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The Voice for Missouri Outdoors JULY 2019 - VOL 80 | NO. 4

Director’s Message

A Spring to Launch CFM Forward


issouri is the number one state in the nation for conservation and outdoor recreation. Let that sink in.

We strive to be the top state in the nation in a lot of different areas, but sometimes fall short. But not when it comes to outdoor resources, recreation, hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, camping and so many other outdoor opportunities. We are the envy of every other state to have two dedicated funding sources that Missourians self-imposed. Yet, there are people out there that are jealous of us being at the pinnacle of the conservation world. So together, we must personally continue to defend the will of the Missouri citizens. The final bell has rung on this year’s legislative session, and we have many things as outdoors enthusiasts to be proud of. All of our partners and affiliates worked diligently together both on the offensive and defensive sides of various legislation. HB 260 - The poaching bill, sponsored by Representative Jered Taylor (Springfield) passed both the House and the Senate. This would significantly raise the This significantly raises the fines for poaching turkeys, paddlefish, antlered deer, bear and elk. SB 196 also passed creating the Rock Island Trail Endowment Fund. On the defensive side, we were able to thwart HJR 18 – A bill that could ultimately sunset the conservation sales tax, if it were to come before a vote. There were many passionate conservationists in the room the night of that hearing, with several unscripted moments of pure emotion that warmed my heart. It truly is amazing to see such an outdoor obsessive group fighting to preserve our rich outdoor heritage. We also worked with Senators to halt the sale of Eleven Point State Park (HCB 1237 and HCB 1). Upon entering several Senators offices to discuss these bills, they quickly pointed out to me that they had been getting a ton of calls, emails and visitors coming by. I can confidently say that Missourians collaboratively saved Eleven Point State Park.

Also on the legislative front, CFM held our annual Conservation Day at the Capitol and once again filled the 3rd floor rotunda. Many of our affiliates joined us to help spread the message about all the great things that we collectively do to promote our unique messages and fulfill our missions. We recognized Representative Don Rone and Senator Jason Holsman, our Legislators of the Year during this event. The National Wildlife Federation recently held its annual conference in Missouri this year where representatives from 48 other states came to Missouri to ensure a brighter future for conservation across the USA. There were many, many states very envious of the amazing and free opportunities that abound to Missouri citizens for outdoor recreation. This unfortunately isn’t the norm across the nation. As a citizen of this great state, you are the most important part in our democratic process. When you reach out to your elected officials, it truly makes an impact on the decisions that legislators make. I hope you keep that in mind when we start defending our outdoor traditions again next legislative session. I appreciate all the members that continually support CFM, as we strive to be “the Voice for Missouri Outdoors.” I hope that you will join me at one of CFM’s events this summer and support us so that we can further the powerful work we do together. Thanks to each of you for all that you do to support our mission. My door, and my ears, are always open, so feel free to reach out to me anytime.

Yours in Conservation, Tyler Schwartze CFM Executive Director

JULY - 2019



Conservation Federation July 2019 - V80 No. 4







Annual Governor's Youth Turkey Hunt


The Fascinating Mississippi Kite


Quality Binoculars Enhance Outdoor Fun


Learn the Basics of Fly Fishing to Catch More Trout


Youth Fitness and the Shooting Sports


The Tree


Stepping Back in Time with a Vintage American-made Gun


Catfish on the Missouri River


Properly Clean Your Firearms Before Storing

Departments 3 8 11 13 14 15 36


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


Highlights 19 21 23 46 57 60 61

PaddleMO Approaching Pull Northwest a Success CFM Event Schedule The Eminence Experience Mentored Dove Hunt Moles: The Earth Thrower NASP Coach Wins Award

Gary Van De Velde


Mossie Schallon

1st Vice President

Richard Mendenhall

2nd Vice President

Ginny Wallace


Randy Washburn


STAFF Tyler Schwartze

Executive Director

Micaela Haymaker

Director of Operations

Michelle Gabelsberger

Membership Development Coordinator

Jennifer Sampsell

Education & Outreach Coordinator

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: MGabelsberger@confedmo.org | 573-634-2322

FRONT COVER Kent Campbell captures a beautiful sunset atop the Missouri River near Rocheport.

Business Alliance

Thank you to all of our Business Alliance members. Platinum

Gold Bushnell Custom Metal Products Diamond Pet Foods Doolittle Trailer Enbridge, Inc.

FCS Financial G3 Boats MidwayUSA Pure Air Natives Redneck Blinds

Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC RTP Outdoors Sun Solar Weston

Logboat Brewing Missouri Wildflowers Nursery Mitico Moneta Group.

Simmons Starline, Inc. St. James Winery Trailerman Trailers

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

NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. POET Sierra Bullets

Dickerson Park Zoo Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Association Gascosage Electric Cooperative GREDELL Engineering Resources, Inc. Grundy Electric Coop. Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning J&B Outdoors Kansas City Parks and Recreation Missouri Native Seed Association Nick's Family Restaurant

Ozark Bait and Tackle Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc. REMAX Boone Realty Say Insurance Shady Lanes Cabins and Motel Tabor Plastics Company Truman’s Bar & Grill United Electric Cooperative, Inc. White River Valley Electric Cooperative

Silver Forrest Keeling Nursery Holladay Distillery Learfield Communication, Inc. Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina

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

Iron Bass Pro Shops (Independence) Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures Blue Springs Park and Recreation Bob McCosh Chevrolet Buick GMC Boone Electric Co-op Brockmeier Financial Services Brown Printing Cap America Central Bank Community State Bank of Bowling Green

Your business can benefit by supporting conservation. For all sponsorship opportunities call (573) 634-2322. JULY - 2019


Business Spotlight

Forrest Keeling Nursery: Native Plants, Faster Results


orrest Keeling nursery was founded in 1948 by the late Hugh Steavenson. The nursery was operated by the Steavenson family until it was purchased by the Lovelace family in 2004. The Lovelace family currently operates the business with Wayne Lovelace serving as President and his daughter, Kim Lovelace-Young as Vice-President. Forrest Keeling is widely known for their promotion and sales of native plant species. The nursery has a thriving wholesale business, selling throughout the United States, as well as internationally. They also have a retail location in Elsberry, Missouri, offering plants as well as expert advice to gardeners and landscapers.



Forrest Keeling nursery specializes in native plants and offers over 250 different species. Their passion for native plants began in the aftermath of the devastating freeze of 1991 and the following floods of 1993. They observed that it was the native plant species that survived, both in their nursery stock and ones left by receding flood waters. Native plants also help retain soil with their deep roots and nurture wildlife with their fruit, nectar and cover. Native plants became the foundation for Forrest Keeling Nursery evolving into a nursery model focused on native plants, conservation and commerce.

Business Spotlight Forrest Keeling represents nearly seven decades of research and commitment to grow superior plants that are also better for the environment. This commitment starts with their unique growing media, which supports their plants and helps build better soil where they are planted. Wayne Lovelace, Forrest Keeling president, developed the world-renowned RPM (Root Production Method®) plant production system, a process which was patented in 2007. This process naturally produces faster growing, hardier plants. Available finished RPM stock includes native plants, as well as ornamental shrubs, evergreens, and caliper trees up to three inches in diameter. More than two decades of field research and countless years of experience have gone into this unique plant production system. Forrest Keeling uses superior seed stock, air-root pruning, special nutrition and soil and proper timing to produce the best plant stock on the market today. The RPM system provides superior plant survivability, (over 95%), accelerated growth rate, extended planting season, a vastly improved root system that can better utilize water and nutrients, allowing for a faster growth rate. Forrest Keeling field grown bare root seedlings are propagated in raised beds with a special system of irrigation and fertilization to promote a fibrous root system. By adhering to strict grading and quality standards, along with superior seed sources, bare root seedlings offer great results. They are shipped freshdug or held in the best modern storage facilities. Building productive soil is key to stronger, healthier plants. Their production ground is a loamy loess soil. This wind-blown soil is superior to sandy soils for producing a fibrous root system. Prior to planting a nursery crop, production fields are prepared for two or more years through a rotation of planting hybrid grain sorghums and other crops that are plowed down to build soil humus and fiber. Forrest Keeling has an annual production of over 1.5 million seedlings, liner and transplant stock in more than 250 species. Production is efficiently and economically shipped from their central U.S. location in Missouri to 49 states, and across borders to Canada and countries in Europe and Asia.

Forrest Keeling offered a garden center for years but has recently updated and renamed it ‘Habitat Headquarters’ in honor of their support of native working landscapes for homes and farms. “Everyone loves wildflowers, but not everyone knows the best ways to combine native plants to create beautiful, problem-solving landscapes," explained Kim Lovelace-Young, Forrest Keeling vice-president. “Forrest Keeling Nursery wants to be our customers’ Habitat Headquarters. Our Garden Center staff can help choose the right combination of native plants for an easy, affordable, low-maintenance landscape.” “Hardy native plants,” Kim continued, “evolved over centuries in their environment and provide important conservation benefits and wildlife needs. By adding wildflowers, for example, we can help support pollinators like the honeybee that are critical to our agricultural industry. Similarly, deep-rooted native grasses, shrubs and trees help provide shelter, reduce erosion, slow stormwater runoff and filter pollutants from our air and groundwater.” Wayne Lovelace, Forrest Keeling president, is excited to bring the Nursery’s conservation expertise to the home and farm.“From containers to conservation remediation, we have the ‘right recipe’ to help even the inexperienced grower create attractive, lowmaintenance areas from the backyard to the back forty. Native plants are a natural for easy-care landscapes.” For more information about Forrest Keeling Nursery and the services they offer go to their web site at www.fknursery.com or call 573-898-5571. Wayne Lovelace has given a lot of care over the years to the oak trees like this one. (Photo: Courtesy of Forrest Keeling Nursery)

JULY - 2019


President’s Message

Time to Get Out


uch like winter, at times it seemed the 2019 Missouri General Assembly legislative session might never end. Even though it may have felt like a long haul, I am happy with the Federation’s successes this session. Now that some of the work and less desirable weather is out of the way, I’m hoping to spend more time outside, including time in some of our state and national parks. Parks have been around for centuries. Beginning in the 13th century, the idea of a park may have been an enclosed piece of land held by aristocrats stocked with game for hunting. Today, we don’t have to be wealthy or aristocratic to be able to have the opportunity to enjoy some of these publicly accessible preserved natural areas. In the United States, Yellowstone (3,468.4 square miles) was our first National Park designated by Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses Grant in 1872. National Park Wrangler-Elias (13,005 square miles) is our largest national park. And while large, that doesn’t come close to Greenland’s Northeast Greenland National park with 375,000 square miles! The value that Missourians see in supporting our parks is obvious in the passage of the 1/10th of a cent Parks, Soils and Water Tax. This tax, managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Missouri State Parks, has a ten-year sunset clause. However, Missourians have renewed the tax overwhelmingly with each vote since 1985. Missourians in all corners of the state are blessed with many outstanding local parks, state parks, historic sites, private parks, and national parks. Big Springs State Park was the first in Missouri in 1924 and now is part of the National Park Service Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Missouri is a host to 56 state parks and 35 historic sites alone. The Missouri Department of Conservation areas also offer many opportunities to hunt, fish, bird watch, and hike.



