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The Voice for Missouri Outdoors JULY 2018 - VOL 79 | NO. 4

Director’s Message

Governor Parson Embraces Rural Missouri


overnor Greitens was a mystery. I guess that’s putting it mildly, but when he arrived in Jefferson City, we knew conservation and natural resources were not going to be his priorities. What we didn’t know was if his administration would embrace or harm our state’s amazing legacy of forest, fish and wildlife. Now we’ll never know. Enter Governor Parson. His record is promising. First of all, he genuinely loves Missouri and has roots running deep through her rural landscape. He was born in Wheatland and raised on a farm in Hickory County. He is a third generation cattle farmer, with a cow-calf operation in Polk County. He is a former law enforcement officer, a small business owner and an experienced politician with a reputation of honesty and fairness. Not a bad resume for the state’s top spot. Governor Parson served six years in the Army. In 1981, he came home to Missouri and began a career in law enforcement as a Hickory County deputy. He opened his first gas station in 1984, and simply called it “Mike’s.” Governor Parson was elected sheriff of Polk County in 1993 and served in that role until 2005, when he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. He served three terms in the House, and then was elected a state senator in 2011. He held his senate seat until being elected Lieutenant Governor in 2016. “Incoming Governor Parson brings integrity and experience to the governor’s office. Mike is well known for his ability to listen and work with legislators in both parties and he will respectfully and optimistically move Missouri forward,” said Senator Mike Kehoe, the 2017 CFM Legislator of the Year in the Senate. We know Governor Parson is going to be a strong advocate for agriculture. He sponsored the “Right to Farm” constitutional amendment in 2014 that voters narrowly passed. What we hope is that he understands conservation and agriculture go hand in hand, and one does not have to suffer to benefit the other.

Governor Mike Parson with generals from three branches of military at the 2017 State Fair Salute to our Heroes event, of which CFM was a toplevel sponsor. (Photo: Brandon Butler)

Agriculture and conservation are both incredibly important to Missouri economically and socially, and we hope Governor Parson works to benefit rural Missouri by advancing both. There are few dull moments in Jefferson City. The last six months being proof of how sideways the world of politics can be. With the short stint of Governor Greitens now behind us, and Governor Parson’s term underway, I think we are all ready for a return to more recognizable times. We are all counting on Governor Parson to get the train back on the tracks and move Missouri down the line. A job I have no doubt he is prepared to do. Upon learning he would become Missouri’s 57th governor, Parson said, “This is an enormous responsibility serving as our state’s next governor, and I am ready to fulfill the duties of the office with honor and integrity, and with a steadfast commitment to making our great state even greater for the people we are entrusted to serve.” The Conservation Federation of Missouri wishes Governor Parson success as he leads our state forward. And as “The Voice for Missouri Outdoors,” we are ready and willing to help when called upon to ensure the conservation of our state’s incredible wildlife and natural resources.

Yours in Conservation, Brandon Butler Executive Director, CFM JULY - 2018



Conservation Federation July 2018 - V79 No. 4


OFFICERS Gary Van De Velde


Mossie Schallon

1st Vice President

Richard Mendenhall

2nd Vice President

Ginny Wallace


Randy Washburn






Visit Gaylord, Michigan for Summer Fun


The MeatEater Makes a Trip to Missouri


Where the Lizards & Tarantulas Live


Stockton Lake: A Sleeper Crappie and Walleye Destination


Confluence: The Great Flood of 1993


Natural Resources Students Inspire Hope for the Future


100 Miles on the Big Muddy


Hard Bait Strategies for Post-Spawn Walleyes


Stretching the Truth on Topwater

Departments 3 8 10



Director’s Message President's Message Member News New Members Gear Guide Weston Recipe Affiliate Spotlight Agency News


Highlights 17 20 21 22 41 52 53

Stream Team Accomplishments CFM Calendar of Events RMEF's New President Wildlife Extinction Risk Tick Advice Summer Bird Dog Training A Prairie Filled Summer

Brandon Butler

Executive Director & Editor

Micaela Haymaker

Director of Operations

Michelle Gabelsberger

Membership Development Coordinator

Jennifer Sampsell

Education & Outreach Coordinator

Tyler Schwartze

Events Manager

Joan VanderFeltz

Administrative Assistant

Emma Kessinger

Creative Director


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. Send address changes to: | 573-634-2322

FRONT COVER A Collard Lizard. Credit: Noppadol Paothong

Business Alliance

Thank you to all of our Business Alliance members. Platinum

Gold Alps OutdoorZ Bushnell Custom Metal Products Diamond Pet Foods Doolittle Trailer Enbridge, Inc. FCS Financial

G3 Boats Kansas City Zoo Martin Metal MidwayUSA Pure Air Natives Redneck Blinds Riley Chevrolet

Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC RTP Outdoors United Country Real Estate US Sun Solar Weston

Learfield Communication, Inc. Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina Logboat Brewing Missouri Wildflowers Nursery Mitico

Moneta Group National Feather-Craft Co. Simmons SportDOG Brand Starline, Inc.

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

NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Sierra Bullets, LLC Walter Knoll Florist

General Printing Service GREDELL Engineering Resources, Inc. Greenbrier Wetland Services Grundy Electric Cooperative, LLC Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning J&B Outdoors Kansas City Parks and Recreation Kleinschmidt’s Western Store Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative Meramec Bison Farm, LLC Missouri Conservation Pioneers Missouri Native Seed Association MTAR

Nick's Family Restaurant Ozark Bait and Tackle Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc. REMAX Boone Realty Shade Tree Service, Inc. Shady Lane Cabins & Motel St. Joseph Harley Davidson Tabor Plastics Company Truman’s Bar & Grill United Electric Cooperative, Inc. White River Valley Electric Cooperative

Silver Advantage Metals Recycling Forrest Keeling Nursery G&W Meat & Bavarian Style Sausage Co. Holladay Distillery Jaguar Land Rover St. Louis

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

Iron Bass Pro Shops (Independence) Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures, LLC Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Blue Springs Park and Recreation Bob McCosh Chevrolet Buick GMC Brockmeier Financial Services Brown Printing Cap America Central Bank Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc Dickerson Park Zoo Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Association Gascosage Electric Cooperative

Your business can benefit by supporting conservation. Contact Brandon Butler: 573-634-2322 or JULY - 2018


Business Spotlight

A Philosophy of “Mitigation, For Good.”


ITICO, LLC is a wetland and stream restoration company whose principals have been active in restorations of both of these resources since the late 1990’s. MITICO itself came in to being as an organization assisting the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District with a wetland mitigation challenge that resulted in the addition of 162 acres being put under perpetual conservation easement. It is located adjacent to the Riverlands Wildlife Sanctuary, an Audubon site near the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers. MITICO proceeded to work on projects of this type in Fannin County, Texas for the City of Fort Worth, in Labadie, Missouri for the City of Chesterfield and other major restorations in the Midwest.

In 2015, MITICO teamed up with The Land Learning Foundation which became an In-Lieu Fee mitigation provider in Missouri and also has applications pending in Illinois. In 2018, the MITICO/Land Learning Foundation partnership set out to complete restorations in eight watersheds within Missouri and assist farmers and landowners who were losing substantial lands to abnormal high-flowage events in the mantra “Mitigation, for good.” (Left) Farming right to the edge of a waterway is a cause of erosion. (Photo: Courtesy of Mitico) (Right) Natural vegetative barriers help control erosion. (Photo: Courtesy of Mitico)



Business Spotlight This “Mitigation, for good” approach is counterintuitive to that which is customary in our industry. The Clean Water Act, which gives the US Army Corps of Engineers authority to oversee the implementation of compensatory mitigation practices, has typically fostered the creation of mitigation sites whereby compensatory mitigation providers find tracts of land with varying restoration qualities or characteristics. Then these tracts are modified to create more a productive mitigation scenario. A fix is then designed and executed. We think there is a better approach providing substantially more lift and real, tangible results. We regularly attend soil and water conferences to meet landowners and discuss erosion issues. Many are seeking help, but there is a serious lack of program funding. The feedback was pretty consistent, “We know people with serious erosion causing soil and land loss issues, but there is insufficient funding to do any real work”. MITICO thrives on aiding landowners who face such situations.

Mitigation work restores protections to waterways. (Photo: Courtesy of Mitico)

Mitigation, for good is, in fact: • Good for the landowner, as they gain control over erosion and arrest land loss without expenditure; • Good for the good of the waterways, as siltation and sedimentation is stemmed and helping streams flow cleaner; • Good for stream species and other wildlife, as they can flourish, and in some cases become repatriated in those cleaner streams; • Good for the non-profits involved as relationships with landowners are fostered and mitigation becomes a source for funds matching; • Good for the recipients of the services of nonprofits as program dollars simply go further; • Good for compensatory mitigation credit buyers as they know that their dollars are actually helping the resource in support of long-term solutions. If you know someone losing land to erosion, please have them call us today. We’d like to introduce them to our philosophy of “Mitigation, for good”. MITICO has its office in St. Louis (Creve Coeur area) and the Land Learning Foundation has its office in Keytesville, Missouri.

JULY - 2018


President’s Message

Growing Good Neighbors


ave you ever asked yourself what it means to be a good neighbor? Whether in an urban setting or rural setting, we all want to get along with those we live around. Do you know your neighbor? Do you know what crops your neighbor is growing and what technologies are used next door? In many states, sensitive and specialty crops and beehives may be growing near traditional row crops. Good communication is essential to ensure applicators are aware of sensitive crop and beehive locations. As issues in agricultural communities become more complex, are we still taking the time to get to know people on the other side of the fence? Looking years back, our farming operation would not have been the same without good neighbors. We helped their family and they helped our family with many tasks. Neighborhoods are ever changing in today’s world and it can be a challenge to find that neighbor but I believe knowing your neighbor is invaluable.

The Conservation Federation of Missouri, along with FieldWatch, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Electric Cooperates, MO-AG, University of Missouri Extension, University of Missouri Grape and Wine Institute, Missouri Corn Producers and Missouri Soybeans Producers are excited to have supported a new pilot program in Missouri - Growing Good Neighbors. The program aims to gather grape growers, specialty crop growers, retailers, crop growers, bee keepers, conservationists and others to foster mutual understanding. The goals of the program are to increase stewardship in the field, increase awareness of crop locations and spraying times to avoid the potential for drift accidents, increase communication, and discuss success stories showcasing good neighbor relationships that lead to improved coexistence of various agricultural practices within communities. In early 2018 the program participants shared a meal at local wineries to forge relationships and promote awareness. You may want to hold an event in your community. Learn more: neighbors.

Yours in Conservation, Gary Van De Velde President, CFM




Member News

Why I Became a Life Member of CFM: Ron Coleman


grew up as child in St. Louis, Missouri, but later moved to a small farm in rural Jefferson County where I had ample opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of our Missouri outdoors. I also spent many of my formative years as a youth exploring the creeks, wildlife and woods found on and around my grandparents place near Old Mines in Washington County, Missouri. It was these years in the wilds that really set the stage for my love of conservation and nature.

The recreation opportunities afforded me in my younger years by my mentors provided me with a lifetime of conservation experiences and fond memories.

My father was a “hunting and fishing fool” and it was his affinity for these outdoor endeavors that exposed me in my teens to many of our Missouri natural resources. Almost every Friday night dad had the old Plymouth Station Wagon loaded with equipment, gear and camping essentials- our family then hit the road to enjoy a forest, lake or stream experience.

