The Voice for Missouri Outdoors NOVEMBER 2020 - VOL 81 | NO. 6
Traditions in the Changing of Seasons
s seasons change, so must we. We must continue to adapt, overcome, reflect, and learn but then move forward. Spending time outside can help us clear our mind and spirit to forge ahead, all for the betterment of those around us. Through these past few months, we have dealt with uncertainty, isolated ourselves, and done things as we have never done before. It is a storm that we are weathering together, and the forecast is always changing. By ourselves, we seldom know which way to go. But together, we continue to lead and be stronger than ever before. I applaud all our fellow outdoor leaders, state agencies, businesses, non-profits, elected officials, and other leaders that have made difficult decisions to persevere through this pandemic. Itâ€™s not over yet, and we must continue to stay diligent and safe. I challenge you to get out and try something new this fall. These unique places that mean so much to us in the outdoors are more critical now than ever. We must get out and enjoy them even if that means getting out in your backyard. Or, if you can find any recreational equipment for sale right now, you will not have to look far to find someone that will teach you the basics. People are outside hiking, biking, birding, camping, and fishing in record numbers this year. Fall certainly is the best time to get out and enjoy mother nature. I enjoy the fall because it is the culmination of the growing season for many plants and animals before they hibernate or go to seed. Spring emerges with new growth, but it would not be possible if we didn't celebrate the rewards from the growing season in the fall.
Firearms deer season is also upon us, and many hunters take to the woods while many fishermen and women enjoy the lakes' solitude. Having just gotten back from a public land elk hunt in Colorado, we sometimes take for granted all these tremendous outdoor places we have to recreate and enjoy the fresh air. Other states are great to visit, but Missouri is unique in the way we all work together with our partners to better our outdoors. The traditions in which we partake each fall is also very special for all of us. Be sure to read Larry Whiteley's article on page 54 about passing on traditions to the next generation. These important legacies must be passed on. I was glad to take my dad with me, who served as our camp cook, on this year's trip out west. He had never been on an elk hunt before, and even though I did not harvest an animal, it was by far one of the best trips I have ever been on, just because my dad was with me making precious memories. Please get outside and enjoy the fall in the safest way that you can, and pass on those important traditions so that your legacy can live on far past your days. Thanks for all you do in conservation and the outdoors.
Yours in Conservation, Tyler Schwartze CFM Executive Director NOVEMBER - 2020
Conservation Federation November 2020 - V81 No. 6
OFFICERS Mossie Schallon - President Richard Mendenhall - 1st Vice President Zach Morris - 2nd Vice President Ginny Wallace - Secretary Randy Washburn - Treasurer
STAFF Tyler Schwartze - Executive Director, Editor Micaela Haymaker - Director of Operations Michelle Gabelsberger - Membership Development Coordinator Colton Zirkle - Education and Communications Coordinator Joan VanderFeltz - Administrative Assistant
Emma Kessinger - Creative Director
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE 28
Missouri Trail Running
Ozark Land Trust: Preserving Land for Future Generations
Ozark Bronze Battles on a Seven Weight
The Old Man in the Mirror
Be it Resolved
The First Beagle
Departments 3 8 11 13 14 36
Director's Message President's Message New Members Gear Guide Affiliate Spotlight Agency News
CFM Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. Conservation Federation is the publication of the Conservation Federation of Missouri (ISSN 1082-8591). Conservation Federation (USPS 012868) is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September and November for subscribers and members. Of each member’s dues, $10 shall be for a year’s subscription to Conservation Federation. Periodical postage paid in Jefferson City, MO and additional mailing offices.
Highlights 20 22 23 31 33
Pull for Conservation Recap Resolutions Process Conservation Achievement Awards Upcoming Who is CFM Share the Harvest This Season
Send address changes to: Postmaster Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main Jefferson City, MO 65101
FRONT COVER The Barred Owl Photo was taken near Lohman, MO by CFM member Dan Bernskoetter of Jefferson City, with a Tamron 150-600 lens at 600mm, aperture of f/4, shutter speed of 1/160 and ISO 1600.
Thank you to all of our Business Partners. Platinum
Gold Bushnell Doolittle Trailer Enbridge, Inc.
G3 Boats MidwayUSA Pure Air Natives
Redneck Blinds Riley Chevrolet Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery Mitico Simmons Sun Solar
Starline, Inc. St. James Winery
Gray Manufacturing Company, Inc. HMI Fireplace Shop Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc. Missouri Wine & Grape Board NE Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.
NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Ozark Bait and Tackle Powder Horn Gun & Archery
Custom Screen Printing and Embroidery Dickerson Park Zoo Explore St. Louis Farmer’s Co-op Elevator Association Gascosage Electric Cooperative GREDELL Engineering Resources, Inc. Grundy Electric Coop. Hulett Heating & Air Conditioning Kansas City Parks and Recreation
Lewis County Rural Electric Coop. Missouri Native Seed Association REMAX Boone Realty Tabor Plastics Company Truman’s Bar & Grill United Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Silver Custom Metal Products Forrest Keeling Nursery Learfield Communication, Inc. Lilley’s Landing Resort & Marina
Bronze Association of Missouri Electric Coop. Black Widow Custom Bows, Inc. Burgers’ Smokehouse Central Electric Power Cooperative Drury Hotels
Iron Bass Pro Shops (Independence) Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures Blue Springs Park and Recreation Boone Electric Co-op Brockmeier Financial Services Brown Printing Cap America Central Bank Community State Bank of Bowling Green
Your business can benefit by supporting conservation. For all sponsorship opportunities, call (573) 634-2322. NOVEMBER - 2020
Burgers' Smokehouse: Cooking up Local Flavor
ust west of Jefferson City, MO, on Highway 50, is home to Burgers’ Smokehouse, a family-owned and operated manufacturer of country ham, bacon and other specialty smoked meats and foods. Burgers’ Smokehouse was started in 1927 when founder E.M. Burger started selling country hams to neighbors and friends. From then on, the business continued to grow as word got out about the impeccable taste of his products, and over time it became a mainstay on tables across the country. If you haven’t tried products from Burgers’ Smokehouse, let us take a moment to introduce you to some of our favorites.
Let’s start by talking about bacon. The bacon at Burgers’ Smokehouse is a dry cured bacon, different from a traditional “grocery store” bacon because there is no water added during the process. To make dry cured bacon, you start with fresh pork bellies, season each with a simple cure mixture and let the ingredients cure the bellies for days before slow smoking each over real wood chips & slicing them into bacon perfection. No water added means no water to cook out and more bacon on your plate! It may sound simple, but the flavor of this bacon is nothing short of amazing.
Business Spotlight The Hickory Smoked and Applewood Smoked bacons are their most popular flavors. Still, they also offer some interesting options, including Maple Hickory Smoked, Peppered Hickory Smoked and even a Cajun flavor bacon! Plus, don’t miss the Steak Cut Bacon – bacon slices that are approximately ¼” thick! Now we mentioned their business began by selling country hams. If you aren’t familiar with country ham, it’s also a dry cured product, but instead of curing the ham for a few days like the bacon, they cure and age these hams for over 90 days. And some for over 210 days. All of that time spent curing results in a ham flavor that can’t be matched unless someone spends the same time, patience and attention to detail curing their ham the same way. The quality is known & expected when the business started, and is still the same requirement by the Burger family decades later. You can choose the original country ham aged for over 90 days or the E.M. Burger Private Stash Attic Aged Country ham aged over 210 days; both sold ready to cook in most cases. We think they both are delicious and highly suggest trying them if you have not already. Country ham is not the only ham at Burgers’ Smokehouse. They also offer the “City” Ham or what’s officially referred to as the Hickory Smoked Hams. These hams are brined and aged in a sweet cure mix for days, before they are slow smoked & fully cooked over real hickory wood chips. It takes them nearly a week to make this ham, which doesn’t sound long compared to the country ham, but is definitely longer than most. Offered as a whole ham, half ham, spiral cut, slices, biscuit cuts – you name it, they have your favorite cut packaged & ready to try! Although ham and bacon are favorites, they have multiple products that fill our plates, including a full line of barbecue meats like pulled pork, brisket and pulled chicken. And don’t forget the snacks that are made with the same quality, dedication - packed with protein like their Beef & Ozark summer sausages and snack sticks that don’t require refrigeration and are perfect to take on the go. Some special products to note are their Wild Game Sausages, including Venison, Elk and Buffalo!
Last but not least, we’d like to call your attention to the Wild Game sampler packs, including smoked pheasant, duck and quail. We can still hunt for a sport, but ordering and sending one of these gift packs with meat perfectly seasoned and smoked is a fun gift to receive or send. Friendly Tip – let your wife, husband or parents know about these gift packs as a gift idea for this holiday season or at your next birthday! It’s easy to send a gift from Burgers’ Smokehouse. Anyone can order online & ship any of their products, in any combination, anywhere in the U.S. for FREE, unless you have special shipping requirements. As you plan your next meal, company event, business gift or personal gift, we would suggest taking a look at the selection offered from this sponsor and fellow Missouri based company to see if their products are a fit for your occasion. Burgers’ Smokehouse is still owned by descendants of E.M. Burger and managed by members of the third and fourth generations, with E.M.’s grandson, Steven Burger, serving as president of the company. Burgers’ Smokehouse products can be found at your local retailer or online at www.smokehouse.com You can also sign up their email list to stay up-to-date with special savings, new products & more or by following them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
NOVEMBER - 2020
Be Confident in the Work CFM is Doing to Fulfill its Mission
o ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnership. Fall is in the air, so as soon as I have completed this important task, I am headed out for a walk to enjoy the crisp air and feel the sunshine on my face. Even during these uncertain times, I have a spring in my step as I reflect on CFM's good work. As a volunteer-driven organization, CFM is fortunate to have engaged Officers, Board of Directors and members. Every day I am thankful for their support and commitment to CFM, especially as we continue to deal with COVID-19. I have been amazed by all that our small staff has accomplished this year. They complement each other in their ability to get things done and go above and beyond what is asked of them. It is a true ref lection of our Executive Director, Tyler Schwartze’s work ethic. Thank you, Tyler, Micaela, Michelle, Colton and Joan! You are the best! A few highlights from the year include: • 85th Anniversary Edition of the Conservation Federation magazine, and our virtual Celebration on September 10. Hopefully, many of you joined us, but if not, you still can by visiting our website and clicking on YouTube. You will certainly not be disappointed! • CLC Fall Workshop (Virtual) • Affiliate Summit (Virtual) • Pulls for Conservation: Central and Northwest • August Board of Directors Meeting (Virtual) • Conservation Federation Banquets: Columbia and St. Louis (Virtual) • Taking care of business - supporting, planning, scheduling (countless) meetings, webinars, etc., so that attendees can participate via Zoom (ensuring seamless communication)
There is still much work ahead, but it is important for us to look back with appreciation for what has been accomplished. For those of you who have a passion for Missouri outdoors and are interested in volunteering some of your time and talent, we would love to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out to me or our staff members to learn more about how you can help.
