The Voice for Missouri Outdoors MARCH 2018 - VOL 79 | NO. 2
Outdoors: KANSAS the
Save the date for our Kansas City Regional Event. 8IFO 8IFSF: 8IBU:
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Other events will occur throughout the year in Springfield, Columbia, and St. Louis.
Legislation Aims to Rob Missourians of Conservation Resources
ou care about conservation. You wouldn’t be reading this magazine if you didn’t. But do you care enough to offer your voice in support of the resources that make fishing, hunting, trapping and other outdoor opportunities a reality? If you answered yes, then the time for action is now. In early February, I testified in a committee hearing in opposition to House Bill 1657. This bill aims to give non-resident landowners free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. The fiscal impact of this bill would likely be over $500,000 of lost revenue for the residents of Missouri annually. That's $5,000,000 every 10 years lost from conservation resources. For what? Would it surprise you to learn the state representative behind this legislation has a brother who lives in the state of California and owns land in Missouri? So here’s someone who chooses not to live here, but feels he should not have to pay to consume fish and wildlife resources of Missouri. And to his good fortune, he has a brother in the legislature willing to argue his case. This same representative filed a similar bill in 2015, but as a freshman, had yet to acquire the proper legislative speak necessary to pull the wool over constituent eyes. In the public hearing for the 2015 version of this bill, the representative flat out told the committee he wrote this bill for his brother. Committee members couldn’t distance themselves fast enough. Here in 2018, with a few years of experience under his belt, the representative no longer touts this as a bill “for my brother.” Now it is a private property rights issue. Straight out of the playbook.
More than half-a-million dollars stripped from you and me and everyone who chooses to live in this state. Where would the Department of Conservation make $500,000 in cuts? Fewer fish stocked? Dove hunting fields eliminated? Less research? Jobs for Missourians? Wherever the cuts would be made, it would negatively affect us, the people of Missouri. Opportunities to enjoy our amazing state would be diminished, but nonresidents who choose to make their life elsewhere would save a little money. Missouri already has some of the lowest non-resident hunting and fishing fees in America. Free is simply ridiculous. It’s 2018, but a bill like this sure makes it feel like 1918 when it was common for legislators to hand out political fish and game favors to family and friends. This bill, more so than any I have dealt with in the five years I have been involved with conservation policy, shows why we are so fortunate in Missouri to have a system of conservation management free from political manipulation. The visionaries who created the Conservation Federation of Missouri in 1935 knew citizen strength was needed to save what little of our resources remained. And more so today than anytime since, citizen strength is needed to maintain what we the people have restored over the last 80 years. If you’re not already a member of CFM, isn’t it time you join? Please help us, as we fight everyday to protect the natural resources and wildlife of Missouri.
Yours in Conservation, Brandon Butler Executive Director, CFM
MARCH - 2018
Conservation Federation March 2018 - V79 No. 2
OFFICERS Ron Coleman
Gary Van De Velde
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Richard Mendenhall Secretary Randy Washburn
The Perfect Drift: Sub-Zero Smallmouth Bass by Kayak
Shed Hunting Provides Antlers, Information, and Crafts
Spring is the Right Time to Visit Kentucky Lake
Scout Turkeys Early or Be Disappointed Later
Three Down, Three to Go to Complete Turkey Grand Slam
The Ned Rig
Bill Crawford: A Life of Conservation
Thank a Wolf
Float Camping Adventures
Changing Spring Crappie Tactics
Departments Director’s Message
Affiliate Spotlight President's Message Member News New Members Gear Guide Calendar Agency News
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STAFF Brandon Butler
Executive Director & Editor
Director of Operations
Education & Outreach Coordinator
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.
Youth Turkey Hunt Weston Recipe Missouri Dessert Wines Wonders of Wildlife Voted Best New Attraction Bipartisan Bill Addressing America's Wildlife Crisis
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: MHaymaker@confedmo.org | 573-634-2322
FRONT COVER A shed antler signifies a new beginning.
Thank you to all of our Business Alliance members. Platinum
Gold Alps OutdoorZ Bushnell Custom Metal Products Diamond Pet Foods Doolittle Trailer Enbridge, Inc. FCS Financial
G3 Boats Kansas City Zoo Martin Metal MidwayUSA Pure Air Natives Redneck Blinds Riley Chevrolet
Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC RTP Outdoors United Country Real Estate US Sun Solar Weston
Learfield Communication, Inc. Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina Logboat Brewing Missouri Wildflowers Nursery Mitico Moneta Group
National Feather-Craft Co. Simmons SportDOG Brand Starline, Inc.
HMI Fireplace Shop Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc. Missouri Wine & Grape Board NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.
Sierra Bullets, LLC Walter Knoll Florist
General Printing Service Gredell Engineering Greenbrier Wetland Services Grundy Electric Cooperative, LLC Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning J&B Outdoors Kansas City Parks and Recreation Kleinschmidt’s Western Store Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative Meramec Bison Farm, LLC Missouri Conservation Pioneers MTAR
Nick's Family Restaurant Ozark Bait and Tackle Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Inc. REMAX Boone Realty Shade Tree Service, Inc. Shady Lane Cabins & Motel St. Joseph Harley Davidson Tabor Plastics Company Truman’s Bar & Grill United Electric Cooperative, Inc. White River Valley Electric Cooperative
Silver Advantage Metals Recycling Burgers’ Smokehouse Forrest Keeling Nursery G&W Meat & Bavarian Style Sausage Co. Holladay Distillery Jaguar Land Rover St. Louis
Bronze Association of Missouri Electric Coop.Black Widow Custom Bows, Inc. Drury Hotels Gray Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Iron Bass Pro Shops (Independence) Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures, LLC Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Blue Springs Park and Recreation Bob McCosh Chevrolet Buick GMC Brockmeier Financial Services Brown Printing Cap America Central Bank Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc Dickerson Park Zoo Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Association
Your business can benefit by supporting conservation. Contact Brandon Butler: 573-634-2322 or BButler@confedmo.org. MARCH - 2018
2018 EVENTS CFM Media Camp - February 4-7
4th Annual CFM Media Camp at Lilleyâ€™s Landing with over 20 outdoor communicators in attendance.
CFM Annual Convention - March 9-11
CFM Annual Convention at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.
Conservation Day at the Capitol - March 27
Join CFM and over 30 affiliate organizations at the Capitol for a day of promoting and supporting CFM.
Pull for Conservation: Northwest - April 14
CFM teams up with NW Electric Power Cooperative to host the third annual sporting clays shoot.
Explore the Outdoors: Kansas City - May 31
Join CFM at Boulevard Brewery for a fun evening of excitement and entertainment.
Explore the Outdoors: Springfield - June 21
Tour the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and learn more about conservation in Missouri.
Explore the Outdoors: Columbia - July 12
Join CFM where it all started in Columbia for a fun night of comradery and conservation.
Pull for Conservation: Central - August 11
The 12th annual sporting clay shoot returns to River Hills Sporting Clays in Boonville.
Explore the Outdoors: St. Louis - September 6 Come see old friends and make new ones at the St. Louis regional event.
Affiliate Summit - September 13 & 14
Join us at the Lake of the Ozarks as we gather all our affiliates together.
Pull for Conservation: Southwest - Fall 2018 Exact date and location is yet to be determined.
Pint Nights; October - December Various pint nights throughout the fall.
Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers (TLFF) is affiliated with Fly Fishers International. Centered between Springfield and Clinton, our purpose is: 1. To provide a forum for education and resource stewardship through the sport of fly-fishing 2. To promote fly fishing through education as the method of fishing that is most consistent with the preservation of conservation of our fishing waters and game fish 3. To promote the best practices and techniques of fly fishing, fly tying and casting.
TLFF leases a private pond in Buffalo, where members and their families can catch and release bluegill and bass. A casting deck has been added so members with physical limitations or without a float tube or kayak can access the pond.
TLFF meets monthly in Bolivar, MO for a casual meal, business meeting and a program related to fly fishing or conservation. Community services include sponsoring fishing outings for Project Healing Waters, demonstrations at scouting events, and teaching fly casting and fishing each spring at the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch and fly tying each fall at the ranch. This past year they spent 13 evenings fishing or tying with the young men at the ranch. TLFF also has several fishing outings and workshops such as rod building and fly tying.
The annual Tri-Lakes Fly Fishing Expo is the oldest fly-fishing and tying show in Missouri. They feature a large number of fly tiers from the area and beyond, a variety of vendors, and programs related to our sport. This year’s Expo will be April 14 at the Brighton Assembly of God Church in Brighton, MO from 9 until 4. There will be bucket raffles, and silent and live auctions. There is no charge for admission or programs.
Tri-Lakes Fly Fisher’s Expo from 2017. (Photo: Courtesy of Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers.)
For more information check out the Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers Facebook group page.
Affiliate Organizations Anglers of Missouri, Inc. Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives Audubon Society of Missouri Bass Slammer Tackle Big Game Hunters, Inc. Boone's Lick Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City Capital City Fly Fishers Chesterfield Citizens Committee for the Environment Conservation Foundation of Missouri Charitable Trust Deer Creek Sportsman's Club, Inc. Festus-Crystal City Conservation Club Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Forest Releaf of Missouri Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Garden Club of St. Louis Gateway Chapter Trout Unlimited Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri Greenway Network, Inc. Katy Land Trust L-A-D Foundation Lincoln University Wildlife Club Mid-Missouri Outdoor Dream Mid-Missouri Trout Unlimited Midwest Diving Council Mississippi Valley Duck Hunters Association Missouri Association of Meat Processors Missouri Atlatl Association Missouri BASS Federation Nation Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Missouri Bow Hunters Association Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy
Missouri Chapter of the American Fisheries Society Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society Missouri Chapter Soil & Water Conservation Society Missouri Coalition for the Environment Missouri Community Forestry Council Missouri Conservation Agents Association Missouri Conservation Pioneers Missouri Consulting Foresters Association Missouri Ducks Unlimited State Council Missouri Forest Products Association Missouri Grouse Chapter of QUWF Missouri Hunter Education Instructors Association Missouri Hunters for Fair Chase Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation, Inc. Missouri National Wild Turkey Federation Missouri Native Seed Association Missouri Outdoor Communicators Missouri Parks & Recreation Association Missouri Parks Association Missouri Prairie Foundation Missouri River Bird Observatory Missouri River Relief Missouri Smallmouth Alliance Missouri Society of American Foresters Missouri Sport Shooting Association Missouri State Campers Association Missouri State Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association Missouri State University Bull Shoals Field Station Missouri Taxidermist Association Missouri Trappers Association Missouri Trout Fishermen’s Association
Missouri Whitetails Unlimited MU Wildlife and Fishing Science Graduate Student Organization Mule Deer Foundation North Side Division Conservation Federation Open Space Council of the Saint Louis Region Ozark Fly Fishers, Inc. Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club Ozarks Smallmouth Alliance Perry County Sportsman Club Pomme de Terre Chapter Muskies, Inc. Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation, Inc. Quail Forever & Pheasants Forever River Bluffs Audubon Society Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association South Side Division Southwest Missouri Fly Fishers Springfield Plateau Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist St. Louis Audubon Society Student Air Rifle Program Tipton Farmers & Sportsman's Club Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers Troutbusters of Missouri United Bow Hunters of Missouri Walnut Council & Other Fine Hardwoods Wecomo Sportsman's Club Wild Bird Rehabilitation Wild Elk Institute of Missouri Windsor Lake Rod & Gun Club
MARCH - 2018
Sailing Off Into the Sunset
his will be my final President’s Message for CFM as my two year term expires following the annual Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) meeting March 9-11. It has indeed been an honor and a privilege to serve as your president and follow in the footsteps of the 43 past presidents that have preceded me in this role. I first came to the Federation in the late 1970’s and joined the board of directors in 1980. During my nearly 40 years of service on the board, I have been fortunate to have become acquainted with so many outstanding conservation leaders and dedicated professionals. For that I am thankful and most appreciative of the support that I have enjoyed during the tenure of my volunteer service to the Federation. CFM has been like a family to me, my wife and children as we have made so many good friends and enjoyed attending statewide meetings to explore how we could become better stewards of our state’s wealth of natural resources. Gary Van De Velde, 1st Vice President, will become the CFM President in March and lead the organization for the next two years. Gary is a seasoned veteran with CFM who served as president in 2002 and 2003. Gary and the newly appointed and elected board members will do a wonderful job guiding CFM in future challenges and celebrations. If it sounds like I may be sailing off into the sunset to enjoy the beach life on an island some place in the Caribbean, that’s not true. I will continue to serve CFM as the immediate past president, a member of the executive committee, chair of the E. Sydney Stevens Society of past presidents, a designate to the Risberg Memorial Fund and CFM Representative to the National Wildlife Federation.
