The Voice for Missouri Outdoors JULY 2021 - VOL 82 | NO. 4
Share the Gift of the Great Outdoors
issourians are so fortunate to have so many excellent programs and opportunities to get outside and get involved in the outdoors. Summertime is a great time to get out and get involved in some way. CFM is proud to support the NASP program and other outdoor programs for youth and adults. As I was recently signing checks for NASP grants, that go to Missouri schools that apply for support, my mind began to wander to a time earlier in my career when I was a certified NASP archery instructor, paddle instructor and staff trainer. I also taught camping and outdoor skills to first-timers, and enjoyed introducing people to many outdoor recreational activities and programs. The NASP program has brought so many great things to the youth in Missouri. It truly is the great equalizer in outdoor shooting sports. You do not have to be the strongest or fastest kid in school to excel in archery. It builds confidence, character, and life skills that stay with our youth for a lifetime. Check out our article on page 36 about some of these years accomplished archers. More great outdoor programs are the Learn2 Paddle and Learn2 Shoot programs administered by Missouri State Parks (MSP). Over a decade ago, when I worked for MSP, I helped get the Learn2 program rejuvenated. I loved traveling around the state to teach people the basics of kayaking, camping, archery, and valuable outdoor skills. Getting that light bulb to go off and see people learn a new skill is very rewarding. Be sure to check out Barbara Gibbs Ostmann’s article about kayaking on page XX, and find a place to participate in these free programs. MDC Nature centers also have so many free programs. This past turkey season, I was one of the mentors for the inaugural archery turkey hunt at Runge Nature Center. I was paired with my new friend Erik, and we chased birds for two days, but to no avail. We had an absolute blast trying to get gobblers to come into a call. I was amazed at his perseverance and was proud to teach him skills and the confidence to head out on his own in the future. I certainly remember the people that taught me these outdoor skills in my youth, and I still remember them like yesterday. I have many fond memories deer hunting with my dad, and I remember shooting my first deer with him and my older brother.
Tyler and his three children pose for a picture after they and his wife Michelle caught fish this spring at their home. (Photo: Michelle Schwartze)
My uncle Arnold took me fishing on the river for bass and to various lakes for crappie. I have since spent many days catching fish and making memories with my friends and family. After high school, my high school fishing buddy Kenneth and I started a fishing club and it is still going strong almost 20 years later. I can’t help but wonder how many people have had great memories in those tournaments each year. Even though I don’t get down there to fish them anymore, these tournaments still go on, and it still makes me smile to see all pictures of the winners posted on social media. Now most of my days are spent behind a desk or in the Capitol during the Legislative session, its my job to ensure our outdoor heritages are preserved. But when you think about it, it’s actually all our jobs to preserve it for generations to come. I challenge you to get outside, take someone fishing, or take them paddling or fishing, so that they can pass it on to the next generation of people enjoying the outdoors! After all, this is what it is all about.
Yours in Conservation, Tyler Schwartze CFM Executive Director JULY - 2021
Conservation Federation July 2021 - V82 No. 4
OFFICERS Mossie Schallon - President Richard Mendenhall - President Elect Zach Morris -Vice President Ginny Wallace - Secretary Randy Washburn - Treasurer
STAFF Tyler Schwartze - Executive Director, Editor Micaela Haymaker - Director of Operations Michelle Gabelsberger - Membership Development Coordinator Colton Zirkle - Education and
Communications Coordinator Joan VanderFeltz - Administrative Assistant Emma Kessinger - Creative Director
Aquatic Invasives: Slowing the Spread
Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass
Summer Sun and Fun: ONSR Paddling Clinic
The Last Cast
The New Boat
Rock Island Trail: Making Trails More Accessible
Share the Harvest: Snack Sticks Become a Reality
Dressing Up Your Summer Rough Fish
Take Advantage of MDC Managed Hunts
Missouri: 200 Years in the Making
Departments 3 8 11 14 36
Director's Message President's Message New Members Affiliate Spotlight Agency News
Highlights 19 22 45 55 58 63
CFM Photo Contest CFM Nominations Ruffed Grouse Workshop Fishing Tales MDC Land Purchase Leaving Wildlife Alone
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE CFM Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. Conservation Federation is the publication of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (ISSN 1082-8591). Conservation Federation (USPS 012868) is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September and November for subscribers and members. Of each member’s dues, $10 shall be for a year’s subscription to Conservation Federation. Periodical postage paid in Jefferson City, MO and additional mailing offices. Send address changes to: Postmaster Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main Jefferson City, MO 65101
FRONT COVER Ruby-throated hummingbird in Shannon County, Missouri. Shot with a Canon 30D with a 100-400 lens. (Photo: Reva Dow)
Thank you to all of our Business Partners. Platinum
Gold Bushnell Doolittle Trailer Enbridge, Inc.
G3 Boats MidwayUSA Pure Air Natives
Redneck Blinds Riley Chevrolet Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery Mitico Simmons Sun Solar
Starline, Inc. St. James Winery
Gray Manufacturing Company, Inc. HMI Fireplace Shop Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc. Missouri Wine & Grape Board NE Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.
NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Ozark Bait and Tackle Powder Horn Guns & Archery
Custom Screen Printing and Embroidery Dickerson Park Zoo Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Association Gascosage Electric Cooperative GREDELL Engineering Resources, Inc. Heartland Seed of Missouri LLC Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning Kansas City Parks and Recreation
Lewis County Rural Electric Coop. Missouri Native Seed Association REMAX Boone Realty Tabor Plastics Company Truman’s Bar & Grill United Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Silver Custom Metal Products Forrest Keeling Nursery Learfield Communication, Inc. Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina
Bronze Association of Missouri Electric Coop. Black Widow Custom Bows, Inc. Burgers’ Smokehouse Central Electric Power Cooperative Drury Hotels
Iron Bass Pro Shops (Independence) Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures Blue Springs Park and Recreation Brockmeier Financial Services Brown Printing Cap America Central Bank Community State Bank of Bowling Green
Your business can benefit by supporting conservation. For all sponsorship opportunities, call (573) 634-2322.
JULY - 2021
"The Voice for Missouri Outdoors" Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. In 1935, conservationists from all over Missouri came together to form the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) with the purpose to take politics out of conservation. The efforts of our founders resulted in the creation of Missouri's non-partisan Conservation Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Since then, CFM has been the leading advocate for the outdoors in Missouri.
Over 100 affiliated organizations Share the Harvest Corporate & Business Partnerships State & Federal Agency Partnerships National Wildlife Federation Affiliate Operation Game Thief Operation Forest Arson David A. Risberg Memorial Grants Missouri Stream Team
Conservation Leadership Corps Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance Confluence of Young Conservation Leaders Affiliate Summit Scholarships for youth and students Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt National Archery in the Schools Grants Conservation Federation Magazine
Legislative Action Center Resolutions to lead change Natural Resource Advisory Committees Conservation Day at the Capitol Staff and members testify in hearings for conservation and natural resources
Conservation Federation of Missouri began
State Wildlife and Forestry Code published
Wildlife and Forestry Act passed
First deer season since 1937
Amendment 4 created Missouri's non-political Conservation Commission
First turkey season in 23 years
First hunter safety program formed
Missouri Department of Natural Resources formed
Urban fishing program formed in St. Louis; first in the nation
Operation Game Thief formed
Design for Conservation Sales Tax passed
Stream Teams formed
Parks and Soils Sales Tax passed
Missouri voters Outdoor renewed Action Parks and Soils Sales Committee formed Tax by 70.8%
Share the Harvest formed
Conservation Leadership Operation Corps formed Missouri Forest Arson National formed Archery in the Schools Program formed
CFM Celebrates 85 years
Parks and Soils Sales Tax renewed by voters by the highest percentage to date (80%)
Ways You Can Support CFM Membership
Scholarships and Grant Support
Event Sponsorship and Product Donation
Support our efforts to promote and protect conservation and natural resources in our state. Members will receive our magazine six times a year, event information, our bi-weekly enewsletter, and the opportunity to grow our voice. CFM provides the platform for a diverse group of organizations to have their conservation voices be heard. Affiliates have the opportunity to apply for grants, receive educational training and promote the mission of their organization. CFM provides scholarships to graduates and undergraduates. We also provide grant funds to youth education programs and to affiliate projects. Contributing will help future generations initiate boots on the ground projects.
Become a life member for $1,000. Life memberships are placed in an endowment fund that allows us to continue our work in perpetuity.
Business partners will enjoy recognition in each magazine issue along with opportunities to reach and engage with our active membership. Ask us about our different Business Partnership levels. All of our events have raffles with both silent and live auctions. The contributions of in-kind products and services not only assists in raising funds for conservation, but also promote the businesses that support CFM.
Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main St, Jefferson City, MO 65101 Phone: (573) 634-2322 ~ Email: email@example.com www.confedmo.org
Become a Member today! ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
Description Individual Supporter Individual Advocate Individual Sustaining Youth/Student Individual Lifetime
Price $35.00 $60.00 $100.00 $20.00 $1,000.00
Name: E-mail: Phone: Address: Credit Card #: Exp. Date:
Join online confedmo.org/join
Rolling Into a Summer Full of Outdoors and Conservation
will begin with a big thank you to all CFM’s affiliates, members, and partners! By staying informed and engaged, you helped spread the message by calling, emailing, and otherwise communicating with your legislators about favorable and unfavorable conservation legislation during the 2021 Session. If you missed seeing CFM’s press release immediately following the close of session, I am happy to share a few highlights…. The Conservation Federation of Missouri's (CFM) is excited to announce that House Bill 369, which includes the Prescribed Burning Act and other favorable conservation legislation, will head to the Governor’s desk for signature. Representative Tim Taylor (R-Bunceton) sponsored HB 369 and worked hard with House and Senate members to ensure its passage. Senator Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) sponsored a similar bill in the Senate and provided amendments to further additional conservation goals. "CFM applauds the efforts of the General Assembly passing this conservation bill during this year's session. This bill covers a wide variety of things to help conservation and outdoor resources, and CFM is proud to help lead the effort to protect and enhance our f ish, forests, and wildlife resources," says Executive Director Tyler Schwartze. If signed by the Governor, this bill would create the "Prescribed Burning Act", which def ines liability as it relates to the use of prescribed f ire. Before this legislation, Missouri was one of only f ive states that did not have such a def inition in state statute. Def ining liability as it relates to prescribed burning should allow landowners and contractors to purchase liability insurance for conducting prescribed burns and increase the use of prescribed f ire as a land management tool. HB 369 also creates harsher penalties for the release of feral hogs in Missouri. Repeat offenders can now be charged with a felony for each feral swine that is released. Feral hogs are highly destructive to wildlife habitat and agricultural production alike. The increased penalties will help further reduce the number of feral swine on Missouri's landscapes.
Also included are several measures that will protect landowners from liability for injuries incurred by recreational users. This benef its landowners adjacent to recreational public lands, campground owners, and those who invite third parties to provide wildlife management services on their property. Just in time for summer…. The successful rollout of the COVID vaccines makes it possible for many of us to return to a more normal way of life, being with friends and family that have not been together for over a year. With this newfound freedom combined with warm summer days, I hope you are spending ample time discovering and rediscovering what Missouri’s outdoors has to offer! Our many parks, walking trails, waterways, fishing holes and so many more ______ (you fill in the blank) outdoor adventures anxiously await your arrival. Please check out all the contents in this edition of our magazine. Besides the great articles, you will find CFM’s 2021 Events Schedule, which includes several in-person, virtual, and online events! Also, look for opportunities to become more informed about what CFM is all about and how you can become more engaged. If you are reading this, please note, we have so much in common! Have a wonderful summer!
Yours in Conservation, Mossie Schallon President, CFM
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Why I Became a Life Member of CFM: Kyle Lairmore
joined the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) because the organization's mission and values aligned with my own. CFM has members from across the state and country, each for a different reason but all for the same purpose: to conserve Missouri's great conservation heritage. Being a member gives me a greater appreciation for the role CFM plays as an advocate for conservation and a better understanding of why it is important to have a voice speaking on our behalf. It is easy to take for granted that conservation, as we know it, will always be here and accessible. It has also allowed me to see conservation from a different perspective and understand the stories of how others came to enjoy the outdoors. Many traveled a different path than I while still having a common goal in mind: conservation. I became a life member of CFM because of a very generous gift from fellow life members, and I am forever grateful for this. My passion in life is sharing the joys of the outdoors with others, whether it be hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or any other outdoor activity. Moments I will cherish forever are those "first" experiences: first turkey, first deer, first fish, or first clay bird busted. I have my father to thank for all my "firsts".
Sharing someone else's "first" is like reliving mine all over again, and it is amazing to see the excitement it brings to others. I encourage everyone to consider becoming a mentor, whether for family, friends, or complete strangers.
Become a CFM Life Member When you purchase a Life Membership with CFM, your money is added to an endowment supporting the administration of the organization in perpetuity. Each year, we draw earnings from the endowment, so your contribution will truly be supporting the CFM for the rest of your life and beyond. This is an important funding source for our Federation. We hope you will consider joining the over 300 dedicated conservationists who have already made a life commitment to the Conservation Federation of Missouri by becoming a Life Member today at www.confedmo.org/join.