Our parks are places where memories are made and reminisced for years to come around the dinner table or campfire. Check the websites or call for assistance to find a national park, state park, or conservation area, or your local community for places to visit. An outdoors adventure always adds quality to my life. It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” –Robert Louis Stevenson

Yours in Conservation, Gary Van De Velde President, CFM







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Member News

Why I Became a Life Member of CFM: Dale Carpentier


grew up in North Dakota and spent many summers working on my uncle’s farm. That was my first exposure to conservation. In high school I was active in Vocational Agriculture and the FFA, as well as the Boy Scouts, and learned a lot about the many facets of conservation. Following my graduation from high school I attended North Dakota State University and earned a degree in Agriculture Education and went on to teach high school agriculture in North Dakota and Georgia for 33 years. When I retired, my wife and I moved to Rolla. I bought a small farm south of Rolla and we built a home there and I started raising chickens and bees. My property consists of about 30 acres of pasture and 75 acres of woodlands with lots of cedars. I soon became involved with the Missouri Master Naturalists and the Missouri Prairie Foundation.

As a result of my affiliation with those groups, I am in the process of converting my fescue pasture to native grasses and forbs and removing the cedars from the woodlands. Currently I serve as the chairman of The Legends of Conservation. We have held events featuring Aldo Leopold, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, President Theodore Roosevelt, Ding Darling and most recently Rachel Carson. Being involved with these groups and these people who helped shape the conservation movement in America inspired me to be more proactive which ultimately led me to become a life member of CFM.

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 info@confedmo.org.



Member News

WELCOME NEW CFM MEMBERS David Alspaugh, Saint Louis

Bob Hagedorn, Centralia

Randal Sell, Hartsburg

Ron Brendel, Florissant

Susan Hamilton, Columbia

Kathryn Sharp, Elkland

William Burk, Raytown

Andrew Heaslet, Saint Louis

Robert Sherwood, Saint Louis

Jeanne Chambers, Columbia

David Kelly, Jefferson City

Heather Stafford, Westphalia

Ryan Childress, Coffeyville KS

Daphne Knott, Excello

Lee Usina, Bonne Terre

Tamara Crowell, Lee’s Summit

Kathleen McKinney, Saint Louis

Donna Wieligman, Lee’s Summit

Rick Dahl, Lohman

Greg McVicar, Wentzville

Earl Williamson, Hallsville

Gerald Faaborg, Joplin

Dennis Meeker, Saint Louis

Karen Goellner, Saint Louis

Catherine Peer, Ashland

Steven Grossman, Saint Louis

Rick Pfeifer, Ballwin

In Memory In memory of Norman Leppo Ron Coleman Mike & Mossie Schallon

In memory of Pat Jones Gene Austin Jim Clement Maria Conte Maria Desloge J. Donley John Fitzgibbons Catherine George Ben Hartman

CFM would like to thank the 216 members that renewed since our last publication.

Matthew Jacksteit Karen Landron Keith Mikitin Kathleen Nossaman Scott and Lisa Pace Geri Polvino Christopher Rakow Linda Reifschneider Fes and Claire Shaughnessy Theresa Sperry

JULY - 2019


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

Member News

Gear Guide Mountain House 5 Day Emergency Food Supply Always be prepared with 15 pouches of tasty freeze-dried food. The Mountain House Just In Case 5-Day Emergency Food Supply boasts a 30-year shelf-life guarantee. 37 total servings with approximately 1,850 calories per day. Kit includes: 2 Biscuits & Gravy, 1 Breakfast Skillet, 2 Eggs with Ham & Peppers, 2 Chili Mac with Beef, 2 Chicken Fried Rice, 2 Macaroni & Cheese, 2 Mexican Rice & Chicken, and 2 Pasta Primavera. www.mountainhouse.com

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Howard Leight Sport Impact Muffs From tactical ops to the hunting blind, Honeywell Howard Leight MULTICAM models bring the advantages of stealth to the popular Impact Sport electronic earmuff line. Beneath its new, covert aesthetic, Impact Sport’s internal circuitry allows ambient and low-frequency sounds to be safely amplified up to four times to a peak of 82dB, making it easy for wearers to hear range commands or approaching game and conduct conversation, even in noisy environments. Amplification automatically shuts off at 82dB, attenuating hazardous impulse noises from gunfire. Lightweight and comfortable for all-day wear, Impact Sport incorporates a padded headband with vertical height adjustments for a secure, non-slip fit. www.howardleight.com/ear-muffs/impact

Deadline™ Crossbow Broadheads by Bloodsport Bloodsport designed the Deadline™ broadhead specifically for today’s high-performance crossbows. The mechanical broadhead easily handles crossbows’ top speeds, while still maintaining the lowest amount of drag for supreme down-rage accuracy. On impact, the blades open with minimal energy loss to carve twoinch thick entrance holes for a swift, clean kill. Designed specifically for high-speed crossbows With 38% less drag than competitors, these fully deploys on impact and are guaranteed to cut no matter what. They feature no rubber bands or O-rings, 420 stainless steel blades, and .040” blade thickness, so they won’t open in flight. www.bloodsportarchery.com/deadline

Diamond Pet Foods - Business Alliance Diamond Pet Foods produces quality products you would be proud to feed your pet. Strong relationships with their trusted suppliers ensure they only source ingredients of exceptional quality. With input from veterinarians and a nutritionist, formulas are carefully developed to meet the dietary needs of every pet, including ones that require specialized diets. Diamond offers a variety of options and ingredients, including superfoods, whole grains and probiotics in select formulas, allowing you to choose the diet most appropriate for your dog or cat’s health needs and stage in life. www.diamondpet.com

JULY - 2019




Affiliate Spotlight

Land Learning Foundation


he Land Learning Foundation (LLF) is a land trust serving Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois. It was founded in 2003 with the mission of fostering stewardship through outdoor experience, youth education, and conservation. In 2016, LLF became approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an in-lieu fee mitigation provider within eight watersheds in Missouri. The in-lieu fee mitigation program is authorized under the Clean Water Act and helps offset unavoidable impacts to water resources. LLF provides advanced stream and wetland credits to developers and municipalities that impact streams and wetlands. It uses the funds generated by the program to work with private landowners within the same region where the impact occurred to produce streambank stabilization and/ or wetland restoration projects that offset the negative impact. These services are offered to the landowner(s) at no cost and are protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement held by LLF.

A portion of the funds generated from credit sales is set aside by LLF to fulfil its mission of long-term stewardship and education. Some funds are used for long-term monitoring and maintenance of conservation easements, and LLF leverages the remaining funds to host and/or sponsor youth conservation and education activities. Some recent projects and events include a wetland study performed by two students from College of the Ozarks, handicap accessible raised garden beds at Marquette High School, new archery equipment at Rothwell Park, archery and trap shooting equipment for 4-H shooting sports, youth family conservation day, and numerous youth hunting activities. To learn more about how we can save your farm from washing down stream or to participate in upcoming events visit www.landlearning.org.

Affiliate Organizations Anglers of Missouri Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives Audubon Society of Missouri Bass Slammer Tackle Big Game Hunters Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City Capital City Fly Fishers Chesterfield Citizens Committee for the Environment Columbia Audubon Society 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. Heartland Conservation Alliance James River Basin Partnership Katy Land Trust L-A-D Foundation Land Learning Foundation Legends of Conservation Little Blue River Watershed Coalition 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 B.A.S.S. 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 Hunting Heritage Federation Missouri Master Naturalist - Hi Lonesome Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist- Miramiguoa Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist- Osage Trails Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist-Boone's Lick Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist-Springfield Plateau Chapter 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 Rock Island Trail, Inc. Missouri Rural Water Association 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 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 Osage Paddle Sports Ozark Chinquapin Foundation Ozark Fly Fishers, Inc. Ozark Trail Association Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club Perry County Sportsman Club Pomme De Terre Chapter Muskies Prairie Star Conservation Community 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 St. Louis Audubon Society Stream Teams United Student Air Rifle Program The Fallen Outdoors-Team MO Tipton Farmers & Sportsman's Club Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers Troutbusters of Missouri United Bow Hunters of Missouri Walnut Council & Other Fine Hardwoods Wild Bird Rehabilitation Wonders of Wildlife Young Outdoorsmen United

JULY - 2019


It’s your


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Contact your local Shelter agent to insure your auto, home, life, and all your hunting & fishing gear. Find an agent near you at ShelterInsurance.com.


Explore the

Outdoors: $PMVNCJB July 11, 2019 

Bass Pro Shops - Columbia Store; 3101 Bass Pro Dr. Games & Activities begin 5:30 p.m. - archery, air rifle, kayaking, pontoon rides & more Dinner & Auctions starting at 6:30 p.m..




To register online, visit www.confedmo.org/columbia/ For questions contact Tyler Schwartze 573-634-2322 ext. 102 or tschwartze@confedmo.org

Member News

Youth Programs Update


xciting things are happening with our youth education programs at the Conservation Federation of Missouri. We continue to educate, engage, unite and inspire youth. They are the future of conservation in Missouri and if our CLC students are any indication, we are in good hands in the future. We recently accepted a new group of Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) students to the program. Welcome to Caleb Skinner, Mitchell Canada, Daria Black, Marcus Ward, Aaron Weatherby, Bekah Davis, Cade Schmitz, Emma Haenchen, Anna Roberts, Riley Cole, Matthew Forrester, Devin Haeffner, Trace LaBoube, Harley Bernard, and Jordon Browning. We look forward to meeting them this fall as we start off the 2019-2020 year at our Fall Workshop at Camp Rising Sun, Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Students will learn about CFM and the resolutions process and determine which topics they want to develop into resolutions. Students will also discuss leadership skills and spend time networking with resource professionals in the fields of conservation and natural resources. We are excited for a great weekend of learning and camaraderie. “Working with the CLC students is so inspiring. They grow so much as individuals while they are in the program. Their passion is contagious and we learn so much from each other,� said Jen Sampsell, Education and Outreach Coordinator. A few of our students will be attending the Confluence of Young Conservation Leaders (CYCL) this November in Austin, Texas. The inaugural conference was held in Missouri in 2017. CYCL works to connect existing youth programs to share ideas and discuss conservation issues and looks to promote the establishment of youth-based natural resource conservation programs nationwide. By sharing our programs, we hope to encourage other states to start youth programs to develop the next generation of conservation leaders.