In closing, I like to think that it is the goal of anyone who takes on an important leadership position that upon their departure, they have left the organization in better standing than when they arrived. Personally, I feel good about where CFM stands today in the realm of conservation and outdoor recreation. I hope that you share the same sentiment and will join me as we continue to support the work of the Conservation Federation. Again, thank you for allowing me to serve as your president these past two years. At the annual CFM Convention next month, I look forward to bidding you a personal farewell as president. However, I also look forward to continued opportunities to greet you as a past-president.
Yours in Conservation, Ron Coleman President, CFM
Why I Became a Life Member of CFM: Scott Pauley
s much as I hate to tell on myself, I must confess I don’t think I had ever heard about the Conservation Federation of Missouri before Sara and I got married a little over 10 years ago. I first started fishing bass tournaments in 1982 and began fishing professional circuits in 1993. Unfortunately, over the years us tournament fishermen have had things so good we seldom got involved in conservation issues. We thought outstanding fisheries and ramp access are the norm. Unbeknownst to us, we were way behind most hunting groups and other outdoorsmen who had experienced the lack of public access. Sara had been a life member for several years and is a strong believer in CFM and its mission. After attending my first CFM annual conference and seeing firsthand the passion for conservation CFM members displayed, I began to understand the importance of fishermen’s involvement in conservation efforts.
The story of CFM’s humble beginnings and the small group of passionate outdoorsmen who had a vision that is still the model of Missouri’s conservation efforts today was inspiring. Inspiring enough for me to write the check to become a life member. As a member of numerous other outdoor organizations to date CFM is still the only organization I have ever felt strongly enough about to become a life member. The Conservation Federation of Missouri serves as an independent voice for Missouri outdoors. It strongly supports the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Missouri State Parks efforts. A couple of years ago I was asked to come to the BassMaster Classic in Tulsa and speak to a group of about 200 outdoor writers from around the world about the importance of water quality and the sport of bass fishing. It was an honor to be asked to speak, but the assignment was actually pretty easy thanks to the efforts of our Missouri partners who work together daily to ensure we continue to be the conservation movement that is the envy of America. *Editor's Note: Sara Parker Pauley, Scott's wife, is the Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Become a CFM Life Member When you purchase a Life Membership with CFM, your money is added to an endowment supporting the administration of the organization in perpetuity. Each year, we draw earnings from the endowment, so your contribution will truly be supporting the CFM for the rest of your life and beyond. This is an important funding source for our Federation. We hope you will consider joining the over 260 dedicated conservationists who have already made a life commitment to the Conservation Federation of Missouri by becoming a Life Member today.
Contact CFM at (573) 634-2322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WELCOME NEW CFM MEMBERS Jacqueline Bettale, Saint Louis
Nelda Lee, Ballwin
Allen Bock, Columbia
Richard Orr, Saint Charles
Dorothy Briggs, Fayette
Rachel Owen, Columbia
Wayne Clark, Lake Saint Louis
Ryan Pigg, Independence
DeeCee Darrow, Columbia
Antonio Racela, Belton
Cole Diggins, Moundville
Samuel Reed, Des Moines, IA
Brian Duncan, Saint Joseph
Norman Schuster, Troy
Jennifer Eggemeyer, Eolia
Emily Sinnott, Columbia
Deshawna Flesch, Saint Louis
Kiah Stephens, Columbia
Clark Fobian, Sedalia
Jacob Stocking, Saint Louis
Sandy Follen, Saint Louis
Gregory Strnad, Washington
Jack Gibson, Plattsburg
Gail Strong, Reeds Spring
John Gindra, Festus
Charles Tolman, Kansas City
Wesley Hanks, Hermann
Donald Volansky, Saint Louis
Jessica Hannan, Saint Charles
John Zervas, Peverly
Marty and Cindy Harper, Hartsburg Eva Jankowski, Union Keller Construction Company, Saint Joseph Robert Kerr, Mexico Lorrie Kramer, Defiance
CFM would like to thank the 306 members that renewed since our last publication.
In memory of John Lewis Gateway Long Spurs, St Louis
In memory of Billy Norman Yates Ed Courtney In memory of Ruben McKenzey John Phelps In memory of Barry Rae Herman Rae
MARCH - 2018
As the first Cabela’s in Missouri, we pulled out all the stops to bring a serious outdoor experience to the Show-Me-State. The Hazelwood Cabela’s store was built to not only surround customers with quality outdoor products, but to engage them with lifelike taxidermy, local fish swimming in the aquarium and an indoor archery test area.
5555 St. Louis Mills Blvd. Ste. #167 Hazelwood, MO 63042
Located just off I-270, north of I-70 (Exit 22B, Hwy. 370), the impressive 130,000-sq.-ft. retail showroom is packed with outdoor equipment. Whether you’re visiting the St. Louis Arch, exploring the wilds of the Ozarks or just stocking up on gear, our experienced Outfitters are ready and waiting to help you get the most out of your next adventure.
STAY UP TO DATE ON ALL UPCOMING STORE EVENTS AT CABELAS.COM/HAZELWOOD
Gear Guide Rapala Deluxe Cordless Fillet Knife Set With no cords in the way, the Rapala Deluxe Cordless Fillet Knife makes even the toughest filleting chores a quick and easy task. Two removable rechargeable battery packs provide an ample power source to complete the job. Charger base allows charging of one battery to a full charge in 3 hours and 45 minutes, while you put the other to use, or pre-charge for a fast shore lunch preparation in the field. Both a 6" and 7-1/2" reciprocating style blades are included. The whole set packs neatly into a compact carrying case so you can bring the ease of filleting everywhere. www.rapala.com
Temple Fork Outfitters NTX NXT kits are what the beginning fly caster should demand from the industry. These high-performance fly rods will flatten the learning curve, making it easier and more rewarding to become an active participant in this sport of a lifetime. Now the industry standard, our NXT rods are medium fast with plenty of forgiveness for delicate presentations and cushioning light leaders, but load up easily for longer casts into the wind. www.tforods.com
Arctic-Ice Alaskan Series Arctic-Ice Alaskan Series panels keep food or drinks cold without risk of freezing longer than a similar size bag of ice will, and eliminate the hassle of melting. The active ingredients are non-toxic, biodegradable and housed in a rugged container designed to provide maximum surface area to increase the efficiency at which they cool. Freeze the Alaskan Series panels in any freezer 6-8 hours prior to use. Alaskan Series panels can also be used in combination with ice to extend the life of ice. Alaskan Series panels are top rack dishwasher safe. www.arctic-ice.com
Mustad Elite Football Head Football jig heads work in lakes and rivers across Missouri with both live and artificial baits. These jig heads feature laser sharpened Mustad hooks with Ultrapoint technology and are developed with a special injection molding technique. The shape of the head moves a lot of water, which attracts fish from all around. Great when using nightcrawlers or small soft baits. A wide gape on the hook allows for the perfect hook up. www.mustad-fishing.com
Indian Creek Black Diamond Strike Choke Tube The Black Diamond Strike is designed to knock turkeys right off their feet. Precision engineered to the industryâ€™s tightest tolerances, this tube has been proven deadly. These tubes will accommodate all lead and hybrid heavy loads with shot sizes from #4 through #8, and have been proven to increase pattern density by 40 percent or better. That means tighter groups, more pellets down range, and more birds in the freezer. www.indiancreekss.com
MARCH - 2018
Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt Set for 2018 The Governors Youth Turkey Hunt has been a very successful event over the last nine years. This special experience serves as a celebration of Missouri’s outdoors as well as a recruiting and retaining tool for future hunting enthusiasts. This year’s event takes place April 6-8. This year marks the 10th Annual Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt, and the second for Governor Greitens. The Conservation Federation of Missouri, National Wild Turkey Federation, the Missouri Department of Conservation, elected officials, private landowners and other volunteers all contribute to the success of the event. Space for the Governor’s hunt is limited. Applicants must be between the ages of 11 to 15. Ideal applicants are first time hunters or those rather new to hunting. Remaining openings will be given to youth with previous hunting experience. Successful applicants must attend a safety orientation Friday afternoon that includes hunter safety, regulations education, and live firearm training. Friday night, the hunters and their chaperones dine in the Governor’s Mansion as guests of the Governor and First Lady. The Governor along with a select few other conservation leaders will address the crowd.
After dinner, the hunters depart for their hunting destinations, which are private properties graciously opened to the youth hunters by caring landowners. The hunt takes place on Saturday and Sunday. If you think that you may know of a youth that qualifies and would may enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity, please fill out the application linked here. The application is due by April 1. For more information, contact John Burk at email@example.com
Registration Form Name of Student __________________________________________ Date of Birth ______________________ Age __________ E-mail address ____________________________________________ Parent/Guardian __________________________________________ Mailing Address ___________________________________________ City ____________________________ State _____ Zip____________ Phone Number ____________________________________________ Were you recommended by a local chapter of the NWTF? What chapter? __________________________________
Send completed application to: John Burk, 7152 Tomahawk Lane, Steedman, MO 65077. All information is due by April 1, 2018. In addition to filling out the information above please enclose a letter describing why you wish to participate in the hunt and whether or not you have ever hunted previously. Priority will be given to first time hunters but first time turkey hunters will also be welcome if there are openings available.
Conservation Day at the Capitol March 27, 2018 Missouri State Capitol 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Conservation Day brings conservationists from all across Missouri together in the Capitol for a day of promoting and supporting our natural resources and outdoor heritage before our Missouri General Assembly. Broadcasting Live: The Morning Shag with Shags and Trevor on 96.7 FM Columbia/Jefferson City: 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. Citizens and legislators will tour the affiliate booths to learn about the diverse outdoor interests and passions of Missourians. Citizens will have a chance to meet with their legislators and to speak with them about the importance of conservation in Missouri. The World Bird Sanctuary will again have a bald eagle in attendance for photo opportunities. For an affiliate booth contact: Micaela Haymaker: 573-634-2322, firstname.lastname@example.org Visit www.confedmo.org/capitol-conservation-day/ for more information.
Committed to Community & Conservation Owned by the members they serve, Missouriâ€™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. Missouriâ€™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.