Contact CFM at (573) 634-2322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
WELCOME NEW CFM MEMBERS Jennifer Ailor, Ozark
Alois Hoog, Pacific
Jeannine Steinhoff, Kansas City
Bryan Anderson, Brunswick
Erik Janeczko, Jefferson City
Gary & Murial Stephens, Hillsboro
John Anselmo, Florissant
Theresa Kingsley, Lake Tapawingo
Kerry Swayne, Raymore
James Anthony, Stilwell KS
Warren & Susan Lammert, Saint Louis
Kevin Tenney, Eureka
Patrick Arnold, Saint Louis
Gary Lange, Saint Louis
Jack Thomas, Saint Clair
Sandra Ashurst, Old Monroe
George Liggett, Azle TX
Phillip Travis, Centerview
Jay Barber, Springfield
Robert Lill, Troy
Richard Trumble, Lake Saint Louis
Ron Barks, Troy
Chris Lofstrom, Marceline
Denis Viscek, Shawnee Mission KS
Jon Beetem, Jefferson City
Tim Mahoney, Lee’s Summit
Marcia Walsh, Kansas City
George Beltz, Tulsa OK
C. Mike McFatrich, Washington
Alice Wardlow, Raytown
Judith Beumer-Tuttle, O’Fallon
Ernest McGonigal, Odessa
Michael Warner, Independence
Mary Bock, Saint Mary
Paul McKee, Chesterfield
Gregory Weisler, Troy
Larry Brooks, Lexington
Larry Meisel, Jefferson City
J. Tom Wellington, Columbia
Cliff Callis, Sedalia
Jordan Meyer, Ashland
Albert Wiley, Farmington
Gerald & Shirley Clary, Springfield
Edward Minor, Kansas City
Steve Willcox, Lancaster
Shaun Collins, Meadville
Reta Mitchell, Mulberry AR
Bob Wilson, Saint James
Carl Crabtree, Odessa
H. Johnson Moore, Saint Louis
Scott Wilson, Eureka
Ralph Demien, Wentzville
Ernest Mosby, Smithville
Richard Dewey, Pleasant Hill IL
William Mueller, Jefferson City
Helen Dohr, Sainte Genevieve
Rick Myers, Oak Grove
CFM thanks the 185 members that renewed since our last publication.
Mike Doyen, Rolla
Thomas & Peggy Neer, Defiance
Jon Eckles, Saint Louis
Paul O'Donnell, Eminence
Chris Egbert, Columbia
Linda Oppland, Saint Louis
Jerry Elder, Bloomfield
Fred Ramsay, Saint Joseph
Kenda Flores, Sullivan
Jerry Rawlins, Farmington
James & Linda Frisch, Saint Louis
Corinne & Joseph Remeika, Columbia
Rick Gaffney, Saint Charles
Thomas Roesslein, Pacific
Jonathan Graham, Jefferson City
Michael Schremmer, Saint Charles
Leon Grass, Sainte Genevieve
Marjorie Schuchat, Chesterfield
Steven Grossman, Saint Louis
Donna Setterberg, Hannibal
Jane Guenther, Glencoe
John Sievers, Ellisville
Jack Hambene, Saint Louis
Barry Smith, Saint Louis
Mary Harris, Belton
Mark Spurgeon, Ballwin
Ron Hartley, Lake Winnebago
James Stahl, Syracuse
Timothy Hieronymos, Grain Valley
James Starck, Ellisville
Geraldine Holt, Lee’s Summit
Warren Stegmann, Saint Louis
In Memory In Memory of Mac Johnson Janet Gardner
In Honor of Harold Frazier Mr. and Mrs. Mitchel Damp In memory of Ron Coleman Henry Allhoff
JULY - 2021
Shelter Insurance® is a proud sponsor of Share the Harvest & the Conservation Federation. Contact your local Shelter agent to insure your auto, home, life, and your hunting & fishing gear. Find an agent near you at ShelterInsurance.com.
15th Annual Conservation Federation Sporting Clays Classic
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports, 1420 County Rd 276, Columbia, MO 65202 Presented by: Central Electric Power Cooperative & Bass Pro Shops - Columbia Central Electric Power Cooperative's members are Boone Electric Cooperative, Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Callaway Electric, Cuivre River Cooperative, Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, Howard Electric Cooperative, Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, and Three Rivers Electric Cooperative
Schedule of Events Registration: 8:00 a.m. - Noon Shooting: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Awards: 2:00 p.m.
Shoot as a Team or Individual Two Shooter Scramble- 75 targets, $60/team Additional Rounds- $50/team Individual Sporting Clays- 50 targets, $40/shooter Additional Rounds- $30
Prizes for Two Shooter Scramble & Individual Sporting Clays using the Lewis Class system Challenge shooting games will be held during the event!! Lunch available on the grounds - Drinks provided. Mail Registration to: CFM, 728 W. Main, Jefferson City, MO 65101 - or call (573) 634-2322 Name:
Two Shooter Scramble $60_____ Individual Sporting Clays $40_____Total______________
The Open Space Council
he Open Space Council works independently and collaboratively to conserve and sustain land, water, and other natural resources throughout the St. Louis region. They were founded in 1965 after it became clear that there was a need for land and water conservation and preservation of areas in and around St. Louis. The OSC has an extensive history. What began in 1967 with a small group of concerned citizens has grown into a 500-mile strategic river clean-up composed of over 2000 volunteers and in cooperation with various partners is known as Operation Clean Stream. Operation Clean Stream was one of the first of the Open Space Council's programs focused on community stewardship and volunteer efforts and is still a thriving program today. OSC recognizes our region is fortunate to have designated national, state, and local parks and other open spaces and has worked in partnership with organizations such as the Missouri Department of Conservation. They work with them, among many others, to expand preservation, conservation, and restoration efforts in and around St. Louis. Also acting as a Land Trust, OSC raises and provides funds for new open space projects, offering landowners an alternative to development. Over its long history, OSC has helped protect and conserve areas including but not limited to Castlewood State Park, BeeTree County Park, The Forest 44 Conservation Area, Forest River Trail Park, and the Young Conservation Area. Recently OSC helped to acquire 156-acre addition to Greensfelder Park in Wildwood, Missouri.
The recently launched Community Stewardship Alliance (CSA) Program has Site Ambassadors working in Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park, St. Vincent County Park, and Lower Meramec Park. It's focused on targeted restoration efforts at these spaces to plant trees, remove invasive species, and create and restore biodiversity. The CSA program's goal is to form volunteer teams to support the Ambassadors in each park and plans to expand this program in the future to include more parks in the St. Louis Region. As a designated environmental 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Open Space Council relies on volunteers and donors to continue its mission of saving spaces in the St. Louis region for generations to come. To learn more about how to get involved and details about current projects, visit www.openspacecouncilstl.org.
Affiliate Organizations Anglers of Missouri Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives
Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
Missouri Sport Shooting Association Missouri State Campers Association
Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society
Missouri State Parks Foundation
Bass Slammer Tackle
Missouri Coalition for the Environment
Missouri Taxidermist Association
Big Game Hunters
Missouri Community Forestry Council
Missouri Trappers Association
Burroughs Audubon Society
Missouri Conservation Agents Association
Missouri Trout Fishermen's Association
Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation
Missouri Whitetails Unlimited
Capital City Fly Fishers
Missouri Conservation Pioneers
MU Wildlife & Fisheries
Chesterfield Citizens Committee
Missouri Consulting Foresters Association
of Greater Kansas City
for the Environment
Science Graduate Student Organization
Missouri Ducks Unlimited- State Council
Northside Conservation Federation
Columbia Audubon Society
Missouri Forest Products Association
Open Space Council of the St. Louis Region
Conservation Foundation of
Missouri Grouse Chapter of QUWF
Ozark Chinquapin Foundation
Missouri Hunter Education
Ozark Fly Fishers, Inc.
Missouri Charitable Trust Deer Creek Sportsman Club
Ozark Land Trust
Duckhorn Outdoors Adventures
Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation
Ozark Trail Association
Festus-Crystal City Conservation Club
Missouri Master Naturalist -
Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club
Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Forest Releaf of Missouri Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
Boone's Lick Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Great Rivers Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist -
Gateway Chapter Trout Unlimited
Hi Lonesome Chapter
Greater Ozarks Audubon Society
Missouri Master Naturalist -
Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri Greenway Network, Inc. James River Basin Partnership L-A-D Foundation Land Learning Foundation
Miramiguoa Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Osage Trails Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Springfield Plateau Chapter
Perry County Sportsman Club Pomme De Terre Chapter Muskies Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation, Inc. Quail Forever & Pheasants Forever River Bluffs Audubon Society Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association South Side Division CFM Southwest Missouri Fly Fishers St. Louis Audubon Society Stream Teams United
Little Blue River Watershed Coalition
Missouri National Wild Turkey Federation
Student Air Rifle Program
Missouri Native Seed Association
Tipton Farmers & Sportsman's Club
Mid-Missouri Outdoor Dream
Missouri Outdoor Communicators
Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers
Mid-Missouri Trout Unlimited
Missouri Park & Recreation Association
Troutbusters of Missouri
Midwest Diving Council
Missouri Parks Association
United Bow Hunters of Missouri
Mississippi Valley Duck
Missouri Prairie Foundation
Watershed Conservation Corps
Missouri River Bird Observatory
Wild Bird Rehabilitation
Missouri Association of Meat Processors
Missouri River Relief
Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitation
Missouri Atlatl Association
Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc.
Wonders of Wildlife
Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation
Missouri Rural Water Association
Young Outdoorsmen United
Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative
Missouri Smallmouth Alliance
Missouri Birding Society
Missouri Society of American Foresters
Missouri Bow Hunters Association
Missouri Soil & Water Conservation
Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy
JULY - 2021
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BUY IT NOW-$699 Celebrate the Conservation Federation’s 85th Anniversary by purchasing a piece of history with this 12 ga. shotgun. This beautifully engraved CZ-USA Model 1012 Shotgun displays both the CFM 85th Anniversary logo and the CFM Seal, in your choice of bronze or OD green Cerakote finish. The shotgun features a Turkish walnut stock and holds up to 3” shells with a 4+1 magazine capacity. It has a 28” barrel length and a 14.5" length of pull. Each shotgun comes with a case and five choke tubes (F, IM, M, IC, C). To order: You may reserve yours today by going online at confedmo.org/buyitnow or call (573) 634-2322. Please allow 12 weeks for shipment, once the order is placed. Orders will be placed every 6 weeks. Shotguns will be shipped to an FFL dealer of your choosing in MO. Local FFL transfer fee may apply.
Missouri Forestry Summit to Be Held August 10-11
here are many threats to our forests and woodlands. The online Forestry Summit held in August of 2020 by the Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri (FWAM) detailed an aging forest lacking diversity, a lack of white oak regeneration to replace aging and harvested trees, concerns about tree mortality and how forests will respond to a changing climate. The next iteration of the Forestry Summit is scheduled for August 10 and 11, 2021 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia. These issues will be discussed further but more importantly, we will explore ongoing management initiatives to combat the many issues and threats to our forests. Breakout sessions will be held to gather ideas for what FWAM, and partners can do to keep our forests healthy.
Natural resource professionals, educators, consultants, landowners and anyone concerned about Missouri forests and trees and with an interest to promote, teach and encourage their management are welcome to attend and will find this event valuable. You can also view the 2020 presentations at https://forestandwoodland.org/ forestry-summit. More details, the agenda and registration will be up soon on the FWAM website at www. forestandwoodland.org. This event is a great opportunity to be involved and speak for the trees of Missouri.
CLC Workday at Prarie Fork
onservation Leadership Corps (CLC) students recently gathered for a volunteer workday at Prairie Fork Conservation Area in central Missouri. CLC has a long-standing relationship with Prairie Fork and has helped open their outdoor classroom for summer school groups for many years. This was the first official in-person meeting for CLC since CFM’s Annual Convention in March of 2020, so it was a great opportunity for many of the students to meet each other for the first time. Amber Edwards who manages Prairie Fork, is a member of CFM’s Youth Conservation Action Committee, and is Vice-Chair of the Education and Outdoor Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. Amber has been a great asset to the CLC program for more than ten years and helps provide students with volunteer, career, and educational opportunities. Marissa Forbis who is a graduate of the CLC program also works at Prairie Fork with Amber. It is wonderful to see several “generations” of CLC students, graduates, and leaders participating in various levels of conservation throughout the state.
Amber Edwards shared with CLC students the prairie restoration work and scientific research projects going on at Prairie Fork Conservation Area. (Photo: Courtesy of Marissa Forbis)
Colton Zirkle CFM Education and Communications Coordinator
Conservation Federation of Missouri
Photo Contest EST. 1935
Submission and Voting: July through September 2021
Since its inception in 1935, the Conservation Federation of Missouri has been proud to showcase our state’s rich outdoor heritage and its diverse wildlife, plants, and habitats. This year for the first time, we are hosting a photo contest to share our member’s artistic observations. We will have several categories for photographs and instructions and guidelines for submissions. Honors will be given for first place in each category and first, second, and third place overall. Many submissions will appear in our web and print media. Photos will be judged on creativity, impact, content, and visual quality. We hope you will join with us and enjoy photography of our great Missouri outdoors.