Becoming a life member of the Conservation Federation of Missouri has been a way for me to personally give back to an organization that is dedicated to promoting and protecting Missouri’s outdoor conservation legacy so that in future years, others can enjoy many of the same positive life changing experiences that I did.

I guess I was much like most individuals growing up who developed a passion for the outdoors; it was an inherited trait which still lingers today and for that I am most thankful.

Ron Coleman CFM Past President

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 260 dedicated conservationists who have already made a life commitment to the Conservation Federation of Missouri by becoming a Life Member today.

Contact CFM at (573) 634-2322 or email



Member News

WELCOME NEW CFM MEMBERS Brett Arthur, Richmond Benjamin Bates, Columbia Dennis Boldrey, Manchester Gustavo Brehm, Edgerton Albert Brissett, Maysville Chad Bryant, Kirksville Billy Campbell, Norborne Bill Clark, Pleasant Hill Carl Cook, St. James Connor Cotton, Chillocothe Clifton Couch, St. Louis Taylon Crim, Republic Robert Davis, Hermann Vandee DeVore, Columbia Bryce Dominique, Chillocothe Scott Domonique, Chillocothe Darrell Farr, Lee's Summit Ethan Frey, Willard Cody Gallagher, Lawson Scott Gallagher, Mt. Sterling Mark Garnett, Brookfield Alexander Grigsby, Wright City Spencer Harris, Trenton Derek Harrison, Hamilton Glynda Hascall, Cameron Rodney Heindel, Liberty Brandon Heindel, Liberty Shyla Heindel, Liberty

Jeremy Hicks, Chillicothe Don Hotz, Warrensburg Kayla Howell, Springfield Sarah Hummel, Columbia Josh Hundley, Ashland William Ingalsbe, Republic Aaron Jackson, Belton Kayla Jackson, Meadville Kevin Jacobson, Paola, KS Kory Kaufman, Rocheport Elizabeth Keller, Jefferson City Ian Komer, St. Joseph Augustus Kuickmeyer, Cedar Hill Kurt Kuickmeyer, Cedar Hill Dixie Litchard, Columbia Tyler Long, Excelsior Springs Aaron Luckert, Kansas City Sasha Mace, Pierce City Mike McCoy, Hamilton Sean McLafferty, Russellville Craig McMichael, Lone Jack Adam Melton, Agency Jake Metscher, Stover Larry Miller, Chillicothe Butch Morrissey, Warrensburg Wayne Noll, Platte City Drake Oetting, Springfield Dave O'Neal, Grain Valley

In Memory In memory of Glenn Chambers & Bill Crawford Ollie Togerson In memory of Troy Garner Mike & Mossie Schallon In memory of Michael Goodrum Randy Colip

Nikolas Perkins, Cameron Andrew Pettit, St. Charles Eric Peterson, Leavenworth, KS Jacob Peterson, Leavenworth, KS Wesley Peterson, Breckenridge Brady Ream, Chillicothe Brad Richards, Licking Tim Rieke, Jefferson City Brad Robnett, Rolla Nicholas Roof, Chillicothe Gail Scobee, Cameron Mike Scott, Ballwin Ryan Sedgwick, Cameron Cody Sellers, Kearney Robyn Shaw, Belton Bob Smith, Grand River, IA Justin Sturgeon, Tonganoxie, KS Skyler Switilk, Agency John Taber, Green Castle P. Brett Thorne, Chillicothe Garrett Vansteenburg, Monett Donny Vaughan, Platte City Henry White, Columbia Barry White, Rolla Art Wickham, Winfield Scott Widner, Gallatin

CFM would like to thank the 201 members that renewed since our last publication.

In memory of Bruce Thompson, Sr. Jeff Aniker, Buttonball Meadow Condominiums Ron Campbell Christine Clarke Sara Keimig Peter Keyser Beverly Mason Kobey Phelps Dennis Potter Ron Thompson Mike VanPamel

JULY - 2018


Member News

Gear Guide GSI Microlite 1000 Twist With its sleek design and clean construction, this high-spec, durable Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle will keep your beverages hot or cold for hours and hours. Perfect for commuting, picnics, sporting events and camping. This incredibly lightweight, vacuum-insulated bottle provides 18 hours of heat and 32 hours of cold retention while being 33 percent lighter than traditional designs. The secure, screw top cap includes a leverageenhancing lobe, which makes opening frozen bottles easy. The leash provides convenient attachment point.

ALPS Commander + Pack Bag – (Business Alliance) When you get our Commander + Pack Bag, you're getting the Commander Freighter Frame PLUS a 5250 cubic inch Pack Bag. The Pack Bag includes a front pocket, spotting scope pocket, rifle holder, and 2-side accessory hinged pockets, in addition to the main compartment. Once you empty out your Pack Bag, it can be easily detached so the Commander can be used as a Freighter Frame also. The Freighter Frame allows you to haul meat from one place to the next. It comes equipped with a unique lashing system to secure your meat. There are pockets for your flashlight and knife, as well as a holder for your shooting stix on the lashing straps.

MTN OPS Looking to achieve your weight loss goals safely and effectively? Conquer Weight-loss Combo is your premier energy and weight loss solution with everything you need to reach your ideal weight. This system promotes a healthy diet with supplements and meal replacement products that deliver amazing nutritional properties. When combined with consistent exercise, you will see results. MTN OPS supports 2% for Conservation and since its inception has and will continue to maintain a stance against the sale or transfer of our public lands.

Bass Pro Shops Retractable Transom Tie Down – (Business Alliance) Bass Pro Shops’ commitment to innovation, quality, and reliability is evident in the 2-Pack Retractable Transom Tie Downs. Whether you're hauling your boat or personal watercraft, you'll appreciate the industry-leading strength and performance engineered into the marine-grade tie-downs. The retractable design allows for easier use. Trust the Bass Pro Shops 2-Pack Retractable Transom Tie Down when quality counts. Rust-resistant with an 833 lb. working load and 2,500 lb. break strength. Dimensions: 2"x43".

YETI Hopper Flip Meet the leakproof, tough-as-nails, carry-the-day soft cooler. Around here, we call it the Hopper Flip. Its wide-mouth opening makes for easy loading and access to your food and drinks. Its compact, cubed body means ultimate portability — go off road, onto the water, and back again with this personal cooler. And its extreme insulation means your ice is staying ice. The Hopper is waterproof and resistant to mildew, punctures, and UV rays. The liner is made from an FDA-approved food-grade material. Closed-cell rubber foam offers far superior cold-holding to ordinary soft coolers. The toughest, highest-performing waterproof and leakproof cooler zipper in the world.

JULY - 2018


Member News

Corned Venison with the Weston Meat Slicer A fresh venison roast is brined in Weston Vacuum Sealer Bags with homemade pickling spice, slow cooked for 3 hours, then sliced with a Weston Meat Slicer to make the best venison dish you've ever had. Ingredients: • 5 lb venison roast • 2 cups water • ½ cup kosher salt • ½ oz Morton Tenderquick • ¼ cup brown sugar • 12 bay leaves, crushed • 4 whole garlic cloves, smashed • 1 cinnamon stick • 1 tbsp mustard seeds • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper • 1 tbsp coriander seeds


• • • •

1 tbsp thyme 1 tbsp cloves 1 tbsp juniper berries ½ tsp allspice berries

Tools: • Weston 10 Piece Game Processing Knife Set • Weston Vacuum Sealer + Vacuum Bags • Roma Stainless Steel Colander • Weston Meat Slicer • Large pot


Directions: 1. Use the Weston Knife Set to remove all silver skin from your roast; fat is okay. Place the roast into a large Weston Vacuum Sealer bag. Mix together all remaining ingredients, then pour into the Vacuum Sealer Bag. 2. Seal your bag by placing a folded paper towel into the bag, holding the bag below the sealer, pulsing the vacuum until the liquid gets close to the paper towel, then pressing seal. Be sure to keep all liquids out of the sealing chamber. 3. Place in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. 4. After your meat is finished brining, thoroughly rinse the roast with cold water over a Roma Stainless Steel Colander for five minutes, to remove excess salt. Place the roast into a large pot, big enough to hold it, then cover it with water completely. 5. Thoroughly rinse the ingredients left over in the colander. Drop these leftover seasonings into the pot with the meat. 6. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and allow it to simmer, covered for three hours. 7. After three hours, take the corned venison out, and set it on a plate to rest for 30 minutes. Using a Weston Meat Slicer, slice the meat.

Affiliate Spotlight

Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri


he Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri (FWAM) is an independent, nonprofit citizen organization that was founded in 2011 as a public advocacy voice for privately owned woodlands, to promote healthy, productive and sustainable forests and trees. FWAM works hard to develop resources for landowners to reach their woodland goals. They are advocates, conservationists, educators and woodland owners. Membership includes residents from all walks of life – both woodland owners and non-owners, city and rural dwellers, tree farmers, loggers, conservationists, educators -- anyone who cares about the health of Missouri's forests and woodlands. FWAM advocates on behalf of Missouri forests and woodlands and helps members know when and how to assist in advocacy efforts. FWAM also administers the Missouri Tree Farm System. The Tree Farm System is a program for woodland owners who are committed to sustainably managing their forests for wood, water, wildlife and recreation.

Laurie Coleman, Executive Director of the Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri discusses the organization. (Photo: Courtesy of FWAM)

Additional benefits include improved habitat, watershed protection, outdoor recreation, and aesthetic value. The Missouri program is run by a diverse group of partners; such as state agencies, non-profit organizations, volunteers, foresters and landowners. Learn more about FWAM, join or become a sponsor at www. Membership is free! FWAM relies on grants and voluntary sponsorships to support their mission. Learn more about the Missouri Tree Farm System at www. With your participation, together, we can help manage the forest and woodland resources in Missouri for future generations.