New England Clam Chowder Ingredients • 2 dozen fresh cherrystone clams (or 2 cans) • 1/4 lb bacon or saltpork (chopped into 1/4 inch chunks) • 2 leeks, trimmed, halved and rinsed • 4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cubed • 1/2 c white wine • 2 sprigs thyme • 2 bay leaves • 2 c heavy cream (or milk for a lighter chowder) Tools • Weston 8 Qt Slow Cooker
How To 1. Place clams in pot with 4 c water over medium high heat. Cover and cook until clams have opened up, ~10 minutes or so. ( make sure to throw away clams that don't open) 2. Strain broth and keep to side. Once shells have cooled, remove clams and reserve. 3. Cook bacon or salt pork in 1 T butter until fat renders and meat is cooked, ~5minutes. Remove and set aside, reserving fat in pan. 4. Sautee leeks in fat until soft. Add wine and cook until wine has evaporated . 5. Add clams, potatoes, pork, thyme, bay leaves and leeks to slow cooker, and then cover with clam broth. 6. Cook at high setting for ~ 2 hours or until potatoes are tender. 7. Add cream or milk and blend 8. Season with Salt & Pepper.
MARCH - 2018
Ducks Unlimited Recognizes World Wetlands Day
ities across the world celebrated World Wetlands Day (WWD) on Feb. 2, and Ducks Unlimited (DU) added its voice to raise awareness of this important day. Since 1937, DU has conserved more than 14 million acres of wetlands and associated habitats across North America. On average, DU and its many partners help conserve more than 250,000 acres per year. WWD marks the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on Feb. 2, 1971, in Ramsar, Iran. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and the Ramsar Convention.
Ducks Unlimted continues to protect wetlands and critical watefowl habitat. (Photo: Brandon Butler)
“Ducks Unlimited focuses on conserving wetlands to maintain healthy waterfowl populations, but the state of our wetlands affects everyone in many ways,” said Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer Nick Wiley.
QUWF Leadership Meets With Secretary Zinke At the 2018 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show (SHOT), QUWF Executive staff Craig Alderman and Christine Abmeyer were invited to meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss veteran-based companies, and the efforts and obstacles of getting more veterans outside and involved. “Secretary Zinke discussed with me the challenges of being a veteran based company and the opportunity for others to cooperate better in getting more veterans outside, involved and recognized” stated Craig Alderman, Executive Director of QUWF, the only veteran founded and managed national wildlife conservation organization in the U.S.
“We also discussed directly matters of wildlife management on public lands; the pending Farm Bill and its need for oversight and review, with regard to wildlife portions Secretary Zinke and Craig Alderman and efficiency; cross (Photo: Craig Alderman) checks and review of the uses of the Pittman / Robertson dollars by the states; and the significant costs of wild fire control from the U.S.F.S budget devastating other programs from the cost” Craig explained.
Fishing Community Celebrates 50th Anniversary With 2018 Bassmaster Classic in March It’s been called the “Test of the Best” bass anglers, the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing” and the “World Championship of Fishing.” By any name, the Bassmaster Classic became the salvation of Ray Scott’s Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) when the tournament was launched 47 years ago. Now known as the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, the annual bass tournament began modestly with just 24 competitors in October 1971. Arkansas angler Bobby Murray won the inaugural Classic, held on Lake Mead, Nevada. Scott recalls that the lakeside weigh-ins attracted only a handful of spectators. More important than crowds, however, were the two-dozen outdoor writers who attended at Scott’s invitation. Their articles in major publications across the United States lent legitimacy to the fledgling, mainly southern, sport of tournament bass fishing. Founded 50 years ago, B.A.S.S. struggled for attention in the beginning. The B.A.S.S. Tournament Trail — the first national fishing circuit — was popular among bass anglers but lacked broader exposure until Scott and then-Bassmaster Magazine editor Bob Cobb concocted the season-ending championship. “It was the turning point,” said former tournament director Harold Sharp, now deceased. “It’s become the thing everybody points to. It’s as high as an angler can go.”
The first Bassmaster Classic was held 50 years ago. (Photo: B.A.S.S.)
B.A.S.S. membership grew rapidly after that first Classic, and the event itself quickly became the most important event in sportfishing. Many industry insiders consider the birth of B.A.S.S. and its tournament circuits to mark the beginning of the modern era of bass fishing and the spark that ignited an economic boom in sportfishing.” The prize for claiming the first Classic crown was $10,000, winner take all. The event today pays out $1 million to the 52 qualifiers, including $300,000 to the champion.
Missouri Electric Cooperatives Fight for Rural Broadband Modern broadband communication services have become a virtual necessity, but still are not available to many citizens who live in the rural areas of Missouri. Broadband is a foundation for economic growth, job creation, global competitiveness and a better way of life. In order to make broadband services available, the necessary infrastructure must be in place.
Rural electric co-ops are already deploying fiber technologies to better operate their systems, for example in substations controls and security, dispatch, outage response and in providing "smart grid" applications for our members. The leasing to third parties of excess fiber capacity, as well as, the use of existing poles and facilities of co-ops in many cases is the most economically feasible, and rapid way to deploy broadband in rural areas. It also minimizes the impact on landowners.
MARCH - 2018
MCCA Unites Collegiate Conservationists Across Missouri
ow do you keep college students informed on conservation issues that are affecting your state in timely fashion? Create a program that is FREE and easy to join. I am excited to share how we have done so in Missouri. The Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance (MCCA) is a youth conservation organization developed in 2015 for students interested in impacting conservation. Students can be interested in careers in conservation or careers in other fields. It does not matter. This program is for anyone that hikes, camps, hunts, fishes, gardens or just enjoys being outdoors. The organization brings awareness of conservation issues in Missouri to college and university campuses around the state and provides a voice for student engagement. David Calandro, former student and co-founder of MCCA says, “MCCA was created by college students for college students. It is a great way to stay informed on current conservation issues directly from the source and then to make a real difference in the state of Missouri. Our goal is to unite and empower the next generation of leaders to make a difference.”
affecting conservation and our natural resources in Missouri. Students from schools in St. Louis to Kansas City are members of this organization. There is power in numbers. Students are encouraged to join us at Conservation Day at the Capitol on March 27, 2018. Jennifer Sampsell, the Education and Outreach Coordinator at CFM, continues working to expand MCCA to colleges and universities across Missouri. “As a former educator and professional in the conservation field, I know how important it is to pass on the legacy of protecting our natural resources. CFM knows this too and actively supports, educates and engages the next generation, our future leaders in conservation,” Sampsell said. For more information or to join MCCA, go to the www.confedmo.org/mcca.
The three main goals of this program are to engage, advocate and unite. MCCA is a FREE program that unites college students across Missouri who care about conservation regardless of field of study, educates them about key conservation and natural resource issues, and engages these members in MCCA’s advocacy efforts. CFM communicates with college students through MCCA, providing valuable information to help them become knowledgeable and engaged citizens in efforts on behalf of conservation in Missouri. The plan is to empower students with knowledge and enable them to provide a unified voice. Members are kept informed of key conservation issues in Missouri through e-newsletters, social media, CFM’s Legislative Action Center, and the MCCA website. MCCA educates young citizens of Missouri regarding legislative issues that could affect our natural resources. Newsletters and calls to action are sent that highlight current bills and public hearings
Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance
Dedicated to providing a unified voice for college students to become knowledgeable about and engaged in efforts on behalf of conservation in Missouri.
‘The Perfect Drift’: Sub-Zero Smallmouth Bass by Kayak
ayak angler Paul Hansen doesn’t put his boat away in winter. He admits that finding smallmouth can be a challenge. And even when you do find them, you still have to figure out the right presentation. The first thing Hansen looks for are areas that retain heat. As cold-blooded creatures, smallmouth bass will only expend as much energy as the water temperature allows. The biological imperative is to conserve energy; when water temperatures are low, bass will move less. As water temperatures climb, bass activity increases. “Smallies will congregate in sandy areas, which retain heat. They may pull off and feed, but their metabolism has slowed down and they’re going to spend a lot more time just hanging out, less time actively chasing. So, I’m looking for sand, a log, or a tree that has fallen into the river, all which retain heat. Same with bottom substrate. Anything that’s dark will pick up heat from the sun and attract smallmouth bass—dark rocks and boulders, even mud at times. Same thing for cover that sticks up out of the water.”
Current also plays a big part in locating winter smallmouth bass. Winter smallmouth bass are typically found adjacent to current areas, only moving into fast water to feed when absolutely necessary. More often the case, winter smallmouths relate to slack-water areas just off current seams and eddies. Anywhere that current naturally pushes food is a sure bet. Such areas are visible to the naked eye. There are areas along the river bottom, too, where current is slower. “You can often find groups of fish in troughs—and sometimes a really small area, stacked up like cordwood. Troughs or channels offer reduced current, warmer water temperature, and provide cover. The areas behind boulders provide something similar. Again, smallmouth avoid exerting too much energy in the winter, reserving it for feeding.”
Don’t put your kayak away in winter. There are plenty of bass to be caught. (Photo: courtesy of Old Town Canoes & Kayaks/Jason Arnold)
Feature Story Presentations Left to his druthers, Hansen typically reaches for a fly rod, but has found better odds with unique, hybrid techniques that merge his experience with fly and conventional angling. “Fly fishing works great for many situations— including winter smallmouth—but you don’t have the success rate because any time you build up slack or drag, you’re creating an unnatural presentation. The fish are going to blow it off and eat something that looks more natural. Thing is, there’s probably more food in the river at any given time during the winter than any other time of year. Very few things are physically hatching and flying away. The bottom is often littered with nymphs, leeches, and baitfish are of a size that pack a lot of calories.” Conventional spinning tactics like a jig and minnow also introduce drag. Go too heavy in jig weight to reduce drag and you’ve got the hassle of snagging in the crevices of river rock. “A centerpin outfit gives me the perfect drift. Due to the rod length and the entire system, the drift is longer, slower, and more precise. It allows a very natural presentation. You want split-shot placement that’s appropriate for the current and allows the minnow to float along so it slowly rolls in front of the fish and they can’t resist,” says Hansen.
To that end, Hansen uses a St. Croix Avid 13’ ML power, moderate action centerpin rod with a Raven center-pin reel loaded with 10-pound PowerPro braid. He attaches an 8 lb. Seaguar fluorocarbon leader to the main line, places small split-shots evenly below a steelhead float, and uses a small circle hook to prevent gut-hooking. In terms of bait, Hansen’s had the best success with small-to-medium sized suckers or creek chubs. “For winter bass fishing, live bait simply produces more fish. Circle hooks make it low impact, with the hook penetrating the corner of the mouth for an easy release.”
Artificial Ways There are times when Hansen goes artificialonly—like during the classic January thaw when temperatures can rise well above the 32-degree mark. “Bass activity will definitely spike when the mercury jumps. That’s when tube jigs fished on a slow bottom crawl will keep up with live bait. It might take a few casts to get the right weight tube jig figured out so you’re not snagging or drifting, but once you do, they’re easy to fish. Wacky worms like Z-Man Zinkerz work in winter, too. Same for Fluke-style baits. Even hardbaits like the LiveTarget Emerald Shiner Baitball jerkbait, twitched with super-long pauses. Just remember to work any baits slower than you would other times of the year.” For situations like this, Hansen leaves the centerpin rig in the rod holder, and throws baits on a versatile 7’1” medium-power, fast-action St. Croix Legend Bass Tournament spinning rod and Daiwa spinning reel spooled with 8- to 10-pound Seaguar InvisX fluorocarbon.