Photo Submission Categories
You MUST PROVIDE the date and location of the photo when you submit. 1. Get Outdoors – This category will include people exploring the outdoors! Take a kid fishing. Go on a hike. Sit and watch the birds in the backyard. Visit an educational program. As you go, take a photo! 2. Missouri’s Natural Areas – Here we will spotlight Missouri’s public lands, this includes, but is not limited to our beautiful state parks, conservation areas, and national parks. 3. Tracks and Traces – This is the place for your best plant and wildlife photography. We hope you’ve gotten to get outside lately and see lots of neat things and we hope you’ll share them with us. 4. All Aquatics – We couldn’t leave out our fish and floaters! If you are an angler, into aquatic invertebrates, love paddling the Ozarks and the rest of the state, or visiting our caves and springs, enter your photos here.
Submission Guidelines 1. Photographs must have been taken in the state of Missouri within the last year. Only photographs from January 2020 to present will be accepted. 2. Any activities in photos must be legal and conform to all state, state parks, and Wildlife Code rules and regulations. 3. This contest is for amateur photography only. If you receive payment of more than $1,000 annually for your photos, please refrain from entering into this contest. 4. You may submit any number of photographs in any category. You will notice, a photo such as one of a child fishing could fit into any of the 4 categories, feel free to submit in whichever category suits it best, but do NOT submit the same photo in multiple categories. 5. All photos must be submitted online at: www.gogophotocontest.com/confedmo. 6. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond basic editing and toning will not be accepted. 7. People who submit photos into the contest will receive no more than one prize. Prizes will be awarded as follows: First Place for each of the 4 categories, $100; Overall Best of Show, $250; The winners will be announced in the CFM magazine. Winners will be decided by the number of votes they receive through donations on the photo contest website ($1 = 1 vote). 8. By entering this contest, you give permission for the Conservation Federation of Missouri to publish any photos in our media. This includes, but is not limited to the Conservation Federation magazine, social media, and webpages. Credit will be given to the photographer. 9. CFM staff and their immediate families will be ineligible to win. 10. There are no age limits for persons wishing to submit their photographs. 11. Photo submissions and voting will run concurrently opening July 1st at 8:00 A.M. and will close on September 30th at 10:00 P.M. The earlier photos are submitted, the more likely they are to gain more votes.
2021 Events Schedule 85th Annual Convention- March 1 - 6
Let your voice be heard at the Virtual Annual Convention. Meetings, Awards, Auctions, and so much more.
Conservation Day at the Capitol- April 7
Join conservationists from across Missouri on the radio for a day of celebrating and supporting conservation and natural resources. From 6 am to 10 am on 96.7 FM or KCMQ.com
Pull for Conservation: Northwest- April 17
Join CFM for the 6th annual Northwest clay shoot at Boot Hill Shooting Ground in Hamilton.
Conservation Federation Virtual Event- July 22
Join us for this virtual fundraiser and hear updates about all things conservation.
Pull for Conservation: Central- August 14
Take your best shot at the 15th annual Central clay shoot at Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports.
Affiliate Summit- September 9 & 10
CFM affiliate organizations are invited to network and learn with fellow professionals.
Conservation Federation Online Auction- October 4-18 Enjoy a fun and interactive online auction with many great trips and prizes.
Conservation Federation Banquet: Springfield- October 7
Meet fellow conservationists and support CFM at the White River Conference Center next to Bass Pro Shops and Wonders of Wildlife.
Holiday Online Auction- Early December
Bid on many exciting items just in the time for the holidays.
Event dates are subject to change. Please visit www.confedmo.org or follow us on social media for the most up to date schedule.
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.
CFM Wants YOU. Will You Answer the Call?
eginning in 2019, an ad hoc committee convened by the CFM Board of Directors reviewed the nominations and elections process. The committee’s work resulted in several recommendations for changes to these processes to attract more diverse applicants with a broad array of skills and interests. On March 5, 2021, the Board approved recommended changes. The Nominating Committee is now seeking nominations for the 2022 election. The nomination deadline is August 7. Nominations are being sought for the following positions: • • •
Vice President: The Vice President will serve a two-year term, and may succeed to the President-elect and President positions. Treasurer: The Treasurer will serve a threeyear term. Secretary: The Secretary elected in 2022 will serve a one-year term. There will be another election in 2023 for this position for a threeyear term (thus staggering the treasurer and secretary terms). At-large board members (12 openings): Of the 12 board positions, 4 will serve a 3-year term, 4 will serve a 2-year term, and 4 will serve a 1-year term.* Executive committee (2 positions): The two Executive Committee positions will serve a 3-year term. Note, only sitting board members are eligible to serve on the Executive Committee.
*Note - Independent of CFM’s election the affiliates will hold a separate election for their 12 representative board members. Read about the roles and responsibilities of each position at www.confedmo.org/boardelections/, as well as preferred (but not required) qualifications and experience for each. To nominate yourself or another person, please complete the nomination and bio forms located at www.confedmo.org/boardelections/, and submit with a photo as instructed on the website by August 7.
The nominating committee will use the information provided to choose candidates for the above positions. Candidates will be announced in the November/December Conservation Federation Magazine. Nomination Process: 1. Read the descriptions and preferred qualifications. 2. Read the expectations for a board member. 3. Complete the nomination form, and short bio. 4. Submit nomination documents not later than August 7, 2021. Election: The election will be held electronically in January, 2022 and results will be announced prior to the Annual Convention. CFM leadership recognizes that the future is YOU and Missouri conservation needs your time and talent to remain strong and become stronger. Whether in leadership, finance, natural resource management, wildlife management or other areas, your experience and input as a member of the Board helps keep CFM going. What can you do to help fulfill the Conservation Federation of Missouri 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? Answer the call to help fulfill the mission of the Conservation Federation of Missouri, to ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education, and partnerships. Eighty-five years is a long time. And we hope to be around for many more years to come. Consider what a difference you could make—answer the call of the wild!
CFM, NWTF and Partners Team Up for 12th Annual Governors Youth Turkey Hunt
he annual hunt is a cooperative effort between Governor Mike Parson, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, National Wild Turkey Federation, Missouri Department of Conservation, private landowners and MO State Legislators. The 2021 Governors Youth Turkey Hunt marks the 12th year of this very special event. The hunt serves as a recognition by our government, of the importance of natural resources and outdoor recreation to the Missouri citizenry. It is also a celebration of Missouri’s leading role in recruiting, retaining, and reactivating hunters. 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 hunter safety. 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 elegant food and desserts. The speakers for the evening were Dan Zerr, the State Chapter President from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Steve Harrison, Conservation Commissioner, Tyler Schwartze, Executive Director of the Conservation Federation, and State Representative Bruce Sassmann. The youth were then each given a custom call made by Jim Clark before taking their picture with Director Pauley and Commissioner Harrison. From there the youth departed across the state to meet up with their landowners and guides to try and notch their first turkey tag.
Turkey hunting is a pretty weather dependent activity. To get the best opportunity to experience “the show” you pray for clear calm conditions at dawn. A few of the youth were hunting in the southern part of the state and the rain held off there until a little later on opening morning. However, most of the kids were hunting in central Missouri and woke to torrential rain Saturday morning with showers of varying intensity occurring for most of the day. Sunday was more what the doctor ordered for a “good turkey day.” Despite a literal washout for day one of a 2-day season, the results were good with 9 out of the 15 kids participating harvesting birds. The perennial success that this event has accomplished is largely a product of the overall quality of the experiences it has been able to provide the participants. All of these hunts throughout the 12 year history of this event have occurred on private land. We are therefore indebted to the generosity of the private landowners and guides that make it possible every year. The 2021 guides and landowners included: R.L. Bennett, Justin Furgeson, Bill Haag, Bruce Sassmann, Steven Harrison, Don Masek, Brandt Masek, Lucas Oil, Jim Cihy, Cole Cihy, John Burk, Logan Burk, Tim Taylor, B.J. Tanksley and Kevin Hess. John Burk & Tyler Schwartze
JULY - 2021
Known for their intricate dances and booming calls during the spring mating ritual, the greater prairie chicken is an emblem of native grasslands. However, it has dwindled to dangerously low numbers in Missouri due to loss of habitat. Current conservation funding has not been enough to prevent the continuing decline of the species, and more is needed to restore the prairie chicken and grasslands it depends on. USFWS
Missouri & the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Missouri’s rivers, forests, prairies, and caves support a diversity of wildlife. Missouri residents and visitors enjoy spending time outdoors— fishing, birding, and hunting. However, with over one-third of America’s wildlife at increased risk of extinction, Missouri could lose much of its beloved wild heritage. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will dedicate funding to help at-risk species before they become endangered—creating jobs and helping wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world.
By the numbers:
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has identified 603 species that need conservation assistance, including the eastern meadowlark, shovelnose sturgeon, and monarch butterfly.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would give MDC $21 million every year to help the 603 species in need by restoring their habitats and conducting other conservation action.
The current source of federal funding in Missouri for proactive, locally-led wildlife conservation—state and tribal wildlife grants—is inadequate to help the species at risk.
Recovering America’s Wildlife Act America is in the midst of an unprecedented wildlife crisis. Once abundant populations of fish and wildlife are now facing steep declines because of habitat loss, disease, and other threats. The bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would dedicate $1.4 billion annually to state and tribal-led wildlife conservation — helping prevent wildlife from becoming endangered in the first place. Learn more at www.nwf.org/recoverwildlife
Missouri Conservation in Action The pallid sturgeon was listed as federally endangered in 1990 due to habitat loss and fragmentation along the Missouri and Mississippi River basins. Each spring since 2008, the Department’s Missouri River Field Station crews, along with local volunteers, have captured wild pallid sturgeon to send to a hatchery in Sweet Springs, MO. They hope these adults will spawn and reproduce to help supplement the dwindling population. Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would support further recovery of pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River until the population is once again self-sustaining.
The distinctive “bob-WHITE” whistle of this new world quail is a sure sign of spring, and can be heard across the farms and fields of Missouri. While still relatively common, this popular game bird has been declining in recent decades due to the loss of grassland habitat and unfavorable weather during winter and nesting season. With support from Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, the Missouri Department of Conservation hopes to reverse the downward trend in bobwhite numbers and improve the statewide population through several initiatives including public education, recreation opportunities, and landowner assistance.
Other Missouri Species of Greatest Conservation Need
Photos: Tom Koerner/USFWS; Brian Gratwicke/National Zoo; NPS; Ryan Haggerty/USFWS
National Wildlife Federation EdelsonN@nwf.org 202-797-6889
Conservation Federation of Missouri email@example.com 573-634-2322
JULY - 2021
Aquatic Invasives: S l o w i n g the Spread
here may be a monster lurking in your aquarium. Does it sound like something out of a 1950s horror movie – The Creature from the Black Lagoon? No, it’s Attack of the Zebra Mussels! Recently the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), as well as fisheries experts across the nation announced that zebra mussels have been found in “moss balls," a type of algae known as Marimo. Moss balls are popular with aquarium owners and were shipped to pet stores across the United States, including here in Missouri.
It is still unknown at this time how the zebra mussels got into the moss balls, but one thing is for certain: aquarium water with the contaminated algae could contain zebra mussel larvae (known as veligers) that could be introduced to a stream or lake if the aquarium water is dumped or changed without being decontaminated. In the case of zebra mussels, the problems can be both biological and economical. The huge clusters these fingernail-sized mussels can form (sometimes as thick as a million mussels per square meter) can cause operational problems for pipes and other water-intake equipment.
Feature Story Their clustering activities can also kill native mussels and disrupt aquatic food chains, according to MDC’s Francis Skalicky. Zebra mussels first came to the United States in the ballast holds of ships that were dumped in the Great Lakes in the late 1980s. Since then, federal statutes require ballast water to be dumped at sea. Since their introduction spread is by recreational boaters taking vessels from one lake or river to another. While zebra mussels are one of the most infamous aquatic invasive, they are not the only threat to Ozarks streams. The James River Basin Partnership has been assisting MDC monitor for hydrilla, another invasive associated with aquariums that have been observed in Greene County. Last year, JRBP staff participated in hydrilla monitoring on Fellows Lake north of Springfield. Thankfully, it appears that early detection and monitoring have kept a large-scale hydrilla outbreak at bay. With invasive species, prevention is key, followed by quick identification and action should they be observed in the field. So, what can the average boater, hunter or angler do to combat these aquatic invaders? The simplest way to keep invasives out of our Ozarks waters is to Clean, Drain, and Dry every time you take your canoe, kayak, pontoon, or any other kind of boat out of the water. •
Clean boats, trailers, and any equipment (including paddles and life jackets and remove any mud, plant material, or debris before launching or recovering a watercraft. A power washer is best, but even your backyard garden hose will do. Hot water is the preferred method, but if that’s not available, pressuring washing your boat and drying in the sun is also recommended. Drain all water from your boat – live wells, bilges, and compartments with drain plugs have to potential to house aquatic invasives and fish diseases that may be hiding in what appears to be clear water. Make sure all drain plugs are removed. Dry boats and equipment before leaving an access or ramp. If possible, leave your vessel to air dry in the sun for at least 5 days before relaunching in a new waterbody.