Affiliate Organizations Anglers of Missouri Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives Audubon Society of Missouri Bass Slammer Tackle Big Game Hunters Boone's Lick Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City Capital City Fly Fishers Chesterfield Citizens Committee for the Environment Conservation Foundation of Missouri Charitable Trust Deer Creek Sportsman Club Festus-Crystal City Conservation Club Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Forest Releaf of Missouri Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Garden Club of St. Louis Gateway Chapter Trout Unlimited Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri Greenway Network, Inc. Katy Land Trust L-A-D Foundation Mid-Missouri Outdoor Dream Mid-Missouri Trout Unlimited Midwest Diving Council Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters Association Missouri Association of Meat Processors Missouri Atlatl Association Missouri BASS Federation Nation Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Missouri Bow Hunters Association Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy

Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society Missouri Coalition for the Environment Missouri Community Forestry Council Missouri Conservation Agents Association Missouri Conservation Pioneers Missouri Consulting Foresters Association Missouri Ducks Unlimited- State Council Missouri Forest Products Association Missouri Grouse Chapter of QUWF Missouri Hunter Education Instructor's Association Missouri Hunters for Fair Chase Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation Missouri National Wild Turkey Federation Missouri Native Seed Association Missouri Outdoor Communicators Missouri Park & Recreation Association Missouri Parks Association Missouri Prairie Foundation Missouri River Bird Observatory Missouri River Relief Missouri Smallmouth Alliance Missouri Society of American Foresters Missouri Soil & Water Conservation Society-Show-Me Chapter Missouri Sport Shooting Association Missouri State Campers Association Missouri State Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Missouri State University Bull Shoals Field Station Missouri Taxidermist Association

Missouri Trappers Association Missouri Trout Fishermen's Association Missouri Whitetails Unlimited MU Wildlife & Fisheries Science Graduate Student Organization Northside Conservation Federation Open Space Council of the St. Louis Region Ozark Fly Fishers, Inc. Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club Ozarks Smallmouth Alliance Perry County Sportsman Club Pomme De Terre Chapter Muskies Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation, Inc. Quail Forever & Pheasants Forever River Bluffs Audubon Society Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association South Side Division Southwest Missouri Fly Fishers Springfield Plateau Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist St. Louis Audubon Society Student Air Rifle Program Tipton Farmers & Sportsman's Club Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers Troutbusters of Missouri United Bow Hunters of Missouri Walnut Council & Other Fine Hardwoods Wecomo Sportsman's Club Wild Bird Rehabilitation Wild Elk Institute of Missouri

JULY - 2018


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

Member News

Stream Team Accomplishments Highlighted in Report


tream Teams United is pleased to announce the availability of the new “Missouri Stream Team Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Data Summary Report�. This report summarizes the water quality data collected by Missouri Stream Team volunteers across the state from 1993-2016. The Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program began in 1993 and since that time thousands of Stream Team volunteers have been trained to collect water quality samples from Missouri streams. In 2011, the first data summary report was completed, which compiled and analyzed the volunteer data from 1993-2010. The 2018 report includes an additional six years of data and includes analysis of water chemistry samples at 627 sites and macroinvertebrate monitoring at 413 sites across the state. The results are summarized and interpreted for each of 13 regions of the state. In total, the report compiles and summarizes data from over 40,000 sampling events. The report describes the Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program and includes regional summaries of water quality parameters including Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Nitrate, Ammonia, Phosphate, Chloride, Conductivity, Turbidity, and Macroinvertebrate Community health. This effort was made possible through the compilation and interpretation work of Dan Obrecht and Tony Thorpe, University of Missouri Senior Research Associates, and with guidance from the Missouri Stream Team Program. The project was funded by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The Missouri Stream Team Program is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

Volunteers monitor water quality on the Salt River in Northeast Missouri. (Photo: Courtesy of Stream Teams)

Stream Teams United is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1999 to promote the stewardship of Missouri's streams and the mission of the Missouri Stream Team Program. Stream Teams United helps coordinate, enable, and support 19 Stream Team Associations across the state. Some past accomplishments of Stream Teams United include: 1. Helping Ozarks Water Watch develop and implement the Missouri Clean Marina Program, 2. Organizing Paddle MO, a five-day, 100-mile trip on the Missouri River, 3. Providing weekly news and advocacy information to Stream Teams, 4. Publishing the "Summary of Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Data" report on 24 years of volunteer water quality monitoring data and 5. Promoting Missouri as the Great Rivers State. The report can be viewed at www.streamteamsunited. org at For more information, please visit www.mstwc. org, or the public may contact Mary Culler at info@ or 573-586-0747.

Since the Stream Team began in 1989, more than 5,600 Stream Team citizen volunteer groups have formed throughout the state. Stream Team volunteer activities include litter pick-up events, water quality monitoring, stream restoration activities like tree planting, and hosting education events.

JULY - 2018


Member News

MCCA Receives Contribution From Mysun


e would like to thank The Mysun Charitable Foundation for their generous contribution to support the Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance (MCCA). MCCA received $10,000 in grant money to support the program, Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance Education Toolkits. The grant was written to help create toolkits that contain information and supplies that will help current students educate and engage other students on conservation issues in Missouri. Students will also be trained on sharing the mission with other students. MCCA highlights legislation that may affect conservation and natural resources in Missouri and informs students through social media and newsletters. The goal is to educate, engage and empower more students on current conservation issues and encourage them to be a voice for Missouri outdoors.

“We are excited to have the opportunity grow and expand this program,” said Jen Sampsell, CFM Education and Outreach Coordinator. “We are working to have members who attend different colleges and universities across the state of Missouri. It is important to engage future leaders on the issues affecting conservation.” If you would like to learn more about MCCA, please visit or email Jen Sampsell at

CFM Conservation Federation Podcast Listen to CFM’s Podcast Did you know CFM has a podcast? In each episode, host Brandon Butler discusses conservation issues with special guests. Past episodes include interviews with Governor Jay Nixon, MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley, Glenn Chambers, Steven Rinella and many other passionate conservationists.

Have you heard our lastest episodes?

Episode 17: Brandon Butler talks conservation with Steven Rinella and Janis Putelis Episode 16: Brandon Butler discusses the Farm Bill with Dale Blevins and Carol Davis Episode 15: Brandon Butler and Rudi Roeslein discuss native grasses and alternative energy

Find the Conservation Federation podcast on the CFM website and on iTunes.

Member News

We Like You, So Please “Like” Us


e all know the importance and popularity of social media platforms. I don’t think you can miss it these days. According to Brandwatch, social media users grew by over 121 million in the second half of 2017 which works out to a new social media user every 15 seconds. Social media is a quick and easy way to spread the word. We can share news and information, and communicate conservation issues in Missouri with members and prospective members. Social media allows us to interact with our members across the state. There are both advantages and disadvantages but in the end, social media is an important avenue for outreach and education. You can make a difference and help us be the voice for Missouri Outdoors. On Facebook and Twitter, “follow” and “like” our page for daily news and to stay up to date on all things outdoor in Missouri. Take time to share and comment on our posts. The more people whom like, share and comment on our posts, the more people who ultimately see our posts. And isn’t that the goal, to reach as many people as we can with our message of conservation? “Follow” our Instagram account for photos of Missouri’s great outdoors. Share your experiences and tag @confedmo in your photos. Let’s share with everyone all the great experiences we have outdoors.

“Subscribe” to our YouTube channel and be the first to know about our new videos promoting Missouri’s great outdoors. Many of these videos are made and shared by CFM members. “Subscribe” to our podcast Conservation Federation on iTunes at to ensure you won’t miss a single episode. These are also available on the CFM website at If you haven’t taken the time to follow our pages, please do. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using @confedmo. Find our YouTube channel by searching for Conservation Federation of Missouri. These platforms depend on interaction. These are all great ways to get more involved with CFM, share your photos and stories or ask questions. Start a discussion on a post, let us know your thoughts on a tweet or share photos of your outdoor adventures around Missouri. Then share the pages with your network of friends so they can be connected with CFM. We CAN make a difference. Sometimes I think we forget this. We just need the gentle reminder that if everyone does a little, we together can make a big difference. We look forward to hearing from you. Like, follow, comment and share away!

JULY - 2018


2018 EVENTS CFM Media Camp - February 4-7

4th Annual CFM Media Camp at Lilley’s Landing with over 20 outdoor communicators in attendance.

CFM Annual Convention - March 9-11

CFM Annual Convention at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.

Conservation Day at the Capitol - March 27

Join CFM and over 30 affiliate organizations at the Capitol for a day of promoting and supporting CFM.

Pull for Conservation: Northwest - April 14

CFM teams up with NW Electric Power Cooperative to host the third annual sporting clays shoot in Hamilton.

Explore the Outdoors: Kansas City - May 31

Join CFM at Boulevard Brewery for a fun evening of excitement and entertainment.

Explore the Outdoors: Springfield - June 21

Tour the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and learn more about conservation in Missouri.

Explore the Outdoors: Columbia - July 12

Join CFM at the Bass Pro Shops store in Columbia store for fun and outdoor activities.

Pull for Conservation: Central - August 11

The 12th annual sporting clay shoot returns to River Hills Sporting Clays in Boonville.

Explore the Outdoors: St. Louis - September 6

Come see old friends and make new ones at Schlafly’s Brewery in St. Louis.

Affiliate Summit - September 13 & 14

Join us at the Lake of the Ozarks as we gather all our affiliates together.

Pull for Conservation: Southwest - Fall 2018 Exact date and location is yet to be determined.

Pint Nights; October - December Various pint nights throughout the fall.

Member News

RMEF Announces New President and CEO


he Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Board of Directors announced Kyle Weaver as the new President and CEO, effective June 30, 2018.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve as the leader of the most respected wildlife conservation organization in the country, one that does so much for elk, elk habitat and America’s hunting tradition,” said Weaver. “Moving forward, as a team, we will elevate the delivery of RMEF’s mission, including our lands and access work as well as advocating for our hunting heritage.” Weaver comes to RMEF from a long and successful career with the National Rifle Association, where he rose from an entry level position to ultimately serve as an NRA Officer and Executive Director of General Operations. His oversight included educational, safety and training programs, grassroots fundraising, as well as hunting and conservation programs. He brings extensive experience with board relations, volunteer management and fiscal responsibility and oversight, along with program building and implementation. “My entire career has been dedicated to protecting, promoting and supporting our rights in the outdoors as hunters and conservationists. I am excited and welcome this opportunity. I look forward to using my full energy to serve our donors, members, volunteers, partners and sportsmen and women everywhere in furthering RMEF’s conservation mission,” added Weaver. “We are excited to have Kyle join us and look forward to his leadership as we build on the success of RMEF,” said Philip Barrett, chairman of the RMEF Board of Directors. “We want to thank DBA Executive Search & Recruitment for leading this extensive nationwide search process that yielded an incredible field of candidates.” Larry Potterfield, a long-time friend of Kyle, lifelong hunter, author, decorated business leader and founder and CEO of Midway USA, added, “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation plays a critical role in the conservation of one of America’s great wildlife resources.

Its long-term success is critical for the preservation of the species and the rights of hunters. Kyle Weaver is the perfect choice to lead this great organization into the future.” A passionate and avid hunter, Weaver has supported RMEF for well over a decade and is a life member. Currently, the RMEF president and CEO position is held by Nancy Holland, who stepped into the role in February from her board position to facilitate the transition to the new leadership. “I am excited for Kyle and RMEF, he brings a strong business acumen and a commitment to conservation. A powerful combination to move RMEF forward and further establish its leadership role in the conservation community,” said Holland. Upon completion of this transition, Nancy will return to her role on RMEF’s Board of Directors. Weaver is a graduate of Longwood University in Virginia, where he attended on a collegiate baseball scholarship. Weaver is a founding board member and current Chairman of the Fathers in the Field mentoring ministry. About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 227,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.3 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at, www.elknetwork. com or 800-CALL ELK. Take action: join and/or donate. JULY - 2018


Member News

One-Third of Wildlife at Increased Risk of Extinction


s many as one-third of America’s wildlife species are at increased risk of extinction, according to a new report by the National Wildlife Federation, the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society. "America’s wildlife are in crisis and now is the time for unprecedented on-the-ground collaboration," said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Fish, birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates are all losing ground. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to prevent these species from vanishing from the earth. Recovering wildlife is a win-win-win: strengthening our economy, improving public health, and making communities more resilient.” •

• • • • • • •

• •

About one-third of the nation’s best-known groups of species—from vertebrates, like birds and mammals, to invertebrates such as butterflies and freshwater mussels—are imperiled or vulnerable. These figures, based on conservation status assessments carried out by NatureServe and its state natural heritage program partners, paint a stark picture of the overall condition of America’s extraordinary diversity of wildlife. Among the findings in Reversing America’s Wildlife Crisis: Securing the Future of Our Fish and Wildlife: One-third of America’s wildlife species are at increased risk of extinction. More than 150 U.S. species already have gone extinct. Nearly 500 additional species have not been seen in recent decades and are regarded as possibly extinct. Approximately 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater fish species are now rare or imperiled. Seventy percent of North America’s freshwater mussels are imperiled or already extinct. Pollinator populations are dropping precipitously. Monarch butterfly populations in the eastern U.S., for instance, have dwindled by 90 percent over the past two decades. Thirty percent of North America’s bat species have seen significant declines over the past two decades. Amphibians are disappearing from their known habitats at a rate of 4 percent each year.