Winter Bass Safety
A centerpin helps setup a perfect drift. (Photo: courtesy of Old Town Canoes & Kayaks/Jason Arnold)
Any time you’re fishing in winter—whether on the ice or open water—safety should be your first priority. Navigating rivers in winter can be dangerous. Ice floes are not uncommon, even in areas with warmwater effluent. Should an impact with an ice floe knock you out of your kayak, a PFD and spare clothes can save you from drowning and hypothermia. Jim Edlund MARCH - 2018
The importance of your motor running well, especially in tournament fishing, is to get you there quicker. Spend more time fishing instead of more time traveling. Thatâ€™s why Crappie Masters supports gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol - a fuel made from corn grown in America. Mike Vallentine, Crappie Masters President
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MARCH - 2018
Shed Hunting Provides Antlers, Information and Crafts
n case there is someone new to big game biology reading this, each year, cervids, including deer, â€œshedâ€? their antlers and grow a new set. Bovids, like bighorn sheep, have horns that are never shed and continue to grow throughout the life of an animal. Deer typically shed their antlers from late December through February. Hunting for these sheds is a fun and exciting way to collect a natural treasure while learning more about the deer on your land.
Looking for sheds can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but there are ways to increase your odds of finding antlers. Some key areas to focus on are travel corridors, bedding areas, feeding areas, along fences and at water crossings. Bedding areas and feeding areas are key locations, because this is where deer spend the majority of their time. Fences are key because when a buck jumps a fence, the jar from hitting the ground can knock his antlers off. But antlers can just as easily fall off with the simple shake of the head while walking down a trail or lying in a bed.
Feature Story Finding a shed is exciting and educational. It lets you know what kind of bucks you might have around next season. Water crossings are another good place to locate sheds. I often hunt along the edge of a large creek. From my stand, I regularly watch deer cross at the same spot. They hang-up on either side as they scope out the direction they’re heading. While they stand there, a shed could drop. Maps and aerial photos can cut your work in half. Look for natural funnels that force deer to pass by certain areas. Any section of woods with an hourglass shape is a good place to begin scouting. Deer, especially mature bucks, will generally hang as tight to cover as possible while traveling. Hunt in the “funnel” to intercept traveling deer. Certain areas that often produce funnels are water edges and roadways. Look for areas where two corners meet as well. Google Maps is a great way to obtain free photos of any property you plan to hunt. If you are looking for a more specialized map, and one you can hang on your wall, check out the company My Topo. They’re a strong supporter of conservation. A bonus of shed hunting is antlers are great to make crafts out of. I enjoy making crafts out of sheds. I don’t cut up the antlers of deer I’ve killed, but I have no problem turning a shed into a candleholder, key ring or wine rack. I’ve saved a bunch of money over the years giving such gifts at Christmas time. Shed hunting isn’t rocket science. The basic premise is, bucks drop their antlers in late winter and you hike around trying to find them. However, just like in all other types of hunting, he who is prepared is most likely to be successful. Serious shed hunters develop and work a strategy. A likely part of that strategy is a canine companion. A good dog greatly improves your odds at this needle in a haystack game. This time of year, just getting out and stretching your legs is worth the trip. Dogs enjoy it too. On this trip, while pulling out of the farm, I was treated to a sight that warmed my spirit. Seven long-beards were scratching around in the cow pasture. Turkey season will be here soon, and with a look out my window this evening, it can’t come soon enough.
SHED HUNTING TIPS
TIMING White-tailed bucks can lose their antlers any time from early January to early spring. Weather seems to affect the peak times when bucks are dropping antlers, Crawford says. Last year, some bucks didn’t drop their antlers until spring because a warm winter with little snow provided deer with more food and less stress. In a cold and snowy winter, with a scarcity of food and higher energy demands, bucks might drop their antlers in January. A shed antler doesn’t last forever in the wild. Critters, such as mice, gnaw on antlers to get the minerals. Weather fades them.
THE GAZE A practiced eye helps. Crawford lets his gaze wander across fields in an almost out-of-focus manner, until an unusual shape prompts him to focus. A shed hunter can search more ground with eyes than with feet. A group of family or friends has better odds because they have more people searching more prime areas.
LOCATION Looking for an antler in a hayfield is daunting without a plan. One strategy is to stick primarily to the edges of fields and woodlands. Visibility is better, and deer often frequent edge areas during morning and evening feeding times. A deer walking into brush with a loose antler might snag it on a tree limb that pulls it off. Sometimes a particular spot will produce shed antler finds year after year. Usually that’s because a deer herd beds down in the area consistently. Content gathered from a 2013 issue of the Missouri Conservationist Magazine. Learn more at www.mdc.mo.gov.
See you down the trail………. Brandon Butler Executive Director, CFM
MARCH - 2018
Spring is the Right Time to Visit Kentucky Lake
entucky Lake is a true sportsman’s paradise. Encompassing 160,300 acres, making it the largest reservoir by surface area east of the Mississippi River, Kentucky Lake is massive. Its companion water, Lake Barkley, which is attached to Kentucky Lake by a canal, encompasses 58,000 acres. Together, the two lakes are well over 200,000 acres. That’s a lot of water to fish, boat, paddle, bowfish and pleasure boat on. Showing up at a reservoir this size without having some idea on where to fish can be intimidating. Understanding how to catch fish on Kentucky Lake comes down to timing. You need to know how fish are reacting to current conditions, including weather patterns and water clarity, but most importantly, water temperature. Knowing what phase of their annual cycle fish are in, and how they behave during those cycles is the key to filling a cooler with crappie or landing a trophy bass. Hiring one of the many local guides for a day will teach you the patterns you need to replicate for the rest of your time there. On Kentucky Lake crappie are king. Largemouth bass are extremely popular, too. Crappie aren’t just plentiful in both lakes, they’re also large. Both lakes are home to black crappie and white crappie, and fishing for these table fare favorites is a year round ordeal.
The sheer number of professional bass tournaments fished on the two reservoirs each year is enough to tell you Kentucky Lake is a nationally recognized largemouth bass fishery. When tackling such immense bodies of water, all one can do is try to understand the effects of timing and temperature, then break the lake down into smaller sections. Smallmouth bass inhabit both Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, but Kentucky is known to have a greater population. It simply comes down to habitat, and Kentucky Lake has more deep water with a rock bottom and pea gravel flats than Barkley. That’s not to say you can’t get into smallies on Barkley, it’s just more common on Kentucky. The Land Between the Lakes (LBL) is a peninsula between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. It’s 170,000 acres of forests and open lands. The LBL has 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline, 200 miles of paved roads, 500 miles of trails, and is teeming with wildlife. It is open to hunting, but some special regulations apply. Combining spring crappie fishing with spring turkey hunting is a great way to spend a vacation at Kentucky Lake. Kentucky Lake is a perfect spring getaway destination and Kentucky Dam Village State Park is a great place to stay. One more important tip is to make sure you eat at Patti’s 1880’s Settlement. This restaurant is voted the number one tourism restaurant in Kentucky for good reasons. They have amazing pork chops. For more information about this Federation Destination, visit www.kentuckylake.org/
Make Plans to Visit These Incredible Outdoor Destinations Looking for your next family vacation, quiet fishing trip, thrilling hunting experience or outdoor adventure? We encourage you to consider one of the following destinations.
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Interested in promoting your business or destination? Contact the CFM office at 573-634-2322 to learn more about our Federation Destinations. MARCH - 2018
Scout Turkeys Early or Be Disappointed Later “It won’t be long… I can’t wait.”
hese are just a couple of the common expressions you’ll hear from turkey hunters at this time of year. And while they’re growing increasingly excited about the coming spring season, amazingly, most turkey hunters don’t start scouting until just prior to the season opener. If you really are excited about bagging a longbeard this season, start scouting now. A myriad of changes take place in the woods and fields from year to year. Some are obvious, while others are subtler. Early scouting ensures you have the best-planned routes to and from your turkey hunting spots. Turkeys may not be able to see in the dark but they can hear perfectly. Any sound that draws their attention will likely determine what direction they fly off the roost, and it probably won’t be towards you. Turkeys are survivors and they didn’t get where they are as a species by flying into the laps of coyotes and
bobcats. Besides coughing or talking, turkeys also hear us walk. Snapping twigs, crunching leaves and shattering crop stubble are sure ways to sound the alarm. Early turkey scouting should result in a mental picture of the best ways in, through and out of a parcel. Eliminate noisy footsteps by utilizing grass or hay that will be damp with dew, freshly turned soil, farm lanes, creek bottoms and logging roads. It’s important to come up with stealthy travel options for all your hunting spots. Listening to turkeys – when they vocalize on the roost at dawn, and again when they fly up in the evening – is one of the easiest ways to assess their numbers and location. Depending on what part of the country you live in, this may be as simple as quietly easing your vehicle into a farm lane or pulling a safe distance off the road.
Feature Story Observing birds with binoculars at peak activity times is also a great way to judge the potential of a given area. Specifically, it can tell you how many gobblers are present and which ones have achieved true trophy status. Thermal-imaging technology is another scouting tool that is improving and coming down in price. Compact thermal handhelds like FLIR’s Scout Series monoculars work in any lighting conditions – including total darkness – so they’re a viable option for scouting roosted birds at night, although you do need to be fairly close. Looking for turkey sign and making dry runs to and from key locations requires getting out of the truck. The late-winter and early-spring landscape is often stark, with a lack of precious foliage for concealment. So bring your A-game. This means using maps such as Gazetteers, Google Earth and smart phone apps that are specifically tailored for hunters. OnX Hunt Maps, for example, offers satellite imagery with an overlay of landowners and other hunting tools. The modest investment is well worth it, as long as your hunting area has coverage. Look for signs of bird activity. Tenzing pro-staffer, Jon Turner, advises looking for primary strut zones, which tend to be flat areas with a lack of obstructions such as fallen branches and shrubs – logging roads and clearings, for example. “These are preferred landing areas for gobblers, and toms may linger there for short periods of time to gobble and strut after the morning fly-down,” he says. Turner carefully observes the ground for fresh tracks and droppings that reveal where the birds are traveling. “Gobblers usually leave j-shaped droppings while hens to tend to leave clumps,” says Turner, who also looks for telltale turkey scratchings. “Foraging turkeys scratch through leaf litter to find insects and seeds,” he says. “These scratchings give you an idea of where turkeys are feeding and how many there are, but since they are directional, they can also tell you how turkeys are moving through an area.”