In addition to these steps, anglers should dispose of any material or bait in the trash, rather than the water, and never move fish from one waterbody to another, thereby helping prevent the spread of aquatic invasives and fish diseases. “Invasive species are extremely opportunistic and always on the move. They can hitch a ride on your boat or even in the frame of your boat trailer,” said MDC Fisheries Management Biologist Kara Tvedt. “They can also hitch rides on kayaks and canoes. Waders can also be a carrier. And, you don’t have to be a hard-core enthusiast to be a vector. It just takes that one time.” Incorporating these simple steps into your routine before and after getting underway is a good way for us to recreate responsibly on our local waters. Recreational boaters of all kinds are our first line of defense when it comes to aquatic invasives. Following Clean Drain Dry practices and helping spread the word to fellow boaters will ensure that our Ozarks waterways remain free of invasives such as zebras, hydrilla, and others. We’ll see you - but hopefully not the invasive species - on the river.
Todd Wilkinson (Front) AmeriCorps placement Ashely Packwood and JRBP Executive Director Brent Stock assist the Missouri Department of Conservation with hydrilla monitoring on Fellow’s Lake, north of Springfield, July 2020. (Photo: Todd Wilkinson) (Top) Zebra mussel infestation on boat propeller (Photo: MDC)
JULY - 2021
Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass
he conditions of stained water, heavy vegetation, and a water temperature of seventy degrees do not send many folks running to grab a fly rod. However, to overlook the wind staff in a situation such as this could cause a person to miss out on a lot of fun! For example, to the Western-born trout fisher that grew up fishing mountain streams, there might not be anything sweeter or more exhilarating than watching a fly get taken off the surface of the water. To an angler from the Midwest, watching a largemouth take a hollow-bodied frog down between some lily pads might be as equally pulse-pounding. Both of those sound like a lot of fun, but what if there was a way to bridge the gap between those experiences?
It might appear to be a crazy notion at first, but if you delve into the subculture of fly fishing for largemouth bass, you will find that the reward is just as sweet as either of the two aforementioned methods. Sitting on Top To feel a fish tug on your line is an almost mystical experience, but watching a fish consume your offering is otherworldly. When it comes to fly fishing for largemouth, there are a lot of options. Poppers are the go-to fly for many fly anglers, and it is indeed a lot of fun to watch a fly get sucked down by an unseen force.
Feature Story Other flies such as sliders shouldn’t be overlooked, though. If bass are wary, a slider that cuts through the water rather than creating a noisy disturbance might entice a strike. But if you are looking for real fun, I suggest trying on a mouse fly. Watching a largemouth breach on a mouse fly like a great white on a seal during Shark Week might be one of the coolest takes you will ever see. No offense, dry fly purist fly fisher, keep chucking those Adam’s parachutes for bug-sipping trout. Get Down! As most largemouth anglers know, the crayfish/crawdad/ crawfish is a staple of almost any largemouth’s diet and there are many different fly patterns that can mimic this prey. Sinking a weighted fly with rabbit strip pincers to the bottom of a lake and dragging it along the bottom is a great tactic. Another option is to use a fly that behaves like a soft-plastic worm. Again, there are a lot of flies that an angler could fish like a plastic worm for largemouth. I mean, if you’re into fishing slow…and methodically…and did I mention slow? Alright, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t fish this way. If you can, then good for you, and I hope it works out well for you. On the other hand, I probably have some undiagnosed ADHD and I can’t fish this way. That’s not a joke or sarcasm by the way. The Truth (Sometimes) Lies in the Middle As with so many things in life, sometimes the best approach to solving a problem does not lay too far on one side of the pendulum’s swing or the other. For me, catching largemouth is all about throwing streamers. It isn’t as much fun as watching a largemouth inhale a bumblebee popper and probably won’t work as well as tossing a rusty-colored crustacean, but fishing flies that look like baitfish is where I like to reside. I have a fly box the size of a suitcase (literally) filled with flies that look like minnows, bluegill, and shad. Fishing these flies means a lot of casting as well as different retrieves, but therein lies the beauty. This style of fishing suits my personality, and when a largemouth swims off with my baitfish fly, that’s when I have the most fun on the water. The Gear It is also a lot of fun deciding what type of gear you will use to chase an old bucketmouth. If you want to use big streamers, poppers with a lot of air resistance, or heavy bottom-dwellers then you probably want to go with a seven or eight weight fly rod.
This will allow you to make long casts and push through any pesky wind-related issues. On the other hand, if you can downsize your fly and live with some casts that involve a little more finesse, then a fifteen-inch bassquatch can feel like a whale on a six weight. But if you are looking at bringing a knife to a gunfight, then I would challenge you to throw small flies like the hydrilla gorilla. Sure, there will be some bycatch bluegill and green sunfish (which is still fun) but when you hook into a ditch pickle in the one-to-two-pound range on a light action fly rod, then you will know what it is like to fight a fish that is out of your weight class. The great thing is that all of these opportunities might be closer to you than you know! Get out There Think about the bodies of water that you have within driving distance from your home. Chances are a pond or lake with some largemouth in it that aren’t being tempted with a fly. Some people believe that fish that have been caught and released have learned to avoid certain lures and baits. The term “fishing pressure” is typically used to describe finicky fish or able to change habits to avoid getting caught. Whether that is the case or isn’t, it might still stand to reason that fish with an aggressive nature could be tempted by a type of lure, or in this case a fly, that has never been seen before. Just look at Ryan C. Williams to confirm that fly fishing for largemouth is effective. His name might not ring a bell like Bill Dance or Jimmy Houston, but he did contribute fifty percent of the fish to winning the Wild West Bass Trail’s Lake Shasta Two-Man Tournament, which was not a fly-rod only competition. Fly fishing for largemouth bass probably won’t ever outduel conventional bass fishing, and that is alright. The point is that fly fishing for largemouth is accessible, fun, and not to be overlooked by Missourians. Blog- showmeflyguy.blogspot.com YouTube- youtube.com/theshowmeflyguy Etsy Fly Shop- etsy.com/shop/theshowmeflyguy Instagram- @showmeflyguy Facebook- facebook.com/showmeflyguy Tyler Dykes One of the author's favorite streamers to throw for largemouth is a fly called The Brave. (Photo: Tyler Dykes)
JULY - 2021
Summer Fun: Paddling in MO
ummer is in full swing, and that means heading outdoors, often to Missouri's rivers and streams for swimming, wading and paddling.
Increase your paddling pleasure by learning basic skills and safety measures at one of several free kayaking clinics offered by the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR), in conjunction with Missouri State Parks and the Ozark Riverways Foundation. It's one of the best opportunities around! The clinics begin at 10 a.m. at Current River State Park with "classroom" instruction on land, going over basic strokes and river safety skills. Then participants move to the park's lower lake for paddling practice.
Topics covered include canoe and kayak equipment, basic paddle strokes and maneuvers, rescue techniques, and river safety. Informal discussion continues while everyone eats lunch. After successfully completing the morning's skills lesson, students head to the Current River for a guided, four-mile instructional float to Round Spring. Participants need to provide their own Type III personal flotation device (PFD, aka life jacket) and their lunch and bottled water. Paddles and vessels will be provided. Upcoming dates are July 11 and 25 and August 1 and 15. Space is limited, so registration is required. You can register by calling the Round Spring Ranger Station at 573-323-8093.
Feature Story "The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a recreationfocused park based around a river system. Almost every year, there is a drowning fatality in the park, and one fatality is too many," said Skyler Bockman, District Interpretive Ranger for the Upper Current. "By focusing on basic safety rules and paddling techniques, we hope we can equip our visitors with enough knowledge and skills to feel confident and comfortable to remain safe while on our rivers." Guided Floats New this year is a pilot program of guided floats led by park rangers on the Upper Current. These interpretive river tours will begin at 9 a.m. at Pulltite and will conclude around 3 p.m. at Round Spring. Upcoming float dates are July 18 and August 8. Rangers will stop at key locations along the river to highlight the unique beauty and history of the Ozarks. "We'll stop at Pulltite spring and cabin, at Merritt Cave and at Current River State Park," said Bockman. "We'll probably do some netting and look for macroinvertebrates. We want to explain what makes the Current and Jacks Fork rivers so special and why they became a national park." A shuttle will be provided. Participants need to bring their own vessel, paddle and Type III personal flotation device. Space is limited and registration is required; please call the Round Spring Ranger Station at 573-323-8093. The instructors and river guides for these programs are certified by the American Canoe Association (ACA). The ONSR will continue to follow the latest guidance from the CDC for COVID-19. Participants should be prepared to practice safe physical distancing and wear appropriate face coverings, if necessary. Both the kayaking clinics and the guided floats are open-air events. Loaner equipment will be sanitized before and after the clinics. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves 134 miles of the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding natural resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people. For more information about the park, including the upcoming fall hiking series, visit www.nps.gov/ozar.
Barbara Gibbs Ostmann
Learn2 Paddle Programs at Missouri State Parks
Missouri State Parks is offering two-hour Learn2 Paddle kayaking classes at 12 state parks and one historic site this summer, including Battle of Athens State Historic Site and Wakonda, Ha Ha Tonka, Current River, Pomme de Terre, Finger Lakes, Crowder, Knob Knoster, Table Rock, St. Joe, Watkins Mill and Stockton state parks. Classes began in May and continue through September 28. The program is designed for people who want to experience kayaking but aren't sure where to start, as well as for those who want to get out on the water but don't own a kayak. According to the website, "This will be a great opportunity to try something new and experience some of Missouri's lakes. We supply the equipment and the expertise; you supply the enthusiasm and an eagerness to discover nature and a new skill." The state park system will provide kayaks, paddles, life jackets (personal flotation devices) and instructors. If you have your own life jacket, you are encouraged to bring it. Participants should bring a good attitude and willingness to learn, as well as bottled water; please wear appropriate swimwear and footwear. Class registration fee is $5 per participant and registration is required. For a list of program dates and locations, as well as registration information, visit mostateparks.com/learn2paddle. This is a family-oriented program. Participants must be at least 10 years of age. Children 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the entire program. Participants should be comfortable around the water. Participants are strongly encouraged to follow physical distancing guidelines and come prepared with hand sanitizer; please wear face coverings, if needed. For more information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Before going on the river, kayak clinic participants do some practice paddling on the lower lake at Current River State Park. Instructors demonstrate basic strokes and work one-on-one to help paddlers become comfortable on the water. (Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Gibbs Ostmann)
JULY - 2021
The Last Cast H
e was alone on the lake. The sunrise was breathtaking. He had seen lots of sunrises but none this beautiful. His first cast landed near some bushes. He felt the thump and set the hook. The largemouth came out of the water, trying to shake the bait. It fought hard but soon tired. He gently lifted it from the water, smiled and released it. There would be many more fish that morning. One was the biggest smallmouth he had ever caught in all his years of fishing. The sunlight glistened off its bronze body. He managed to take a selfie of him and the fish. As he hit send on his smartphone, he smiled. A son texted back, “Nice one Dad.” Another son replied, “Good fish old man!” A grandson asked, “What did you catch it on?”. His wife texted, “Are you doing okay and how are you feeling?” He smiled and texted back each of them with only the words “I love you” and then went back to fishing.
It suddenly occurred to him that he had not heard or seen another boat all morning. It kind of felt like he was fishing on his own private lake. He heard crows, ducks and geese. He saw deer and turkey at the water’s edge. Birds were flittering around everywhere and singing their songs. A hummingbird even came buzzing by thinking he was a big flower. He said to himself, “Is this what heaven will be like for a fisherman like me?” He smiled again. The afternoon sun was high and hot. He motored into a shady cove and shut off the engine. The slight breeze felt good there in the shade. He tied the boat to a tree, sat back and relaxed. Thoughts of the first fish he ever caught went through his mind. He saw the bobber, the worm, his cane pole. He felt the little perch squirming in his hand. The special feeling, he had that day alone on that creek, was unlike any other. He was hooked. It was the first of many fish he would catch in his lifetime.
Feature Story As he stretched out in the boat, more memories flooded his mind. He wished his Dad would have taken him fishing but he didn’t. He thought of times he took his son’s fishing. He recalled the look on their faces when they caught their first fish. He wished he hadn’t been so busy trying to make a living and would have taken his boys fishing more. But, they both grew up to be fishermen. They both became good husbands, fathers and Godly men. Their kids became fishermen too. They had a Dad that took them. A Papaw too. There was no doubt in his mind that his grandkids would also take their kids fishing. He smiled once more and was proud. He hoped that more people would discover the magic of fishing and pass it on. With the gentle rocking of the boat, his eyes got heavy. A nap came easy. It was much-needed rest. The hospital visits and all the medicine had taken its toll. Late afternoon he awoke to the screeching sounds of an eagle flying in the sky above him. It was out fishing too. As he lay there watching the eagle, he wished he had more time left. He thought to himself that he would go back to Canada fishing for walleye and pike with his son and grandson. Travel with his other son and grandson’s to the Northwood’s for those good eating yellow perch. Going back to catch a snook or grouper in Tampa Bay or speckled trout at Gulf Shores would also be on his list. A limit of crappie, some trout fishing or maybe catfishing would be good too. Grabbing a mess of suckers and frying them up on the river bank one more time sure would be fun. He even thought about going wade fishing in a creek or sitting on the bank of a farm pond. Alaska salmon and halibut fishing were on his bucket list. So was fishing for redfish. It had never happened, and now there was not enough time. The sunset was beautiful in the western sky. He watched as bats began their dance in the approaching darkness. It was feeding time. He listened to the owls and the whip-poor-wills as they started their nightly chorus. The smell of new-mown hay and someone’s campfire drifted through the air. He knew he should be heading home. His wife would be worried. In the gathering dusk, he wanted to fish just a little longer.