"Wildlife in America need help. Species are increasingly at risk in all regions of the country and across all categories of wildlife," said John McDonald, PhD, president of The Wildlife Society.



All wildlife species are important to our natural world. (Photo: Courtesy of NWF)

"This decline is not inevitable. Wildlife professionals in every state have action plans ready to go to conserve all wildlife for future generations, but we need the funding to turn this situation around,” McDonald continued. The report also describes success stories where concerted, collaborative efforts have been able to make a difference for at-risk species of wildlife. •

By the late 1970s, not a single Canada lynx was found in Colorado. These solitary cats play an important ecological role, balancing the populations of smaller mammals like snowshoe hares. Two decades ago, Colorado Parks and Wildlife started a lynx reintroduction program; today a self-sustaining population of 150-250 lynx now roam Colorado’s backcountry. New England cottontail populations have dwindled for decades due to habitat loss; the species was once a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act. A collaborative effort between states, federal agencies, tribes, and nonprofit organizations created lost habitats and reintroduced captive-bred rabbits to the wild. Brook trout populations in the eastern U.S. currently exist in just 10 percent of its historic habitats, but a partnership with members from Georgia to Maine—including 17 different state wildlife agencies—is working to improve the outlook for the prized sportfish.

"Nearly half of our fish species are struggling. Other aquatic species, like mussels, are in even worse shape," said Drue Winters, policy director of the American Fisheries Society. "We know how to improve the outlook for our America's aquatic wildlife and we know this would have economic benefits as well—we just need the political will to make it happen.”


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Voice Your Support for Conservation Measures in the 2018 Farm Bill

Congress must reauthorize the Farm Bill by September 2018. All citizens concerned with wildlife and natural resource conservation are encouraged to become familiar with the conservation programs in the Farm Bill. We urge citizens to contact their members of U.S. Congress and ask them to support these Farm Bill conservation provisions to the fullest extent possible. The Farm Bill is a massive piece of legislation that is passed approximately every five years going back to 1933. The Farm Bill includes twelve titles that cover many aspects of farm policy, food and nutrition policy, and conservation. The Farm Bill is the largest source of federal funding for conservation on private lands. All Farm Bill conservation programs are entirely voluntary and provide funding—from tax dollars—for conservation practices that farmers and ranchers must carry out on their property. While these practices occur on private land, all citizens benefit because of the resulting greater protection of native grasslands, and safeguards for soil health, water quality, and wildlife and pollinator habitat. Farm Bill conservation programs are very popular and often have long waitlists of farmers and ranchers wanting to participate. Thus it is critical that the 2018 Farm Bill provide robust funding for these programs, including: • Conservation Reserve Program at 35 million acres • National Sodsaver Provision, so that private landowners who convert original prairie to cropland receive significantly lower crop insurance subsidies • Establishment of a native vegetation management standard for Farm Bill cost-share programs • Increase in Environmental Quality Incentive Program funding dedicated to wildlife practices • Reauthorization of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program at no less than $500 million/year and providing greater flexibility for landowners, especially for grasslands of special significance • Authorization of supplemental payments in the Conservation Stewardship Program for managed rotational grazing practices known to benefit native wildlife and pollinators (Photo by


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The importance of your motor running well, especially in tournament fishing, is to get you there quicker. Spend more time fishing instead of more time traveling. That’s why Crappie Masters supports gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol - a fuel made from corn grown in America. Mike Vallentine, Crappie Masters President

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Federation Destinations

Visit Gaylord, Michigan for Summer Fun


f you haven’t visited Gaylord, Michigan, prepare to be impressed. A recent growth spurt and flattering downtown makeover are transforming this quaint alpine village into a hip, new territory.

Many area lakes offer perfect areas for swimming, with shallow waters and gentle waves. Lay back and relax on a tube or just enjoy the beach with a good book. All you need to bring is sunscreen and your towel!

The Gaylord and Otsego County area has continued to be one of the fastest growing regions in Michigan. Blessed with state-of-the-art educational facilities, Michigan’s first community fiber network, quality government services and four seasons of recreational opportunities, Gaylord and Otsego County provide big city advantages while maintaining friendly, rural character.

For those looking looking to drop a line, dozens of lakes are stocked with the catch-of-the-day. Otsego Lake offers a variety of species of freshwater fish and a variety of seasons in which to pursue them. The water is alive with walleye, perch, small-and large-mouth bass, pike sturgeon and crappie, among other sport fish. And ice fishermen find Otsego Lake a great place to shanty up when the ice grows thick in the heart of Michigan’s winter.

Our geographically-gifted position right in the center of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula offers the state’s best basecamp for any outdoor pursuit. With easy access to trail networks, river systems, inland lakes, parks, ski resorts, and big wilderness spaces, Gaylord is alive with adventure. Otsego County is the headwaters to five favorite rivers: Black River, Pigeon River, AuSable River, Manistee River and Sturgeon River. With over 90 inland lakes, Otsego County is truly a water wonderland. Our lakes range from clear water with sandy, white beaches perfect for relaxing in the sun to glistening gems hidden deep in the forest, lined with trees. Whether you’re looking to relax in a beach chair at the Otsego Lake State Park, play a game of volleyball at the Otsego Lake County Park or kayak along still waters that feel away from it all, we have the perfect place for you to get your feet wet.

Beyond Otsego Lake, Big Bear Lake and Big Lake are two favorites for fun. Big Bear Lake has a maximum depth of 36 feet and occupies 350 square acres. Big Lake has a maximum depth of 81 feet and is about a third of the size of Big Bear Lake. Sure, Gaylord’s got loads of fantastic fishing lakes-they’re those big blue blurbs all over the map-but did you know the area is stocked with a heap of streams full of trout? Water isn’t all we have in Gaylord. We are a summer golf mecca with 15 of the finest golf courses in northern Michigan. Our lodging and golf partners have been working together for many years and know what it takes to put together an unforgettable golfing experience. Gaylord is also a winter playground with snowmobile trails, downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and so much more. No matter the season, Gaylord offers incredible outdoor experiences. For more information, visit



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Feature Story

The MeatEater Makes a Turkey Trip to Missouri


here’s an old adage about not meeting your heroes because you’ll likely be disappointed. My time with Steven Rinella dispels this assertion. The man behind the popular outdoor platform “MeatEater” is every bit the outdoorsman and authentic communicator he comes across as through his writing, and on his television show and podcast. At the end of the day, he’s just a down to earth dude who loves to hunt and tell stories about his experiences. Only he does both better than most could ever imagine. I first met Rinella six years ago at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. He was signing copies of his book, American Buffalo. I ran into him again later in the evening at an awards show and we struck up a conversation about turkey hunting in Missouri. We tentatively planned a hunt, but then jobs and life and a million other things happened and we lost touch. Last summer, I was at a conference with a mutual friend and asked her to remind him about our past plans. A couple of emails and a phone call later, the dates were booked and turkey camp was set. Standing on top of the highest point behind my cabin a half hour before sunrise on April 16, Rinella, his producer, Janis Putelis, and I eagerly waited and waited and waited for an opening morning gobble. Fear set in as the minutes ticked away. These guys had traveled from Washington and Montana to turkey hunt based on my assurance of an incredible Ozarks experience - rife with gobbles ringing from every ridge around. Instead, utter silence. At one point I compared the morning to the actualization of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. There wasn’t a critter moving. The sky was dark and gray. The woods were extremely bare and the wind was howling. It felt like the worst winter with no semblance of spring.



Feature Story After giving up on hearing a bird gobble from the roost, we split up. Rinella and I began working slowly down the ridge, stopping every hundred yards or so to call. Putelis bailed off onto a side ridge heading down into a deep holler. For Rinella and I the silent spring continued throughout the morning, only to be interrupted at 7:15 by a single report of a shotgun from the direction Putelis had gone. He came across what must have been the loneliest bird on the mountain. While all his comrades were closed mouthed, this gobbler couldn’t help himself. Putelis said the hunt was everything he had hoped for. The gobbler was still on the roost, so he slipped in close enough to know he had to sit down or risk spooking the bird. When the gobbler pitched down, he put on a show. Strutting, gobbling, and spitting and drumming until the old Ozark ridge runner came too close and Putelis dropped the curtain. We rendezvoused at our agreed upon time of 10:00 a.m. Rinella and I were motivated by Putelis’s story of success. We set out to check every spot I could think of where a gobbler might have been doing his thing. But we never heard a peep the entire opening day. Steve Jones, our wild game camp chef alleviated some of our dismay with an incredible dinner of sous vide venison loin and fixings. Parker Hall, USDA Wildlife Services Director for Missouri and Iowa, arrived in camp just in time to eat. He rounded out our camp of four hunters and a chef. The next morning, as soon as I stepped out of the cabin, the world felt right. The temperature had nearly doubled and the wind had lain down. I stepped out into the driveway and let out a loud owl hoot. To my surprise, a gobbler went off down by the creek. Hall and I went after him while Rinella and Putelis headed back up the ridge. It didn’t take long to figure out the gobbler was across the river up on bluff. Meaning, the chance of calling him down and across was tough, but as it turned out, not too tough for Hall, who generously deferred the first bird to me. He laid down the sweetest, soft yelps. I couldn’t believe the gobbler could hear him over the sound of the river. Then he came sailing down from the bluff, gliding through the fog rising off the water and lit on the gravel bar.

It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen in the wild. Every time he gobbled, I could see his breath. I could feel the vibrations as he drummed just out of range. Then he closed the distance, looking for the lone hen begging for his attention. Now two of the four of us were done. Rinella and Putelis were on birds all day, but never pulled the trigger. Just when they thought it was about to happen, another hunter shot the bird they were working. To which these western public lands advocates both said, that's how it goes. We were out hunted. The day ended without a bird for Rinella, but Wednesday did not. He came across his Ozark gobbler deep in a holler with less than an hour left to hunt on his last day. Hall had one within 60 yards, but we were picked off by a wily old gobbler in a forest so bare we might as well had been sitting in a pasture. Going three for four under tough conditions on public land was an incredibly successful camp. I desperately wanted to show these guys a good time while experiencing a classic Ozarks turkey hunt. I am satisfied with the results. To hear much more about our hunt, and Rinella’s take on Missouri turkeys, subscribe to the MeatEater podcast available on iTunes or visit And to hear me interview Rinella and Putelis about conservation issues, check out my podcast, Conservation Federation, also available on iTunes or www. Brandon Butler (Left) Brandon Butler soaks in the experience of a wild turkey harvest while staring at a scenic Ozark river. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Butler) (Top) Brandon Butler, Steven Rinella, and Janis Putelis pose with their 2018 Missouri public land gobblers. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Butler)

JULY - 2018


Agency News

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION Hunter Education Requirements in Missouri


issouri's hunter education course is required for any hunter born on or after Jan. 1, 1967. Learn what the course covers and where to take it, including an online option for the knowledge portion. Who must become huntereducation certified? If you plan to hunt during a Missouri firearms season or you are acting as an adult mentor, you MUST first complete an approved huntereducation certification program and provide proof of completion unless: • • • •

You are 15 or younger and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor 18 or older. You were born before Jan. 1, 1967. You received a disability exemption from Missouri Department of Conservation’s Protection Division. You are 16 or older and have purchased an Apprentice Hunter Authorization and will be hunting with a properly permitted adult mentor 18 or older. You are the landowner or lessee hunting on land you own or upon which you reside.