Entering a property increases the odds of spooking birds. One of the best ways to avoid this is to use scouting cameras. Cameras reduce fuel costs and allow hunters to maximize their time and cover more area. These amazing scouting tools can yield an immense amount of intel from minimal effort and only a modest investment. Advancements in recent years include better resolution, increased battery life, reduced size and decreased costs. If you’re a turkey hunter, late winter and early spring is the time to take care of some very basic business. Reconnect with your landowners, then get out in the field and take note of anything new. Doing so now means avoiding or minimizing all manner of imaginable surprised once the season starts. The birds have already adapted to these various and subtle changes. Will you? Jay Anglin (Left) Observing late-winter flocks on or near your familiar hunting property is encouraging, but it doesn’t mean your upcoming spring hunting season is all dialed-in. Take steps well before the season opener to reconnect with landowners, while making note of and adapting to all the subtle changes that may have affected your turkey ground since last season. (Photo: Traditions Media) (Top) Scouting turkeys with cameras results in a reduced need to enter the woods and a decreased probability of spooking birds. Set cameras early, and don’t over visit. (Photo: Jonathan Turner)
MARCH - 2018
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION MDC and Partners Eliminate More Than 6,500 Feral Hogs From Missouri's Landscape in 2017
he Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) feral hog strike team has tallied up elimination numbers for 2017. The year yielded a total of 6,567 feral hogs removed by MDC, partner agencies and private landowners. In 2016, 5,358 feral hogs were removed from the landscape. Crews in southeast Missouri removed 2,858 feral hogs, which is where the highest density of feral hogs occurs. The Ozark region removed 2,576 and the Southwest region removed 932 feral hogs. Other regions across Missouri had around 100 or fewer feral hogs removed. “We’re seeing positive impacts in areas with smaller feral hog populations, such as on the western side of the state,” said Mark McLain, MDC’s feral hog elimination team leader. “Our overall success for 2017 can be attributed to our strategic approach to eliminating populations of feral hogs.” McLain said it’s essential that the public understand why feral hogs must be eliminated.
Join the MDC Wild Webcast “Feral Hog Update” March 21 from noon to 1 p.m. Register at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZTn (Credit: MDC)
In 2017, MDC, the Corps of Engineers and the LAD Foundation established regulations against feral hog hunting on lands owned and managed by these three organizations.
“These are a destructive, invasive species that doesn’t belong here; they’re not a native species,” McLain said. “They out-compete native wildlife for habitat and food. For example, places with a lot of feral hogs will see their wild turkey and deer population diminish.”
“A persistent piece of this story is continued illegal releases of feral hogs, which establishes populations and further spreads the problem,” McLain said. “This is illegal and when caught, those who release feral hogs face hefty fines.”
McLain said feral hogs present potential for diseases to spread to humans, pets and livestock and that he hopes the message that hunting is not an effective method for eliminating feral hog populations is starting to catch on. “For over 20 years, unregulated take of feral hogs was allowed in Missouri, during which time our feral hog population expanded from a few counties to over 30 counties,” he said.
Other attributing factors in the success of the feral hog elimination effort include MDC’s “Report, don’t shoot” message to encourage trapping, prohibiting the take of feral hogs on conservation areas, and a strong public awareness campaign.
To report feral hog sightings or damage, go online to mdc.mo.gov/feralhog.
Elk Research Continues Within Missouri's Elk Restoration Zone
esearchers with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) are studying Missouri’s elk herd and the information they gather will be vital in future management of the herd. MDC biologists say visitors to the elk zone needn’t be concerned if they see MDC employees working with the herd. “Field workers are actively working through the winter to capture and radio collar elk,” said Dave Hasenbeck, MDC’s elk program manager. “If you’re viewing the elk and you see agency vehicles in the field or nearby the elk, remember that they are attempting to capture elk for research purposes; they’re not intending to disrupt the viewing experience.” Hasenbeck said data gathered from radio collared elk will be used to guide habitat management as well as help with decisions on when and how elk hunting seasons will be established over the upcoming years. The possibility of limited elk hunting has been part of the goal for the herd since elk were brought back to Missouri, he said. Efforts to restore elk began in 2011 when MDC initially brought 34 elk to Peck Ranch Conservation Area from Kentucky. More elk were introduced in 2012 and 2013, bringing the total number to just over 100 animals. The elk population and the range they occupy are slowly expanding. Hasenbeck estimates the current size of the herd at about 170 animals. “As time goes by, and the herd continues to grow, elk are becoming more visible in places they haven’t been seen before,” Hasenbeck said. “They are now commonly observed on the Current River from above Van Buren to the Blue Springs area.” Researchers are working to capture and sedate elk in the field so the elk can be fitted with radio collars. Data collected will help in future management decisions. (Photo: MDC)
Late winter is a good time to see elk because in colder weather they tend to feed out in the open for longer periods in the earliest and latest parts of the day. The elk also tend to group into bigger herds in late winter, which makes finding them easier. “The Peck Ranch and Current River Conservation Area driving tours still offer the best chance to see elk, but at times Waymeyer and Logyard recreational areas on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways are places to view good numbers of elk,” he said. Hasenbeck reminds visitors to these areas that elk should be appreciated, viewed and photographed from a safe distance. He recommends staying inside vehicles when in the presence of elk. “Elk are large wild animals and can be unpredictable especially during calving and breeding seasons,” he said. “By keeping your distance, you won’t spook the elk and everyone can enjoy watching them. Park in a safe area off the road or highway and please avoid driving in the fields elk are feeding in.” For more information on elk restoration and elk driving tours, go online to mdc.mo.gov.
MARCH - 2018
MISSOURI STATE PARKS Closed State Parks Public Comments Now Available
n early December 2017, Missouri State Parks held a series of public meetings to discuss the future of three state park properties. The three properties, which have not been developed and are currently closed, are Ozark Mountain State Park in Taney County, Bryant Creek State Park in Douglas County, and Jay Nixon State Park in Reynolds County. Representatives from Missouri State Parks were present at the meetings to receive input from the public on the future of the properties and to provide information about the properties. Litigation has been filed in Oregon County relating to the Eleven Point State Park property. Missouri State Parks plans to hold a public meeting regarding that property pending outcome of the litigation. The public meetings also kicked off the public comment period for the three properties, during which the public was invited to submit their comments about the future of each property. The public could submit comments about the properties in three different ways. If they attended a public meeting, they could fill out and submit comment cards available at the public meetings. They could also complete an online survey available on the Missouri State Parks website. A few individuals and public entities chose to send emails or other correspondence directly to Missouri State Parks. All of the public comments received during the Dec. 4, 2017 – Jan. 6, 2018, comment period are provided for each of the properties. These comments do not reflect the opinion of the State of Missouri or the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks, nor are these entities responsible for the content or the factual accuracy of the comments. The responses have not been edited or otherwise altered, except to remove names and other identifying statements, and profanity and violent language. Read the comments here: https://mostateparks.com/ page/70456/closed-state-park-properties.
Ozark Mountain State Park The Ozark Mountain property features a distinctive southwest Missouri landscape of bald knobs, natural glades and woodlands traversed by 2.2 miles of Roark Creek, including much of the three-mile long East Fork Roark Creek. The property’s vegetation reflects southwest Missouri’s distinctive grasslands and glades natural heritage. More than 430 acres of dolomite glades cover the knobs, ridgetops and hillsides across the property. Together with the associated dolomite woodlands, the White River region’s two most distinctive native ecosystems cover more than two- thirds of the property’s 1,011 acres.
The Centennial Passport Program Has Been Extended Through April 9.
issouri State Parks is celebrating 100 years. The park system offers prairies, battlefields, covered bridges, ancient Indian villages, forested hills and valleys with caves and spring, streams with trout, lakes with bass and the homes of honored artists, pioneers, soldiers and statesmen.
The first 1,000 participants to complete the passport will receive a Missouri State Park Centennial backpack sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. All participants to complete the passport will be entered into a drawing for one of five Missouri State Parks vacation packages.
The park system was officially established on April 9, 1917. Since then, the system has grown to include more than 150,000 acres available to the public. There are a wide variety of opportunities to hike, camp, fish, discover the past and explore nature. Experience all Missouri State Parks has to offer by grabbing your centennial passport and heading out on an adventure. There are two ways to participate in the centennial passport. Choose one or participate in both.
Printed Passport Buy a passport book online at www.mostateparks.com or at a state park or historic site gift shop near you. To complete the passport, participants must obtain a stamp from 88 state parks and historic sites by April 9, 2018.
The digital passport is available free of charge by registering online. To complete the passport, participants must obtain and enter a code from 88 state parks and historic sites by April 9, 2018. Digital passport participants will be entered into monthly drawings for Missouri State Park gift cards and merchandise. All participants to complete the passport will be entered into a drawing for a Missouri State Parks vacation package.
Echo Bluffs State Park. (Photo: Courtesy of Missouri State Parks)
MARCH - 2018
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Missouri's Dessert Wines: Discover More In Missouri Wine Country
ry, sweet and everything in-between. You may think you’ve discovered all that Missouri wine country has to offer, but have you sipped our dessert wines? Port, or dessert wine as it’s commonly referred to in Missouri, is wine that has been fortified by brandy. Adding brandy to wine during fermentation stops the process and allows the wine to retain a lot of its natural sweetness. Fortified wine has more body and palate density. Dessert wine comes in sweet, dry and semi-dry styles and red and white. Missouri winemakers craft unique dessert wines, blending grape varietals to put their own spin on classic port-style dessert wines. The next time you travel to Missouri wine country, stop by one of the following wineries and discover their dessert wine. •
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Adam Puchta Winery – The winery offers Signature, Anniversary, and Norton-based Anniversary. Each has a distinct flavor, ranging from a rich fruity quality to a caramel and vanilla character. Arcadian Moon Winery & Brewery – Bellona is a blend of Chambourcin and Norton that includes notes of blackberry, cherry, fig, dark chocolate and hints of tobacco and pepper. Augusta Winery – The winery features three dessert wines – Vintage Port, 5 Year Old Tawny and Augusta Icewine. Augusta Winery uses the traditional method for making Port and the Solera method to produce the 5-year -old Tawny. Balducci Vineyards –Time Signature Release Two is an intensely flavored dessert wine, a blend of 80 percent Norton and 20 percent Chambourcin. Baltimore Bend Vineyard – The Norton-based Port of Waverly is named after the historic port at the Missouri River in Waverly, Mo. Cave Hollow West Winery –The Gilded Page is a white dessert wine made from Missouri-grown Vidal Blanc. It is lightly oaked with a taste of apricot.
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Cave Vineyard – Vino Grande is the winery’s first fortified wine. The dessert wine is 100 percent Norton and fortified with brandy made from the winery’s own Norton grapes. Curling Vine Winery – Profound is made from the Norton grape and fortified with a grape brandy. Edg-Clif Farms & Vineyard – Edg-Clif Port is crafted from barrel-aged Chambourcin. Grindstone Valley Winery – Plum-Tastic is a dessert wine made from Geneva Red. Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery – Nort is made with Norton grapes and features aromas of blackberries, plums and chocolate. Keltoi Vineyard & Winery – Celtic Goddess is made from Chambourcin. Les Bourgeois Vineyards – Rocheport is a sweet, silky port-style dessert wine with aromas of dark confectioneries and ripe berries which proceed the rich, rustic flavors characteristic of the Norton grape. Montelle Winery – Cynthiana Port features Norton (aka Cynthiana) and is similar to a Portuguese Port. Framboise is a sweet raspberry dessert wine made from 100 percent raspberries. Mount Pleasant Estates & Winery – Vintage Port, Tawny Port, Ten Year Old Port and Barrel Select Port are crafted with Norton and other grape varietals. Noboleis Vineyards – Volume IV is fortified with grape brandy, featuring aromas and flavors of dark chocolate and dried fruits. Pirtle Winery – The winery’s Premium Port is aged in French and American Oak. Riverwood Winery – There is the Riverwood Chocolate Cherry Dessert Wine, Riverwood Red Eminence and Riverwood Blackberry Dessert Wine. These blends feature Chambourcin, Norton, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Seven Springs Winery – Left Side White is Vignoles-based and tastes like a green caramel apple, while Left Side Red is a Norton-based dessert wine and features a very soft pallet with a tremendous amount of depth. Stone Hill Winery – The 2013 Stone Hill Winery Port is oak aged in both small American and French oak barrels for one year, then bottle aged to produce a rich, dark dessert wine that has stunningly powerful blackberry and cassis flavors. Wenwood Farm Winery – Tawny is a red dessert wine that offers a rich, mellow sweetness and hints of exotic fire to warm the palate. West Winery – Whisper is a red dessert wine that features Missouri-grown Norton grapes. Wild Sun Winery – Eclipse is aged in French oak barrels and boasts big flavors of chocolate and berry notes. Vox Vineyards – Munson RePort has notes of figs, baked black cherries and pomegranate molasses cradled by overtones of red apple skin, dried eucalyptus, tamarind and freshly-baked sticky buns. Wetumka RePort has intense notes of lemon verbena, pineapple syrup and clove with hints of home-made applesauce, candied grape, vanilla bean and wood.