The doctor had told him the radiation and chemo were not working. This was his last time to fish. He was at peace with that because he knew where he was going. He had messed up his life at times. He had made mistakes. But, he had got his life straightened out and was walking the path he should have been all along. He wished he had more time to tell his wife and family he loved them and make more memories with them. He wished he had more time to tell others that no matter what they have done wrong in their life, they can still go where he is going. The boat roared to life, and he headed for his favorite fishing spot near the ramp to make another cast or maybe two. In the half-light, he cast toward the bank. The topwater bait gurgled across the surface. A really big bass slammed it, and the fight was on. When the battle was finally over and he lifted it out of the water, it was bigger than the one earlier in the day. He removed the bait from its huge mouth, lowered it back into the water and in the dim light watched it swim away. He looked up into the night sky filled with millions of stars and with a tear in his eye and a smile on his face said, “thank you!” “Just one more cast,” he told himself. The lure hits the water. A fish engulfs it. The battle begins and then suddenly stops. He’s snagged. The line snaps. “That’s okay,” he says to himself and smiles again. Too dark now to re-rig. It’s time to go home. It was his last cast. Larry Whiteley (Left) The last cast of a life well spent. (Photo Courtesy of Share the Outdoors) (Top) The morning sunrise was like the heaven opened. (Photo Courtesy of Share the Outdoor)
JULY - 2021
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION MoNASP Student Archers Achieve Academic and Competition Success
ine MoNASP student archers made the 2021 NASP® Academic All-American Team and numerous MoNASP archers and teams shot top scores in the national virtual competition. Nine Missouri student archers in the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP) who made the 2021 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP®) Academic All-American Team. Numerous MoNASP student archers and teams who shot top scores in the NASP national virtual competition. “We congratulate all the student archers who competed in the virtual national tournament and are especially excited for those individuals and teams that placed top scores,” said MDC Education Outreach Coordinator Eric Edwards, who coordinates MoNASP activities. “We also congratulate the nine MoNASP student archers on making the 2021 NASP Academic All-American Team!” MoNASP is coordinated through MDC, the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, and the Conservation Federation of Missouri in partnership with more than 800 participating schools and numerous supporting organizations throughout the state. More than 85,000 Missouri students participate in the program. MoNASP is an affiliate of NASP and is an in-school program for grades 4 through 12 that teaches the basics of archery, along with confidence, self-control, patience, and discipline to success both behind the bow and in school and life. MDC congratulates the following Missouri student archers on the 2021 NASP® Academic All-American Team who not only excelled on the range, but who were also recognized by their school for proficiency in the classroom:
NASP® Elementary Division All-American Academic Archers: • Jake Sloan of Compass Elementary School in Platte City • Zara Butcher of Billings Elementary School in Billings • NASP® Middle School Division All-American Academic Archers • Koen Littlejohn of Lamar Middle School in Lamar • Sydney King of Lewis & Clark Middle School in Jefferson City • Owen Vaught of Crane Middle School in Crane • Kynlee McCulloch of Lamar Middle School in Lamar • NASP® High School Division All-American Academic Archers • Jeremiah Jones of Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction • Blake Moore of Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro • Klint Luebbering of Fatima High School in Westphalia
Agency News “NASP and the Academic Archer Title Sponsor, Easton Technical Products, are proud to recognize these top student archers as they provide an excellent scholastic example for all NASP participants in 47 states, 8 Canadian provinces, and 9 other countries,” said NASP President Dr. Tommy Floyd. “Through the emphasis on academics, we truly believe that NASP continues to achieve one of its long-standing goals of helping to motivate students for success in the classroom.” MDC also congratulates the numerous MoNASP student archers and teams who shot top scores in the national virtual competition for all NASP® archers. A record 15,683 archers from 1,053 schools in 42 states competed in the virtual bullseye competition and 4,015 archers from 326 schools in 33 states competed in the virtual 3D competition. Top teams and individuals from Missouri for the bulls-eye tournament were: High • • • •
School Division: Calvary Lutheran in Jefferson City -- 4th place Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro -- 5th place Fatima High School in Westphalia -- 9th place Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction -10th place
Middle School Division: • Lamar Middle School in Lamar -- 8th Individuals from Missouri stood out among the top shooters. Jeramiah Jones from Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction placed second overall with a score of 299 out of a possible 300. Ty Lower from Crane High School in Crane, Blake Moore from Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, and J.J. Quehl from Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville all shot a 295. Lexi Buechter from Blair Oaks in Wardsville placed 9th for all high school females with a score of 294.
In the middle-school division, Sydney King from Lewis & Clark Middle School in Jefferson City placed 5th in the female division with a score of 293. Also shooting a 293, Koen Littlejohn of Lamar placed 8th in the male division. In the elementary female division, Jaelyn Jordan from Mason Elementary in Lees Summit finished 2nd with a score of 281. On the 3D range, Missouri teams and individuals excelled as well. Sydney King from Lewis & Clark Middle School in Jefferson City shot a 296 out of 300 leaving her tied for first place amongst all female shooters. Garrett Elliott from Cole Camp placed 5th for the middle school male division. Kynlee McCulloch from Lamar Middle School placed 8th in the female middle school division. Jake Sloan from Compass Elementary in Platte City placed 7th in the elementary male division. Jeremiah Jones from Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction placed 4th in his division. J.J. Quehl from Blair Oaks in Wardsville placed 8th and Jared Braun from Calvary Lutheran in Jefferson City placed 10th. Missouri teams placing in the 3D competition in the high-school division were Calvary Lutheran High School in Jefferson City in 2nd place, Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro in 4th place, Carl Junction High School in Carl Junction in 8th place, and Sarcoxie High School in Sarcoxie in 9th place. In the middleschool division, Lamar Middle School in Lamar took 6th place, Platte City Middle School in Platte City took 9th place, and Carl Junction Middle School in Carl Junction took 10th place. In the elementary division, Compass Elementary School in Platte City took 9th place. For more information on the NASP Academic Archer program and national tournaments, visit naspschools.org/.
JULY - 2021
Conservation Commission approves CWD regulation changes by MDC
DC adds Camden, Laclede, McDonald, and Pulaski counties to CWD Management Zone and reinstates mandatory CWD sampling for opening weekend of the November firearms portion. The Missouri Conservation Commission recently approved proposed regulation changes from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance and management efforts. The changes were approved at the Commission’s May 21 open meeting. They add four counties to the CWD Management Zone and reinstate mandatory CWD sampling requirements. The approved MDC regulations add Camden, Laclede, McDonald, and Pulaski counties to the CWD Management Zone. The four counties were added to the Zone due to CWD being found in or near them. With the additional counties, the CWD Management Zone consists of 34 counties in or near where CWD has been found. MDC previously reported it confirmed 44 new cases of CWD from more than 15,300 deer tested during the past year. Of the 44 new cases, one was found in Pulaski County, which had no previously known cases of CWD. Due to the detection of CWD in Pulaski County, MDC recommended that Pulaski County and adjacent Camden and Laclede counties be placed in the CWD Management Zone. Due to the detection of a CWD-positive deer in northern Benton County in Arkansas within 10 miles of McDonald County in Missouri, MDC recommended that McDonald County be added to the CWD Management Zone.
The Commission also gave its approval to reinstate mandatory CWD sampling for the coming deer season. Counties designated for mandatory CWD sampling must be approved by the Commission each year. As a result of COVID-19, MDC waived the mandatory sampling requirement for last year’s opening weekend. Hunters who harvest deer in any counties of the CWD Management Zone during the opening weekend of the November portion of the firearms deer season (Nov. 13-14) are required to take their harvested deer (or the head) on the day of harvest to one of MDC’s mandatory CWD sampling stations throughout the Zone. Hunters must follow carcass-movement restrictions when traveling to a mandatory CWD sampling station. Hunters must present their deer (or the head from their deer) to a mandatory CWD sampling station within the county of harvest, with a few exceptions. Deer that will be delivered to a permitted meat processor or taxidermist within 48 hours or deer heads that will be left at the MDC mandatory CWD sampling station for disposal after sampling may be transported to a sampling station in any county. Also related to CWD management, MDC has removed the antler-point restriction (APR) for the upcoming deer season in Camden and Pulaski counties. Younger bucks, which are protected under the APR, are more likely to disperse and potentially spread CWD. Therefore, removing the APR within the CWD Management Zone minimizes the risk of disease spread to other areas. Additional information on these and other regulations will be included in MDC’s 2021 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet, available where permits are sold and online starting in July. The total number of known CWD cases in the state is 206. MDC has tested more than 152,300 deer since the first cases of CWD were found in free-ranging deer in Missouri in 2012. For more information on CWD and MDC efforts to limit the spread of the disease, visit mdc.mo.gov/cwd.
MISSOURI STATE PARKS Sappington African American Cemetery in Arrow Rock Dedicated as New State Historic Site
n Saturday, June 5, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources dedicated Sappington African American Cemetery State Historic Site as the 92nd facility in the Missouri State Parks system. The ceremony and ribbon cutting were held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 5. Missouri State Parks director Mike Sutherland, Rep. Tim Taylor, Missouri Department of Natural Resources director Carol Comer, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Sappington Negro Cemetery Association president Teresa Habernal, Parker family descendent Wanda Saboor, Sen. Barbara Washington and minister Nancy Draffen Brown offered remarks at the ceremony.
Sappington African American Cemetery State Historic Site now joins other significant African American sites in Missouri, including Scott Joplin House State Historic Site in St. Louis; the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site in Butler; the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center in Kansas City; and the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond. Each tells its own unique story in Missouri history. “Hidden Histories” is a Missouri State Parks program seeking to create personal connections with all audiences by identifying and telling forgotten or untold stories that highlight Missouri’s history in its entirety and represent our state’s cultural diversity.
“This is a very exciting day for Missouri State Parks as we dedicate the 92nd facility,” said Mike Sutherland, Missouri State Parks director. “Our mission of preserving and interpreting Missouri’s finest examples of cultural landmarks continues and wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many of you here today.”
The Sappington African American Cemetery State Historic Site is a two-acre plot in southwest Saline County about a quarter-mile west of Sappington Cemetery State Historic Site. The two cemeteries are separated by a field and a paved highway. Both are about five-miles from Arrow Rock.
Ceremony attendees included partner organizations and individuals who were instrumental in the development of Sappington African American Cemetery State Historic Site, and family descendants of those interred in the cemetery.
Approximately 350 burials have been detected at the site; however, the identity of many are unknown. Burial records that have been gathered are now available at the Arrow Rock Visitor Center.
(Photos: Courtesy of Missouri State Parks)
For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. JULY - 2021
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Road trip. We didn’t choose the perfect playlist. Or program the GPS. But we did fuel the car that made you realize there are no wrong turns, only new adventures. When the energy you invest in life meets the energy we fuel it with, amazing journeys happen.
MAY - 2021
The New Boat I
started teaching our three sons how to catch catfish with trotlines on Moniteau Creek near its confluence with the Missouri River at the MDC Marion Access. We would launch two canoes from Highway 179 right-of-way and either go up the river or down depending on conditions. It’s much more difficult to tie off and set trotlines from a tippy canoe, but we got adept at it over time. Our sons eventually complained about paddling me up and down the river, so I purchased a battery and trolling motor to maintain their enthusiasm, which easily powered two canoes tied together.
It wasn’t long after the commercial harvest of catfish on the Missouri River was banned in 1992 that I noticed the size of the fish in Moniteau Creek we were catching increased. The big fish were out in the Missouri River, and we would need a boat. I began exploring options, and I was sure that Mrs. Urich would agree that a boat was a great family expenditure. It was for our sons. I was outside working on one of Mrs. Urich’s massive gardening assignments when an odd-looking, throaty sports car came up the driveway and parked in front of the house.
Feature Story Mrs. Urich stepped out, beaming with delight. She had purchased a Dodge Stealth, a high maintenance, two-seater performance sports car designed to go 200 mph on freeways with a 70 mph speed limit. There had been no discussion on spending all our money on a sports car when the family priority was obviously a new boat. How could I teach our sons to fish on the Missouri River without a boat? As I made my way towards Mrs. Urich with the anger building inside of me, my little voice popped up in the back of my mind urging restraint and calm. Where I saw an expensive, impractical car that couldn’t even haul the entire family, my little voice saw a boat in my future. For reasons I still don’t completely understand, I listened to my little voice, which I hardly ever did and paid dearly for it. So I smiled, said it was a nice looking car, went well with her outfit and I was looking forward to going for a spin. Mrs. Urich parked her Stealth in the garage next to my favorite chair and private retreat. This is where I retire to organize my thinking and seek relief from the chaos of family life with three boisterous boys who seemed to spend most of their time fighting and eating. The car glared at me and disrupted the calm of my refuge. It had a nasty security system that growled at me and told me to step away from the vehicle if I got too close, even when the car was turned off.
