bears with most found south of the Missouri River and primarily south of Interstate 44. Missouri bear range is expanding.

MDC’s 2020-2030 Black Bear Management Plan will guide bear management in Missouri for the next decade. Learn more about black bears in Missouri and MDC management efforts at mdc.mo.gov/bears.

Congratulations to Kelsie Wikoff of Hume on her harvest of this 268-pound boar (male bear) in Zone 1 during Missouri’s first bear-hunting season. (Photo: Courtesy of Kelsie Wikoff)

JANUARY - 2022


Agency News

MDC Welcomes 15 New Conservation Agents


he Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates 15 new conservation agents upon their graduation from MDC’s 2021 Conservation Agent Training Academy. The agent class of 2021 took the Conservation Agent’s Oath during a special graduation ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 12 at Richardson Fine Arts Center on the Lincoln University campus in Jefferson City. MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley encouraged agents to remember their role in caring for Missouri’s natural resources and serving its citizens. “You’re really connecting people with nature -- with every program, with every conversation, with every relationship. You’re connecting people to nature and maintaining that public trust,” said Pauley. MDC Protection Branch Chief Randy Doman urged agents to look towards the future of conservation while still honoring its past.“We sit here today on the shoulders of those conservation professionals who came before us – reaping the benefits of their labor,” said Doman. “Whether it was Proposition 4 in 1936 which ultimately created the Conservation Commission, or Design for Conservation in 1976 that provides a dedicated sales tax so crucial for effective conservation today. We are a part of a storied conservation history in Missouri.” The new agents spent the past six months housed at the Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City. They received over 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.



(From left toright) Jacob Fisher, Christopher Barnes, Jeremy Caddick, Logan Brawley, Clarissa Lee, Aaron Burnett, Jaycob O’Hara, Nathan Ingle, Ashton Reuter, Payton Emery, Kristopher Smith, Donald Fessler, Dustin Snead, Jessica Filla, and Tex Rabenau. (Photo: Courtesy of MDC)

Upon successful completion of this training, the agents are issued a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) license from the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The conservation agent training program is also certified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship. These 15 new agents joining the 166 existing MDC agents in serving and protecting Missouri’s fish, forest, and wildlife include: Christopher Barnes, Logan Brawley, Aaron Burnett, Jeremy Caddick, Payton Emery, Donald Fessler, Jessica Filla, Jacob Fisher, Nathan Ingle, Clarissa Lee, Jaycob O’Hara, Tex Rabenau, Ashton Reuter, Kristopher Smith, and Dustin Snead. The new agents have been assigned their counties. However, they will be involved in field training operations and special assignments while under the supervision of veteran field agents for a six-month period during which they will acquire vital field experience. For more information about MDC careers, visit mdc.mo.gov

Agency News

MISSOURI STATE PARKS Hendrickson named Deputy Director of Operations for State Parks


aura Hendrickson is the new Deputy Director of Operations for the Division of State Parks, effective Saturday, Oct. 16.

Laura brings 25 years of Missouri state park experience to her new role. She has served as the Ozarks Region director for the past eight years and was responsible for managing 25 state parks and historic sites, eight concession operations and the South Construction Unit. Prior to that, she served as a park superintendent for 17 years at Prairie, Capital Complex, Pomme de Terre and the South Central Management Unit. She and her husband have raised three children in state parks, and they enjoy traveling and outdoor sports.

Arrow Rock State Historic Site Held Grand Reopening Ribbon-cutting for J. Huston Tavern Oct. 8


epresentatives from Missouri State Parks held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially reopen J. Huston Tavern at Arrow Rock State Historic Site on Friday, Oct. 8, outside on the tavern lawn. “We are very excited to officially reopen the tavern for dining,” said Dru Buntin, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “It would not be possible without the partnership of the Friends of Arrow Rock who operate the tavern.” “Park staff went above and beyond with all their hard work and dedication to the tavern since the fire in May 2019,” said David Kelly, director of Missouri State Parks. “We are exceptionally thankful for site administrator Mike Dickey for saving the tavern through his quick actions on the night of the fire, clean up after the fire, construction of the dining tent and mobile kitchen, as well as his assistance in developing the plans for the new kitchen.”

J. Huston Tavern in Arrow Rock is the oldest continuously operated restaurant west of the Mississippi River; a fire destroyed the kitchen in May 2019 and threatened the historic structure. The kitchen was a total loss. Temporary outdoor dining was configured within a month and the dining operation continued into 2020. The kitchen rebuild was completed in August 2021. This celebration marks the official reopening of the Tavern, the new kitchen and new public restrooms. Arrow Rock State Historic Site is located at 39521 Visitor Center Drive, Arrow Rock, west of Columbia. For more information, please contact Arrow Rock State Historic Site at 660-837-3330. For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

JANUARY - 2022


NATURE is Healthy



Get healthy in nature this year.


JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

Show-Me Some New Stuff


his summer, Sara and I traveled to Orlando, Florida to attend the World’s Largest Sportfishing Trade Show, known as ICAST, presented by the American Sportfishing Association.

Akara Fishing of Carl Junction specializes in jigs, palm rods and numerous products for the ice fishing angler, most of which were way above my expertise, akarafishing.com.

For a fishing junkie like me, the show provided plenty of sensory and information overload. It was exciting to see so many industry friends from across the nation and to make a few new ones along the way. More importantly, the numerous Missouri companies displaying their products that I thought might be of interest to you.

You may have already heard of Bubba brand filet knives. Bubba is located just outside of Columbia embracing a “Water to Plate” philosophy. They also feature an array of fishing tools that will help you have an easier day afield or on the water. Take a look at their latest gear, bubba.com.