For more information visit www.missouriwine.org.
MARCH - 2018
Three Down, Three to Go to Complete World Turkey Slam
here is nothing I enjoy more than traveling somewhere new to hunt. I’ve never been into the trophy aspect of hunting. Antler inches and beard lengths do not motivate me. But seeing a sunrise over a new horizon trips my trigger, so I set personal goals that require travel to complete.
I stayed hidden behind the high bank until I came to a large tree. Using the tree as cover, I slowly eased my head up, then my binoculars. The birds were nowhere to be seen, and they weren’t talking. I was just about to slip back down the bank to the truck when a gobble exploded so close it stood the hair up on the back of my neck.
I’m trying to finish a World Slam of wild turkey. To accomplish this goal, I must take at least one of each of the six subspecies - Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam’s, Gould’s and Ocellated. I have three down and three to go. By the end of this year, I hope to have checked at least one more box and experienced another incredible hunting destination.
The bird was just on the other side of the levee, no more than 20 yards away. I couldn’t have been in a better position. My gun was rested in the crook of a tree branch. I was solid as a rock. There was no reason to compare these two birds. Both were true trophies based on experience alone. When the closer of the two entered the window of view afforded by my scope, I leveled the crosshairs on his head and thumped him.
Eastern – Big Piney River, Missouri Over the years, I have found much success in the midday. One of my best birds ever was killed at 10:30 a.m. on the banks of the Big Piney River near Licking, Missouri. I had set up on a ridge that is a regular gobbler hotspot. Sure enough, a big old bird was fired up on the roost. I watched him strut up and down a limb for 20-minutes before flying down and immediately started dancing on a ridge top-logging road. He came within 40 yards of me, but I couldn’t take a shot. Before I knew it, he was trailing off down to an open agricultural field. There were only two ways he could have gone, and since he hadn’t showed up in my direction, I knew he had chosen to head the opposite way. I took a hike. A long hike circling around to the other end of the woods I was hunting and set up against a big oak tree. Then I let out a series of soft calls. He gave me a strong courtesy gobble. Five minutes later, I had him flopping.
Merriam’s – Edgemont, South Dakota Wooded, western river bottoms rising from endless expanses of high plains are usually teeming with wildlife. The stretch of Cheyenne River running through Mark Hollenbeck’s Sunrise Ranch near Edgemont, South Dakota is certainly no exception to this rule. Cutting hard on an old box call, Hollenbeck struck a bird less than 100 yards from where we parked the truck. After 10 minutes or so of silence, I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to slip down the river bank to view the large field leading to the next set of trees a few hundred yards down the bank. I figured the bird had split for the thicket.
Ocellated – Campeche, Mexico A trip to the Yucatán Peninsula to chase ocellated turkey turned into one of the greatest adventures of my life. I took what is often regarded the hardest of the six turkey to kill while completing the world slam, and enjoyed the all aspects of the trip. Snook Inn is located in the small village of Carlos Cano Cruz. It’s about an hour outside of Campeche. The accommodations are perfectly adequate for an authentic Mexican hunting adventure. The food at Snook Inn was the best I’ve ever experienced in a hunting or fishing camp. One night, we had all the stone crab claws we could eat paired with fresh grilled Spanish mackerel. For desert, we enjoyed pineapple drizzled with honey and rum. The turkey hunting takes place in agricultural fields surrounded by dense jungle. Jaguars roam these fields. Ocellated turkeys often come through in flocks. The first morning five gobblers came in front of me, and I ended my hunt before sunrise with a single shot. The beauty of the ocellated turkey is in its colors. A shimmering aqua and bronze body is highlighted by a tail fan with each feather hosting an eye of blue. I spent the second morning behind the lens of my camera. Over 100 turkeys in a single flock flew down in front of my blind. The next hour was mesmerizing. Brandon Butler Brandon Butler and Ray Eye pose with Brandon's beast of a Big Piney Bird. (Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Butler)
MARCH - 2018
The Ned Rig
ays on the water with Ned Kehde aren’t measured by pounds of bass in the livewell or by “5 good bites.” Rather, outings with the Hall of Fame fishing writer mostly distill down to clicks on a little handheld counting device; following many of Kehde’s daily, 4-hour forays, the clicker rolls to some number of bass and other fish greater than 100.
The larger truth is Kehde remains chiefly responsible for developing an amazing fishing system his friend and fellow Hall of Fame writer Steve Quinn originally termed the Ned Rig. Though the ultra-finesse presentation runs counter to much of bass fishing’s mainstream, which often prefers beefy rods, stout line and jumbo jig-hooks, the unassuming Ned Rig has almost certainly captured more interest and acclaim by North American bass fishers than any other presentation in recent memory.
Feature Story Ned Rig Renaissance In the 1950s, says Kehde, Chuck Woods was already fishing a version of the Ned Rig — a soft plastic ‘Beetle’ on a jighead with a spinning rod. “I believe Chuck Woods has probably caught more Kansas largemouth bass than any man in history.” The next big development in the Ned Rig narrative occurred a half century later, the day Kevin VanDam showed Kehde an early ElaZtech bait while fishing together in 2006. VanDam put in Kehde’s hands a pack Strike King Zeros, an ultra-durable stickbait manufactured by the parent company of what would eventually become Z-Man Fishing. That same year, Kehde fished with Japanese bass legend Shinichi Fukae on Beaver Lake. “Fukae was using the same method we had adopted, retrieving a jigworm a few inches off bottom, reeling and shaking as it went along. It gave further credence to our Midwest style of finesse bassin’.”
Six Secret Ned Rig Retrieves So skilled and potent have Kehde and his loyal Midwest Finesse Network of anglers become at fishing Ned Rigs that the anglers have developed six unique retrieves — all effective, depending on the situation: The Swim-Glide-Shake: “After the lure touches down, immediately begin shaking the rod, continuing to constantly shake as it sinks toward bottom. Throughout the retrieve, keep the lure swimming slowly from six inches to one foot above bottom. The glide comes in as we stop turning the reel handle and allow the lure to pendulum toward the bottom.” The Hop-and-Bounce: “Drop the rod to the five-o’clock position after the cast and hold it there. Shake the rod as the lure falls to the bottom. After it touches down, hop it up by rotating the reel handle twice, and then pause. As the lure falls back, we shake the rod. Repeat this cadence throughout the retrieve.” The Drag-and-Deadstick: “This is normally performed by the angler in the back of the boat; it shines in water
up to 12 feet deep. Cast toward the shoreline and shake the rod as the lure sinks. Rod held at 3- or 4-o’clock, the angler drags the lure slowly across bottom as the boat moves along the shoreline. As the boat moves, peel some line off the spool, creating slack and allowing the lure to lie dead-still for five seconds. You can occasionally shake the rod after the deadstick routine.” The Straight Swim: Primarily executed with a singletailed grub on a 1/16- or 1/32-ounce jig, this long-cast tactic works with the wind at your back, when bass are foraging on wind-blown shorelines. Depending on wind, hold your rod at 2- to 5-o’clock and simply turn the reel handle at a slow to moderate speed. You can enhance it with shakes and pauses, too. The Drag-and-Shake: “After we’ve reached bottom, we turn the reel handle just fast enough to get the lure to slowly travel along the bottom. As it does, we twitch our wrist, shaking the rod, line and lure.” Strolling: “When bass are on massive, featureless flats — especially in winter on flatland reservoirs — we use the trolling motor to move our jigs along bottom, a great ploy for locating schools of fish. The angler on the trolling motor casts to the starboard side at about a 45-degree angle toward the back of the boat. A second angler does the same on the left side, while the person in the back merely casts straight back. When the baits of the two anglers in the front of the boat reach directly behind the boat, they retrieve and re-deploy their original casts.” Kehde concludes: “It’s the only way I fish anymore. Simple. Affordable. And so dad-gum good at catching boatloads of bass and other species, it’s almost ridiculous.” Cory Schmidt (Left) The man behind the method, Hall of Fame fishing writer, Ned Kehde says Midwest finesse fishing dates back to the 1950s. (Photo: Traditions Media) (Top) The simple jig and softbait set-up Kehde calls ‘so dad-gum good.’ (Photo: Traditions Media)
MARCH - 2018
Bill Crawford A Life of Conservation By: Joel Vance 46
et’s give him a few months and make it an even 100. That’s how old Bill Crawford would have been on his next birthday. But Crawford died December 7, 2017 after a short bout of pneumonia from which he was apparently recovering. He was due to be released from the hospital in a few days. Earlier on the seventh, he lunched and had dinner with two of his sons. A few hours later, he peacefully slipped away, ending a life that spanned the entire history of Missouri’s remarkable conservation program.
In a June, 2017, conversation with Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Conservation Department, Bill reflected on his early involvement with conservation: “Dad had about 3,000 posters to put out, so we bought a 1935 Chevrolet and drove all over the county putting up posters on telephone poles and in post offices. We were early birds and there to help the cause.” Bill went on to graduate with a master’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri and joined the Conservation Department in 1942. He became chief of the Department's Wildlife Research Section (a position he would hold for 40 years until his retirement in 1983) and recruited and hired a cadre of wildlife biologists unlike any in the country.
Bill was born August 30, 1918, in Howard County, on a farm not far from Fayette, so he was several months shy of 100, but already was planning for a celebration at the century mark—he wanted to have a big celebration at Columbia’s Tiger Hotel. It’s too bad that event It takes just a few hours of walking across won’t happen because, had it happened, Bill one of these prairie areas listening to the would’ve been the life of wind rustling the tall bluestem and Indian the party, telling stories of 100 years of life, always grass, enjoying the incomparable beauty fascinating, always of prairie wildflowers and seeing the informative, and always grace of a hunting marsh hawk to become fun to listen to— the way he had been for the first a convert to the necessity of 99 years of that century.
Most of them became nationally recognized experts in their field and Missouri’s innovative wildlife projects resulted in such triumphs as the restoration of white tailed deer and wild turkeys to where Missouri now ranks nationally near the top of hunting for both species— preserving prairie. near oblivion before Bill The Tiger Hotel had Crawford and pioneers like special significance for Bill him came to rescue them. because it was there in 1935 that somewhere around 100 But deer and turkeys were just the tip of the iceberg. dedicated sportsmen gathered to create what became the River otters, giant Canada geese, and other restoration Conservation Federation of Missouri, a group that would projects followed with notable success. Still in the works spearhead a drive to take the state’s wildlife conservation are efforts to salvage something of Missouri’s tallgrass out of politics forever. prairie heritage, with prairie chickens as the cornerstone. Among the 100 was 17-year-old Bill Crawford. The Federation has gone on to become the most powerful voice for outdoor conservation in the state, a consortium of many conservation groups and private individuals dedicated to taking care of the state’s enviable outdoor treasures. As a young man, Bill carried petitions in 1935 which ultimately resulted in Missouri’s fish, wildlife and forestry program being jerked from the sleazy clutches of politicians and established in the state constitution, its funding dedicated and its authority free from interference by those who would abase natural resources for their greedy purposes.