The Conservation Leadership Corps pick up trash annually in one of Missouri's streams as part of their service projects. (Photo: CFM)

Our other youth program, the Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance (MCCA) received another year of funding from the Mysun Foundation. This funding allows us to continue to spread the word to college students about legislation and policies that might impact conservation and natural resources here in Missouri. We are excited to have the opportunity to engage and interact with students at more colleges and universities across Missouri. We hope to continue forming chapters at universities across the state. Follow us on Facebook @missouriconservation, Instagram and Twitter @MCCA_MO. Additionally, we are excited to announce that we are starting a group for Young Professionals. This Young Professionals group will strive to grow CFM membership and provide networking opportunities for individuals ages 21-40 that attract, develop, and retain young professionals interested in conservation and natural resources through advocacy, education, and partnerships. It is exciting to have the charge for this group led by four of our CLC alumni. They hope to encourage more young adults to be a voice for Missouri outdoors. The group plans to have its first event after the Pull for Conservation in Boonville on August 10th. Join us for the CFM clay shoot and then plan to hang out with the Young Professionals group. More information will be available soon. We look forward to the opportunities this group will provide.

Member News

Participate in the First-ever PaddleMO Ozark


erhaps you've heard of PaddleMO, a five-day float trip on the final 100 miles of the Missouri River that has been organized by Stream Teams United (STU) for the past three Septembers, as well as Sept. 21-25 this year. Now there's another river to paddle with the group. For the first time, STU will offer PaddleMO Ozarks, a three-day trip on the Current River, the state's most popular river for floating. Lodging options will include the historic Alton Box Club at Current River State Park (CRSP), area campgrounds and nearby Echo Bluff State Park. The lodge at Current River is not normally open to the public for overnight stays, so this is a special opportunity to sleep in this historic setting. PaddleMO Ozarks will be held over Columbus Day weekend, beginning with an optional paddling clinic on Oct. 11, taught by certified kayak instructors. The group will paddle from Cedar Grove to Akers on Oct. 12, from Akers to Pulltite on Oct. 13, and from Pulltite to CRSP on Oct. 14, for a total of 22.2 miles. There is a cap of 40 participants, plus staff and volunteers, so be sure to sign up quickly at www.PaddleMO.org. Detailed route and shuttle information, as well as cost, lodging options, and programming are described on the website. Stream Teams United is a non-profit organization that supports the Missouri Stream Teams program and works for the protection and improvement of Missouri's waterways. Mary Culler, Executive Director of STU and an affiliate member of CFM, is excited about this new trip option. The group receieved a grant from the L-A-D Foundation to organize and host the Ozarks trip. In addition, "We received a David Risberg Memorial Grant at the CFM conference in March, to assist with the creation of the inaugural paddler journals for this event," she said.

Other educational programs will include stream ecology, bats, Native American history of the area, the Ozark Chinquapin, karst topography and Devil's Well, the Ozark Trail, history of the Riverways, and more. Paddlers will learn the stories behind Welch Spring, Welch Hospital, the Howell-Maggard cabin, the French-style architecture of the Pulltite cabin, Lewis Holler, and other sites along the Current River. Gather your gear and your canoe or kayak, and get ready for an exceptional Current River experience on the first-ever PaddleMO Ozarks. Barb Gibbs Ostmann One of the highlights of the Akers to Pulltite section of the Current River is paddling into Cave Spring. (Photo: Barb Gibbs Ostmann)

JULY - 2019



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Member News

5th Annual Pull for Conservation: Northwest Clay Shoot a Success


he 5th Annual Pull for Conservation: Northwest was held at Boot Hill Shooting Ground in Hamilton, Missouri on Saturday, April 13th. Northwest Missouri Electric Cooperatives were once again the title sponsor for the event. Over $6,500 was raised at the event in station sponsor and registration fees benefitting the Conservation Federation of Missouri. A delicious fish fry lunch was put on by the co-op staff. Donated prizes from CZ-USA and Bass Pro Shops of Independence were awarded to top shooters using the Lewis Class System. Station sponsors for the 2019 shoot were: Northwest Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Sprague Excavating, Farmers Electric Cooperative, Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Lee Grover Construction, AECI, AMEC, CZ-USA & Bass Pro Shops – Independence.

Top individual shooter for 2019 was Brad Mick, with a score of 47, who took home the traveling trophy from Northwest Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Finishing with the highest team score of 75 was “Too Much Pressure” featuring Melvin Lee and Kent Rupp. The entire list of the team and individual results can be viewed online: https://www.confedmo.org/pull-forconservation-northwest/ A big thank you goes out to all the sponsors, volunteers, staff and over 65 shooters that made this shoot such a successful event. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year. Mike Capps Executive Director Tyler Schwartze hands off the traveling trophy to Brad Mick who will hold the trophy until the Boonville shoot in August. (Photo: Mike Capps)

JULY - 2019


Member News

Explore the Outdoors: Kansas City First Regional Event of 2019


FM kicked off the first of five Explore the Outdoors events for 2019 in Kansas City at the Bass Pro Shops location in Independence, Missouri. Attendees gathered the evening of Thursday, May 2nd, to enjoy a great meal hosted by the Islamorada Fish House and bid on dozens of silent auction items as well as some great live auction offerings. Raffle tickets were available for CZ guns, including a rifle, shotgun and pistol. Indoor air rifle, archery and casting activities were available for the kids. St. James Winery and Public House Brewing donated the wine and beer for the event and CFM volunteers helped throughout the evening with setup and tear down, auctions, games, registration and much more. A live helping with the auction, registration, set-up and break down. A live auction was held with Shawn Terrel from United Country Real Estate and Auction. Bill Graham, Media Specialist with the Missouri Department of Conservation was the keynote speaker. Bill spent 25 years as a columnist for the Kansas City Star newspaper and has worked for MDC the last eight years. His speech covered the importance of conserving wild areas, even in an urban setting and how the Kansas City landscape has changed over the years. He also entertained the crowd with stories of his experiences from his long and distinguished career in the outdoors.



CFM Executive Director Tyler Schwartze closed the evening, drawing the raffle ticket winners and thanking everyone for supporting CFM’s efforts by attending this year’s event. Thanks to our table sponsors from this year’s event: MITICO, Jeff and Kim Blystone, Missouri Hunting Heritage Foundation, Keith Hannaman, Land Learning Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, and United Country Real Estate.

2019 EVENTS CFM Media Camp - February 3-6

5th Annual CFM Media Camp at Lilley’s Landing with over 20 outdoor communicators in attendance.

CFM Annual Convention - March 8-10

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

Conservation Day at the Capitol - April 3

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

Pull for Conservation: Northwest - April 13

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

Explore the Outdoors: Kansas City - May 2

Join CFM at Bass Pro Shops in Independence for a fun evening of excitement and entertainment.

Explore the Outdoors: Springfield - June 13

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

Explore the Outdoors: Columbia - July 11

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

Pull for Conservation: Central - August 10

The 13th annual sporting clay shoot returns to River Hills Sporting Clays in Boonville.

Pull for Conservation: Southwest - September 7

Inaugural sporting clay shoot to be held at Ozark Shooters Sporting Complex in Branson.

Affiliate Summit - September 12 & 13

Join us in Jefferson City as gather all our affiliates together for great networking and information.

Explore the Outdoors: St. Louis - October 3

Come see old friends and make new ones at the St. Louis regional event. Location TBD.

Explore the Outdoors: Kirksville - November 7

Be a part of the inaugural event in Kirksville just before firearms deer season.



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Feature Story

CFM and Partners Team up for 11th Annual Governors Youth Turkey Hunt


he 2019 Governors Youth Turkey Hunt marks the 11th year of this very special event. The hunt serves as a recognition of the importance of natural resources and to hunting. It is also a celebration of Missouri’s leading role in recruiting, retaining, and reactivating hunters.



This year’s hunt was very special in that Sue Hamilton and Whitney Hamilton-Schneider reached out to us also wanting to support this event in honor of their son and brother Kyle, who passed away in February. Kyle was a young, dedicated outdoorsman with a special place in his heart for turkey hunting. We are grateful for Sue and Whitney’s contribution that helped make this event possible in memory of Kyle.

Feature Story The youth started the weekend off on the day before the season opened by attending an informational session on turkeys and turkey calling. The youth learned the basics of calling, woods etiquette, and other things to be aware of when pursuing wild turkeys. They also had an opportunity to pattern their shotguns and learn about the safety of firearms. This very informative clinic was put on by the dedicated staff at the Missouri Department of Conservation. The evening portion of Friday’s festivities took place at the Governor’s mansion where the youth and a guest were able to enjoy an elegant dinner. Dan Zerr, the State President from the National Wild Turkey Federation spoke along with Aaron Jeffries from the Missouri Department of Conservation. The youth were then each given a handmade call made by Jim Clark before taking their picture with Sue and Whitney. From there the youth departed across the state with landowners and guides to try and notch their first turkey tag.

2019 Guides and Landowners were: R.L. Bennett, Jason Isabelle, Bill Haag, Bruce Sassmann, Eldo Meyer, Dave Groenke, Stan Kloeppel, Don Masek, Kenny Walker, Stan Fredrick, Don Dettmann, Kirk Ekern, Jerry Lairmore, Shawn Wagner, Brandt Masek, Lucas Oil, Jim Cihy, Jim Meehan, Cole Cihy, Brandon Butler, Kyle Lairmore, George Huffman, John Burk, Issac Reed, Tracy Alferman, and Logan Burk.

During the 2019 youth season, the weather was more favorable compared to 2018. However, the results were similar with 4 out of the 22 kids participating that harvested birds. Youth weekend is usually a little early as far as timing. An additional curveball that may have affected some areas was a decent red oak acorn crop, so the birds were still in the woods scratching around and not as prone to field hunting tactics that usually produce youth season results.