Note: If you can prove you completed an approved hunter education course in another state, you are not required to take Missouri’s Hunter Education Course. Why does Missouri require hunter education? Hunter education has reduced hunting accidents and deaths by more than 70 percent since it became mandatory in 1987. For this reason, we recommend all hunters become hunter-education certified. Our Hunter Education Program provides a foundation in hunting safety and ethics. It instills responsibility, improves skills and knowledge, and encourages interaction between beginner and veteran hunters.



How do I earn a Missouri hunter education certificate? There are two options to complete your Hunter Education Certification: 1. Blended Format (All ages): The blended format has two parts: knowledge and skills. You must complete and pass BOTH sessions to earn your certificate. Note: Both sessions must be completed in Missouri. Another state's knowledge session will not count towards your Missouri hunter education certificate. 2. All online (16 years of age or older): Missouri residents, 16 years of age and older can complete the entire program online. Take a class online for a $15fee (paid to online program provider). Once you’ve completed the course and passed a 60-question final exam with a score of 80 percent or better, you will receive your certification. You do not have to attend a skill session. For more information:

Agency News

MDC Reminds People to Leave Wildlife Wild


pring brings the births of wild animals such as birds, rabbits, and squirrels. With that come good intentions of kind-hearted people who want to adopt baby animals they find because they think they have been orphaned or abandoned. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds people to leave these young wild animals where they find them, or return them to their nests or nest areas if possible. “Baby animals are rarely abandoned or orphaned,” said MDC State Wildlife Veterinarian Sherri Russell. “The wildlife parent is afraid of people and will retreat when you approach. If the baby animal is left alone, the parent will usually return. Also, parent animals cannot constantly attend to their young and often spend many hours each day gathering food.” Russell added that baby birds are common animals people want to help by adopting them. “If you see a baby bird on the ground hopping around and it has feathers, leave it alone because it is a fledgling and the parents are nearby keeping an eye on it,” she explained. ‘If you find one that is featherless, it probably fell out of nest. Return it to the nest if you can, or at least near the nest.” Another common problem is dogs catching baby rabbits and mowers running over nests. “Baby rabbits seldom survive in captivity and actually can die of fright from being handled,” Russell explained. “Even if they are injured, return the baby rabbits to the nest or the general nest area. The mother will most likely return.” She added most wild mothers do not abandon their young because of a human smell on them, and most baby wild animals do not survive in captivity. “While people may have good intentions, the care and rehabilitation of wild animals requires special training, knowledge, facilities, care – and permits,” she said. “Wild animals, if they are to survive in captivity, often require highly specialized care.

Russell added, “Animals are better off in their natural habitats where they are free to reproduce and carry on their species. If a wild animal is broken to captivity, it will probably die if returned to the wild. Also, many wild animals are nocturnal. This means they are not active until after dark. They sleep during the day and can be quite disturbing at night while people sleep.” She noted wild animals can become dangerous to handle as they mature, can carry parasites and disease, and can damage property. “Native wildlife can carry mites, ticks, lice, fleas, flukes, roundworms, tapeworms, rabies, distemper, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, and skin diseases,” Russell explained. “Some of these diseases can be transmitted to humans.” Conservation makes Missouri a great place to discover nature. Learn more about Missouri’s many native wildlife species from the MDC online Field Guide at

Without such care, they will remain in poor health and may eventually die. And it is illegal to possess many wild animals without a valid state or federal permit.” JULY - 2018


Agency News

Missouri's Spring Turkey Season Ends With Only 35,800 Birds Harvested


reliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) shows that turkey hunters checked 34,055 birds during Missouri’s 2018 regular spring turkey season April 16 through May 6. Top harvest counties were Franklin with 760 birds checked, Texas with 732, and Laclede with 657. Young turkey hunters harvested 1,729 birds during the 2018 spring youth season, April 7-8, bringing the overall 2018 spring turkey harvest to 35,784. This year’s harvest total is down 17% from last year’s overall spring turkey harvest of 43,339 birds. MDC Turkey Biologist Jason Isabelle indicates that a drop in harvest was not unexpected given the poor production in recent years. “We’ve had very poor production the last two years,” said Isabelle. “This resulted in fewer two-year-old gobblers and a lot fewer jakes this year.” He noted that it is common for jakes to make up over a quarter of the spring harvest following years of good production. The last two years, however, jakes have made up just 13% and 15% of the harvest. “Low numbers of jakes in the spring harvest the past couple years just confirms what we learned from our summer brood survey; we’ve dealt with some very poor hatches in recent years,” said Isabelle. In addition to poor production, Isabelle added that less than ideal conditions during the youth season and opening day of the regular season impacted this year’s harvest as well. “Winter-like conditions made for a tough start to the season,” he said. In addition to its effect on hunting, Isabelle notes that the late spring also impacted the timing of turkey flock break-up and nesting this year. “The recent poor production and this year’s late spring made for a challenging 2018 spring season.” He indicated that he has corresponded with several colleagues in neighboring states that reported lower spring harvests this year as well. With the hunting season over, Isabelle and other MDC staff have been preparing for the summer brood survey which is used to determine the success of the hatch. Isabelle is hoping turkey production will reverse its current trajectory.



“Unfortunately, poor hatches have reduced turkey numbers in many areas of the state,” said Isabelle. He notes that fluctuations in turkey numbers are to be expected. “We’re going through a tough stretch right now like we did during the late 2000s. Because nest success and poult survival are the primary drivers of turkey population trends, we’re going to need some better production to help numbers rebound.” Get more information on spring turkey harvest numbers by county at: The 2018 spring turkey season had two non-fatal hunting incidents. One turkey hunter mistook another hunter for a turkey and another hunter accidently discharged a round into his foot. For more information about turkey hunting in Missouri, visit

Agency News

MISSOURI STATE PARKS Missouri State Parks Veteran Recruitment Program


issouri State Parks values the contributions of veterans, current service members, and their families. To honor their dedication to service, we make it a priority to hire veterans and to support their work. In accordance with state law, if you are a veteran, a family member of a veteran or a survivor of a veteran, you are given preference in the employment selection process when you are similarly qualified to other applicants for the same position. If you are a veteran, we encourage you to ensure that your military experience is included in every application you submit for employment at Missouri State Parks. Missouri State Parks seeks employees who have demonstrated their commitment to protecting public resources, and our veterans have demonstrated their commitment while also developing valuable skills that we need. That is why we encourage veterans to submit applications for all positions for which they are qualified. Positions Now Open to Veteran Applicants • • • • • • •

Park/Historic Site Specialist I Park/Historic Site Specialist II Park/Historic Site Specialist III Park Ranger Recruit Park Ranger Park Ranger Corporal Park Ranger Sergeant

To find descriptions of these and other positions, including salary range, duties and qualifications, go to From Serving Our Nation to Serving Our State "Exiting the military, I needed to find a career that would best utilize my military skills. I knew that I wanted to apply my education benefits from the military to get my degree in Wildlife and Natural Resources Conservation. I was passionate about the outdoors but wanted to tie in my military skills. After obtaining my degree, I decided the best fit for me would be the Missouri State Park Rangers. Being a paramilitary structure, the Ranger Program provided me the security I wanted in a

DNR employees speak with veterans about job opportunities. (Photo: Courtesy of Missouri State Parks)

career where I could best use my military skills in a law enforcement setting. Law enforcement felt like a natural fit and being a Missouri State Park Ranger gave me the opportunity to also use my degree and my passion for the outdoors. The Missouri State Park Rangers helped me in my transition to attend a law enforcement academy. The skills I obtained in the academy were very similar to what I had learned in the military. The benefits provided by the State of Missouri are very comparable to what the military provided me. The Missouri State Park Rangers gave me the comfort and security I was looking for when it came to searching for a new career," said Jacob Rash, who is a Missouri State Park Ranger Recruit from Pomme de Terre State Park Employment Application and Benefit Information Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which is part of the Missouri Merit System personnel system. To learn how to apply for jobs through this system, which job class titles to apply for based on your education and experience, what to expect after you’ve applied, and what happens when a vacant position opens, go to hr/index.html. Find more information and resources available to Missouri veterans and their families online at https:// at vets.

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Outdoor News

Don’t Let Ticks Ruin Your Trip


o make sure your visit to a Missouri state park or historic site is an enjoyable experience, you should know about ticks and ways to prevent problems associated with them. Ticks are most often encountered in areas of tall grass and thick vegetation during the spring and summer months. Ticks also congregate in areas where animals frequent, such as animal-created paths in natural habitats. Tick bites can be avoided by following simple guidelines. What Precautions Should I Take? • • • • • •

Wear light-colored clothing so all ticks can be seen easily. Do not wear sandals or open-toed shoes when hiking in vegetation. Wear long pants tucked into boots or socks. Several brands of insect repellent have proven effective against ticks. Be sure to apply it to your shoes, socks, cuffs and pants legs. Check your clothes periodically for ticks. The deer tick in its nymph stage (also called seed ticks) often can be mistaken for a freckle or a speck of dirt. Do a complete body check after you have walked or hiked through any vegetation. Check your scalp carefully. Stay on trails and away from areas of tall grass and vegetation.

How Do I Remove a Tick if I Find One? •

• • •

Promptly and carefully remove all ticks by gently but firmly pulling them straight out with a pair of tweezers. If you must use your fingers, grasp the tick with a piece of tissue. Firmly grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Avoid squeezing the tick's abdomen. Crushing the tick could inject infectious fluids into your system. Duct tape or other tape may be effective in removing seed ticks. Clean the area with soap and water and alcohol. Watch it for several weeks for any symptoms. If symptoms develop, seek immediate medical attention.

What Symptoms Should I Watch For? A tick-spread disease is often difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are very similar to other illnesses. •

In many cases, a rash or skin lesion will develop a short time after the bite. Sometimes there is redness near the affected area. Other common symptoms include fatigue, stiff neck and flu-like symptoms such as headache, chills, fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and muscle aches. Untreated, these early signs may disappear but other symptoms, such as heart problems and arthritis, may occur in the months or years that follow.

Antibiotics are effective for nearly all tick-borne diseases. The key is early detection and treatment. For more information on ticks in Missouri, please visit the Department of Health and Senior Services website or contact your local health department.

JULY - 2018


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JULY - 2018


Feature Story

Where the Lizards & Tarantulas Live On the southwest-facing slopes of many areas of the state, but especially in the Ozarks, is a unique habitat of open, rocky ground with inhospitable heat and drought in the summer and cold, damp conditions in fall and winter. These special habitats are known as glades, and they are host to many plants and animals that exist nowhere else in the state.