Camp-Zero of Maryland Heights featured an excellent line of both hard and bag style coolers plus backpack coolers and carry-all tote bags. Lots of interesting features, including bear-proof certification and a series of taller coolers that are perfect size for a couple of standing bottles of wine. And if you have your membership, you can find them at COSTCO or order yours online at camp-zero.com. Beatdown Outdoors of Sedalia is a new company founded in 2020 by father and son team Todd and Blake Price. They were frustrated with current electronic mounting options, especially their live sonar. So they developed their own line of fully adjustable electronic mounts. Check them out at beatdownproducts.com.



Tom Mason has been a personal friend of mine for way over 20 years. His company Dixie Jet Lures of Richland brought back the almost forgotten Dixie Jet Spoon then expanded the selection to feature six spoon lines: Flutter, Slab, Big Daddy, Talon, Gizzard and the New Pro Gizzard. These spoons are proven BIG fish catchers that you will want in your arsenal, dixiejetlures.com. EZ Dock of Monett has been around for a long time. Their durable, eco-friendly dock systems handle harsh Missouri weather and won’t chip, warp or peel. Their complete line of dock products can be found at ez-dock.com.

Feature Story LoriCo Lures of Lincoln features the Knucleduster Jigs and we know how well Truman Lake crappie anglers can catch ‘em. You would be wise to check them out at loricofishing.com. In the “you learn something every day” category for me was Orion Safety Products of Blue Springs. Orion offers the marine industry’s widest selection of safety and signaling products and is the largest manufacturer and distributor of marine visual distress signals in the United States. Who knew? Orion does, Orionsignals.com. Family-owned Paramount Outdoors of Bourbon has been providing performance headwear and apparel since 1929. Paramount strives to offer the best quality, service and value in the market. In addition to apparel, their waders and wading shoes are designed, decorated and tested in the USA. Check out Paramountoutdoors.com. Springfield Marine of Nixa has been specializing in marine seating and seat hardware since 1952. Springfield Marine is a major OEM and retail supplier for Fresh and Saltwater boats. For more info, visit Springfieldgrp.com.

Last but not least was Tackle HD of St. Clair. Founded in 2017, this Missouri company by 2021 has achieved their desire to become less dependent on imported products and third-party producers, now producing 90% in their own USA facility, with their own equipment and machinery, and assembled with American labor that they are proud to call their Team. A wide selection of soft plastics, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits can be found on their website, TackleHD. com. If you are like me, you prefer to buy and use American made products and especially want to do business with Missouri companies. ICAST features the newest and most innovative fishing and boating products available and I continue to be excited about my Show-Me State neighbors inventing, developing, producing and marketing new and innovative fishing products. Scott Pauley (Cover left) Dixie Jet Lures. (Cover right) LoriCo Lures. (Bottom left) Beatdown Outdoors electronics mounts. (Top right) Camp-Zero Coolers. (Photos: All by Scott Pauley)

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story


on the Wall



Feature Story


y early years were spent on grandma and grandpa’s farm. If you needed to go to the bathroom, you walked 20 yards down a path to a little building outside the house and had no deodorizer. Toilet paper was usually the pages of old Sears and Roebuck catalogs and you always checked down the hole for snakes and spiders before sitting down to do your duty. Kerosene lanterns or candles lit the night because there was no electricity. There was no T.V. or phones back then either. Water came from a bucket we carried from the spring, which also served as a refrigerator. Hauling hay for the animals was done with a pitchfork and a horse-drawn wagon. We slopped hogs and butchered them ourselves and hung them in the smokehouse. Milking cows was done by hand with a bucket and a stool. We drank the milk and churned the cow cream into butter. Chickens were raised for their meat and eggs. I can still remember grandma wringing a chicken’s neck and watching it flop around. I can still smell the aroma of wet feathers as the chickens were dipped in a bucket of boiling water to help make the plucking of feathers a whole lot easier.

There was no depending on the government to take care of us back then. We took care of ourselves and worked hard. We struggled but we were proud of who we were, what we had and what we accomplished. It helped mold me into the person I became. As a kid, besides hunting and fishing and working around the farm, my time was spent exploring the fields and forests. I climbed trees and rested in the comforting arms of their limbs, carved my initials in them and daydreamed. I imagined Indians hiding behind them waiting to attack me, rode my imaginary horse through the fields and climbed the hills in search of adventure. I camped out under the stars on summer nights. I captured lightning bugs and put them in a Mason jar with holes in the lid. I can still see all that in my mind’s eye and feel them in my heart. I am a writer today because of it.

I sit back in my chair for a moment and see memories on every wall. Fish, ducks, deer and turkey fans from some of my outdoor adventures. Antique outdoor equipment is also scattered about the room. Grandpa’s old rusted muzzleloader sits in a corner and so does his old fishing rod and tackle box. His old shotgun is in the gun safe next to my single-shot .22 rifle.

Grandma cooked on a wood-burning stove. Everything we ate was grown or made on the farm. We hunted and fished not for fun but to survive. Even at a young age, my little single-shot .22 sometimes meant the difference between having a supper of squirrel or rabbit or going hungry. A mess of bluegill caught with my cane pole and a worm was a special treat. We picked wild fruits like blackberries and gooseberries and gathered nuts. There were no supermarkets or fancy restaurants in those days.

As I got older, grandpa let me hunt turkeys and quail with his old shotgun. He even taught me how to use his old muzzleloader rifle to hunt what few deer were around back then. Grandpa surprised me one year with an old baitcasting rod and reel he traded for with a neighbor. Along with it came a rusted metal tackle box with some funny looking lures and I became a “real” fisherman. A love for God’s great outdoors was planted deep in my soul.