The design of vehicles would have many practical improvements. When I hooked up the second cable to the new battery, the car groaned and told me to step away from the vehicle. Mrs. Urich enjoyed driving her Stealth, but there was no way it would ever pull her horse trailer. She finally realized that the Stealth had serious limitations and she finally came up the driveway in a pickup truck that better complemented her equestrian center needs. That’s when my little voice told me it was time for a new boat. We had been saving for years for a new roof on the house hoping that a hail storm would require the insurance company to replace the shingles, which never happened. I realized that I could buy 5-gallon buckets of roof cement to patch the roof instead of replacing it. This might not look good, but it would work. I converted the roof fund to a boat without consulting Mrs. Urich, who was obviously too busy with her horses to be bothered with this decision. I came up the driveway driving Mrs. Urich’s truck pulling an 18-foot aluminum V-bottom boat with a 100 hp 4-stroke motor. Mrs. Urich was outside working on one of her massive gardening projects. She smiled, said it was a nice-looking boat, and she was looking forward to going for a spin.
Of course, maintenance of the Stealth was my responsibility. Mrs. Urich expected her vehicle to start and run perfectly anytime she turned the ignition on. Anything less than that was my fault. Because the security system was always on, the battery had to be replaced frequently. It took me almost 6 hours to install a new battery because it was tucked into a deep recess within the engine compartment that was inaccessible without removing a lot of stuff. I’ve always felt automotive engineers should be required to make certain repairs along the roadside at night in the rain with a flashlight stuck in their mouth. JULY - 2021
I parked the boat in the garage next to my favorite chair, where I could admire it at length. Calm and order had returned to my personal sanctum. Suddenly it occurred to me that my boat and Mrs. Urich were a lot alike. It was obvious and I was shocked that I hadn’t recognized this before. Both my boat and Mrs. Urich are attractive, wellproportioned and bring me exceptional joy and companionship. Both are even more alluring when highly accessorized. In Mrs. Urich’s case, it is new shoes, belts, scarves and jewelry. Accessories for the boat are live well, lights, extended deck, rod holders and electrical outlets for night fishing. Both compete for my time and attention plus both are a source of conflict at times, especially on weekends. Both vie for the use of the pickup truck. Sadly both are costly and high maintenance. Both my boat and Mrs. Urich require a cadre of well-trained and expensive technicians for maintenance purposes. Mrs. Urich has her hairdresser, skin specialist, ferrier and others, while my boat requires a mechanic and electrician for proper performance. I now know that boat is an abbreviation for break out another thousand.
Every time I fire up the four-stroke motor and hear it purr over the water, I thank my lucky stars that I kept my big, fat trap shut the day Mrs. Urich showed up all beaming and proud with a new Dodge Stealth. Occasionally during these serene moments in the boat, my little voice will pop up to remind me how enjoyable and uncomplicated my life can be when I heed the good advice that is offered rather than blast ahead with reckless, bone-headed behavior. I’ve had my boat for 15 years now. Recently I had to get a new motor. The driveshaft broke, stranding me in Truman Reservoir, making for a very expensive weekend. I neglected to tell Mrs. Urich how much a new boat motor cost because I knew she wouldn’t notice. Boat motors mostly look alike. Thankfully, Mrs. Urich has never left me stranded, although I’m sure she has thought seriously about it a time or two. This is an excellent example of how my boat and Mrs. Urich are not alike. Perhaps there are others. David Urich (Front) Kirk Urich, youngest of the Urich boys, with a blue catfish caught on a trotline in Moniteau Creek. Note the electric trolling motor on the back of the canoe. (All photos: Courtesy of David Urich) (Right) David and Mrs. Urich in the new boat on the Missouri River. Inset is the Dodge Stealth parked in front of the horse barn. (Top) L-R Tim and Aaron, oldest Urich sons, and David Urich with catfish from Truman Reservoir.
Forest Management and Ruffed Grouse Workshop & Tour
he Missouri Department of Conservation and the MO Grouse Chapter of QUWF have been creating early successional forest habitat for Ruffed Grouse and other forest wildlife. The grouse restoration effort, which began in 2018, will be completed this summer with an August/September translocation of another 100 grouse from Wisconsin. Where are these grouse being released, and what is early successional forest habitat? Join us Saturday, September 11, at the Bill and Margie Haag property near Rhineland to learn more. Anyone interested in forest and wildlife management and ruffed grouse in Missouri are invited to attend. This location will be the release site of the last 100 grouse. The tour will start at 9 AM and will conclude at noon with a meal provided. Topics at the event include wildlife management, streambank stabilization, and timber production. Deborah Hudman with A.T. Still University will be there to present her work on tick research. They will discuss how forest management practices influence tick populations and their infection rate of human pathogens. Several stops on tour will allow participants to see timber harvest, Timber Stand Improvement (TSI), prescribed burning, shelterwood cuts, and regeneration cuts. You will see a unique display of regeneration cuts that show forest succession over the last nine years. Of the 1,300 acres on this property, 1299 acres have had habitat work completed. The only acre left is a forested stand showing no management. Join us and see the difference!
A ruffed grouse on a log (Photo: Courtesy of MDC)
This driving tour will have foresters, wildlife biologists, landowners, and others giving talks at various stops. Pending MDC approval, there is also a possibility of observing a grouse release. This will depend on MDC approval and whether the trapping effort has been completed before September 11 or if birds were caught on September 10. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to ask professional foresters, private land conservationists, biologists, and landowners about timber and wildlife management while getting the opportunity to see different stages of forest management that affect wildlife populations. To register, contact Private Land Conservationist Jordon Beshears at Jordon.beshears@mdc. mo.gov (preferred) or 573-564-3715 x110 by Monday, September 6.
JULY - 2021
Rock Island Trail: Making Trails More Accessible
ailway development in Missouri began in the 1850s. Construction on the Rock Island railway started on October 1, 1852. It was the first railroad to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River. Completed in April of 1856, the Rock Island Bridge crossed the Mississippi between Illinois and Iowa. During the industry’s heyday in the 1920s, the state had over 8,100 miles of infrastructure. Today, roughly half of those lines are still active. To address this reality, the Staggers Rail Act of 1980 made it viable for railroads to abandon their lines. Within fifteen years, approximately 65,000 miles of track had been abandoned. In 1983, the National Trails System Act created a program called “railbanking,” where rail corridors could be preserved and repurposed as trails. Today, these railto-trail conversions are transforming unused corridors into thriving public spaces across the country. Rock Island Trail State Park: The possibility of developing a Missouri trail system has been discussed and dreamed about for many decades. The Missouri State Park and Historic Site System Expansion Plan, prepared in 1992, identified a priority goal of adding more longdistance trails in the State. In December of 2019, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources signed an Interim Trail Use Agreement with Missouri Central Railroad Company, a subsidiary of Ameren Missouri. The agreement opened the door for the railbanking of the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. Once developed, the corridor—from Windsor to Beaufort—would provide a cross-state trail for pedestrians, equestrians, cyclists and others to get outside, stay active and explore rural Missouri.
Feature Story Who benefits: Trails are mentioned more frequently than any other outdoor recreation facility in the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). One of the three most supported goals for the State is to “support trails and walkable communities.” The Rock Island Trail State Park will traverse 23 towns, providing a safe, non-motorized path to school, work, stores and restaurants within each community and from town to town. The trail will connect with the already completed 47mile Rock Island Spur from Pleasant Hill to Windsor, Missouri, where it will also cross the Katy Trail. The combined trail network will span over 440 miles back and forth across Missouri. With the addition of the 144mile Rock Island Trail State Park, approximately 41% of all Missourians will live within 50 miles of an expanded trail network. It will help make Missouri a destination spot for visitors from outside the state and scale-up economic investments in rural areas. Other benefits include connectivity to neighbors, intergenerational activities (great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and children “trailing” together), accessibility to options for staying active (walking, running, cycling, horseback riding, etc.), wheelchair and stroller accessibility, increased property values for nearby homes and new businesses springing up along the trail. Show-me: Support is overwhelming. Mayors from Stover, Versailles, Owensville and Gerald, as well as administrators and aldermen from Windsor, Pleasant Hill, Belle and Union have weighed in on the benefits for health, quality of life, tourism and increased revenue to area businesses. In fact, trails have proven to be one of the most consistent generators of positive economic impact in numerous studies of outdoor recreation. For example, the existing Katy Trail State Park stretches from Machens to Clinton and is among Missouri’s most popular state parks. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources estimates that nearly 500,000 visitors use Katy Trail State Park every year, generating an impact of $18.5 million, 367 new jobs and $8.2 million in payroll. Visitors spend an average of $45 per person in the local area.
Conservation Federation of Missouri voices its support: On March 8, 2020, the Conservation Federation of Missouri officially supported the acceptance of the Rock Island Corridor, enabling Missouri State Parks to enjoy this historic opportunity to support development of a cross-state, multi-use trail. The Missouri State Parks Foundation (MSPF) is a nonprofit organization supporting the state park system. Missouri’s state park system contains 91 parks and historic sites and has consistently been ranked as one of the top four state park systems in the nation. Now, MSPF has joined with numerous partners and allies across the State in a collective goal to secure the Rock Island Railroad corridor for future development as the Rock Island Trail State Park. “This is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans far into the future. It’s very likely that the Rock Island Trail State Park will still be offering Missourians and those from all over the world the opportunity to be outdoors, hike, bike cross the bridges and explore the tunnels one hundred years from now. At the 100th anniversary of the Trail, our descendants will thank us for making this wonderful park possible.” John Riddick, Board President, Missouri State Parks Foundation First things first: The Foundation’s goal for a $9.8-million campaign, Connections: The Next Step, is to accept the Rock Island corridor as an in-kind gift and begin developing the Trail. While the corridor to be developed into the Rock Island Trail State Park will be gifted, private funding must be raised to ensure the process of converting the former rail line into a public trail can take place. Once completed, the Rock Island Trail State Park will create the opportunity to develop a statewide public trail loop by connecting the new trail with Katy Trail State Park. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make history: This is an extraordinary opportunity for Missouri, but it cannot be accomplished without private support from generous individuals, businesses and foundations. The Missouri General Assembly has created a fund to receive philanthropic support for the development of the Rock Island Trail State Park. If you would like to learn more or want to donate to this exciting project, go to https:// www.missouristateparksfoundation.org/
Windsor Tree Trunnel (Photo: Greg Harris)
JULY - 2021
Share the Harvest: Snack Sticks Become a Reality
hen I was asked to head the CFM Share the Harvest committee in the summer of 2017, I was completely ignorant of the complexities this program must overcome each season to get free-range protein to Missouri food pantries. As a past participant, all I knew about the process was that I dropped a deer off at a processor, paid any fee not covered by CFM, and drove away feeling good about myself and my donation. Attending my first meeting as part of the STH committee pulled the curtain back. I started learning about all the behind-the-scenes stuff that had to be done each year. It gave me a new appreciation for the MDC agents who recruit meat processors and coordinate meat pickups, the meat processors themselves who put in many hours to make the program work, and Micaela Haymaker. She runs the whole thing from CFM headquarters and makes sure that all the paperwork is properly accounted for. By the time I had two years under my belt as the committee chairperson, I had thought I had a pretty good handle on how things were run. Early in the summer of 2019, I felt more like a leader as the date approached for our annual committee meeting. That's when I got a phone call that would shatter that illusion and start a two-year journey that finally ended in the middle of May 2021.
A lady named Carrie Steffens contacted me from one of the STH meat processors, Stonies Sausage Shop in Perryville, MO, and she had an interesting question for me. Carrie was currently involved in a program with Arkansas and Tennessee. Those states brought Stonies boned-out venison, and Stonies made packages of snack sticks out of the meat that became part of the foodstuffs in those states' afterschool backpack programs. Carrie was curious if Missouri had anything like this and, if not, would we be interested in starting something. We talked for probably 20 minutes or so, and by the time we hung up, my tail was wagging hard! What a fantastic opportunity! This was a potential gamechanger for STH and I immediately emailed all the STH committee members to tell them about Carrie's idea. By the time our next meeting rolled around, I was chomping at the bit to discuss it.
Feature Story Now, for a bit of background, let me explain why this was such a revolutionary idea. The Share the Harvest program is a spectacular success all the way around, but it has a couple of significant limiting factors, time and product availability. We never know from one year to the next how much meat will be donated, and this makes it hard for the food banks to plan how best to distribute it. And since the meat is raw, it is perishable. So the meat is kept frozen, which takes up valuable space both at the processors and the pantries. Snack sticks, on the other hand, are what is known as a shelf-stable item. They can be kept in the local food pantries right next to the canned goods for up to six months. This gives the four state food banks a lot of leeway on how best to distribute the items. Also, the sticks are made from a recipe, so everyone knows ahead of time that X pounds of venison are needed to make Y number of sticks. The food banks could then plan by ordering a certain number of sticks, and STH would set aside the appropriate amount of meat to make them. Protein is always the most challenging thing for the pantries to get, and this item would certainly help out, especially if we incorporated it with the Buddy Pack Program, which feeds hungry school children. At the STH committee meeting in August 2019, I quickly relearned how little I knew about how all the moving parts worked together. Everyone agreed that the snack stick idea was a good one but implementing it would be anything but easy. How would the processors making the sticks be chosen? We would need to use a universal recipe. Who's would that be? Who decides what deer are used for the sticks and what deer are turned into ground meat? How would this new program be funded? These were all logistical issues that would need to be addressed before the program was launched. But before any of those problems could be tackled, we had to get some legislation passed. Yep, you read that right. The law that currently allowed CFM and the food banks to distribute meat to the needy specifically stipulated that the meat had to be frozen. We needed to have it also include shelf-stable items. This is where CFM's Executive Director, Tyler Schwartze really jumped in and worked with several folks to develop the proper language for this law change. Once that was done, Tyler and CFM's lobbysit, Kyna Iman found legislators to champion our cause in the General Assembly. That part wasn't too hard because it is for such a great cause. Senator Mike Bernskoetter, of the 6th District filed our bill in the Senate and Representative Tim Remole, also of the 6th District, filed our bill in the House.