G •


lades are defined by one of the five types of bedrock that lie below the thin layer of rocky soil: Igneous Glades- these are glades containing ancient rocks such as granite and rhyolite that formed up to 1.5 billion years ago. These are usually found on hilltops in southeastern Missouri and can give spectacular views of the Ozarks. Visit igneous glades at Stegall Mountain and Hughes Mountain Natural Areas. Sandstone Glades- natural openings in woodlands and prairies. Small and slow-growing post and blackjack oak, and farkleberry can be found on these glades along with reindeer lichen. Graham Cave State Park is a great place to explore these. Chert Glades are very rare and in Missouri only about 20-60 acres exist, most within the city limits of Joplin. They exist nowhere else in the world except Missouri, Arkansas, and possibly Oklahoma. In Missouri, Say's grasshopper, a dull grasshopper with bright orange legs, has been found only on chert glades. You can visit a chert glade at Wildcat Glade Natural Area. CONSERVATION FEDERATION

Limestone Glades are predominantly in southwestern Missouri and support a diverse community of plants such as prairie tea, orange puccoon, narrow-leaved milkweed, and eastern prickly pear. Rocky Point Glade in Kansas City’s Swope Park, and Rocky Barrens Conservation Area along with the Springfield Conservation Nature Center in southwestern Missouri have limestone glades Dolomite Glades are common in the Ozarks and can be several hundred acres in size. Dolomite and limestone glades share the same neutral or alkaline soils and plant communities. You can see dolomite glades at Victoria Glades and Henning Conservation areas or Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

The survival of a glade depends on frequent fire to keep out invasive species—both exotic and native such as eastern red cedars. The soils and plant communities on glades stand tough in the harsh environment, but are very sensitive to other disturbances. Grazing, walking off paths, and disturbing rocks can damage these areas.

Feature Story Of the unique animals that depend on glades, perhaps the best known is the colorful eastern collared lizard. These reptiles were in substantial decline in the 1980s due to glade habitat being altered by invasive species. The Missouri Department of Conservation and other conservation groups along with private landowners went to work to restore glades and intervening woodlands, and to reintroduce eastern collard lizards to the state. Those efforts have paid off, and this beautiful green and yellow lizard is now thriving once again in the state. One rock can be the entire world to a collared lizard. They will sunbathe on top of their rock for hours during the day from April to October. The rest of the year is spent below the surface. Mating takes place in April to early June after which the female will lay as many as 21 white eggs. She will cover the nest with dirt to protect it once she is done. The young will hatch in two to three months and emerge as one-inch hatchlings in August to September. They will feed vigorously on insects and grow rapidly before they go back underground for the winter. Stacking rocks has become a trend in natural areas, often being promoted on social media or in news coverage. This practice can be devastating to wildlife such as the collared lizard whose entire life is spent above and below one rock. Moving these rocks, even just picking them up, can imperil the special micro-community below them and jeopardize the wildlife that depends on them for their lifetime. Help protect the unique glade communities when you visit them by staying on the path, not disturbing rocks, and taking only photographs. Other wildlife to look for in these micro-deserts includes tarantulas, racerunner lizards, lichen grasshoppers, roadrunners, and painted buntings. If you ever come across one of these species when out hiking, you may be on or very near a glade. For more information on glades and where to visit them visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website at For more on the native plants that thrive on glades and are great for home rock gardens and other dry sites, and where to buy them, visit Mary Nemecek Conservation Chair of Burroughs Audubon


HABITAT In Missouri these lizards live among rocks on dry, open, south-or southwest-facing limestone, sandstone, and granite glades. They overwinter in burrows 8–12 inches under large rocks. When habitats are marginal (shadier or cooler than optimal), reproduction decreases, and this species has declined due to loss of glade habitat, where trees are permitted to overgrow those desert-like areas. Wildlife managers and foresters are working to improve glade habitats in the Missouri Ozarks.

FOOD Collared lizards eat a variety of insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, and moths. They also eat spiders, small snakes, and other lizards.

DISTRIBUTION Throughout most of the Ozarks and in glades of the St. Francois Mountains. Also in Boone and Callaway counties.

DISTRIBUTION Throughout most of the Ozarks and in glades of the St. Francois Mountains. Also in Boone and Callaway counties.

LIFECYCLE Like all lizards in our state, this species is active by day, especially when the weather is sunny and warm (73–93°F). They are active mainly from April to September. Courtship and mating occur in May– June, and the territorial males are often brightly colored at this time. Eggs are creamy white and leathery, and 2–21 are laid in a burrow under a large rock. They hatch 2–3 months later. Young lizards are sometimes still active into October. Visit for more information.

Coppermine Hollow Glade in the Ozarks. (Photo: Susan Farrington)

JULY - 2018


Feature Story

Stockton Lake: A Sleeper Crappie & Walleye Destination

Feature Story


rappie and walleye fishermen are a dedicated lot and Kris Nelson, owner and guide of Tandem Fly Outfitters on Stockton Lake, in western Missouri, says that Stockton is an underutilized fishing resource. “The Missouri Department of Conservation does an excellent job of stocking Stockton with walleye,” Nelson said. “I’d say it’s the best walleye fishery in the state of Missouri.” Nelson and his wife, Amanda, own Stone Creek Lodge on Stockton Lake. They have a dozen or so clean, comfortable rooms along with a pizza and tackle shop just a stone’s throw up the hill from the lodge. It’s a perfect combination for anglers visiting Stockton Lake. I recently joined Kris, along with his business partner John Bishop, for a day on the water. We bounced into action as soon as Kris motored into a cove sheltered from the wind. “We’ve been catching crappie like crazy in here for several weeks,” Kris said. “We’ve been catching limits in an hour or so. I want to check on them before we start walleye fishing.”

After 20 minutes back at the lodge, we headed back to the same cove we had left earlier. He and John began rigging rods. “Here they are, Bill,” Kris said, as he pointed at the LED display. Groups of walleye were strung out on the bottom in 30 feet of water. Kris worked on cutting up a fresh shad, while John rigged a big, fat worm on a jighead. John yelled, “walleye on,” before Kris had finished cutting up the bait. “I think I will go with a worm rig,” Kris laughed. I joined them. Kris controlled the trolling motor to maintain the boat on a drift course that paralleled a long line of walleye strung out on the bottom. It was easy to feel the jig bumping the rocky bottom. The fishing method involved slowly, but steadily, sweeping the rod forward and reeling up the line and repeating the process. “I’m stuck,” I muttered under my breath. “Oooh, that rock moved,” I muttered again. “Here we go guys,” I chuckled. “Good fish!” Kris slid the net under what had become the first walleye I had ever caught intentionally. I had caught them incidental to bass fishing.

Kris maintains the latest electronics on his boat and as soon as he walked to the bow of the boat, he pointed to the Lowrance unit and said, “look at this Bill.” I didn’t know what I was seeing, but Kris indicated the blob on the screen was a huge ball of shad accompanied by an equally large ball of crappie.

“What do you think about that, Mr. Bill? Kris asked. “I want to do it again!” I said. We were about to complete a drift when John hooked up again. “This one is bigger,” he said. On his next cast his rod arched. “Oh, this one is bigger, he said. Shortly after his third cast, he moaned, “I think this one is bigger.”

John stepped to the front of the boat and dropped a Shad Daddy bait rigged on a jig head into the chilly water. He halted the jig at about 25 feet. Seconds later his rod arched and he swung a fat crappie into the boat. I grabbed the video camera as Kris snatched a Lew’s crappie rod out of the rack and joined John on the front of the boat. By the time I dug the camera out of my bag, the guys had a double on. “I think you’ve found them,” I teased.

The bite had really turned on. In short order we all had a limit of walleye in the boat. We had scarcely noticed the steady rain and heavy wind. “That’s the way it is when you are catching walleye,” Kris said. We paused for photos. “This is amazing,” I said. “We haven’t seen another boat all day.”

“Ooh, they’ve been here for some time,” Kris replied. “My clients caught limits here yesterday.” What happened over the next thirty minutes was some of the best crappie fishing I had ever witnessed, but that is another story. We really had walleye on our minds. “We gotta stop this and catch some walleye,” Kris said. Thunder rolled in the east. John checked the weather radar. “It looks like we are on the edge of some heavy stuff, John said. Lightning flashed to the north. “I think we’d better head for the shelter of the dock,” he said.

“I’m telling you,” Kris responded.”Stockton Lake is the most under utilized fishing resource in the state of Missouri. It’s a real sleeper.” The crappie walleye bite at Stockton Lake changes as spring and summer approaches, but Nelson can still find fish. To get in on the action, call Kris Nelson at 417839-2762, or look him up on Facebook at Tandem fly Outfitters. Bill Cooper Kris Nelson and John Bishop pose with heavy stringers of crappie and walleye, which they caught at Stockton Lake. (Photo: Bill Cooper)

JULY - 2018


Feature Story

Confluence: The Great Flood of 1993


he 25th anniversary of the 1993 flood will be in July, 2018. I was one of many that helped fight the flood in a losing battle. I spent two evenings in Parkville, Missouri stacking sandbags to stop the approaching flood.

We were shocked two days later when river water flowed about eight feet over our great piles of sandbags, flooding numerous shops and local businesses. Many items were left in stores because of the flood’s frightening speed.

Feature Story I knew several conservationists from Washington, D.C. at the time and was asked to forward flood damage pictures to them for Congress to view. We rode in boats with policemen and firemen for countless hours over a twoweek period and snapped several hundred Kodachrome 64 slide shots, our best color saturation in the days before high definition or digital photography existed. I never heard if Congress viewed my photos.

An Idea That Grew: I approached Sara Wilson and Sara Elder, of the St. Joseph Museum with 20 blown-up photos from my book a couple of years later. Ms. Wilson and I spent the next year planning an exhibit. My idea of exhibiting a few pictures turned into a huge major project of discussing physical, economic, and social effects on St. Joseph and the surrounding regions in displays and videos.

What Caused the Flood: Few of us at the time knew what caused this massive deluge. Mike Thompson, Chief Meteorologist for Fox-4, WDAF-TV in Kansas City explained that, "Many factors led to the ’93 flood. Mount Pinatubo, an equatorial volcano in the Philippines, erupted the year before and spewed enough ash into the stratosphere to cool the entire globe for about four years. The jet stream actually helped create 1993’s heavy rains. The jet stream is high-speed winds at the top of our atmosphere. Without the jet stream, air collapses, killing thunderstorm activities."

The Augmented Reality Sand-display exhibit is a hands-on interactive display where visitors can manipulate terrain and change water flow in a simulated environment. We have watched kids and adults play in this sand attraction by rearranging the terrain to allow flooding water to flow down peaks and valleys.

Loss: The end result was: over 500 counties affected by this deluge and nine Midwestern states were declared disaster areas. Hundreds of secondary roads and a few major highways and airports would close. The Midwest had 17,000 square miles flooded and over 30,000 jobs were lost. The flood damage in croplands would eventually drive up world food prices and the total damage caused by the great flood of 1993 would total over 20 billion dollars with at least 10,000 homes destroyed and 50 lives lost. Railroad traffic in the Midwest stopped, resulting in over $300 million dollars in losses. Over 75 towns or cities were partly or completely flooded. St. Louis and adjacent towns received flood waters from both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The Book: Mike Bushnell, owner of Northeast Publishing—Kansas City approached me years later with an idea to create a 20th anniversary book about the 1993 flood. I added stories from up and down the river with my photos and “Missouri’s Great Flood of “93”—Revisiting an Epic Natural Disaster,” was soon finished. The Kodachrome 64 slides thankfully held their integrity and transferred nicely to the book. I was blessed to add an interview with Mike Thompson, chief meteorologist for Kansas City’s WDAF Fox 4 News. He had witnessed few contributing events like those that led up to the 1993 deluge.