A lot of years have passed since my days of childhood, and yes things have changed. I know my kids and grandkids have a hard time believing the stories I tell them of growing up on the farm. They don’t think anything about it when they flip a switch and a light comes on or turn a handle and water comes out. They sure don’t think about it when they flush a toilet. I do!

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story I sit at my desk writing this on a computer that corrects my spelling and grammar. It stores all the articles I write, helps me do research, sends and receives messages and I could keep going on because the list is endless. If I want to know the weather, I can find that out on my computer or on my “smart” phone without turning on a T.V. and listening to negative news and commercials. Out in my garage and barn are all the latest and greatest hunting, fishing and camping “stuff.” We have a bass boat with the newest electronics that do everything but hook the fish. There’s a duck boat, ATVs and a 4-wheel drive truck to haul it all. My grandpa just wouldn’t believe how things have changed. I sit back in my chair for a moment and see memories on every wall. Fish, ducks, deer and turkey fans from some of my outdoor adventures. Antique outdoor equipment is also scattered about the room. Grandpa’s old rusted muzzleloader sits in a corner and so does his old fishing rod and tackle box. His old shotgun is in the gun safe next to my single-shot .22 rifle. On all the walls are pictures of kids and grandkids. Most of them are of their first fish or deer and times spent together with them outdoors. Among them all is an old picture of grandpa and grandma’s farmhouse where I was born on a Christmas Day three-quarters of a century ago. Some might say my wife and I have spoiled our kids and grandkids. We have helped when they were struggling or needed our help. We have helped with vehicles and helped with college. We don’t call it spoiling though, we call it making investments in the lives of good kids. They work, get good grades, and are not into the bad things a lot of people are today. We tell them we wouldn’t be doing what we do for them if they weren’t good kids.



Most of our investments in them can be seen in the pictures on the walls. In case you don’t know it, kids spell love T.I.M.E. and we gave our kids and grandkids plenty of that and still do. So do our sons and daughter-in-laws with our grandkids. Time investment has been taking them on lots of outdoor adventures throughout their lives. I have no doubt grandkids will do the same with their kids and grandkids. My grandpa and grandma invested in me too. They gave me as much time as they could while trying to survive on that old farm. I hope our kids and grandkids will have fond memories of us, just like I have fond memories of my grandma and grandpa from a time long ago when things were a whole lot different than they are today. Things have changed, but time investment in kid’s is still the most important thing you can do to make a difference in their lives. I thank God for the way I grew up. It shaped and molded me, in spite of a few wrong turns and stumbles, into who I am. Thinking about that time long ago helps me to appreciate what I have. My health is good but I do realize that can change at any time. I am still hunting, fishing, camping and writing about it. I don’t know how many more years the good Lord is going to let me keep doing what I love before he takes me home. Until then, I will be outside enjoying God’s great outdoors and inside enjoying my pictures on the walls. Larry Whiteley

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

Pick Your Waterfowl Hunting Days D

reary days are dreaded by sane people. Heavy rain or snow shuts down civilization and many use their sick days to stay home and eat hot soup. Dark clouds can be ominous—unless you hunt ducks or geese. The phone call from my friend, Danny Guyer was simple: “Snow tomorrow, possibly a couple of inches and I’m hunting with two veteran waterfowl hunters from North Carolina. Want to enjoy a great day of duck hunting with a flock or two of geese thrown in?” I think the laws of common sense defines that as a nobrainer for most people—the weather is terrible so stay home. I quickly answered, “Oh yeah!”



The following morning, I walked into Guyer’s camp and stepped into a day of hunting in snow squalls and brisk, bone-chilling winds. This type of weather has always made waterfowling a sporting endeavor, the kind artists paint and photographers publish in magazines that makes us chance bad roads and freezing temperatures. Ice freezes on our mustaches and expensive waterfowl parkas become worth every dollar. Guyer’s breakfast of bacon, potatoes, eggs, waffles and biscuits started the morning right, providing energy for the short walk to a sturdy blind surrounded by lake water and dozens of decoys. The blind covered by conifers smelled like a Christmas tree. We quickly settled in and waited as the stories started.

Feature Story “Do you remember that hunt in Canada?” Jason Williams of Rolla, North Carolina asked his partner. “Those geese were flying over a low wall and straight into the refuge. That was one heck of a hunt.” “Yeah, but what about that swan hunt we did back east, those birds were huge,” Dave Gilbert, William’s hunting partner from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, answered. “Sure, took a heavy load of steel shot to bring those birds down.” That was how the day went as story after story was told. The four of us easily had over 100 years of waterfowl hunting experience and that means constant stories. Then the ducks came. Guyer is well noted as an expert with a duck call and the southern hunters were darned good too. I made a couple of quacks to fit in. Soon a greater goldeneye, a beautiful diving duck, swung past, turned and started to make a final pass into the decoys when a load of number 2 steel shot dropped it into the decoys. Williams examined the beautiful bird with black and white feathers, a deep green head and its famed golden eyes. “He will look good mounted in my office,” he said. “What a beautiful duck.” The morning was tough by meat hunter’s standards. Most birds were tucked away in row crop fields, stuffing themselves for a long night of snow and freezing temperatures. Occasionally a duck would pass by, including three mallards that turned back to a rude welcome of steel shot and were soon retrieved by Guyer’s prized Mam J, a beautiful Labrador retriever. “Danny, do you remember the big snowstorm last year when I had to leave and you and Luke Rhoads limited out minutes later?” I asked. “Yeah, you left and the big, dark clouds rolled in,” Danny reminisced. “The snow started falling, big flakes and the decoys were quickly covered up on the water. Waves washed off the snow and then more would settle on. The mallards started dropping on us like bombs in a war zone. We limited out and stayed to watch the ducks and snow.” “Yeah, rub it in,” I said. “I barely beat that storm home and I knew you would get ducks.” “Yeah, one of our best hunts ever,” he said with an evil grin. Some memories are more painful than others. Later a lone mallard drake swung past at full speed with a brisk wind at its tail. Gilbert swung on the duck and fired twice. The duck kept on going and was soon a dot on the horizon.