Typically, Bill Crawford was a pioneer in prairie preservation. He and fellow biologist Don Christisen founded the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a group which has bought a series of native prairie remnants scattered across what used to be a third of the state that was covered by warm season grasses and irreplaceable forbs. It takes just a few hours of walking across one of these prairie areas listening to the wind rustling the tall bluestem and Indian grass, enjoying the incomparable beauty of prairie wildflowers and seeing the grace of a hunting marsh hawk to become a convert to the necessity of preserving prairie.
MARCH - 2018
Feature Story Bill told a story, which may have been embellished a bit, but was too juicy not to pass along. It seems that he and Don Christisen were trying to get money from a wealthy out-ofstate donor for prairie preservation. They met her for dinner somewhere in southwest Missouri, took her for a tour of a remnant prairie, and then took her to dinner where they plied her with cocktails (it seems that the old gal was fond of her evening toddy). Before the jolly trip was ended, she had pledged funds which resulted in the purchase of about 12,000 acres of native prairie. Two years ago, Bill reserved a table at the annual Missouri Prairie Foundation banquet to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of MPF in 1966 and, coincidentally Bill’s 98th birthday. He asked me to sit with him and seven other guests. It was a signal honor, like being knighted, or being seated as a cherished guest at a state dinner. I was overwhelmed that he would pick me out of all the possible people he could’ve invited. He liked what I write and often told me so, but any respect he had for my scribbling was not nearly as intense as the respect I had for Bill Crawford. I was awed by the man. It always took time for Bill to make his way to his front row seat at Boone County Historical Society events because he had to stop repeatedly along the way to talk with people he knew. Once, I said to him, “Bill, you’re looking great.” “As long as I take the pills,” he joked. Maybe he didn’t need pills in his later years (we all do) but mostly he had, in abundance, what kept him young— an insatiable desire to know, to learn, and to teach us kids what conservation meant and how to take care of it. He is credited with creating the Missouri Natural Areas program in 1977, an honor he shared with the late John Wylie, who became state forester and then the chief of the Conservation Department’s Natural History Section (later Division).
Bill Crawford in the early days of conservation management. (Photo: Courtesy of MDC)
Bill became a Master Conservationist in 2010, honored by the Conservation Commission as among the best of the best, and soon will be a member of the Missouri Conservation Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for those legends who have passed on. That was only one of many honors Bill gathered during his long lifetime including the presidency of the Wildlife Society, the professional organization for conservationists. Bill was married twice. He married his first wife, Midge, in 1942. She died in 1993 after 51 years of marriage. Bill remarried to Jimmie Brown in 1996. She died in 2006. The Crawford clan is a large one comprised of four children with Midge, a dozen grandchildren and a halfdozen great-grandchildren.
Feature Story His dear friend, Carolyn Doyle, sums up Bill this way: “Bill was an avid singer, dancer, hunter, trombonist, historian, model T owner, and MU fan. He was also a pretty good cook. Most of all, he loved people and was always ready to shake a hand, strike up a conversation, and pitch in to help.” Of all Bill Crawford’s civic ventures, and there were many, none was more dear to his heart than the restoration of the Blind Boone piano. John William (Blind) Boone as the name implies was a sightless musical genius, born in 1864. He was the son of a slave, and a child prodigy on the piano. Exploited by various adults as a child, but also helped along in his musical training by adults, he traveled from town to town giving musical concerts and gradually gaining experience in all forms of music. By the beginning of the 20th century, Blind Boone was famous and well-to-do, so well off that by 1913 he had donated $180,000 to various charities, churches and other outlets. The piano dates to 1891. It is a custom-made Chickering, which, given its present day magnificence, belies the fact that it had fallen into disrepair and was in danger of being lost to history when Bill Crawford and the Boone County Historical Society got involved in its restoration— which would not have happened had not Crawford donated $25,000 to the project.
Today, the magnificent restored, gleaming oak grand piano is in the Historical Society building, the construction of which also owes much to Crawford’s generosity and sponsorship. More than a decorative art object, which it is, the piano is put to use a number of times each year in concerts featuring various styles of music ranging from ragtime to classical, and featuring musicians from talented amateurs to seasoned professionals. Not two months before his death he and his son Todd announced another $25,000 gift to the Historical Society’s Endowment's General Fund. Bill’s long time close friend, retired publisher of the Columbia Tribune, Hank Waters, said this about Bill’s contribution in a Historical Society newsletter: “Bill’s initial gift was essential to the resurrection of the historical instrument. Every note we love so much heralds his legacy. I can testify from close observation every note thrills the donor the most.” Bill had a front row seat reserved for all of the musicales presented by the Historical Society and periodically would be called on to tell about the history of the Blind Boone piano and how it came to be restored. Bill liked to talk and once given a microphone it was hard to get it away from him. One night, not that long ago, Bill leaned against the piano that he had so lovingly (and expensively) had restored and sang an old pop tune, maybe “Sunny Side of the Street” (I don’t remember which one). He sounded great, slick for a young man, not to mention one in his 90s. If, indeed, that was the song that Bill sang it’s appropriate, because Bill never saw any side of any street that wasn’t sunny, and if there were shadows he found a way to drive them away.
(Left) Crawford joined Missouri Conservation Commissioners to cut the ribbon on the E. Sydney Stephens Building. (Photo: Courtesy of MDC) (Cover) Bill Crawford outside his home in Columbia. (Photo: Courtesy of MDC)
MARCH - 2018
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1/29/18 9:20 AM
Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium voted “America’s Number One Best New Attraction”
ohnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, the largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world, has been voted as America’s Best New Attraction. Individuals across the country made their voices heard by voting in the national contest, propelling Wonders of Wildlife to the top of the list and bringing national recognition to the Ozarks. Nearly ten years in the making and unprecedented in scale and scope, Wonders of Wildlife is the most important natural history museum to open in America in more than a century. Larger than the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the notfor-profit conservation attraction serves as an inspirational tribute to the adventurers, explorers, outdoorsmen and conservationists who helped discover, develop and preserve the nation we love. The Museum is located in the heartland of America where half of the nation’s population lives within a day’s drive. “We are honored that Wonders of Wildlife has been voted America’s Number One Best New Attraction,” said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and visionary behind Wonders of Wildlife. “This recognition is a tribute to hunters, anglers and conservationists everywhere whose significant contributions have been protecting our nation’s fish and wildlife for generations. We are deeply grateful to all of the remarkably talented artists, craftsmen and women, leading conservation organizations, biologists and other supporters who contributed to the creation of this facility, and to each and every person that voted – thank you!”
The ribbon cutting of Wonders of Wildlife.. (Photo: Courtesy of Wonders of Wildlife)
Wonders of Wildlife was nominated for USA TODAY’s 2017 Best New Attraction contest by a panel of nationally respected travel experts as part of the Reader’s Choice Awards. Americans were invited to cast their vote every day to determine a winner. According to contest officials, Wonders of Wildlife received more votes than any other nominee in any category the publication held in 2017. The Museum celebrated its historic grand opening in September 2017 by hosting the most significant gathering of prominent North American conservation leaders ever assembled along with dignitaries and celebrities including President George W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Costner, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Richard Childress, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chris Janson, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Tracy Byrd, Craig Morgan, Easton Corbin, John Anderson and many others with special appearances by President George H.W. Bush and Kid Rock. Courtesy of Wonders of Wildlife MARCH - 2018
Thank a Wolf The beauty of quality spring woodlands is both delicate and bold. Spring ephemeral wildflowers mark the waking of nature under the canopy of grand oaks and alongside native dogwoods. As the final weeks of spring flow into early summer, woodlands begin to harbor and sustain speckled, newborn fawns. After 7 months of gestation, does will give birth, with a majority of their young being twins. Native flora then begins a life-long duty of providing forage. Deer preferences can vary, but often favor grapevine, slender lespedeza, elm, and sumac.
he Missouri Department of Conservation works to minimize the current threats such as CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) and today, Missouri's abundant white-tailed deer are legendary, attracting sportsmen from far and near. This was not always the case. Early explorers frequently wrote of abounding deer. However, deer numbers rapidly declined during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Hunting and habitat loss were to blame, and by 1925 it was estimated Missouri had only 400 deer remaining.
A young deer fawn becoming familiar with its surroundings. (Photo: Courtesy of Grow Native)
The legislature closed deer season, and deer from other states were brought in. It wasn't until the Missouri Conservation Commission was formed in 1937 that substantial gains were made. In many ways this was influenced by none other than the father of modern conservation, Aldo Leopold. It has been said we can thank Leopold that there are still deer, turkey, and other game. If we wanted to credit someone for Leopold's ecological tenets, we may need to look no further than a wolf. The story not well known to the world until after his death began on a morning in Black Canyon Arizona in 1909â€”the beginning of an ethical and ecological journey that would change the world and Missouri forever.
Feature Story Leopold was working for the forest service and thought that eradicating all predators would create a utopia of thriving deer. In A Sand County Almanac, Leopold tells the story of a morning when a wolf and her grown pups appeared, "In those days we never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf."
GRAY WOLF DESCRIPTION The gray wolf is similar to the coyote but is larger and more robust (coyotes seldom exceed 30 pounds in our state), with a broader nose pad, a larger heel pad on the front foot, somewhat coarser pelage (fur), longer and more slender legs, and larger ears in proportion to the head. The coloration varies.
After he and another forester emptied their rifles he writes, "We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view." The spark of ecological management began.
HABITAT AND By 1900 this species was gone from most CONSERVATION of the eastern and central US, and by
In 1926 Leopold began visiting Missouri for hunting trips and game surveys. He celebrated the new Conservation Commission with a speech at Ashland Wildlife Research Area in Boone County in 1938. Later that day he presented at the University of Missouri where he challenged students to consider “how Missouri is put together." From the day he watched the green fire go out in the wolf's eye to the day he celebrated the birth of the Conservation Commission in Missouri, he was changing the discourse from anti-predator to pro-ecosystem, conserving the important role of large predators and moving the goals of conservation to improving and sustaining the natural ecosystem.
1915 its population was greatly reduced in the remaining parts of its range in the western United States, Canada, and Alaska. Today, the gray wolf is understood as an interesting and valuable part of our native wildlife populations. It is protected as an endangered species in much of the US, including Missouri.
FOOD Wolves can hunt in groups and can take live prey ranging from bison, elk, and deer to rabbits and mice. When prey is scarce, they can eat frogs, lizards, large insects, carrion, and garbage. As with many other canids, they supplement their diet with a variety of fruit and vegetable matter.