Thanks to everyone that made this year’s hunt so special for Missouri’s youth. Most of the landowners and guides are dedicated NWTF and/or CFM members and without them, this event would not be possible. We especially thank the landowners, this incredibly special gift that you willingly give year after year cannot be repaid. Please know that all involved are aware of this and that your efforts truly are making a difference in the cherished memories that you made possible. John Burk & Tyler Schwartze (Far left) The entire group from the 2019 youth turkey hunt pose for a picture on the front steps of the Governors Mansion. (Photo: Courtesy of NWTF) (Left) Youth were able to pattern their shotguns with MDC staff as part of the Governors annual youth turkey hunt. (Photo: Tyler Schwartze) (Top) Lily Wagner proudly displays her first turkey that she harvested in Maries County during the 2019 Youth Season. (Photo: Crystal Wagner)

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

Aerial Acrobats: The Fascinating Mississippi Kite 32


Feature Story


ltus Air Force Base sits near Altus, OK in the far southwest corner of the state and is home to the 97th Air Mobility Wing. A visit to their website shows more is going on in the air over the base than just military flights. Among all the photos and information concerning aircraft and life on base you’ll find a page titled “Five Things You Need to Know about Mississippi Kites.” Point number one is they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and their nests, young and adults cannot be moved, captured, hunted or killed. Point number five says, “It’s obviously going to be an exciting moment if you encounter a kite, but try not to run away from it.” These fierce aerial fliers and occasional mighty defenders of their nests, have had a few incidents that threaten to ruin the reputation of a spectacular species. Mississippi Kites are considered relative newcomers to most parts of the Missouri. Prior to the 1990s they bred only in the southeastern corner of the state. With a preference for old growth stands of trees, their range may have been larger before the deforestation of much of Missouri that began in the late 1800s, but unfortunately early records are silent on their presence outside the bootheel and lower Mississippi valley. With the increase of larger, older, manmade tree stands in mature neighborhoods and riparian areas where grasslands once dominated, Mississippi Kites have rapidly been expanding their range. Today they are commonly known to nest in many urban areas including Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City. The first documented nesting in Wisconsin occurred in 2016. They are often first noticed roosting on power lines. Due to their gregarious nature, these roosts can number from a few individual birds to a dozen or more, and often occur near nest sites. Additionally, nests can be in close proximity to each other in loose colonies. One of the largest recorded nesting sites is Meade State Park and Fishing Lake in southwest Kansas that has recorded over 40 nests and 100 individual kites in a summer. Nests are usually well concealed in the foliage of trees and are built by both the male and female. They can be located in or near the same tree used the previous year. An average of 1-2 eggs are laid and the female is the primary incubator with the male taking over for only short periods of time.

Food is not brought to the incubating parent by its mate, as with many species, but instead fresh twigs with foliage are often brought by the arriving bird. This can happen several times a day and the twigs and leaves are added to the nest cup. Hatching occurs at around 30 days. Sometimes a yearling bird or two will remain close to a family unit to help brood and defend the nest. It is unknown if the yearling is related to either of the parents. Additional defense can come from locating the nest near, or possibly incorporating, a wasp's nest to protect the young from climbing predators. Primarily consuming insects with occasional frogs or other small animals, the Mississippi Kite is noted for their appetite for cicadas along with grasshoppers, beetles, katydids and dragonflies. These magnificent fliers will soar over open areas, cityscapes and fields. They look carefree in flight and exhibit acrobatic moves as they grab prey out of the air or off the ground. A classic picture is a parent feeding a cicada to a nestling. Most Mississippi Kites are not aggressive, however, there are a few that will dive at any person or pet that approaches their nest. Attacks can increase right after hatching and are more prevalent when the nest is lower down in the tree. This has apparently occurred with some frequency at Altus Air Force Base. Most areas coexist in harmony with a kite’s nest. Should you find one that takes exception to your presence, perhaps there is some comfort in knowing it is less than 30 days from hatching to fledging. Mary Nemecek President of Burroughs Audubon

A nestling Mississippi Kite peers down from its nest. (Photo: Mary Nemecek)

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

Quality Binoculars Enhance Outdoor Fun Part 1 of 3


utdoor gear. It's an American obsession. John James Audubon would be amazed at the huge array of guns, ammunition and hightech accouterments available to modern hunters and birders. Izaak Walton would be dismayed to find today's "compleat angler" awash in a flood of equipment so specialized that trout purists and bass anglers are practically islands unto themselves. But one piece of outdoor equipment remains relatively pure and uncomplicated by technological advancements. Binoculars are still pretty much the same as they have been for a century.



Many first-time buyers squander money on inadequate binoculars. Others pay top dollar for good binoculars that are wrong for their needs. With a little information and care in shopping, you can find a binocular that fits your hobby and your budget. In this three-part series of articles, we will explore the basic characteristics of binoculars, how they work and how to use this knowledge to select the best binocular for your purposes.

Feature Story Binoculars come in two basic styles, roof prism and porro prism. The optical tubes of roof-prism binoculars are straight, permitting them to fold up into a small package when not in use. This makes roof-prism binoculars the favorite with people who need lightweight, compact binoculars. The front or "objective" lenses of porro-prism binoculars are set farther apart than the rear or "ocular" lenses, making them heavier and bulkier. This disadvantage is offset by the fact that they do a better job of what binoculars do best – providing "binocular" vision. Humans have depth perception because we have two eyes are set fairly wide apart. By processing visual information from two different perspectives, we get a better idea of how far away objects are. That's why the images we see through single-tube telescopes look one-dimensional. Binoculars allow us to see more naturally, and porro-prism binoculars enhance that effect by placing our artificial "eyes" far apart in relation to distant objects. If you don't mind the extra weight and bulk, porro is the way to go. The most basic information is given in a pair of numbers printed right on most binoculars. The first number describes the binocular's ability to magnify distant objects. A 7X35 binocular has a magnification factor of seven times. This means that objects will appear seven times closer than they do to the naked eye. Magnification is great, but it has a price. Many novices buy the most powerful binocular they can afford, assuming that making objects appear larger is the same as making them easier to see. They don't realize that a 20X binocular shows an area only about a third as wide as what you would see through a 7X binocular. This makes it harder to locate objects. Besides, a high-quality seven-power binocular gives the user a remarkably clear view of most objects, making 20X magnification unnecessary except at very long distances. In those situations, you're better off with a telescope.

Taking a pair of binoculars afield can take your outing to a whole new level of excitement. (Photo: Jim Low)

Furthermore, high-powered binoculars cost more, in more ways than one. Besides paying more money, you pay for magnification in extra weight. A 20-power binocular is great to have occasionally. But the rest of the time you're just carrying a small millstone around your neck. Big binoculars saddle you with even more than their own considerable weight. With any binocular over about 10X, you have to carry a tripod to hold your big-Bertha binocular steady enough to see anything without distracting jiggling with every breath. Binoculars in the 6X to 8X range are best for most uses. The second number printed on a binocular refers to the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. The objective lens replaces your eye in gathering light. Bigger objective lenses gather more light, providing brighter images that are easier to see. Many binoculars also bear an inscription that describes their "field of view." In most cases, this will be shown as so many feet or yards at a given distance. This is called "linear" field of view. Some binoculars may be marked with "angular" field of view. A binocular that has an angular field of view of 6 degrees has a linear field of view of 314 feet at 1,000 yards. The wider the field of view, the easier it is to locate an object with binoculars. So, in general, the wider the field of view, the better. The next installment of this series will explore the concept of “brightness,” focusing mechanisms and ensuring a good “fit.” Jim Low JULY - 2019


Agency News

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION MDC Urges Public to Bee-Friend Native Pollinators


pring and summer months bring both the buzz of lawnmowers and bees. These fuzzy flyers are important pollinators, playing a crucial role in the production of many favorite fruits and vegetables. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages the public to “bee-friend” these valuable native pollinators. “Missouri is home to around 450 species of native bees, but it’s not uncommon for more to be identified each year,” said MDC Urban Wildlife Biologist Erin Shank. “There are several common bees Missourians will encounter, including the bumblebee, carpenter bees, sweat bees, and the leafcutter bee.” Most native bees only live about one year. They emerge in the spring as adults, visiting flowers and buildings nests. Many species, such as bumblebees, make their nests underground, while others, such as leafcutter and mason bees, will set up shop in small cavities found in wood or in the pith of plant stems. Bees may send some running for the hills for fear of being stung, but most native bees are harmless. “Most don’t have stingers long enough to penetrate human skin,” said MDC Private Land Services Division Chief Bill White. White and his team work to create and maintain native wildlife habitat on private lands. Additionally, native bees are doing their agricultural duty by pollinating flowering plants that provide food, fiber, and even medicines.



Shank explained that native bees, such as the bumblebee, are effective pollinators because of a technique called buzz pollination. “It’s a vibrating movement involving their wing muscles that allows the bumblebee to free pollen from the anther, the flower’s pollen-producing structure,” Shank said. “This strategy causes the flower to explosively release pollen. There are some flowering plants that will release pollen only through buzz pollination. One favorite, the tomato plant, requires either buzz pollination or visitation by a larger bodied bee, such as the bumblebee.” Bee a Friend There are several ways the public can support Missouri’s native bees. Shank said the best way is to get floral.

Agency News “It’s all about the flowers,” Shank stressed. “Provide native companion plants, and especially those with colorful blossoms, because color attracts bees.” Companion planting, in which one plant helps the growth of another, can help facilitate the pollination of fruits and vegetables. For example, planting bee balm can help pollinate tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Other examples of flowering companion plants include sunflowers, wild hyacinth, blue wild indigo, purple prairie clover, and common milkweed. There are several options of flowering trees and shrubs, too. “Redbud, American plum, and golden currant are great for pollinators,” said White. Shank noted that providing more flowers can also mean not mowing the lawn as much. “Clover, violets, and dandelions are some common lawn plants that provide vital food for bees – especially in the spring before most flowers appear,” Shank explained. “Delaying mowing or mowing higher can help bees by letting the plants grow. Even allowing access to the ground by not mulching every inch can help. Some bees need access to the soil to excavate their nests.” No Yard? No Problem! Shank said residents who live in urban areas without access to a yard can still be a big help to native bees. Surprisingly, St. Louis has one of the most diverse bee populations in the Midwest, with more than 200 species found in the city limits alone. “You can offer bees native flowers in a planting box or pot,” Shank explained. “Getting involved in a community garden or helping plant at a nearby park is great, too.”