(Cover) This group of hunters is shooting at incoming geese from their blind that blends in with the surroundings. (Photo: Kenny Kieser) (Left) Pick your days correctly and a brace of mallards could be in your future. (Photo: Kenny Kieser)

“That duck may have been slightly out of range,” he said with a weak smile. “When did that ever stop you from shooting?” Williams chided his hunting partner. But that is duck and goose hunting when friends needle each other over missed shots. The mallard really was in range. He just missed as we all occasionally do. Both are professional hunters who can trade good-natured digs. A couple of years ago a mallard drake hung over my end of the blind. My shotgun of three shells emptied and the duck flew away to muffled laughing from the other hunters. One of them handed me a box of shotgun shells with the kind words, “Looks like you’re going to need a lot of shells today.” That is part of waterfowl hunting fun, a sport where experienced hunters love to aggravate each other. Soon coffee and tea with chocolate were enjoyed as the temperature continued to drop. The thickly covered blind held heat well with two heaters as each man took turns watching for incoming waterfowl that might be called in and harvested. The stories continued and the hunt ended all too soon. We didn’t shoot a big brace of ducks on this cold day, but no one really cared. We did well with the birds willing to work our decoys, but most were in distant fields where a farmer’s lost wages in crop loss meant their very survival on a cold night. Yet the hunt could not have been more enjoyable—just ask any serious waterfowler.

Kenneth L. Kieser

JANUARY - 2022


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JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

The Electric Fence


t was a fine spring day when I arrived home from a long day at work late as usual. On the back porch was a recently delivered big cardboard box. Mrs. Urich opened it gleefully and pulled out the two horse saddles she had as a teenager. Suddenly, I realized she had big plans to resuming the equestrian activities and training before we were married. The last thing we needed on our 40 acres in Moniteau County was horses. I had spent years developing the wildlife habitat, especially for rabbits. I had written articles on how to manage rabbits and given tours for landowners. I rose up to my full height and told her to read my lips in my deepest head of household voice. There would be no horses on these 40 acres. She stood eyeball to eyeball with me glaring and then said it was too late, the horse was already bought and I had less than a month to figure out where to put it. Suddenly her new horse was my responsibility. Mrs. Urich is excellent at making major life-changing decisions for the family without input, especially from me. It’s quicker, less cumbersome and the final result is more to her liking.



Thus, the Urich family made a major turn and headed down another of life’s paths littered with potholes and detours mainly discovered the hard way. To accommodate the impending arrival of the new horse, I scheduled a family work day to construct a temporary electric fence. Mrs. Urich laid out the wire, our three sons pounded in the fence posts, and I dedicated myself to understanding the complexities and intricacies of a 6-volt electric fence charger, a device I knew nothing about. Unfortunately, there were no instructions and my problem was figuring out if it was on or off coming out of the box. I assumed it was off which was a big mistake. After I attached the ground wire, I pushed the fence wire into the slot on the charger and received the shock of my life. Since I held both the ground wire and the hot wire, I flopped around uncontrollably and couldn’t let go. Finally, I collapsed, pulling one of the wires out of the charger.

Feature Story I lay on the ground with my eyes closed, wondering if I was electrocuted. As I opened my eyes, I saw four concerned faces looking down at me. When they determined I was OK, they all broke out laughing so hard they could barely stand. Mrs. Urich noted that I was like most men, incapable of reading the instructions and suffering the appropriate consequences. She was totally unsympathetic that it was a very painful incident and I was nearly fried. As work continued on the electric fence, one of our sons would periodically drop to the ground and reenact my painful writhing from the fence charger incident. There would be another round of laughter. Mrs. Urich would offer pointers and coaching to improve their technique. Our sons were having trouble imitating the deep gurgling sounds I made as the electricity was coursing through my veins. She concluded each of these sessions by reminding our sons that all this could have been avoided if I had just read the instructions. I was standing next to the charger with our sons while Mrs. Urich was working on the fence. I was smiling when my little voice popped up in the back of my mind screaming no. But it was too late. One of the secrets to a successful and rewarding long-term marriage is appropriate and satisfying revenge. I pushed the button to turn on the electricity. Mrs. Urich wasn’t holding onto the wire with both hands like I was, so she got less of a shock, but it was enough to turn the whites of her eyes red as she marched towards me. The boys broke and ran for the house. Cowards.

Aaron, David, Tim, and Kirk Urich rabbit hunting near the horse pasture on the 40-acre farm in Moniteau County. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich)

I learned long ago how to laugh uproariously internally while maintaining an outward appearance of concern and empathy. It’s all about diaphragm control. Unfortunately, the diaphragm is also needed for breathing. For Mrs. Urich, one of the secrets to a successful and rewarding long-term marriage is extinguishing forcefully and immediately unacceptable behavior. I had no idea what she was telling me because I was trying to keep from passing out due to the lack of oxygen.