Blown up displays of pictures and word descriptions explain how floods are caused and what caused the 1993 flood. This material is partly from Kieser’s book that includes five chapters from the St. Joseph region, including many close calls and disasters. Additional information came from Eric Keith and the St. Joseph News Press newspaper. Private individuals added a few additional pictures. The Army Corp of Engineers and the Missouri Department of Conservation were two of many organizations that made this exhibit amazing. The 1993 Flood Exhibit: “Confluence: The Great Flood of 1993” opened on April 15, 2016, at the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion and is scheduled to run through next year. The mansion alone is worth touring with a magnificent handcarved winding stairway and other items from past years. The exhibit includes a social history of the flood of 1993, other major floods in St. Joseph’s history, and meteorological causes of the 1993 flood. The Great Flood of 1993 will be explored through videos and photographs, objects such as sand bags and Anheuser-Busch cans of drinking water, and narratives of people who experienced the flood. The Wyeth-Tootle Mansion is located at 1100 Charles Street, St. Joseph, Missouri. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students between the ages of 7 and 18. Children under six and Museum Members are admitted free. Kenneth Kieser The historic flood of 1993 decimated lives and buildings along the Missouri River. (Photo: Kenneth Kieser)

JULY - 2018


Outdoor News

Five Tips for Off Season Bird Dog Training


great bird dog in action is a sight that every bird hunter longs to see many times over. However, you cannot store your dog away until next season like your favorite shotgun. Your bird dog is a living, active animal which needs exercise, training and care if it is going to provide those bird hunting adventures you want to see and enjoy next season. 1. Maintain control - Next bird season may seem eons away, but it will roll around again before you know it. Don’t forget your dog and allow it to loose its edge. Training sessions must continue throughout the off season, if you expect to have control of your dog on opening day. Spend time with your dog several times a week for 20 or 30 minutes to keep it sharp mentally. Short daily sessions are even better. Use the same commands you use during hunting season.

Regular training sessions with your bird dog during the summer will keep him ready for the fall hunting seasons. (Photo: Bill Cooper)

2. Dummy sessions - Include dummy training in your regimen several times a week. Launching a quality training dummy helps your dog maintain a good eye for trajectory and marking. Too, the sessions will be fun for both you and your dog and keep your connections to one another strong. The excersise will help keep muscles toned as well.

Having your dog sit by you quietly for short periods of times is another way to reinforce control over your bird dog. Repeating the process of allowing your dog to run and then return to sit will also help teach keeping within range. This practice will prevent dogs from flushing birds out of range when the season arrives.

3. Gun shots - Waiting until opening day of bird season to fire your gun around your dog may bring unpleasant surprises for both of you. The dog may flinch or break, which in turn breaks concentration and enjoyment of the hunt. Fire your shotgun around your dog on a regular basis. Shoot while the dog is playing. It will soon become accustomed to the loud noise. Incorporating shooting and dummy training adds realism to your training.

5. Add scent - As the next bird season approaches, it is a good idea to begin adding scent to the training sessions. There are a number of commercial scents available which may be used in conjunction with training dummies or feathers. Frozen bird carcasses from a previous season will work, but an easier approach is to simply tape a wing to a bumper. Regardless, the idea is to acclimatize your dog to the aroma of birds in preparation for the upcoming bird season.

4. Still and quiet - Play times are fun for you and your dog. However, interjecting discipline training into the routine is necessary to let your dog know it must respond to commands. In the the off season, regularly use what ever term you use for “whoa.” Practice makes perfect.



Spend time with your dog during the off season and reap the rewards come fall. Bill Cooper

Outdoor News

A Prairie Filled Summer


rom the wooden platform on the front of the tractor, my legs dangled as I rode across acres and acres of native prairie. I held tightly to the sprayer handle and squirted toxic chemicals as I passed over weeds. Suddenly the tractor stopped and I heard Frank, my employer, yell from the cab, “Why the heck did you spray that?” “I don’t know,” I replied, “it looked like a weed to me.” “Well, that’s Maryland Senna. It took me six years to get that to grow here, and it is super rare here in Missouri,” Frank said. Deflated, I turned around and the tractor fired back up. The spraying continued. I thought to myself, “How in the world does he expect me to know what Maryland Senna is on my first day?” My friend Blake and I spent eight weeks on the front of a tractor spraying noxious weeds on 330 acres of prairie. We learned as we went. This was difficult when the prairie had over 300 species in it. Every day, Blake and I would pack our lunch and hop on the tractor. For days on end, averaging a mile per hour, we worked under the blazing sun. But we learned. We learned about specific plants, the nesting habits of turkeys, and how to manage this rare ecosystem. Nearly every day the prairie would present some obstacle, but Frank, Blake, and I persisted. To the sprayer, the tires, and our bodies, the prairie dealt punishing blows. For around 200 hours, we sat on the tractor using hand signals to communicate until something went wrong. We’d get off, fix it, and return to work. I learned about prairie soils, wildlife, how to fix a tractor and life from the perspective of a 70 year old. Although spraying weeds wasn’t all that glorious, I learned to appreciate the prairie. I love the diversity of plant species, fawns jumping from their hiding spots, and the dew covering my shoes. I appreciated what I was doing. I loved my job and showed up eager to learn and ready to manage the prairie. Throughout the summer Blake and I became really close, but I developed even more of a special bond with Frank, my mentor. He taught the importance of precision. Measuring twice and cut once. I learned the importance of persistence, and the value of knowledge.

Usually after lunch, he sat us down and taught us something different about rangelands. We gained knowledge about the importance of grasslands and why we must preserve them. This only made my appreciation grow. We never sat too long, though, because we wanted to be on the prairie the place we all Ethan Gooch and Blake Lewis with their mentor, Frank Oberle, in the prairie they love. (Photo: had grown to Judy Oberle) love. Near the end of the summer, while spraying, I often thought how much I had changed over the summer. I no longer wanted to be a veterinarian, but instead a savior of grasslands. I had made a lifelong connection with two people, and I had learned as many life lessons as I had prairie lessons. Most importantly, though, I learned to appreciate something I had previously not known about. Although the summer journey had to end, it showed me what my lifelong journey was going to be - to manage and protect native grasslands. While spraying the prairie on the last day, the tractor suddenly stopped. Usually this meant someone had missed a weed or done something wrong. From the cab of the tractor Frank yelled, “Don’t you know better than to spray that Maryland Senna?” I hopped off the front platform, examined the plant closely, and then looked back at Frank and replied, “That is a thorn tree, sir.” Frank looked again, smiled and said, “You have learned a lot this summer.” Ethan Gooch

JULY - 2018


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Feature Story

Natural Resources Students Inspire Hope for Future


y first semester as an adjunct instructor at the University of Missouri ended last week. I taught one evening class I created called Communications in Natural Resources. It was an experience I’ll treasure forever. Over the course of 15 weeks, I came to realize if my students are a reflection of their generation, the future of our natural world is good hands.



I spend a lot of time talking and writing about topics relating to the outdoors, specifically fish and wildlife. Most of the time, I am not an expert. While I may know a little about a lot of things, it’s people who know a lot about one thing communicators like me use as sources for stories. Unfortunately, too often, the expert sources are poor communicators. They possess incredible knowledge. Yet struggle to deliver what they know to the general public in a way that makes it relevant to the masses.

Feature Story As a member of the School of Natural Resources Advisory Council, I have come to know and deeply respect the leadership and professors of the school. Dr. Shibu Jose is doing an incredible job ensuring our state’s flagship university continues to turn out some of the world’s top natural resources experts. During a meeting last year, he asked me if I saw any opportunity to improve the curriculum. I suggested we do a better job of teaching these brilliant young minds how to tell their stories. Dr. Jose agreed and empowered me to create a curriculum and teach it. To begin with, I examined beliefs I feel justified the need for this class. Number one being; no matter what your job is, communication is important. And the more prepared you are to offer input on the efforts of your work the more likely you are to build support for what it is you do and care about. Also, as far as personal advancement, if you become known as someone who can both complete the work and communicate the outcomes, you are much more valuable to the business, agency or organization you’re part of. Who would remember the revolutionary work of Aldo Leopold had he not written a “Sand County Almanac?” I broke the course down into lessons about different communications platforms and had guest lecturers discuss their expertise. We covered magazine writing, letters to the editor and opinion pieces in newspapers, television and radio interviews, social media, websites, photography, public speaking and more. Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, spoke to the class about how important communication is across all divisions of the Department and how critical it is to communicate the agency’s efforts to citizens. And not all citizens gather information in the same ways. The Department has to communicate across the many different platforms from which the public consumes information. Director Pauley is an expert communicator herself, so it was exciting to see the students relate to her message. When the person leading an agency of over 1,500 employees, the same agency some of these students hope to work for when they graduate, emphasized the importance of communications in all natural resources professions, the students listened and learned.

Another great guest lecturer was Nathan “Shags” McLeod of The Morning Shag radio show on 96.7 KCMQ. Shags talked about how much he values the natural resources of Missouri and enjoys sharing messages of conservation with his listeners, but finds guests often struggle with the rapid fire pace of a radio interview. He wants guests on his show to talk conservation, but needs them to be fun and personable, and to talk in a way most people can relate to. “Leave the rocket science at home,” Shags said. “Give them the elevator speech. Quickly explain to listeners why this is important and why they should care. Tell them how it impacts them personally.” At the end of the class, students were paired into four groups with the assignment of building and implementing a communications plan around a natural resources topic of concern. The four topics they selected and worked on were: Open Our Four State Parks, Reintroductions of Wildlife Species, Wildflowers in Urban Settings and The Effects of Climate Change on Wildlife. You can see the minds of tomorrow have their priorities. I hope my students gained a better understanding of how important it is to communicate scientific knowledge in a way most citizens can understand. Our natural world faces incredible challenges requiring the support of the public to address and fix. Once these students are in professional roles, if I did my job, they will try a little harder to share their expertise. Brandon Butler (Left) Nathan "Shags" McLeod of The Morning Shags radio show shares the importance of conservation. (Photo: Brandon Butler) (Top) Ryan Hanrahan makes his final presentation in Communications in Natural Resources. (Photo: Brandon Butler)

JULY - 2018


Feature Story

100 Miles on the Big Muddy


t’s not your usual float trip. First of all, it’s a paddle, not a float And second, the fare is exceptional – prepared by local caterers, bakeries, restaurants, wineries and breweries. Third, education and ecology are a primary focus. Fourth, the experience of sharing a river adventure of this magnitude with like-minded people from around the state and beyond is exceptional. We’re talking about PaddleMO, a 100-mile canoe and kayak journey on the Missouri River which launched in 2016 and has become an annual affair. This year’s trip will be Sept. 19 to 23, with check-in and shuttles on Sept. 18. There's also a weekend option, Sept. 2223. The registration deadline is July 15.



Organized by Stream Teams United in conjunction with many partner organizations, the trip focuses on the final stretch of the Missouri River, from Hermann to the confluence with the Mississippi River at Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area north of St. Louis. "PaddleMO provides an opportunity to travel 100 miles on the longest river in North America, enjoy delicious foods from local sources, journey into historic towns, and learn about the ecology and history of the river," said Mary Culler, executive director of Stream Teams United.