Months passed, but HB 1711 was finally passed during the 100th General Assembly regular session, and signed into law by Governor Parson in July 2020. That all sounds a lot easier than it was, because it took a great deal of effort to get the law changed. Now it was time to tackle the logistics. Everyone involved was determined that the 2020-2021 deer season would be THE season where snack sticks made their debut. After much discussion, it was decided that our first attempt at making and distributing snack sticks should be on a regional scale rather than statewide. We decided to use some of the deer taken during the after-season culling program, and Stonies would make all the sticks. To comply with meat inspection regulations, Stonies had to tweak their current recipe to include less pork. Carrie came up with an excellent label for the packages that contained all the information dictated by other regulations. On May 3rd, we got the word that the sticks were done and ready for pickup. After over two years of talking, planning, and waaaiiiittting, we had a finished product. Almost 2,300 pounds of sticks were later delivered to the SEMO Food Bank in Sikeston, MO where they were divided in two. One-half of the product stayed there and the other half went to the food bank in Columbia, MO. "The Snack Stick Saga – Volume I" was finally complete! So, what is next? Well, of course, we want to get some publicity on this to stir up interest. We also want to expand the program, but it may be as simple as hunters saying they want their deer to go to that part of STH. But if they don't know that's an option, it won't happen, so we need to get the word out. Now, though, the STH committee will take a little break, at least a week or so, before we start thinking about making the addition of snack sticks to STH bigger and better. I want to thank everyone involved for their dedication to this idea and their persistence to make it a reality. Most of all, I want to thank Carrie Steffens, who called me up two years ago to see if we could get something started. She has patiently answered all my questions and helped guide us to the finish line. Without her and the work of so many incredible partners and volunteers, this never would have happened.
JULY - 2021
JULY - 2021
Dressing Up Your Summer Rough Fish: How to Make Fish Sausage
pring is coming to a close, which means that in lakes and streams across Missouri, the golden dorsal fins of common carp will be rolling through the weeds. Asian carp will be back at the surface, jumping out of boats and giving concussions to unwary passersby, and inevitably someone will catch a buffalo fish or a freshwater drum and incorrectly assume it’s a carp.
These fish present a culinary challenge to anglers. Though this broad spectrum of fish has a broad spectrum of flavors, textures, and levels of intramuscular bones, they all share in the infamy that the term carp brings.
Feature Story Fortunately, all of these fish can be delicious and fun to catch. With a little patience and skill, you can turn the lowliest ditch salmon into haute cuisine that will impress the most discerning of palettes. The unifying recipe here is fish sausage, a Cajun tradition, more often appearing as the titular cased meat product, Boudin. Normally, this style of sausage is made with pork shoulder and rice, but thanks to ElevatedWild, I started experimenting with the idea of using fish. Their original recipe, which uses catfish, can be found on their website, elevatedwild.com. First though, let’s talk about the different flavor profiles of these fish. I will start with the lightest flavored and move down into fish with higher oil content. Bighead and Silver Carp: The “Asian” carp are perhaps the most infamous fish in America, inspiring news reports from Vice, countless local stations, and amongst others, USA Today. There has been a lot of talk about how to eat through the population, but not about the nitty gritty of how their meat works in the kitchen. This will affect your sausage mix. Most importantly, Bighead and Silver carp are very lean fish. Unlike common carp, buffalo fish, and drum, they will dry out if overcooked. To mitigate this, I like to add fat to the fish sausage. This can be accomplished with pork fat, butter, or even olive oil.
I also recommend skinning and removing the red meat from these fish. Just handling these fish, you’ll notice the fat will get on your hands. This is great news for fish sausage! You need much less fat in your mixture and you’ll end up with that succulent texture that you’d normally get from a pork sausage. It’s worth noting that larger specimens of these fish can yield two steaks from the ribs and belly. You can grind these, but with buffalo in particular I like to blacken these cuts and they’ll make a nice side dish to your fish sausage. Think of it like surf and turf, except, all surf. Freshwater Drum: Of all the fish on this list, the freshwater drum is the most unjustly associated with carp. It is not a carp and it eats very differently than a carp. The strength of drum fillets lies in their firmness, which is closer to paddlefish in texture than the flakey texture of the carp family and buffalo fish. They also have a higher oil content than your average fish, a bit more than the average catfish. Unlike the other fish on this list, drum aren’t boney. They have a row of pin bones between the shoulder and rib meat, like most fish, but those are easily cut out. They are also one of my favorite fish to catch, as they often cruise rocky shorelines and bite actively when popular game fish are not.
Bighead and Silver carp also have the highest number of intramuscular bones, even bones structures that appear in a spiral shape toward the shoulder of the fish. Here is where a sausage grinder shines. You can cut the fillets into chunks, like you would any meat you intend to grind, and use a fine plate setting on your grinder. Be sure to remove the skin and red meat on these fish as well. This process will remove the bones and you’ll end up with white, mild meat.
A Note on Brining: If you are concerned about any of these fish having a strong flavor, you can employ a wet brine, which is essentially water with salt, brown sugar, and herbs. This will add a nice depth to your sausage and can give you some breathing room on the processing time as the fillets can sit in the brine for around a week. Do this process before you grind the meat, either as chunks or as whole fillets. The smaller the pieces, the more salt penetration will occur and the less time it will need to be in the brine.
Common Carp, Buffalo Fish, and Grass Carp: These three fish share a lot of culinary similarities. Grass carp is by far the mildest and a favorite of mine to smoke. Common carp and buffalo can have a stronger flavor, though not necessarily a bad one so long as the meat is taken care of. With all three of these fish, the key is to keep them cold and to bleed them. They have a high oil content, like salmon, so if that oil spoils because the fish got too hot, the fillets will taste unpleasant.
To make a brine, simply fill a large, non-metal container with hot water and add about ¼-1/2 cup of sea salt and ½-3/4 cup of brown sugar per quart. For my fish brines, I like to add black peppercorns, dill, garlic, and mustard seeds. The brine draws out blood and infuses the herbaceous flavors into the meat. Traditionally, this is part of the smoking process. It will give a cured or hammy quality to the fish. Remember though, if you choose to brine your fish, your sausage mix will need less salt! JULY - 2021
Feature Story Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are two fish sausage recipes, one cased and one uncased. Even though these recipes are a bratwurst and an Italian sausage style, you can take the same basic recipe and add whatever spices you want. For more great wild food recipes, check out www.thenerdventure.wordpress.com and follow Gilbert on Instagram @gilbertwriting. Gilbert Randolph
CARPWURST INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • • •
1-2lbs ground Asian carp (or other whitefish) 1/2 stick cold butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 2-3 cups of cooked white rice sausage casings 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon grated ginger 1/4 teaspoon cardamom salt and pepper 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
DIRECTIONS 1. If you haven’t already, cook enough rice to make 2-3 cups of cooked rice. This could be anywhere between 1/2 cup to 1 cup of dry rice. The rice will serve as a binder and it will beef up the texture of the sausages. 2. Chop the cold butter into pea sized chunks and set aside to add to the mix. 3. In a large mixing bowl, add uncooked ground carp, butter, olive oil, and spices. Mix well. Since Asian carp is such a lean fish, it’s necessary to add fat to the mix. The butter and olive oil will give you that juicy, fatty texture you look for out of a good sausage! 4. Cook a small portion to test the spice levels. The spice amounts in the recipe are just a starting point. I usually end up adding more spices and salt than I initially put in, but it’s better that you put in too little and add more, than start with too much. 5. Now, wash your sausage casings and get stuffing! The recipe here will make 5-7 regular sized bratwurst, which you can cook right away or wrap in butcher’s paper and freeze for your next BBQ!
BUFFALO ITALIAN BOUDIN INGREDIENTS •
• • •
1-1 1/2 pound of ground buffalo fish or common carp fillet (any firm fish will work. Try paddlefish, freshwater drum, redfish, or even swordfish) For leaner fish, add fat. Either olive oil, butter, or ground pork fat. 1/2 cup uncooked white rice spices: fennel seed, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic, parsley, oregano, pepper, salt. 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
DIRECTIONS 1. First, you’ll want to cube your fillet into cuts small enough to feed into your grinder. Then, grind the buffalo meat and set aside in the fridge so that it keeps cool. 2. Next, cook the 1/2 cup of white rice and set aside. You want to bring it down to a temperature where it won’t start cooking the ground fish when you mix them together. 3. Next, you can assemble your spices, including the chopped celery. Do a quick cook of the celery in a pan, just to sweat them, as the uncooked celery will interfere with the stickiness of your boudin. The actual amounts will just vary on your taste. I tend to lean heavily on garlic and paprika, with a healthy dose of parsley. Don’t overdo it on the fennel seed however. A teaspoon is plenty. I like my Italian sausage hot, so I ended up adding more. 4. Here’s the fun part! MIX IT ALL TOGETHER! You should come out with a mix that you can shape into little balls that won’t fall apart. If it doesn’t stick, add more rice. 5. Next, cook a bit of the mix to see if you have the right amount of spice. I often end up adding more salt to my mixes. Once you have it to the right levels, you can move on to cooking! 6. Preheat the oven to 375F. Form the sausage mix into balls, about ping pong ball sized, and line them on a greased sheet pan. Place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until the outside of the sausage balls is crispy. Take them out and they are ready to add to whatever recipe you like! You can also cook these in the pan with some butter! For a little cheesy flare, add some parmesan to your mix.
.P. Sell is a mountain of a man, kind of like Shags on steroids, but more importantly, is that he has a huge heart and right in the middle of it is a giant soft spot for people in need. He especially loves special needs kids and disabled veterans. J.P. wanted to give back by granting special fishing and hunting requests, but it wasn't long before that idea expanded and partnering with like-minded people from Jewel Bait Company, Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's and Congressman Billy Long, J.P. enlisted an army of tournament fishers to help with numerous events across the state. I have been fortunate enough for many years to call J.P. my friend, and he is not one of those people that I am going to tell "no" when he calls. I make time to help J.P., as I know anything he is involved in is going to be special, so special that he was summoned to the White House in 2016 to be honored by President Obama with the Jefferson Award, which made him a finalist for the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Award, recognizing J.P.'s extraordinary efforts. And in J.P.'s humble response to these honors, "You wouldn't believe how incredibly amazing these people were." Another Missouri angler who calls J.P. her friend is Vannetta Groeteke, an accomplished lady tournament angler who also wanted to help. Vannetta recently released a new children's book titled "Thanks Grandpa For Taking Me Fishing." This well-written and beautifully illustrated book is available for purchase directly through Vannetta; just facebook message her. Hardback copies sell for $24 and paperbacks for $16. Proceeds from the sale of this book are provided to J.P. to help him finance his organization "Fish Tales," granting fishing and hunting dreams for special needs kids.
If you are interested in helping J.P.'s efforts, you can contact J.P. at Fish4Tales@facebook, dfreedom365@ gmail.com, call or text at 417-689-4066. If that doesn't get you in contact with J.P. or Vannetta, you are always welcome to email me at Mofishing@aol. com, and I will be glad to make sure you make the connection. These are truly special people helping special people. Scott Pauley J.P Sell at a Fishing Dreams event at Bass Pro Shops in Columbia. (Photo: Courtesy of Scott Pauley)
JULY - 2021
Ta k e A d v a n t a g e o f MDC Managed Hunts
t is the last afternoon of my managed archery hunt in a suburban Kansas City area park and the KC Chiefs are in a nail-bitter of a game with the Tennessee Titans as I pull into the parking area. I begin to argue with myself whether I can listen to the game a little longer before I head to my tree stand.
Wow, this is a good game. Can the Chiefs defense hold on; will the deer move earlier this afternoon because of the cool cloudy weather; can Mahomes lead another scoring drive; this is the last afternoon it's now or never for this hunt; Mahomes to Hardman-63 yard TD; got to go the rut is on and I still have a buck tag in my pocket!
Feature Story I gear up, grab my Black Widow Recurve and head to the stand. I'm up and perched in my tree by 2:45 pm, and not a moment too soon, as I see a doe on the move. There's a buck behind her and a good one. Big bodied buck and a definite shooter on the last day. But alas, he doesn't come by within my limited 20-yard range. I tell myself it is early and there is still time. The weather is perfect for a November archery hunt. Cool and cloudy with a steady NW breeze. Snow and sleet are in the forecast for tomorrow. Forty minutes later, my chance comes. A buck is making his way towards my stand. Will it finally come together after three weeks and numerous encounters that didn't work out in my favor, including one earlier this afternoon. My heart is pounding as the deer approaches, and I ready for the shot. He's at 20 yards but needs to take another three steps to clear some brush, step one, step two, oh no! Steps three, four, and five move him closer but into more brush and at a different angle. Maybe there's a little window, one more step and I draw, focus and release. The arrow fly's true even if it's farther to the left of where I was aiming. The buck jumps and trots off. I can see the arrow has hit a little farther back than I wanted, but it's a fatal wound, and I decide to back out and wait until morning to trail and recover my deer. My son and I found the deer the next morning about 150 yards down the trail during a little snowstorm. I punched two deer tags during that 2019 managed hunt which has provided my family great meat for the table and great memories of the chase. By the way, the Chiefs lost to the Titans that day 35 to 32. July is the month to apply for Missouri Department of Conservation Managed Hunts. MDC will be running over 50 different hunts all across the state in which archery equipment can be used. You must submit your application from July 1 through July 31 to be eligible for the draw. There is lots of info on the MDC website at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/huntingtrapping/species/deer/deer-managed-hunts .