I don’t recommend horses as a component of rural living. The maintenance is continuous and grueling, plus horses are enormously expensive. What horses don’t crush or kick apart, they chew up. But in our case, the horses and all the components for a Class A equestrian center that soon followed had three redeeming values.

I was having serious trouble with the breathing thing. If the lecture didn’t end soon, I would have to break out in monstrous, debilitating belly laughter or pass out, which given the circumstances was the preferred alternative. My little voice was unsympathetic and was hoping I would faint, smash my head hard on the ground and clunk some sense into myself. She turned and stomped into the house.

Finally, it was over. My lungs greedily expanded with air. It was glorious, refreshing and life giving. My little voice was back to remind me that I had driven the entire family away from another project once again. I smiled internally because this time it was worth it.

First, the equestrian center was an endless supply of physically challenging and time-consuming projects for teenage sons who needed quiet time for personal introspection and behavior modification in order to make better life choices. The outdoor riding area, paddock, and permanent fencing required 107 post holes 28 inches deep. Our sons dug them all with a prybar and post-hole digger because they couldn’t stop bringing home conduct slips for bad behavior at school or on the bus.

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story Our oldest son took a public speaking course as a freshman in college. He gave a 10-minute presentation on how to dig the perfect post hole by hand for his final talk. He got an A on this presentation and for the course. It was a proud moment for me as a father. Second, the horses qualified our 40 acres for years’ worth of USDA incentive practices to improve and manage wildlife habitat. There were incentive practices for native grass establishment, native forb planting, invasive species control and pollinator plots. Although the horses were never in the woods, their nearby presence qualified our woodland for crop tree release, cavity and den tree management and creation of down logs. One of the best incentive practices was to overseed the 5-acre horse pasture with legumes as a nitrogen source for the grass rather than fertilize. This saved a huge amount of money, plus the rabbits, deer and wild turkeys love it. The best rabbit hunting on our 40 acres is the brushy cover next to the horse pasture. Mrs. Urich is plagued in the spring when the grass is tall with wild turkeys flushing near or under the horse when she rides in the pasture. I’ve been amazed over the years how close she can get to a deer on horseback. It looks like an effective way to deer hunt provided the horse is steady to shot of course. Our sons shot their first deer near the horse pasture when it was full of legumes. The response from box turtles, including the three-toed and ornate, was interesting to document. I trained my Labradors to find and retrieve turtles when I noticed their numbers increased significantly in response to the native habitat. I marked and released the turtles. In less than 4 years, the dogs retrieved over 800 turtles on 40 acres. The density estimate is higher than any studies reported in the literature. I think this is because four trained Labradors can find way more turtles than a bus load of searchers, especially the little turtles that hang out in the thick, brushy cover.



Third, and most importantly, the horses and equestrian center made Mrs. Urich immensely happy which reminds me of those words spoken so eloquently by Martha Stewart, “It’s a good thing.” I haven’t found the right moment yet to tell Mrs. Urich that her horses didn’t ruin the wildlife habitat on our 40 acres but I’m working on it. As I look back on nearly 50 years of marriage, the day I stood unwavering in front of Mrs. Urich faking an expression of remorse and shame while suppressing an overwhelming urge to laugh until it hurt stands out as a significant and proud achievement. Oh yes, I now have an electric fence tester with a light that is way better than using my hands. I also learned the charger emits a faint clicking sound when it is on. All good to know but once again learned the hard way. David Urich

(Cover) Sons Tim, Kirk and Aaron Urich preparing for a lengthy work session on the equestrian facility to atone for poor behavior at school and on the bus. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich) (Top) David Urich and grandson, Baran, with turtles rounded up by Labradors Smith, Wesson, Weatherby and Remington in less than an hour on an April morning. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich)

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JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

The Killdeer: Missouri’s User-friendly Shorebird Easy to find and recognize, this common bird's nesting habits are fascinating and instructive.


f a computer program is simple enough that a novice can learn to use it in one sitting, we say it is "user-friendly." I'd like to nominate the Killdeer as Missouri’s most user-friendly bird. There are more common birds, like the robin, and birds that are more easily recognized, such as the cardinal. But for allaround user-friendliness, none beats the Killdeer. For starters, look at its name. This considerate bird volunteers its identity to all who come near by taking flight and shouting, "Killdeer!, Killdeer!" The stridence and persistence of this trademark call makes it easy to guess another of its common names, "Noisy Plover," and its scientific name, Charadrius vociferus. Although its 10-inch frame is not especially impressive, the Killdeer is easy to recognize visually, too. In flight, it shows a white chevron on the trailing edge of each long, pointed wing. And although it shares the black bib on its breast with other plovers, the Killdeer has a double black band, giving it the more formal look of a cummerbund.



Although the Killdeer is technically a shorebird, you don't have to go to any shore to see it. It is found throughout Missouri year-round in a variety of settings. The shores of lakes and streams certainly are among its haunts, but you are just as likely to see the Killdeer in a pasture, a strawberry farm, a park or a cemetery, miles from the nearest water. The Killdeer particularly favors freshly plowed fields, where it finds an abundance of exposed insect snacks. Even the Killdeer's nest is user-friendly. It lays its eggs right out in the open where they are easy to find. Well, that is stretching the truth a bit. The 1½inch eggs are laid right out in the open in a patch of bare gravel. But their brown surface is so cunningly camouflaged with sepia speckles and blotches that they are nearly invisible. You can spend 30 minutes scanning a 30-foot patch of ground for a Killdeer nest, find it and glance up to call a friend, and when you look back down discover that the eggs have melted into the background again.