“These houses, which look a lot like bird houses, can provide nesting space for solitary bee species,” White said. “They should be placed next to native blooming plants because most bees nest only a few yards away from their food source. They should also face east to absorb the morning sunlight.” However, White cautioned against using the same bee house every year. “To keep the houses sanitized, don’t reuse the same one. If you do, you expose the bees to fungus and other harmful disease.” White also warned that bee houses can be infiltrated by wasps, who can frequently be mistaken for bees. “If this happens, you can plug the holes with cork or another material,” White said. “But don’t spray any bug killer, because that can repel bees from entering the house.” Un-Bee-Lievable Bee pollinators’ national value is around $30 billion annually, and they are responsible for 1 in 3 bites of food Americans eat. Without bees and other pollinators, humans would not have foods such as grapes, nuts, coffee, and even chocolate. “It’s easy to forget their critical role in agricultural food production,” Shank said. “But by making small strides to plant native flowers and shrubs, Missourians can support bee health and habitat.” For more information on native companion plants, contact the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Grow Native! program at moprairie.org/grownative To learn more about Missouri’s native bee species, visit MDC’s online Field Guide at https://bit. ly/2Iq5OBw.

For those without a green thumb, White encourages hanging bee houses.

JULY - 2019


Agency News

MDC Invites Public to Open Houses on Black Bears


he Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites the public to a series of open houses to learn more about black bears in Missouri, including MDC black-bear research projects and management efforts, potential hunting opportunities, and how to handle conflicts with nuisance bears. MDC staff will also be taking comments on these and other related topics regarding black bears in Missouri. The meetings will be from 6 – 8 p.m. with a presentation at 6 p.m. on the dates and at the locations listed below. No registration is required. • July 9 – MDC Springfield Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way in Springfield • July 11 -- The Landing, 110 Front St. in Van Buren • July 18 -- First Baptist Church, 202 Walnut St. in West Plains • July 30 – MDC Powder Valley Nature Center, 11715 Cragwold Road in St. Louis. Out of the three species of bears that live in the U.S. -- black bears, polar bears, and grizzlies -the American black bear is the only species that resides in Missouri. The black bear is one of the largest and heaviest wild mammals in Missouri, some reaching up to 500 pounds. These bears were nearly eliminated from unregulated killing in the late 1800s, as well as from habitat loss when Ozark forests were logged. However, a small number of native black bears survived and reintroduction efforts in Arkansas also helped to increase their numbers in southern Missouri. MDC research shows most of the black bear population resides in the southern third of the state in the Missouri Ozarks, but Missouri’s population is growing, and bears are moving into areas north of Interstate 44. Wandering bears have also been seen as far north as the Iowa-Missouri state line.



Join MDC in Springfield July 9, Van Buren July 11, West Plains July 18, and St. Louis July 30 to learn more about black bears in Missouri and MDC research and management efforts. (Photo: Courtesy of MDC)

Black bears are currently a protected species in Missouri. MDC anticipates a limited hunting season as a population-management method once black bear numbers reach around 500 animals. The current estimate is about 350. For more information on black bears in Missouri, visit the MDC online Field Guide at nature.mdc. mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/american-blackbear. For more information on MDC black-bear research, go online to research.mdc.mo.gov/project/missouriblack-bear-project.

Agency News

MISSOURI STATE PARKS Ragtime has Roots at Scott Joplin House State Historic Site


n 1973, Robert Redford and Paul Newman starred in the hugely successful caper film, The Sting, which won seven Academy Awards. The theme song to the film is easily recognizable – iconic, even – and has roots in St. Louis. In a modest flat on Delmar Boulevard from 1900-1903, Scott Joplin, “The King of Ragtime”, wrote The Entertainer and other well-known works. Scott Joplin exhibited musical talent at an early age. Some would say he was a prodigy. By age 11, he was able to play several instruments as well as compose and improvise his own music. After a transient period where he plied his musical trade in railroad towns and riverfront cities, he established roots in Sedalia where he completed a degree in music at the George R. Smith College for Negroes. On the success of his first well-known published work, The Maple Leaf Rag, Joplin moved to a flat at 2658A Morgan St. (now Delmar Boulevard.) in St. Louis, where he wrote works such as Elite Syncopations, March Majestic, Ragtime Dance, and The Entertainer. In 1976 Joplin’s St. Louis home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1983 the property was donated to the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Missouri State Parks. It is the state’s first historic site dedicated wholly to the presentation of African American contributions to Missouri’s cultural history. “Scott Joplin House educates the public on the contributions of African Americans by providing educational programs on all aspects of culture with the emphasis being on music, this neighborhood and this city, St. Louis,” said historic site administrator Almetta Jordan.

While not many details of Joplin’s life at the site are known today, the second floor of the home, where he and his wife lived, has been furnished unpretentiously in turn-of-the-century style. The visitor center downstairs depicts St. Louis and the neighborhood as Joplin knew it, as well as details about his life and work. A player piano in the music room allows visitors to listen to piano rolls from the ragtime era, some of which were cut by Joplin himself. “One hundred years after his death we are still listening and playing Joplin’s music throughout the world. Missouri, and especially Sedalia and St. Louis, are a part of that legacy,” said Jordan. Scott Joplin House is open for tours every hour from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday from March until October, and Tuesday through Saturday in February. The site is closed November through January.

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Outdoor News

Eminence Offers Exceptional Outdoor Experience


n the heart of the Missouri Ozarks is a little town named Eminence. It’s one of those special places that truly has something for every outdoor enthusiast. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways (OSNR) first drew me to the area. The abundance of forest, turkey, deer, hiking trails, mushrooms, horseback riding trails, springs, campgrounds, smallmouth bass and elk keep me coming back. It’s 6 a.m. and Otie McKinley and I are sitting in the front corner of Ruby’s Family Restaurant sipping coffee and looking out on the sleepy little downtown square. There’s not much going on this early except for a few fishermen fueling up for the day on either the Current River or Jacks Fork River. McKinley and I are on our way to float the Jacks Fork River in my raft, but we’re not in a hurry. You don’t come to Eminence to be in a hurry. We’re going to float the Jacks Fork, and we head west out of town on Highway 106. Six miles later we’re at Alley Spring. We drive right to the river’s edge where we unload the raft and rig up our fly rods. Days this beautiful are few and far between. The weather is so perfect it feels like the fish will just jump in the boat and mushrooms will holler, “I’m over here.” The river is moving swiftly, but in no way too fast to float. It’s perfect rafting water. I’m just as excited to row and float as I am to fish. I instruct McKinley to take the bow and we shove off. The current grabs us and for the next four hours we ride the power of the river, throwing flies to fishy looking spots. McKinley and I are dedicated fly fishers. We chose to stick with flies all day, and didn’t catch as many fish as I thought we would. The weather may have been warm, but the cold water had the bronzebacks holding in deep holes. All the other fishermen who were part of the Missouri Outdoor Communicators (MOC) event we were attending tore the smallies up throwing soft plastics with spinning equipment. McKinley and I just couldn’t get our flies down to them.



Brandon Butler floats his raft through a swift section of the Jacks Fork River near Eminence, Missouri. (Photo: Brandon Butler)

Back at Shady Lane Cabins, McKinley and I met up with some MOC members who went turkey hunting. Gobblers were sounding off in every direction according to the hunters, but the MOC didn’t scathe the local population. That night at Dos Rios Mexican Grill, Eminence Mayor Jim Anderson, who also owns Shady Lane, conducted the local traditional of cutting the shirttail off two turkey hunters who missed their shots. Elk tours were on hold at Peck Ranch Conservation Area because it was calving season, but we were given a great tour of Current River Conservation Area by Missouri Department of Conservation staff. A bachelor group of bulls are known to live there, but we didn’t see them during our tour. We did see a lot of sign, like rubs and tracks. In the fall, a trip to Eminence allows you to take in one of nature’s most incredible sounds - the screaming bugle of a wild Missouri elk. Eminence is an all around amazing outdoor destination. It’s a crown jewel of Missouri, and the OSNR is a national treasure. It’s the Yellowstone of Missouri. The people are friendly and inviting, the scenery is unrivaled and there’s no end to outdoor opportunities. Brandon Butler

Outdoor News

MDC Proposes Raising Trout Permits and Daily Tags Starting in 2020


he Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is proposing increases to the prices of its annual trout permits and daily trout tags starting in 2020. According to MDC, the increases are needed to better cover its costs of running five trout hatcheries that raise and release more than 1.7 million trout each year for public fishing. If the price increases are implemented, starting in 2020 the cost of an annual trout permit will go from $7 to $10 for anglers 16 years of age and older and from $3.50 to $5 for anglers ages 15 and younger. The cost of a daily trout tag to fish at Missouri’s four trout parks -- Maramec Spring Park, Bennett Spring State Park, Montauk State Park, and Roaring River State Park -- will go from $3 to $4 for adults and from $2 to $3 for those 15 years of age and younger. A trout permit is required to possess trout, except in trout parks where a daily trout fishing tag is required during the catch-and-keep season. In addition, a trout permit is required for winter fishing in trout parks during the catch-and-release season and for fishing year-round in Lake Taneycomo upstream from the U.S. Highway 65 bridge. To fish for trout, you must also have a fishing permit or qualify for an exemption. “The Conservation Department has not increased these permit prices in nearly two decades,” said MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “We are adjusting these permit prices -- which were set in 1999 -- to make them more in line with today’s real costs of the work we do. The price increases will help MDC meet the pressures of increased management costs at our hatcheries and help meet the increased demand for trout fishing around the state.” MDC raises trout at five fish hatcheries and releases about 1.7 million trout around the state for public fishing each year. MDC stocks the trout at the four very popular daily trout parks, in more than 150 miles of cold-water trout streams, at Lake Taneycomo, and at numerous lakes around the state as part of its winter trout-fishing program. According to MDC, the annual cost of fish food and staff labor to raise a trout in 2003 was about $1 per fish. The annual cost in 2017 had jumped to nearly twice that amount. (Photo: Courtesy of MDC)

Those five fish hatcheries -- Bennett Spring, Montauk, Shepherd of the Hills, Roaring River, and Maramec Spring Park – also require regular maintenance, and several have been damaged numerous times in recent years by spring flooding. MDC has spent more than $11 million over the past decade on repairs and improvements to the hatcheries. MDC also reports that utility costs for the five hatcheries have increased by more than 25% since 2008. According to MDC, the average Missourian pays about $19 annually for conservation efforts through the Department’s dedicated sales tax revenue. MDC receives no funds from property taxes, tickets or citations (which go to local school districts), or the state’s general revenue budget. For more information on MDC revenue, expenses, and key conservation efforts, read the MDC Annual Review in the January 2019 issue of the Missouri Conservationist, or online at mdc.mo.gov/conmag. The proposed price increases for annual trout permits and daily trout tags were given initial approval by the Missouri Conservation Commission at its May 23 meeting. As part of the rulemaking process, MDC is asking for public comments on the changes during July and early August at short.mdc.mo.gov/Z49. To comment on proposed price increases for trout permits, refer to “3 CSR 10-5.430 Trout Permit.” For daily trout tags, refer to “3 CSR 10-5.250 Daily Hunting or Fishing Tags.” The Commission will consider input received and make a final decision to move forward, modify, or withdraw the changes during its Aug. 23 meeting. If approved, the anticipated effective date of the changes would be Feb. 29, 2020.