Feature Story Learning while paddling: Bill and Jody Miles, codirectors of Earth's Classroom, the Environmental Learning Center based in Rosebud, Mo., line up educators and researchers to provide the educational component of PaddleMO. Representatives from Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and other organizations give talks on water quality, freshwater mussels, ornithology, Native American history and more. "Our overall goal is to show just how directly tied to freshwater resources all life is,� said Jody. All ages and skill levels: Paddlers have ranged in age from 11 to 74 on previous trips. For some, it was the first time they had ever paddled a kayak or canoe, or been on the Missouri River. For others, it was a return to a beloved destination. At age 74, Claire Meyners, of St. Louis, was the oldest participant on the 2016 inaugural trip. She also was one of the most experienced. "Over the years, I think I have canoed virtually every Ozark stream that is canoeable -- which includes some that have no liveries, where you haul yourself and hope you don't have to do too many portages," said Claire. "I really wanted to experience what it would be like to be a small craft on a very big river. That had always seemed somewhat intimidating. A group trip seemed like the perfect opportunity." Some memories came in small packages for Claire: "I marveled at the tenacity and fortitude of the delicate Monarch butterflies who were crossing that big river in spite of significant winds at times in order to make their long migration." Tweaks to the itinerary: Although this year's trip follows the same route, there will be a few changes to keep things interesting for repeat paddlers. "The trip is Wednesday to Sunday this year, which means the weekend paddlers will get to experience a totally new trip," said Brooke Widmar, operations manager for Stream Teams United. Instead of paddling the beginning stretch from Hermann to Augusta, this year the weekend paddlers will experience the final days of the trip, through the confluence of the two big rivers.

Other changes include new camping and take-out locations, and a few other surprises, said Brooke. "We're working hard to make sure this trip will be enjoyed by everyone." Each participant receives a spiral-bound, waterresistant PaddleMO journal, complete with daily maps and landmarks and space to record their personal adventures. Fees vary for the full five-day paddle, the two-day weekend paddle and other options, such as traveling in the multi-passenger voyageur-style canoe or using the shuttles. For more information or to register, visit, or contact Stream Teams United, P.O. Box 10021, Springfield, MO 65808; 417-459-6526, The deadline to register is July 15. Registration is capped at 100 paddlers. All proceeds support Missouri’s waterways. Perhaps the best part of PaddleMO is that it offers participants a chance to step outside their comfort zone and try a new challenge within the supportive framework of an organized journey. All the logistics are taken care of -- just bring your boat and camping gear and come ready to paddle. Parting thoughts: Sarah Wright-Aholt, a member of Missouri Stream Teams and part of the PaddleMO support crew in 2017, grew up in the river town of Washington, one of the stops along the route. "I loved watching people fall in love with the river, and the state of Missouri, with each stroke of the paddle," said Sarah. "People get so intimidated by the Missouri River, but this trip really showed how she is like a gentle giant. It meant a lot to see people understand why the river is so important, and how our resource of clean water is a treasure we need to protect." Barbara Gibbs Ostmann Paddlers go under the Washington bridge. (Photo: Barbara Gibbs Ostmann)

JULY - 2018


Feature Story

Hard Bait Strategies for Post-Spawn Walleyes


he post-spawn period can be particularly rewarding for walleye anglers. While walleyes may exhibit significant dispersive movements away from their spawning grounds, they also become increasingly catchable as warming waters increase their metabolic rates. During this period, anglers should focus on covering water with mobile presentations, often focusing on hard baits. During the day, an excellent way to find and catch walleyes is with shallow-running jerkbaits fished along shorelines and shallow flats.Shallow jerkbaits can be responsible for excellent catches during “banker’s hours,” especially on lakes or reservoirs with a touch of stain or color in their waters.



Shallow-running jerkbaits are an excellent choice for post-spawn walleyes. These are extraordinarily detailed lures with three-dimensional anatomical features like fins, eyes, gill plates and scales, in addition to patterns, colors, transitions, and highlights that reflect Nature’s handiwork. Their tight shimmering action on the retrieve recalls the movements of a living baitfish, widely dispersing visual flash to attract predators over long distances. Cast these jerkbaits very close to shore and work them back to the boat with a slow-and-steady or a stop-and-go retrieve. As darkness falls, these same lures can be long-line trolled along shorelines and across flats with great success, a pattern that will hold until extensive shallow weed growth hampers its effectiveness.

Feature Story (Left) A walleye glistens in the morning sun. (Bottom) Aggressive hard bait presentations yield outstanding catches of post-spawn walleyes. Here, the author hoists a Great Lakes walleye that attacked a LIVETARGET Golden Shiner rattlebait. (Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Jason Halfen)

Walleyes take advantage of these conditions to boost their calorie counts while recuperating from reproductive rituals.

Rig for jerkbait fishing using a braided mainline, with 20-pound test being an excellent choice for spinning reels. On the stained waters where shallow daytime jerkbaiting is most effective, a leader is generally not required; simply tie on a cross-lock snap with a Palomar knot, clip in a Rainbow Smelt jerkbait, and go fishing. On waters where extreme water clarity can make daytime walleyes skittish, a 3-foot leader of 15 pound test leader will help put more walleyes in the net. Picking the right rod for presenting jerkbaits can dramatically enhance your spring walleye success. The Legend Tournament Walleye Shallow Cranker from St. Croix Rod is an outstanding choice for any shallow hard bait application, including jerkbaits. The 7-foot casting rod casts crankbaits a country mile, while its moderate action acts as a shock absorber against boatside headshakes, ensuring that fish stay buttoned up tight and end up in the net.

Lipless rattlebaits, like the LIVETARGET Golden Shiner, are outstanding choices for targeting post-spawn walleyes. These baits excel at provoking aggressive reaction strikes from walleyes, especially when presented with an active rip-jigging motion. After a long cast, allow the rattlebait to settle to the bottom. Then, starting with the rod tip at the 9:00 position, rip the bait up rapidly until the rod is at the 11:00 position. Then, you can either follow the bait to the bottom on a semi-tight line, or let it fall on a slack line, an alternative that provides the bait with addition freedom to wobble as it swims toward the bottom. Continue with this rip-fall rhythm on a steady cadence until the retrieve is complete. While you may feel the strike as the rattlebait falls toward the bottom, you are just as likely to not feel anything until you rip the bait upward on its next rise-fall cycle. Then, any resistance or weight means it’s time to set the hook – and set it hard. The post-spawn period is no time to fish walleyes with a slow and steady demeanor. Rather, cover lots of water with aggressive, mobile presentations to locate pods of actively feeding fish. Go stretch the string this spring, and rip some post-spawn walleye lips, with jerkbaits and lipless rattlebaits. Dr. Jason Halfen

Walleye frequently strap on the feedbag along nearshore flats. These areas warm rapidly in the sun, and with the appropriate wind and current, also collect schools of baitfish and pods of omnipresent gobies. JULY - 2018


Feature Story

Stretching the Truth on Topwater


hen I daydream about catching bass, my initial vision is of mist rising off a lake’s deadcalm surface, followed by the most primeval eruption as a big ol’ bucketmouth viciously attacks my topwater lure. And I’m guessing it’s a very similar image for most anyone that loves catching largemouth bass. Without a doubt, the feeling of your heart skipping a beat results from an instant infusion of adrenalin, induced by the sudden surface assault. And while that feeling of exhilaration is the very reason so many anglers love catching bass that way, there is also a major problem when it happens… the impulsive quick hookset comes so naturally that we end up pulling the lure away from the fish’s face before it’s gobbled it up. It’s happened to all of us. But it doesn’t have to be as common of an occurrence.



Three primary factors influence your topwater success once a fish has committed: your chosen line, hooksetting technique, and rod in your hand. On top of things Seaguar bass pro Cliff Crochet is known for his topwater proficiency. The Pierre Part, Louisiana, resident has been fishing the Bassmaster Elites and Opens for 9-plus years, with 104 tournaments under his belt. He’s won one, and has numerous top-10 and -20 finishes, earning him near a half-million in winnings. And he knows all too well the frustration of being too hurried to set the hook when a fish blows up on his bait.

Feature Story “I’ve had the bad habit of setting the hook too quickly and aggressively in the past,” says the 35-year-old angler. “But it was learning to use the right line for the topwater situation that helped me land more fish with topwater baits.” Generally, Crochet uses all three line types for topwater – braid, fluorocarbon and monofilament. And which line he chooses isn’t just dependent on the lure he’s using, but the situation in which that lure is being presented. “Monofilament is the best line choice overall in openwater areas because of its stretch and how it floats rather than sinks,” Crochet claims. “The elasticity of the line allows the lure to hesitate just enough that the fish has a better chance of getting it in its mouth as soon as it strikes. So the line compensates for the mistakes I make if I set the hook to fast.” Crochet’s go-to monofilament is Seaguar Rippin' Premium Monofilament, with 20-pound test his first choice for waking, popping and chugging baits. “The monofilament made today is nothing like the lines I used while growing up, some of which was stiff and brittle, while others stretched like a rubber band,” Crochet states. “Rippin’ is superior to any monofilament I have ever used. It’s super strong, yet, soft and thin in diameter; this means I can cast my topwater lure further, which is crucial in shallow water situations. And when my bait gets hit, it has just the right amount of stretch that the fish can suck it up right away.” When working topwater baits over heavy cover, however—such as his favorite technique of fishing hollow-body frogs on pads and thick mats of weeds— Crochet beefs up his line to 65-pound-test Seaguar Smackdown so he can get fish up and out of the thick of things. But his hooksets are much different than when he’s using mono. “I just keep reeling, and then lean back by rolling my hips when using braid” says Crochet. If you set the hook as if you were using a jig, you’ll never hook up.” When frog fishing, Crochet’s spools his Smackdown on a 7.4-to-1-retreive baitcasting reel—coupled with a 7-foot 3-inch, medium-heavy rod—as anything faster will have too much power on his reeling hook set.

It’s the same rod, reel and braided line for the fulltime bass pro when he’s ripping buzzbaits over heavy cover; however, he’ll switch back over to a rod filled with monofilament when he’s casting these baits over open water. Wake me up Running mere inches below the surface, some consider wake baits, ChatterBaits and gurgling spinnerbaits the descendants of topwater baits. Regardless, they, too, require specialized gear and techniques. Crochet’s choice when going subsurface is a 7-to-1 reel spooled again with 20-pound Rippin’ Monofilament for open water or short weeds, but to the same pound test in Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon when fishing over thicker grass, stumps and rocks. The near-neutral buoyancy and low stretch of fluorocarbon allows you to swim your baits at the precise depth below the surface. Crochet says two inches off where you want your bait running is huge, and fluorocarbon can assist in precise bait placement. Lastly, Crochet says to let your fishing situation dictate what line to use. Monofilament in areas where you don’t have to worry about losing fish around structure; braid where getting fish up and out is necessary (just remember to pivot, lean back and keep reeling as a hook set); fluorocarbon for subsurface when a little extra “oomph” is needed, or, when the fish are being picky about how far under surface they want you lure to be presented. David Rose (Left) Seaguar bass pro Cliff Crochet is known for his topwater proficiency. (Photo: Courtesy of David Rose) (Top) Cliff Crochet hugs his son after a tournament. (Photo: Courtesy of David Rose)

JULY - 2018


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July 2018 vol 79 no 4  
July 2018 vol 79 no 4