Feature Story Fortunately, Mama Killdeer will show you her nest if you are patient. She will stay with her eggs until you come within 30 or 50 feet, blending into the background so you are unaware of her presence. When she can stand it no longer, she makes a short fluttery flight a few yards from the nest and then drops to earth as if stricken with a broken wing. Continuing the ruse, she holds one or both wings stiffly outstretched and staggers drunkenly, sometimes nearly rolling over but always, always moving away from the nest. All the while, she cries out pitifully and fans her tail feathers, exposing concentric bands of white, black and orange plumage to get your attention. Don't try to locate the nest just yet. If you stay where you were when the female first took flight, she will return and repeat her deception. Watch for a pattern. You probably will notice her returning to the same locale each time before recommencing her act. She may even scurry right up to the nest and cover it briefly with her body before limping away again. That is your cue to walk over (carefully, checking the ground before each step), and scan the ground for eggs. Killdeer parents share child-care duties, so Papa Killdeer may be incubating the eggs when you arrive. If you come too close for comfort, he will sneak a few feet away from the nest before taking flight and hurling a string of indignant cries in your direction as he circles overhead. Wait patiently, and the female will respond in due course, dropping to the ground near her nest to begin her crippled-bird act in hopes of luring you away.

Instead of eggs, you may find three or four fluffy chicks huddled around the shallow depression scratched in the ground. But don't expect to find chicks more easily than eggs. The color and texture of their plumage blends with their surroundings just as well as the eggs did. Killdeer nesting behavior is a model of cooperation. The male takes the lead in site selection. But rather than dictating exactly where the female should lay her eggs, he gives her several options by making several tentative scrapes around the field they have chosen for their family. The female selects what she deems the most promising spot and lays her eggs there. Thus, their offspring get the benefit of both parents' wisdom. Killdeer couples' sharing of parental duties doesn't end with egg laying. They trade off warming the eggs, standing up periodically to turn them so the yolk doesn't stick to the bottom of the shell. After each turning, the eggs are carefully arranged with the small ends touching, so no more surface than necessary is exposed to the cool spring air and they can be efficiently covered during incubation. Male and female continue to share parenting after the eggs hatch, leading their small brood in search of protein-rich insect foods and teaming up to distract and elude predators. All this cooperation is important to the survival of a species that produces but one clutch of eggs a year. Killdeer are solitary when nesting, but the rest of the year they gather in large, loose flocks. This allows them to share the important task of watching for danger. When one cries out in alarm, the whole flock is likely to take up the call. This can go on 24 hours a day, leading to other common names best not printed in a family magazine. Try not to get irritated at the Killdeer's incessant chatter. When you're this user-friendly, it's hard to know when to stop. Jim Low (Cover) A killdeer. (Photo: Cliff White) (Left) Killdeer eggs. (Photo: Jim Low)

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

Wait, Don’t Cut that Stalk!


took my first steps in horticulture walking down a narrow path of age-old gardening traditions. I learned to care for vegetable gardens, a rose garden, a lilac screen, and perennial borders each with squarely trimmed hedges and edges. The lawn was cut in a diamond pattern using an old-style reel mower. Here weeds were banished, soil was cultivated (not mulched), yew and privet were sculpted, edges were straight as a yard-stick and not a blade or stalk strayed out of place. The compost piles were huge, especially in autumn when the garden was “put to bed.” You get the picture...formal garden.



I spent my first-ever job in 7th grade here, raking leaves, cutting down stalks, and starting a new compost pile. I’ve been raking leaves and cutting dead stalks ever since. Well, almost ever since. I’ve recently learned that plant stalks in gardens—as in nature—have value. They are home to overwintering bee larvae. They are ambush perches for migrating flycatchers and seed stores for hungry birds (and mammals) when it snows. They are life-saving wind screens from the bitter cold and building materials for nesting birds.

Feature Story Heather Holm, author of "Pollinators of Native Plants," says that bees need standing plant stems and prefer cut stems because it’s easier to access the pithy center where they dig in to lay eggs in spring. Eggs develop into larvae in summer that overwinters inside the dead plant stem. Heather recommends cutting stems 15–20 inches tall in late winter. If you happen to cut all the stalks down in winter, you can cut stems from elsewhere and bring them into your garden in March. Sumac and sunf lower stalks work well because they last into the second season better than wild bergamot and goldenrod. Cut an armful of stems being sure to get the thickest portion low to the ground. Stab them into the soil at least four inches deep, leaving 15 to 20 inches standing above ground with a cut end exposed. Bees are attracted to the cut ends, where they drill into the soft pith to lay their eggs. Feel free to get creative with your arrangement of 10 to 20 stems per cluster. I was amazed this past spring to see so much bee activity from April through June. It really worked. Another spring activity in the garden is bird nesting, and it turns out that birds often use seed heads to build a nest. One recent survey of nests found that 150 species of seeds were discovered in the nests of one bird species. Here is another great reason to keep some of those stalks standing into spring. Finally, standing stalks hold a significant amount of seed going into winter, I’d guess between 5-10 percent. The rest has fallen to the ground where birds tend to browse the most, except when it snows. With snow on the ground, birds shift gears and begin feeding on the tops of the plants. Plants that hold some seed include blazingstar, blackeyed Susan, aster, goldenrod, mountain mint, wild bergamot and native grasses. On cold snowy days, it’s fun to watch sparrows and finches working seed clusters high up on the stem while juncos feed on seed in the snow. That’s teamwork in action; one of the reasons why birds flock in mixed-species during winter.