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

Learn the Basics of Fly Fishing to Catch More Trout


ly fishing offers the ultimate in trout fishing adventure at Missouri’s trout parks. It is one thing to catch a limit of four rainbow trout on baits, or even artificial lures such as spinners, jigs and minnow imitators, but it is an entirely different ball game to fool trout into taking a tiny fly which a fish has judged to be a live, aquatic insect which it relishes as an easy meal.



Thousands were attracted to the sport of fly fishing when the movie “A River Runs Through It” debuted. And rightfully so. The movie actors aptly portrayed fly fishing as a beautiful, artistic endeavor undergirded by religious fervor and personal reflection coupled with deep, mental aspirations and equally prevalent emotions.

Feature Story I have enjoyed the distinct pleasure of drifting flies to trout from the Appalachians to the Rockies and Canada to Mexico. Gorgeous scenery and breath-taking views are often associated with trout fishing. I can vouch that the precepts are true. Likewise, trout fishing in the Show Me state takes place in some of the most spectacular scenic areas within its boundaries. The trout parks are no exception. Trout fishing doesn’t have to be as complex as many people are led to believe. A little study and practice will put any newcomer to the sport in ready fashion. A 5-weight rod, line and matching reel are the basic equipment essentials and will handle most trout encountered in the trout parks. A weight forward, floating fly line will make casting a cinch. Add a tapered leader to the end of the fly line and you have the perfect mixture of equipment and ingredients to cast a fly. Maintaining the “ten and two” casting posture, as demonstrated in articles and videos on fly fishing, will aid your casting ability, increasing your success and bolstering your confidence. I found it particularly helpful to point my rod tip at a stream side treetop when completing the cast. This approach keeps from lowering the rod tip too much, which results in pileups, poor casts and spooked fish. Waders are essential to fly fishermen. Their use allows an angler to position himself in the best spot to approach and cast to the fish. Good quality waders go a long way towards keeping a fisherman dry, warm and happy. That combination keeps one in the water longer, which equals more casts and more fish. Choice of flies is a subject that draws as much attention as politics in an election year. Every trout stream is different and while all may harbor many of the same aquatic insects, each will have bugs special to that area. Studying the species of insects found at each park and the time of year and day that they are most prevalent will increase your catch rate. Tiny jigs capable of being flipped with a fly rod are hard to beat early in the season when aquatic insects are less visible. King jigs makes a fly rod jig that are the best that I have found. I prefer brown and black, but they now make some very colorful jigs that produce good results as well.

I find myself relying on a half dozen or so “old faithfuls” throughout the year. I would never leave the house without several scud patterns. These dumpy looking patterns resemble freshwater shrimp and are relished by trout. I catch most of my fish on tan or pink patterns by drifting the flies at the edge of currents near rocks or weed beds. Freshwater shrimp like to hang out in such areas. Nymphs of any type are good throughout the water column. You’ll have to experiment to find out where the fish are feeding on any given day. Emerging nymphs are fished just below the surface of the water, imitating an aquatic insect struggling to break through the topwater film and emerge as an adult of its species. I prefer the Pheasant Tail nymph in number 12 and 14 sizes. My favorite summertime trout fly for late evenings or early mornings is a Griffith’s Gnat in size 18. The grizzled little bug looks like it needs to be eaten by a trout and it often works. I like to fish it in the current in open, clear water. When fishing gets tough, I often bring a hand tied fly of my own into play. Trout park streams often contain offal from fish that have been cleaned in the streams. Other trout will feed on the remains, especially the white or pink pieces of meat and skin which wave in the current. I tie clusters of white and, occasionally, light pink feathers on a number 12 hook to resemble fish flesh. The feathers should be fluid enough to wave in the current. These flesh flies are best fished in riffles or just below them where trout wait for food to be washed their way. These patterns will work at both Maramec Spring Park and Montauk State Park. If you have never been fly fishing in these parks, Montauk has separate fly fishing areas while Maramec does not. Regardless, both parks offer excellent fly-fishing opportunities. Grab that magic wand called a fly rod, and orchestrate your own flyfishing dreams. Bill Cooper Rainbow trout can be caught in Missouri’s trout parks on a wide variety of fly patterns, but the wooly bugger is a favorite. (Photo: Bill Cooper)

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

Youth Fitness and the

Shooting Sports


o ensure the future of the hunting and shooting sports, young people need to be introduced to these activities at an early age. For those of us who have made these activities a major part of our lives, we must step up to meet the challenge and do our part to help mentor young shooters. Remaining complacent and assuming that the hunting and shooting sports will always be around isn’t realistic and proactive measures need to be taken. The Elk Foundation coined the phrase “Pass it On” to encourage the involvement of sportsmen and women.



I was fortunate to be raised in a rural area with a father and grandfather who introduced me to hunting and shooting at an early age. I learned not only to shoot, but to respect nature and all it has to offer. I have passed those lessons on to my son and grandchildren. During a career as a school counselor and baseball coach, I was privileged to work with many young people. I coached a rifle team and one of the first high school trap and skeet teams in the Saint Louis area.

Feature Story Missouri now has several thousand students competing state wide in trap and skeet competition, including some who compete on an international level. These shooters are part of the MYSSA (Missouri Youth Sport Shooting Alliance). After retiring from my job at school 15 years ago, I started working as a volunteer instructor for the Missouri Department of Conservation and the local chapter of Quail Forever. This opened up the opportunity for me to teach younger children about shooting and hunting through the wide range of programs available through the MDC. One thing I began to notice when working with younger shooters was that many of them lacked the upper body strength to properly mount and hold a gun. Being able to control their firearm, instead of having it “control them” is important for both safety and enjoyment while shooting. Starting with a strong foundation can help not only with practice during shooting, but also life in general. Note: The Exercise regimen courtesy of Brent Meyer, certified personal trainer, CEO of Fitness Achieved in St. Louis, Missouri. Brent has a B.S. Degree in Kinesiology and Management. Exercises can benefit not only youth, but adults as well. Parents can make it fun by providing some incentive to participate such as more range time, or some other fun outdoor activity. Find a shooting instructor who is good with youth and possibly get some one-on-one shooting lessons. In the last ten years I have worked with a number of young shooters who are preparing for a hunting outing with a parent. One of the rewards is receiving pictures of their hunting successes and in one case even a duck they had harvested. This has made helping teach youth shooting classes both fun and rewarding. We all need to mentor our future generation of hunters and shooters, so that one day they will be the ones passing it on. Len Patton and Brent Meyer

SHOOTER EXERCISES Here are some basic exercises for a good upper body and core workout that require little equipment or space. It can help beginning shooters gain strength, self-esteem and form a firm foundation for shooting and other activities. • Pushups on Knees, toes or against a wall, 15-20 repetitions. • Bicep Curls, 5-10 lb. Dumbbells, 12-20 repetitions. • Stand straight and hold a dumbbell straight out in front of you at eye level with elbows locked. 5-10 lb. dumbbell, 30-45 seconds • Dumbbell triceps kickbacks, 5-10 lb. dumbbells, 1220 repetitions. While standing and holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend over so your back is flat. Now pull your elbows up so they are at your sides. Pull your forearms back until you feel your triceps being flexed. • Crunches on floor, 15-25 repetitions. Sit only part of the way up from a prone position and lower back down slowly. • Bicycle crunches, 15-25 repetitions. Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and hands behind head. Lift both legs in the air with knees bent. Alternate bringing left elbow to right knee and right elbow to left knee. • Hold a plank on your hands and toes, 30-60 seconds. The same as holding a pushup supported by your palms and toes. • Bodyweight squats, 20-25 repetitions. Stand straight, then squat as if setting in a chair, keeping your back straight. Keep knees together. • Repeat steps 1-8 for a total of 2-5 rotations depending on fitness level. As you gain strength, you’ll be able to do more circuits.

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

The Tree I

was on my way to a combination camping/fishing trip when I saw it. I am sure I’ve seen it lots of other times. It was just a glimpse as I drove by. Why did it bother me so much then? It was just a bulldozer knocking over a tree. That happens all the time in today’s world. We have to have more convenience stores, banks, and shopping centers don’t we? People have always cleared fields of trees. They did it to grow crops or raise cattle so they could feed their families. The trees were used for firewood to keep them warm. Now, they push over trees and haul them off or just burn them to get rid of them. When the shopping centers are done, they take their families there to feed them. What really amazes me is to see developers clear the land of trees for a new housing complex and then watch as the people that buy the houses go to the local home improvement store or nursery to spend hundreds of dollars on small trees to plant in their yards that will take years to grow as big as those that were once there. As I kept driving, I tried to think about what I needed to get done when I got to my campsite surrounded by the woods of the Mark Twain National Forest. I tried to listen to what the guy on the radio was saying. It didn’t do any good. I kept seeing the bulldozer pushing over the tree. Why couldn’t I get it out of my mind? It was just a tree. Maybe it bothered me so much this time because I’m getting older and wiser. Well, older anyway. My mind took me back to when I was a kid growing up on the farm. I would spend all day wandering around in the woods. The trees hid me from all the Indians that were after me. I dodged their arrows as I ran from tree to tree. My imagination entertained me back then. I didn’t need TV, video games or a smart phone. Thank God my kids grew up enjoying the woods. My grandkids also discovered the wonder of the woods while climbing trees, and carving initials just like I did.