From this web page, you can see a list of hunts and previous years' summaries, including success rates and your chances of being drawn for a particular hunt. Your chance of being drawn goes up after each unsuccessful year. You will get an extra entry for every year you didn't get drawn. You have to consider these as bonus hunting opportunities that don't come along every year, but you can expect a good hunt when you do get drawn. Like all hunting, these are not guaranteed successful hunts. Lots of variables like weather, hunting pressure, disease, deer population and age structure, and one more important variable to remember is that these are public land hunts. That means you have to consider deer movement and patterns and other hunters locations and how the rest of the nature-loving public may be using the area during the hunt. The best way to overcome these variables for a successful hunt, in my opinion, is to first choose a hunt location relatively close to home so that you can do some scouting before the hunt. You won't find out if you were drawn until late August, so scouting becomes even more critical to get the latest info on the deer and people using your hunt area. Always develop a backup plan. The chances are that if you have found a good stand location, then some other hunter has also found the same spot. Be ready to hang your tree stand as soon as it's allowed. Most of these hunts only allow you to place one stand, so you must be prepared to move your stand if you do not see the deer you expected. Also, be ready to shoot the first antlerless deer you get a chance at. These hunts' primary purpose is to manage the deer herd on the area you will be hunting. That means you will probably have to harvest an antlerless deer before you can pursue a buck. Keep that in mind when you chose your stand location. If you've never tried a managed hunt, be sure to submit your application next year. I think you will enjoy the challenge. Jeff Blystone Managed Hunts are a great way to spend time in Missouri outdoors and provide meat for the table. (Photo: Jeff Blystone) The author bags this nice buck during a managed hunt near Kansas City. (Photo: Casey Blystone)
JULY - 2021
Court Judgment Rules in Favor of MDC Land Purchase Decision appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court
judgment in April in the Circuit Court of Cole County ruled in favor of MDC and supported their constitutional authority to spend their own money to acquire land for conservation. However, last year, the Missouri Legislature passed a budget that included no money for land purchase by MDC, despite the Conservation Commission had budgeted to purchase a tract of land adjacent to Linscomb Wildlife Conservation Area. This planned purchase would expand the protection of native prairies in Missouri, which have long been considered a conservation priority. Some members of the Missouri General Assembly believe that the Conservation Commission has too much power and amended the 2020 state budget to remove the Commission’s ability to purchase land. Fortunately, the Circuit Court of Cole County upheld, the Conservation Commission’s authority is given by the Missouri Constitution and cannot be changed through legislation. The court decision stated that the Commissioner of Administration must certify the land purchase in question as requested by the Conservation Commission. Formerly known as Winding River Ranch, the property (1,728 acres) was deeded to the Missouri Department of Conservation from the NeVada P. Linscomb Trust in 1998. In 2003, Linscomb Trust purchased 146 additional acres. This 1,874-acre wildlife area contains several small ponds. The Osage River Arm of Truman Reservoir borders to the north, and Simms Creek borders to the east. The south portion of the area contains remnant prairie, while the southeast portion is oak/hickory savanna. The remainder of the area consists of cropland, old fields, timber, and wetlands.
Photo Courtesy of MDC
The ruling has been appealed and will now go to the Missouri Supreme Court for a final decision. Missourians established an independent Conservation Commission through an initiative petition in 1936, and Missouri has since led the country in conservation. Our system, validated by the courts, allows for science-based management of fish, forests, and wildlife resources and protects Missouri outdoors from political interference. Unfortunately, for years uninformed or misguided legislators try to attack the Conservation Commission through unconstitutional bills and budget amendments. CFM leaders are optimistic that the Missouri Supreme Court will uphold the Commission’s constitutional authority to manage and conserve natural resources, including purchasing high-quality public lands that all Missourians can enjoy. Be sure to look for more updates on our e-newsletter and other social outlets as this court case progresses in the months ahead. CFM works tirelessly in the Capitol during the Legislative Session and beyond to ensure that bills and other pieces of harmful legislation do not pass, eroding our efforts to carry out our mission. To make sure that your voice is heard when conservation is under attack, subscribe to the CFM Legislative Action Center at confedmo.org/lac#.
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JULY - 2021
200 Years in the Making
o visit St. Charles is like taking a step back in time and that is especially true at the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site. There is no better time to visit the historic site than in 2021 when the site is preparing to commemorate the “Show Me” state’s bicentennial. Before Missouri was granted statehood on August 10, 1821, various locations in St. Louis had served as the seat of government for territorial affairs. As statehood became a certainty, the search began for a site to become the permanent seat of government. The stipulations were a central location, no more than 40 miles from the mouth of the Osage River. An undeveloped tract of land located on the bluffs of the Missouri River was chosen to become “The City of Jefferson,” Missouri’s permanent capital. Our early leaders would most likely have preferred to start from the beginning in Jefferson City except there was one small problem - Jefferson City did not exist at the time. They knew it would take time to build a capital city and get everyone relocated. At the same time, they were going through the process of becoming a state and needed somewhere to meet and plan until the City of Jefferson was ready. This required the hunt for a temporary capitol and there were at least nine cities all vying for the honor including St. Louis, which was the territorial capitol and a powerhouse in the territory, Potosi, Cote San Dessein, Franklin, Florissant, Ste. Genevieve, Herculaneum and St. Charles. There were many intense debates over where to locate the temporary capitol and the legislators could not agree. There was an economic crisis going on and Missouri was feeling the effects of an economy in deep trouble. All the competing cities wanted the added business, commerce and notoriety of having the honor of the capitol in their town. St. Charles made a strong case. It was a growing center of trade strategically located on the Missouri River and at the start of the Boonslick Trail. These natural and manmade avenues of travel led people west to tame the wilderness and build a new state. Large meeting spaces were hard to come by in seemingly uncivilized areas, but the newly constructed building known as Peck’s Row was available.
In the end, St. Charles officials and citizens sent a “proposition” that stated if the temporary capitol would be located in their lovely city, they would provide the space needed in a desirable location rent free. A new bill, locating the capitol in St. Charles, was introduced and passed by the house, amended in the senate, agreed to by the house again and then sent to the governor. Governor McNair signed the bill on November 25, 1820, making St. Charles the temporary capital city. It is here where Missouri’s first legislators met in the Federal style red brick row house in the small village of St. Charles from 1821 to 1826 to undertake the task of organizing Missouri’s territorial government into a progressive state system. However, the pledge to provide suitable space, free of charge to the state appears to have been true only for the first and second sessions, thereafter a charge of $2.00 per day, and later increased to $2.50, was paid. While in St. Charles, Missouri became the 24th state of the United States. Some of the most notable pieces of legislation that were passed included the “Solemn Public Oath,” abolishing debtors prisons, the creation of the state seal, the anti-dueling act and the selection of Jefferson City as capital. It is worth mentioning “Missouriopolis,” as a second runner up to the selection of a name for our capital city. St. Charles was on the edge of the frontier and the citizens reflected a rugged independent attitude. It was upstairs in Peck’s Row where the legislature met. Members were described as rough characters dressed in home-spun clothes, buckskin leggings or hunting shirts. Hats were slouched or made of animal skins such as raccoons. Only Governor McNair wore a fine cloth coat cut in the old “pigeon tail” style and a beaver hat befitting a man in his position. Bitter debates sometimes led to a physical altercation, such as the argument in between Andrew McGirk from Howard County and Duff Green from Franklin County. McGirk threw a pewter ink stand at Duff and a raucous fight followed. Governor McNair attempted to stop the combatants but was held back by a legislator known as the “Ring Tail Painter.” The governor was shooed back to his office and told to tend to governing and they will tend to the rest.
JULY - 2021
Feature Story After the Capitol’s move to Jefferson City, the building underwent a number of changes through the years. Sometimes serving as apartments, businesses and even a bus station. Starting in the early 1900s, the buildings and neighborhood around the first state capitol began to fall into disrepair and the building that once was considered a fine piece of architecture was in danger of collapsing or being demolished. A concerned group of citizens recognized the historic value and petitioned the state to try to save the building and have it restored. Their efforts were successful and the buildings and grounds were acquired in 1960 by then Governor James T. Blair. The restoration period lasted for 10 years and initiated the revitalization of the historic district of St. Charles. The First State Capitol State Historic Site opened and dedicated on February 5, 1971. There are a total of 11 rooms that were restored to their original state with furnishings from the 1820s time period. The Peck Brothers’ residence and the dry goods and hardware store have been restored and furnished as they might have appeared in the early 1800’s. Visitors can take a guided tour through the actual rooms where Missouri state government was created and first practiced. Interpreters will explain why the question of Missouri’s statehood hung in the balance until the Missouri Compromise was reached and will entertain with interesting fun facts and trivia on little known Missouri history. Admission to the interpretive center and grounds are free and offer new exhibits, historic herb, vegetable and native gardens and a small gift shop stocked with items unique to the site. Guided tours of the capitol are $4.50 for adults and $3.00 for children. Group rates are available. The site is planning a heritage series of special events consisting of lectures, musical performances, historic skill demonstrations leading up to a bicentennial commemoration that will take place on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. The commemoration event plans include a “Parade through the Decades,” a living historical timeline of Missouri history in reverse, Plein Air Art event including a maker’s space, interactive birthday message and art show, historical re-enactors, period dressed interpreters, historic demonstrations and encampments, interactive hands-on exhibits, children’s activities, music, food and fun!
There will also be a cake decorating competition, after all, you can’t have a birthday party this big without having a birthday cake! The event hopes to highlight the amazing achievements, wondrous landscapes, fascinating people and 200 years of intriguing state history. For more information on these events and to see what is happening at the historic site, please visit mostateparks.com or call the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic site at 636-940-3322. Sue Love Missouri State Parks All photos courtesy of Missouri State Parks.
Leaving Young Wildlife Alone is the Best Course of Action
f you stumble upon a young animal outdoors, your instinct may be to save it. But by placing your hands on it or especially by removing it from its natural environment, you are likely causing more harm than good. Babies are often left unattended while their mother feeds. Even if they have strayed, she’s likely to find them. It’s best to leave young wildlife alone. Young wildlife is rarely abandoned. The mother is most likely nearby. It can take a day or more for her to return, but chances are she will. Now, of course, there are situations where she won’t. Perhaps the mother has been injured or killed and you are aware of it. Like a vehicle collision. The best thing you can do in this situation is call your local game warden or conservation agent. My mother’s father was a conservation agent in Northwest Indiana back in the 1960s. I have a number of old photos of my mother and aunt playing with raccoons, possums and other critters. She said her father would be called to collect and remove the animals from perilous situations. But they never stayed more than a day, as he would take them to a natural area and release them back into wild. Mom says she would cry, begging her dad to let her keep one, but he’d tell her those animals belong outdoors, in the woods where they can be wild. Disney and other productions have humanized wildlife over the years, making many believe wild animals are all tame little, cuddly creatures. That’s not usually the case. Most have teeth and claws, and food doesn’t come easy. They need to be left to develop the necessary skills to feed and fend for themselves. Here are some rules of thumb from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission regarding wildlife babies: •
BIRDS: Young non-feathered birds and nests with eggs discovered on the ground should be placed back in the tree. Baby birds covered in feathers found on the ground are being tended to by their parents; leave them alone.
If you find a baby animal, leave it alone. The mother is likely close and will return. (Photo: Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation)
DEER: A lone fawn may appear to be abandoned or injured, but the mother frequently is off feeding or drinking. Do not move it. The longer the fawn is separated from its mother, the slimmer the chance it will be reunited with her. Know it is normal for a doe to leave its fawn to keep it from being detected by predators. Predators can see the doe as it feeds, so she leaves the fawn hidden and leaves the area to draw attention away from the fawn’s location. RABBITS: Baby rabbits are left unattended through much of the day and night. Mother cottontails do this to prevent drawing predators to the nest. If you see the rabbits, leave them alone.
Wildlife should not be raised as pets. These wild creatures belong in nature where they can act and behave the way they were intended to. Keeping them to raise in captivity is a bad plan. They will mature and behave like wild animals. If you then return them to the wild, they likely won’t survive. If that’s not enough to convince you to leave wildlife in the wild, then remember, most wildlife is protected by state or federal law so it is illegal to possess them. Brandon Butler
JULY - 2021
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Planning Your Future?
Include the Conservation Federation of Missouri in your estate plans. Leave a legacy for the natural resources and traditions you have valued throughout your life. Make CFM a beneficiary of your will, trust, life insurance policy or retirement plan. Any amount helps preserve Missouri’s resources and natural history for generations to come. What will your legacy be?
Call 573-634-2322 to find out more information.
To update your contact information or address, please notify us at: Conservation Federation 728 W. Main Jefferson City, MO 65101 or call 573-634-2322.