STATUS A federal Endangered Species in much of
The effort to grow and keep healthy deer populations— as well as a balance of all native species—comes from habitat improvement including removing invasive plants and restoring native flora. Today in Missouri, along with a good deer population, we are seeing an increase in coyote and bobcat numbers. From cleaning up carrion to controlling rodent and rabbit populations, each of these predators has an important place in keeping Missouri's wildlife and natural systems healthy. This conservation success story of Missouri is a legacy, given to us by father of conservation and a dying wolf.
the US south of Interstate 80, including Missouri. Apparently secure globally. Extirpated from Missouri. Now, when a seeming wolf appears in our state, biologists use DNA tests to determine if it’s truly a wolf, where it came from, and how it got here. Until wolves breed again in Missouri on their own, they’re considered extirpated.
HUMAN Wolves have been hated and feared — and CONNECTIONS admired and respected — by humans for millennia. They symbolize wilderness, freedom, and loyalty. Their reintroduction in the West remains contentious among many. Our domestic dogs are a subspecies called Canis lupus familiaris and were bred from wolves.
Mary Nemececk Conservation Chair of Burroughs Audubon
For more information visit www.mdc.mo.gov. Keeping Nature
MARCH - 2018
Float Camping Adventures
ou load everything into a canoe, float to a remote section of a clear stream, set up on a gravel bar and cook something special over an open fire.
Float camping is the epitome of "getting away from it all." The remoteness of a mountain flowage and the primitive nature of the camping combines to add a heightened sense of adventure, and in the evening a blanket of peace settles upon the scene as birds and bugs and amphibians of the night begin their chorus. Later, just before climbing into your sleeping bag, as you marvel at the stars reflecting upstream, you just might find something you never even knew you had lost. I’ve also camped from a boat on remote islands in
lakes like Dale Hollow and on the LBL portion of Lake Barkley. And some years ago, I took an extended trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park. But when I daydream about canoe camping, it is Ozark streams that prop up the memories of my mind. One of my favorites is The North Fork Of The White River in Missouri, mostly because I could set up camp in the remote reaches of The Devil’s Backbone Wilderness. In two or three days of float camping, I could experience an abundant smallmouth fishery in the upper sections and exceptional trout fishing in the lower.
Feature Story The lower sections of the Current River, below the confluence of the Jack’s Fork, are ideal. Floating is easy. The current is swift. Fishing is excellent. One of my most recent trips was a four day excursion, from Powder Mill to Van Buren that combined camping, smallmouth fishing and turkey hunting. The Big Piney in Missouri rounds out my top three. It contains more long, deep pools than most Ozark streams, so it requires more paddling. A trolling motor is nice. That’s why it’s not popular with the float-party crowd, and one of the main reasons it offers some of the best smallmouth stream fishing in the nation. Some of the more popular rivers, such as the mid portion of the Meramec River (around Leasburg) offer fine float camping during the week, but on summer weekends, they get crowded with whooping and splashing weekenders. Smaller streams, such as the Huzzah and Courtois in the same area are not good float camping streams because loaded canoes do not slide easily over shallow riffles or negotiate the hairpin turns very well. Standard one-day floats on most rivers are fine for twoday float camping trips. This not only allows time for setting up camp somewhere between the standard put-in and take-out points, but plenty of time to stop and wade fish likely-looking pools and riffles along the way. I always choose a gravel bar campsite that faces a long pool or run with good fishing. The fact it is remote, and the fact you are there at first and last light, offers you the best fishing a river has to offer.
It’s not just about good fishing, but float camping is a great way to catch smallmouth bass and trout on Ozark streams. (Photo: Ron Kruger)
You can float-camp out of a kayak. Some do. But I’m a senior citizen and prefer a canoe that is larger and wider than the standard vessel. I bought my 44-inch wide, 17-foot Osagain Workhorse as a stable and comfortable vessel for guiding float fishermen on the Current and Black rivers, but also with float-camping in mind. With it, I can take the same equipment down a river that I normally pack into the back of my pick-up. If you know anything about paddling a canoe, spills are not likely on any of the streams I mentioned, but it is always a possibility, so it is advisable to pack bedding and clothing in waterproof float bags. You should pack carefully, taking only what you need, but a fairly large cooler fits well into the bottom of a canoe, and I’ve found I absolutely need a good steak and a baked potato with sour cream to celebrate the first special night on the river.
The best float campsites are near good pools or runs you can fish during last a first light. (Photo: Ron Kruger)
Float camping is one of the ultimate ways to "get away from it all." It’s not just camping. It’s not just floating. It’s an adventure. (Photo: Ron Kruger)
MARCH - 2018
Changing Spring Crappie Tactics
he old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” has been the downfall of many. I fall into this stubborn category of anglers that never change tactics, especially in spring when weather conditions make changing crappie tactics necessary. Crappie change patterns frequently during spring transitions and the best anglers react. I seldom miss an opportunity to crappie fish, especially with friends. I gratefully accepted Jeff Faulkenberry’s generous invitation to join him for a pre-spawn trip on Truman Lake a couple years ago. Falkenberry is an accomplished fishing guide on Truman Lake and a radio personality on Johnny Everhart’s Missouri Outback radio show.
The day started with a couple short strikes and very little more. We floated up several creeks fishing tube jigs around submerged trees and bushes in open water with some luck, but not what Faulkenberry was looking for. We moved farther down the creek while fishing closer to cover, in fact, as close as you can get. “Let your Roadrunner bounce down the sides of each stump and tree,” Faulkenberry said. “I think the bigger crappie may be hugging bark today.” We immediately started catching crappie. His idea was correct and the crappie cooperated with this young guide who was teaching a veteran fisherman of 60-years new tricks.
Feature Story We caught several “keeper” crappie that were indeed “hugging bark” when my lightweight rod suddenly doubled. I mumbled something about a nice bass when the sun illuminated silver flashing just under the surface. I had hooked a bigger crappie that was diving for tree limbs. I could only hold on and fight out the fish, while putting frightening pressure on four-pound test line. Luckily Faulkenberry had a long-handled net and soon I held a 2-1/2-pound crappie, the biggest of my fishing career. I looked at the big, female that was immediately released. Pre-spawn periods can mean tough fishing. Conditions change daily and anglers must use this to their advantage. The best quickly learn that just when they have crappie patterns figured out, Mother Nature changes her game plan and they adapt. “We have enjoyed good fishing the past couple of years,” Faulkenberry said. “But it’s still spring and water temperatures are cold. Shad ball up in the upper end of creeks and crappie follow. Falling water temperatures may push crappie up the creeks and to warmer water. We dip jigs on Spider Rigging through most of the colder months.” Warming air temperature days are more comfortable to fish, but not reason to change techniques. Water temperatures take a lot longer to warm up, especially when the nights are below 50 degrees. Then only two or three days of constant sunshine adequately warm water temperatures. Big air temperature drops are nothing to be concerned about. Again, water temperatures will likely hold between 50 to 65 degrees and the crappie bite will likely remain consistent. “During this type of change many experienced fishermen go to deeper water,” Faulkenberry said. “You can still go up the creeks and catch crappie, or you can get out on the main lake and fish main-lake channel swings. Shad ball up in these areas from 35 to 38 feet of water, but many will be towards the surface where the water is warmer.” Faulkenberry locates shad concentrations with his depth finder and stays on top, moving with the schools. His Min Kota I-pilot allows him to set the trolling motor moving in a five-foot circle until the best crappie are found. “We vertical jig these crappie,” Faulkenberry said. “I prefer Mid-South Tubes, 2 1/2 inch blue chartreuse and white chartreuse.”
Kenny Kieser seldom misses an opportunity to crappie fish, especially with friends. (Photo: Kenny Kieser)
Faulkenberry looks for beaver dams and underwater brush during chilly spring weather, but finds the biggest, blackest trees and looks for the biggest stumps because they gather more sunlight and are surrounded by warm water. Crappie lay against this type of cover. Bouncing tube jigs down the stumps often triggers bites, sometimes bigger crappie. Rip-rap around bridges is most productive with current. Truman, a flood control hydro-electricity lake, tends to have less current in the early spring months. Lake current drastically increases during warmer months when air conditioners are constantly running. “Current in Truman is almost always a factor,” Faulkenberry said. “Fishing the lake changes when it sets without current three or four days. As a guide we have to adapt to these situations by targeting different locations. For example, main lake edges with good drop-off and trees are good spots, especially when the current is pulled over the drop-off edges. Points, too, are good with current. Back current will shut the crappie bite down. Then we have to work harder to find the bites that are generally light.” Many get discouraged during the tough pre-spawn crappie months and give up. Try these tips and you may have the best spring fishing ever. Kenneth L. Kieser Jeff Falkenberry is an accomplished fishing guide on Truman Lake and a radio personality on Johnny Everhart’s Missouri Outback radio show. (Photo: Kenny Kieser)
MARCH - 2018
Bipartisan Bill Addressing America’s Wildlife Crisis
he Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would direct $1.3 billion of existing revenues towards proactive, state-led wildlife conservation. A bill aimed at helping wildlife on the decline continues to gain bipartisan momentum in the House of Representatives. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 4647), introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nebr., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., would direct $1.3 billion of existing revenue from federal oil and gas leases towards state-led efforts to recover species at risk. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) applauds the following House members who have currently signed on in support of this bill: • Rep. Fortenberry, Jeff — R-NE-1 —12/14/2017 (sponsor) • Rep. Dingell, Debbie — D-MI-12 — 12/14/2017 (original cosponsor) • Rep. Cole, Tom — R-OK-4 — 12/21/2017 • Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne — D-OR-1 — 01/10/2018 • Rep. Kuster, Ann M. — D-NH-2 — 01/10/2018 • Rep. LoBiondo, Frank A. — R-NJ-2 — 01/18/2018 • Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. — D-NY-7 — 01/18/2018 • Rep. Carbajal, Salud O. — D-CA-24 — 01/18/2018 “We are pleased with the strong bipartisan support we're seeing on behalf of this groundbreaking legislation,” said Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of NWF. “This bill will help recover thousands of wildlife species through proactive, collaborative, onthe-ground efforts. The approach is unique because it calls for early action to save struggling wildlife, rather than waiting until species are on the brink of extinction.” At least 12,000 species of wildlife and plants are in need of conservation efforts, according to the state wildlife agencies. Habitat loss, invasive species, and severe weather are taking a severe toll on birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and bees. The bill will fund state efforts to rebuild native wildlife populations.
Recovering America's Wildlife Act will benefit species across the nation. (Photo: Brandon Butler)
These efforts will be guided by the existing State Wildlife Action Plans, which are developed collaboratively by the state fish and wildlife agencies in consultation with landowners, businesses, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. States will be required to provide 25 percent matching funds. Here is how the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help wildlife and people: • NO TAX INCREASE — The $1.3 billion will come from existing revenues from energy and mineral fees on federal lands and waters. This is a small portion of the overall revenues from these sources. • A PROVEN MECHANISM — The bill will allocate funds via the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration subaccount of the Pittman-Robertson Act, which was originally passed in 1937. • LOCAL CONTROL — The funds from this bill will be controlled by state fish and wildlife agencies. • A HISTORY OF SUCCESS — State fish and wildlife agencies have had great successes in restoring species once on the brink—bald eagles, white-tailed deer, elk, turkey, striped bass, and more. • HELPING WILDLIFE AT RISK — The money will largely be spent on efforts such as restoring habitats, reintroducing native wildlife, fighting invasive species, and monitoring emerging diseases. • CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH NATURE — States can use some of the funds for wildlife viewing, nature photography, educational programs, and trail improvements.
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MARCH - 2018
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MARCH - 2018
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Published on Feb 26, 2018