Feature Story Some days, I would climb up into a trees comforting arms and soak in the wonder of the woods or just daydream. I can still remember an odd shape, a weird knot, the feel of the bark on certain trees. I wonder if some of those trees are still there? I wonder if my initials are still carved in them? As I got older, I would head to the woods with my dog Bo and my little single shot .22 bought with money I had earned. I still have that gun and the memories of knowing I only had one shot so I couldn’t miss when that squirrel ran out on a limb. Besides, we didn’t have a lot of extra money to be buying more .22 shells. Sometimes that squirrel was supper. I still enjoy hiking in the woods. I still climb trees but now it’s to sit in a tree stand waiting for a deer to walk by. My granddaughter posed for pictures on a grapevine swing when she was younger. My grandson still loves to hunt squirrels and deer. I smile as I watch them and I remember. What was that the guy on the radio just said? “And he created the heavens and the earth.” He created all the trees too didn’t he? It shouldn’t be bothering me about seeing that tree pushed down. After all, I cut down trees too don’t I? Their wood keeps us warm during the cold of winter. They are also magically transformed into candle holders, lamps, coat racks and lots of other things in my workshop. I am wise enough to know that if your home is shaded by trees, your air conditioner won’t run as much and you’ll save money on electricity. You might even be able to open your windows and enjoy a fresh breeze. Cleaning the gutter and raking leaves is a small price to pay. Even when my grandson was 10-year’s old he could tell you that the more trees you cut down, the less oxygen you have. Oxygen – you know the stuff that helps you breathe. I read somewhere that a single tree is valued at over $13,000 during its lifetime for the oxygen it provides. Multiply that times the number of trees in your yard, if you have trees in your yard.

Trees also are important to the wildlife that uses them. Birds and squirrels build nests, turkeys roost, deer rub, woodpeckers peck. Most of them feed on the acorns, walnuts, hickories, berries, and insects they provide. Those trees mean so much to them. I pull into my camping spot and a song is playing on the radio. As I listen, I’m not upset anymore. The words of the song roll over in my mind as I look around at all the trees. “He grew the tree that he knew would be used to make the old rugged cross.” That was the most important tree of all! Larry Whiteley (Left) Trees around your home can save you energy and money. (Photo: Larry Whiteley)

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

Stepping Back in Time with a Vintage American-made Shotgun 54


Feature Story The Iver Johnson I have was made around 1910, meaning it is about 109 years old or so. It is a grade or two better than the average shotgun of the era and a little more research told me that this model was made specifically for trap shooting. The shotgun has a 32-inch barrel and a distinctive full-length solid rib. It has better wood on it than the majority of shotguns made in that era. The forearm and pistol grip are checkered. The base of the stock is fitted with a classic tie on leather recoil pad. Everything about this shotgun has a classic look. I dropped a choke gage in the muzzle it showed it was tighter than a modern extra full turkey choke. Trap guns typically have tighter chokes. If you are shooting from the 27-yard line, by the time you see and get out your target you may have to break the clay target at 50 yards, or more! Iver Johnson called this model the Champion. From the way this shotgun is put together it may have been a top grade at the time. I’ve shown the gun to several other collectors/experts on vintage shotguns and a couple of these individuals think this may have been a salesman’s gun. The extra full choke was the tip off.


’m a sucker for old shotguns. I simply love the workmanship that went into the firearms of yesteryear. I really enjoy hunting with them, maybe just to prove they can still do the job. A few years ago, I stumbled across an old Iver Johnson, single-shot, external hammer shotgun. In the early 1900’s there were thousands of this kind of shotgun made by a variety of manufacturers. They were generally “work guns”. The owner used a shotgun like this every day and a lot of the time it put meat on the table for the evening meal.

When this gun was made, many communities had shooting matches on Sunday afternoons. It was not uncommon for gun salesmen to show up at these events and show off the latest thing their company had to offer. Many of these salesmen were darn good shots! Imagine an Iver Johnson salesman showing up at one of these events, and due to the extra-tight full choke and his abilities, he would break targets further out than most of the other shooters. Of course, the sales pitch after the match would be that the new Iver Johnson Champion was a better gun and made for the best shooters. Nothing like attacking the ego of a trapshooter to sell a gun!

JULY - 2019


Feature Story Because of the gun’s long barrel, shotguns like this carried the nickname of “Long Tom”. The name “Long Tom” probably dates back to the Civil War. One particular Union Army field artillery piece was a cannon that fired 64-pound projectiles over a mile. These cannons were called “Long Toms” and for generations, firearms that shot long distances carried that nickname, even into modern times. The name “Long Tom” was even a trade name for a single barreled shotgun sold by Sears Roebuck in the early 1900’s. Long Toms are a piece of history that represents a bygone era in the evolution of firearms. For me, it is just fun to hunt with a shotgun like my great-great grandfather might have used. I wanted to hunt a turkey with this shotgun. I am a sucker for turkey hunting, too! I began working with this shotgun and experimenting with different shotshells. I wanted to stay “traditional” with my choice of shells, no super magnum loads. I talked with a friend of mine who is a collector and merchant of fine shotguns. He generally has odd lots of old paper-hulled shotshells tucked away in his shop. I ultimately got about a dozen 2 ¾-inch Federal HiPower shotshells. A bit of field testing showed me that this ammo could launch lethal patterns out to 45 yards, maybe a little longer. This shotgun had potential! When the day came to hunt, I hiked back into some cedar canyons near my home. I found a good spot and tucked myself under a cedar tree at the base of a canyon wall. The cedar branches hung low and provided good screening and cover for me. This was a spot that I had seen turkeys moving through on a couple of scouting trips. I placed a single hen decoy near a yucca about 25 yards up the canyon from me. I knew the birds generally came from that direction, so I wanted the decoy there. This set up would let me call and the gobbler look in the right direction, but maybe not zero in on me as the spot from where the sound originated. I hoped that being “behind” the decoy would be a better tactical arrangement. A stiff breeze blew up the canyon toward where I expected the turkeys to appear. This could help the sound of my calls carry further. I sat back to wait.

My scouting paid off. Just when I thought that the turkeys should be showing up, the first hen entered the upper end of the canyon. Seven more turkeys appeared and casually walked my way. A single tom followed the hens. They were about 500 yards away. I slowly lifted my “Long Tom” up on my knee. I had it aimed the direction I hoped the tom be when he got within range. Since I didn’t have a real blind and only natural vegetation tucked around me, I needed to keep movement to a minimum. I could see the tom gobble but could barely hear him at this distance with the wind. The turkeys kept coming. The tom would stop and fan out about every 50 yards, but since the hens kept moving, so did he. The birds were now about 150 yards away and I could hear the gobbles plainly. I made my first series of calls and the gobbler’s head popped up. He spotted the hen decoy and began trotting my way. Things were getting exciting. About 50 yards away the tom stopped and went into full strut. He would gobble and fan out. He was still getting closer and I pulled back the hammer. He was now within 50 yards and probably within range of the old Iver Johnson, but there was a problem. He was directly in line with my decoy. If I tried to shoot now I’d certainly put a lot of holes in my decoy. I had to wait. The gobbler kept inching closer. He would walk a step or two toward my position, strut for the decoy and do that spitting and thrumming noise that turkey hunters live for. Finally, while in full strut, the tom turned to give the decoy a side view. It also caused him to get some separation from the decoy. I aimed and waited for my shot. The gobbler turned again and quartered toward me, maybe 40 yards away. He was probably 15 feet to the right of the decoy, far enough away to be outside the pattern. I squeezed the trigger. The old shotgun rocked me backwards and as I recovered from the recoil I saw the tom was down for good. This antique Iver Johnson may be old fashioned and outdated when compared to modern shotguns, but it can still do the job! I love hunting with these old guns! Rick Windham



Outdoor News

NWTF and partners will provide this mentored dove hunting experience for first-time hunters again in 2019


nterested in dove hunting but have never given it a try? The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in partnership with The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Quail Forever (QF), the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF), and private landowners will provide mentored dove hunts for first-time hunters on 8 fields on public and private land across the state. Field locations will be in or near Chillicothe, Joplin, Lynchburg, Mokane, Paris, East Prairie, and Washington. Each participating new hunter will be assigned a mentor but are also encouraged to attend pre-hunt workshops or a hunter safety class prior to participating in a hunt. Workshops provide basic hunter safety in addition to information about dove biology and management, the importance of hunters and hunting, and the opportunity to practice shooting a shotgun. There will be three hunts offered on each field including one or two on opening day of dove season, Sept. 1, and then one or two other days with dates to be determined. Each field will be limited to two first-time hunters and their mentors per acre to maximize safety and provide a quality experience. Priority will be given to anyone 11 and older that is hunting for the first time. Second priority will be given to new migratory-bird hunters and youths 11-15 that may have hunted doves previously. Field assignments will be determined on a first-comefirst-served basis. First time hunters can attend multiple hunts as registration space permits. Get info on MDC dove-hunting workshops at http://mdc. mo.gov/events.

Kory Smith and mentor Kyle Lairmore. (Photo: Courtesy of NWTF)

Get information on hunter education at: http://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/huntereducation-skills-training. For more information, contact John Burk at 573-6765994 or jburk@nwtf.net, or Casey Bergthold at 573-8230675 or cbergthold@quailforever.org .

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

Catfish on the Missouri River


he Missouri River generally runs like molasses in September. But heavy rains up north sent enough water to create a full pool for this long stretch by St. Joseph, Missouri--good news for river navigation and even better for catfishing anglers. Outdoor writers Zach Smith and Brent Frazee recently joined 23-year-old tournament catfisherman, Jordan Stoner to fish for big blue catfish on the Missouri. The young guide picked us up in a 16-foot Sea Ark powered by a 300-horsepower Mercury outboard motor, big for a river fishing boat.

Stoner’s rig was a far cry from old wooden Jon boats that once hauled commercial fishermen up and down this often-dangerous stretch of constantly flowing currents. The boat easily navigated moderate swells while Stoner studied his graph where submerged brush and occasional fish images appear. He quickly cut back the motor and requested someone drop anchor at his command. He had found the exact amount of brush and fish holding against the west bank. “My biggest blue catfish was over 70 pounds,” Stoner said. “That cat dragged the boat a good distance until it finally tired and was netted, photographed then released. But river catfish are powerful and even much smaller fish can drag a good-sized boat.”