Reading all this you might be tempted to keep every stem standing in your garden, but three things will likely happen. Many stems aren’t strong enough to remain standing and flop over either in winter or spring. Cut these stems off when they become unsightly at ground level. Second, if you began leaving all your stems, you would probably receive a complaint from a neighbor that would result in a citation to cut it down. Thirdly, you may not want some species spreading aggressively from seeds like Joe-pye weed, goldenrod (most species), golden Alexander, New England aster, river oats, and switchgrass. If you want to prevent them from spreading, deadhead them just after they are done blooming. Birds won’t be able to eat them, but if you leave the stalks standing in spring you will attract bees. Here are some tricks to creative “stalking”: In winter, cut flopping stalks out, keeping the sturdier ones that remain standing. You will find that plants like ironweed, blazingstar, Joe-pye weed and sunflower are sturdy and stand up well through winter and into the following spring and summer. In late winter cut these species and others like them to 15 to 20 inches in height. You don’t have to leave every clump standing. Select perhaps 25 percent or more of the total number of plants. When you mulch around them in late winter or early spring they will look like a traditional flower bed and will go unnoticed by persnickety neighbors. Happy gardening! Scott Woodbury Horticulturist Scott Woodbury is the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, where he has worked with native plant propagation, design, and education for 30 years. He also is an advisor to the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program. Find suppliers of native plants at www. grownative.org, Resource Guide.

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

Little Kings with Mohawks I had fled my house to escape too much comfort and too little activity. Well, that is not entirely true. In fact, my wife had ushered me to the door with the admonition to “come back when you’re feeling human again.” So far, the cure wasn’t working. Then, a shower of bright, musical notes tumbled out of the mist like a silver chain. The bright song coming from the shrouded treetop was startlingly incongruous. I smiled involuntarily. Kinglets are like that. Their appearance almost always catches you by surprise, half because they blithely ignore the most frightful weather, and half because it’s hard to believe that anything so small and vulnerable could be so carefree. Maybe their diminutive size is partly responsible for their devil-may-care attitude. They are so small, they wouldn’t make a deceit mouthful for a sharptailed hawk. In fact, the only smaller birds in North American are hummingbirds. From stem to stern, an adult kinglet measures only 3.5 to 4 inches.

These tiny songsters can take winter’s chill off your mood.


t was a nasty tantrum of a day, the kind that November sometimes throws to protest its inevitable abdication to December. I was squatting on my heels, back against the trunk of an ancient chinkapin oak, watching its limbs winnow freezing mist from a north wind. Nothing was stirring that did not have to.



Missouri is home to two kinglet species – goldencrowned (Regulus sattrapa) and ruby-crowned (Regulus calendula). The genus name, Regulus, means petty king, a reference to their brilliant, crown-like top-knots. The diadem sported by the golden-crowned kinglet is hard to miss. The male has a flaming orange mohawk stripe painted on a field of brilliant yellow. A black border provides contrast, ensuring maximum effect. The female’s crown is pure yellow. The crest of ruby-crowned kinglets is, as the name suggests, pure red and is found only on males. It’s easy to miss, unless he is excited and holds his head feathers erect.

Feature Story Aside from their crowns, the two kinglet species look much alike. Both are medium gray to olive brown above and whitish to olive on the sides and underparts. Also, both species have white wing bars. The golden-crowned has a light eyebrow stripe and a whitish ring around its eyes. Ruby-crowns share these spectacles, but lack stripes above their eyes. Because kinglets are so small and, when viewed from below, so drab colored, casual observers often fail to connect kinglets with their surprisingly loud songs. After a few encounters, though, you will immediately look up for the petite virtuosos when you hear their high-pitched, ascending songs. The ruby-crowned kinglet’s song is the most musical, and sounds more like “tee-tee-tee, too-too-too, teedadee, teedadee, teedadee.” The golden-crowned’s song begins “see-see-see-see-see” and then drops into chickadee-like chatter. To make things a bit more challenging for birders, kinglets often are found in the company of chickadees. Naturalist Frank Chapman called the ruby-crowned kinglets song, “an intricate warble past imitation or description and rendered so admirably that I never hear it now without feeling an impulse to applaud.” Just as useful as coloration and songs for identifying kinglets is their behavior. They have the habit of fluttering their wings to hover in front of leaves and branches when foraging for insects. Also, they are prone to nervous flicking of their wings. Kinglets make semi-hanging nests lined with feathers and moss. Don’t bother looking for their nests in Missouri. Their nesting grounds are farther north and in coniferous forests of mountainous regions in the eastern and western United States and Canada.

Ruby-crowned kinglets pass through Missouri on their spring and fall migrations, with their numbers peaking in March and April and again in October and November. Ruby-crowned kinglets are rarely seen outside southeast Missouri’s Mississippi Lowlands region in mid-winter. Golden-crowns are more common throughout the winter, but more frequently seen the farther south you go. Look for kinglets in forests or open woodlands, foraging with other bird species. If you find a mixed flock of chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, brown creepers, gnatcatchers, warblers and woodpeckers, look carefully and you might discover a significant number of kinglets among them. You often can locate them first by their calls. Kinglets are out and about in all kinds of weather, so if you find yourself in need of nature therapy, grab your binoculars and foul-weather gear and stroll through a wooded park or conservation area. The cheery notes of a kinglet are sure to improve your mood Jim Low Missouri is home to two kinglet species – golden-crowned (Regulus sattrapa) and ruby-crowned (Regulus calendula). The genus name, Regulus, means petty king, a reference to their brilliant, crown-like top-knots. (Cover photo: Cliff White)

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story

Monumental Missouri


issouri heritage has always been and continues to be driven by its citizens' diverse and ruggedly individualistic style. The people, the land, and the wildlife of Missouri are all the noteworthy fabric in the tapestry of American exceptionalism. Here the mighty Mississippi and Missouri Rivers join to define American river culture. Monumental Missouri blessed America with President Truman of "the buck stops here," fame. Accountability in Washington, what a novel idea! Bigger than life, Mark Twain advised, "Get the facts first, then you can distort them any way you wish." About today's Washington, would Twain say, "I told you so!" Bush Wacker Bill Wilson, a Civil War renegade, was always on the run, no recorded quotes available.