Feature Story Soon the boat was secured and Stoner cut chunks about the size of a baseball off skipjack imported from Alabama. Skipjack shad are so named because of their habit of jumping out of the water when feeding. The 15 or 16-inch bait fish are noted to be oily and bloody, perfect for attracting big catfish in a current that likely delivers thousands of scents by the minute. Each chunk was secured on six good-sized hooks and cast in a fan pattern from 10-o’clock to two-o’clock. The wait started and the breeze suddenly quit. The sun’s ray became exceptionally hot as cold drinks were passed around the boat. Smith noticed a big snake slip into the river, not far from our boat. Common water snake bites are not poisonous, but very aggressive. “One night we were anchored off about dusk when I saw a big snake swimming across the river and straight at us,” Stoner said. “We thought the big snake would pass, but it swam to the motor and slipped up on the boat. I could see its head looking straight at me and I hate snakes. We fired up the boat and the snake was finally gone, to my relief.” More stories were shared while we watched the rod constantly tip with the current. Occasionally a fish would bite, but likely smaller catfish nibbling at the skipjack. Yet you can’t be sure as big catfish will sometimes bite lightly. Most big blue and sometimes flathead catfish pick up the bait and run hard, giving credence to a heavy rod holder. We fished several areas for about 45 minutes before setting up at our last spot. I noted an especially bloody skipjack head and someone noted that a catfish would certainly devour. Stoner cast the head close to where fish showed on his graph and set the rod in its holder. Within five minutes the took a healthy rod bent. Smith grabbed the rod and hung on, but somehow the big cat released the bait without being hooked. This happened a second time without a hookup. The catfish was less fortunate on the third try at stealing bait and was soundly hooked.

The cue-stick-sized catfish rod was well bent as the fish made several good runs. Stoner immediately threw the anchor line with float overboard and the boat moved, powered by the catfish and current. Smith’s reel drag was moderately set so the catfish would have some additional resistance. I was surprised at the strength of this fish that put on a good fight for several minutes before slipping into a big net. “That blue catfish weighs 23 pounds,” Stoner said after weighing the cat on his commercial scale. “That was a beautiful fish, determined to eat the skipjack head. The bite was slow today, but sometimes we get on a good bite and it’s not unusual to have several hookups at once.” Smith’s catfish was quickly released after photos and the day ended. The writers would drive back to beautiful St. Joseph, Missouri for a good dinner and historic museum tours the following day while Stoner continued fishing. “That was only the second catfish I have ever caught,” Smith said on the drive back. “I want to come back and try for an even bigger cat.” Smith had discovered just another addictive sport in our beautiful outdoors. St. Joseph, Missouri: The catfishing trip was part of the 2017 Missouri Outdoor Communicators meeting in St. Joseph, Missouri. The group visited several sights and fine restaurants around this old historic town, but were thrilled by the history. I highly recommend everyone visit this beautiful place where Jesse James ended and I began. If you would like to visit St. Joseph, Missouri and enjoy the history, call The St. Joseph, Missouri Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at: (816)-233-6688 or (800)-785-0360.

Kenneth Kieser The rods must be carefully watched for the big bite. (Photo: Kenneth L. Kieser)

JULY - 2019


Outdoor News

The Earth Thrower


ne April morning, as I sat waiting for an unwary turkey gobbler to wander into shotgun range, I noticed a patch of leaf litter that was rising and falling rhythmically a few inches from my right big toe. At first, I thought the spring sunshine had roused some woodland creature from its winter torpor. Having nothing better to do, and not wanting to betray my presence by leaning forward to brush aside the leaves, I watched the spot. I expected to see a large insect or a toad emerge. Instead, the heaving progressed slowly until it was directly beneath my foot. Just ahead of the main action, earthworms and ants scrambled above ground in apparent panic. Then it dawned on me — it was a mole at work, foraging for food. Sitting there, feeling a five-ounce terror lift my foot, I found myself suddenly curious about what makes these critters tick. What intrigues me most about the Eastern mole is the way this species has been shaped by its lifestyle. Its most striking feature is a pair of huge, pink front feet. These oversized catchers’ mitts and their impressive claws are far out of proportion to the animal’s body. A special bone, the “sesamoid,” reinforces each thumb, and the palms face outward rather than down as most small mammals’ front feet do. The mole’s arm, shoulder and collar bones are extremely robust. The skull is thick and wedge-shaped. These adaptations enable moles to push aside or lift even large obstacles (such as turkey hunters). Moles are narrow of hip, and their bodies are surprisingly flexible, making it possible to perform a sort of summersault, reversing directions in tight quarters. Their fur is short and slick. Eyes are useless underground, so the mole’s are reduced to the size of pinheads, hidden behind fused eyelids and engulfed in fur. Moles’ ear openings also are tiny, and they lack external structures. All these adaptations have one purpose — to reduce resistance as the animals navigate their mazes of tunnels. The modern word “mole” is a shortened version of the Middle English “moldwarpe,” which means “earth thrower.” When burrowing, they loosen soil with their claws, pass it beneath their bodies with their forefeet and kick it behind with the hind feet. When a pile accumulates behind them, they turn and bulldoze the



Moles’ enormous front feet led early naturalists to believe they were adapted for life in the water. (Photo: Jim Low)

material into an unused burrow with their forefeet or push it out the top of the tunnel. Mole hills created in this way can be confused with similar earth piles left by pocket gophers, but gopher piles are fan-shaped rather than domed. Moles remain active 12 months a year. They seldom leave the security of their burrows, but the fact that they occasionally venture above ground has been documented by food-habit studies of hawks and owls, which do not dig for their prey. Eastern moles eat a variety of foods, mostly animal. Earthworms, insects, spiders, slugs, snails, white grubs and other larvae all are important dietary staples. An adult mole measuring five to eight inches long, may also subdue and eat small snakes and mice. Roots and other plant matter make up 10 to 15 percent of Eastern moles’ diet. In captivity, they eat half their body weight daily. Given the number of destructive insects they eat, you might be better off with moles in your lawn than without them. Moles are solitary except during the mating season, which starts in February. Females prepare grass-lined nest chambers a foot or so below ground. Nests usually are excavated beneath logs, stumps or rocks. If you’re ever lucky enough to stumble onto a mole or if one stumbles underneath you, stay very still so as not to disturb it. They are very sensitive to vibrations. If you’re lucky, you may see something that no one else has ever seen.

Jim Low

Outdoor News

Carthage Archery Instructor Wins National Award


aleb Patrick realizes the benefits archery can provide to teenagers go beyond the satisfaction of being able to stick an arrow inside a target ring. The Carthage High School archery instructor’s dedication to using the activity to raise self-esteem and promote personal confidence through the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) – a program coordinated by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) – has resulted in Patrick receiving national recognition. Patrick has been named the National Archery in the Schools Program’s (NASP) 2019 Coach of the Year. Patrick coaches the Carthage High School archery team and oversees the other archery teams in the Carthage R-9 School District. This entails coaching 84 students at the high school level, 45 in grades 7-8, and 116 students on teams in grades 5-6. These teams participate in MoNASP, which is an an affiliate of NASP. NASP promotes education, self-esteem, and physical activity for students in grades 4-12 through the sport of archery. NASP’s Coach of the Year Award is part of the organization’s On Target For Life Award program. This program consists of six awards designed to identify, recognize, and celebrate people who demonstrate the positive influences NASP can have in lives of young archers. The Coach of the Year Award is a studentnominated honor that recognizes the attributes of a coach beyond their ability to teach the fundamentals of archery. The nominee must have a history of making a difference in the lives of participating NASP students. Those characteristics are easily seen in the work of Patrick according to MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Andy Rhodes. "Caleb is one of those coaches that is always looking to help archers be better on and off the shooting line. He’s always willing to chip in and create opportunities that improves the future of his students,” said Rhodes, who works with MoNASP teams in Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Barry, Lawrence, Dade, Cedar, and Barton counties.

More than 2.3 million Missouri students participate yearly and nearly 720 schools have participated in MoNASP since the program’s introduction in 2002. This year’s state MoNASP tournament in Branson featured more than 2,300 students from nearly 150 schools statewide. More information about the program can be found at: https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/ teacher-portal/monasp.

JULY - 2019


Feature Story

Properly Clean Your Firearms Before Storing



Feature Story


leaning a firearm doesn’t have to be a chore. With the right tools, it’s actually a short, simple process. If you can designate a cleaning station on your workbench, or at least keep your tools organized in an accessible location, the cleaning process will be much smoother, and faster. Before you begin the actual process of cleaning, you must take every precaution to ensure safety. A high percentage of firearms related accidents occur while cleaning. By following a few simple rules, you can greatly reduce the chances of having an accident yourself. • Make sure the safety is on. • Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. • Make sure the firearm is unloaded. • Always keep your finger away from the trigger. • Clean from the chamber when possible. Once you have taken the above precautions, begin the cleaning process by placing your firearm in a solid gun vise. Different styles of firearms require different methods of cleaning. For this article, we are going to use a bolt action rifle as our example. Once your rifle is secure in the vise, prepare it for cleaning by removing the bolt. Look down the barrel to ensure it is clear of any obstructions. Next, you want to insert a bore guide into the rear of the receiver. A bore guide is important to use because cleaning without a bore guide can allow a rod to rub the chamber or bore, which can cause accuracy issues. Also, a bore guide keeps solvents from spilling on your firearm’s finish or into its action. Once you’re set up and ready to go with your bore guide, select the proper jag, screw it on your rod and place a cotton patch on the end. Insert the jag into the bore guide, and liberally apply a good powder solvent through the port hole. Try to always use cotton patches, as opposed to synthetic patches, because they absorb solvent much better. Now run your rod through the rear of the bore guide all the way down the bore.

You’re going to repeat this process at least five times. A good tip is to use a patch trap. Doing so will save the hassle of having to pick up your wet, dirty patches. Next, remove your jag and attach a proper size bronze brush. Run it down the bore 10 times, five forward and five back. Now, reattach your jag, put on another patch, soak it in powder solvent and repeat the earlier jag and patch process to remove any fouling you may have loosened with the brush. Once your patches are coming out fairly clean (they’ll never be perfect), it’s time to address copper fouling. Put on a clean patch and soak it in a quality copper solvent. Run at least five patches down the bore, dropping them in the patch trap. Next, run a dry patch down the bore. Repeat until a patch comes out clean. The last step is to lightly oil a patch with a good gun oil and run it down the bore. You should now have a clean barrel. You should also take the time to clean your bolt and action. Scrub the bolt with a quality nylon brush. Wipe it off with a common shop towel and brush the bolt lightly with gun lubricant in three places – the breech side of the locking lugs, cocking cam and the engagement surface of the cocking piece. Next, use an action tool with a powder solvent soaked cotton swab to clean the raceway and chamber. Reinstall your bolt, and that’s it, you’re done. A properly cared for firearm will pass through generations as an heirloom. Shooting grandpa’s gun is a rite of passage every young hunter should experience. Take the time to properly care for and clean, and your firearms will be dropping deer and ducks for years to come.

Brandon Butler Properly cleaning a firearm will help keep it useful for generations. (Photo Courtesy of Battenfeld Technologies).

JULY - 2019


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July 2019 vol 80 no 4  

July 2019 vol 80 no 4