My grandpa, Roundy Craine, lived on a farm near the Wilson Place in Phelps County. Like many others that I have talked to in Phelps County, he has never said anything wrong about Bush Wacker Bill Wilson. Most of us are ordinary citizens like Charles Burden. We will stand up for the downtrodden and abused even if it's an old coon hound. Old Drum Missourian Charles Burden stood up for his true friend, "Old Drum, the dog that never lied." In monumental northern Missouri, on the banks of Big Creek stands a monument to a black and tan coon hound. The words on the monument are only three words with the date 1869. The words read "Killed Old Drum."

Feature Story This monument is said to have been placed where Old Drum died. At the Johnson County Courthouse in Warrensburg stands a bronze statue of Old Drum, an enduring tribute to the fidelity of an ever-faithful dog. The words engraved below the statue of Old Drum are some taken from the famous trials revolving the death of Old Drum. The words come from the "Eulogy of the Dog," given by George G. Vest as closing remarks at the trial. Old Drum's legacy was a gift from a Missouri hound dog not only to Missouri but to the world. Thanks to Missourians Charles Burden, George G. Vest, and Old Drum, the love of dogs is forever immortalized worldwide, "A dog is man's best friend." For the Young Reader The story of Old Drum brings to mind an old classic book, "Where the Red Fern Grows." This heart rendering read illustrates the relationship between a boy and his coon dogs, an additional testimony to the love of dogs. This outdoor adventure highlights the hunting culture which once was dominant in the American Frontier. Boone County was so named for one of the greatest hunting frontiersmen in American History, Daniel Boone. For the Cabin Architect-The Dog-run Cabin Dogs in pioneer history made an impact not only in social happenings but greatly influenced cabin architecture. Many early Missouri cabins were designed with man's best friend in mind. These cabins were called dog-run or dog-trot cabins or cabins with such. This cabin design was two separate small cabins with an open 10 to 15-foot space left open between them. The gabled roof was continuous, covering both cabins and the open passageway. Doors from each cabin would open into the covered passageway. A small covered front porch was usually attached to the cabin. It is easy to discern the economy of such a set-up not only for the dogs but for dry outside storage and other useful functions. Dogs enjoyed this comfort, for they played a critical role in frontier survival. Monumental Missouri Wildlife Wildlife in Missouri's woods, prairies, aquatic and other diverse ecosystems are legendary. You would have to be a hermit living deep inside a Missouri cave if you haven't seen two of the most iconic wildlife species in Missouri.

The white-tailed deer and turkey are not only attention grabbers but also money makers bringing in millions of tourism dollars. Missouri's economy benefits significantly by always being listed as one of the top ten states in America to hunt both these iconic species. The Missouri Monarch The most monumental buck ever recorded was found dead in Missouri in 1981 in North St. Louis County. This buck is known as the "Missouri Monarch." The Missouri Monarch stands in the Boone and Crockett Club's records of North American big game as the largest non-typical white-tailed deer ever recorded. If that's not monumental enough, fast forward to 2013 in St. Charles County. The "August A. Busch Monarch", a monster buck, is found dead in the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area. It's interesting to note both Missouri record book deer died of natural causes. Hunters did not harvest them. Also noteworthy is they were both found in places that are anything but remote.

JANUARY - 2022


Feature Story Shed Hunting

Morels and Mules

Antlered deer shed their antlers each year in late winter. Finding deer antlers called sheds, has become a fun activity that gets many Missourians outdoors into the woods. Dogs are often used to help locate shed antlers. Getting out in late winter through early spring on a shed hunting adventure is a fun activity. A deer antler is a collectible piece of nature's artwork.

The most monumental mushroom in Missouri has to be the morel. Finding the hiding places of these delicious treasures can often be as contemptuous as a Civil War battle. I have cousins that will not reveal where they find so many morels. Be advised to mark the spot on your morel treasure map where you find them. On a glorious Spring outing be careful when you share the mushroom honey hole location. The epitome of Missouri's the "Show Me" State, strength and healthy stubbornness is the Missouri mule. Mules are a healthy, stubborn animal. When faced with something they are unsure about, instead of bolting away like a horse, they stop until they have discerned it's okay to go ahead. When those old school army caissons go rolling down the dusty trail of the field artillery, pulling those heavy loads were Missouri mules. The official mascot of The U.S. Military Academy is a mule. At the first Army vs Navy football game where mascots were used, the Army's mascot was a mule named "Big White." "Big White" at some point in the game kicked the Navy's mascot, a billy goat, almost into the bleachers. That mule had to be from Missouri. In 1948, a four-hitch Missouri mule team paraded up Pennsylvania Avenue in honor of President Harry Truman. Missouri Life Our lives in Missouri have been made monumental by each of us, the stewards of Missouri. I guess you noticed that I'm into this M&M thing. Share your monumental Missouri stories with your friends and family. In Missouri, we got each others' backs. Too bad for me that canoe, kayak, dogwoods, and blackberries don't start with an "M." Terry T. Clapp





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