Yours in Conservation, Mossie Schallon President, CFM
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” - John Muir
Shelter InsuranceÂŽ is a proud sponsor of Share the Harvest & the Conservation Federation. Contact your local Shelter agent to insure your auto, home, life, and all your hunting & fishing gear. Find an agent near you at ShelterInsurance.com.
Why I Became a Life Member of CFM: Theresa Enderle
y love of Missouri’s outdoors began on family camping trips along the Meramec River years ago. Whether I was catching tadpoles and crawfish by hand, letting minnows nibble my toes, or watching a mussel pull itself along the rocky shallows, the river mesmerized me. The sights, sounds, smells, textures, and sometimes tastes of nature are a vital part of my prescription for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. As a child, packing for the river meant throwing some clothes and a swimsuit in a bag. What could be easier? I did not think about Mom and Dad organizing not only their clothes, but all of our food, the tent, chairs, towels, inner tubes, lanterns, matches, and everything else that made our river adventures possible. I now realize that preparing for a camping trip involved a lot more work for my parents than it did for me when I was young. I know that without a great deal of expertise, time, and effort from people focused on the long-range management of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources that I would not have anywhere to go.
Theresa standing by her backyard garden in Independence, Mo. (Photo: Mark Enderle)
Outdoorsmen and other nature lovers established the Conservation Federation of Missouri in 1935 to provide that focus, for the benefit of us all. I became a lifetime member of CFM to support its work, ensuring current and future generations can continue to experience the peace, the thrill, and the joy of Missouri’s great outdoors.
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 280 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 David Albers, Poplar Bluff Bill Ambrose, Jefferson City David Appleton, Ozark Robert Ball, Springfield Carol Barnes, Chesterfield Carla Bascom, Birch Tree Gary Bates, Springfield Ken Bean, Parkville Sara Beckelman, Rogersville Laura Bissonnette, Defiance Gene Boessen, Wardsville Dale Boschert, Union Dave Boucher, Jefferson City Chuck & Kathryn Braden, Bradleyville Dale Brand, Moberly Stephanie Brauner, Camdenton Paula Brewer, Rolla Stephen Brigman, Clever Beth Broge, Ava DeAnne Brown, Maryland Heights Charles Browne, Saint Charles Larry Bunse, Cosby Joseph Carlos, Columbia Stephen Carron, Perryville Dee Carter, Poplar Bluff Terry Chase, Cedarcreek Bill Chilton, Saint Louis Linda Clemons, New Franklin Clint Collier, Jackson Norma Crawford, Columbia Bill Cutler, Topeka KS Quinten Denney, Parkville Steven Donaubauer, Ballwin Cletus Drone, Saint James Gregory Dudenhoeffer, Bonnots Mill Steven Dunlop, Arnold Bob Ellis, Saint Louis Matthew Enk, Saint Louis Brooke Erbin, Saint Louis Fred Fishman, Saint Louis Marc Floro, Saint Louis Sandy Follen, Saint Louis Merle Fox, Rock Port Jerry Frazier, Ozark Mark & Renee Freeman, Sedalia Dwight Gates, Nixa Ralph Gates, Columbia
Anthony Gawienowski, Saint Charles Randy Geise, Gravios Mills Daniel Gottman, Palmyra Dick Graham, Hartsburg John Hambacker, Salem William Hansen, Saint Louis Dan Havens, Saint Louis Nell Hawes-Davis, Jefferson City Thomas Heeger, Saint Louis Donna Hieronymus, Grain Valley Mark Hook, Higginsville Lawrence Hord, Linn Kathy Hubbard, Boerne, TX Steve Humphrey, Linn Stuart Hunter, Jefferson City Robert Huttinger, Blue Springs William James, Rolla Dennis Johnson, Sedalia Marie Jones, Kansas City Sally Jones, Liberty David Joslyn, Kansas City Bryan Kemper, Saint Louis Terry Kennett, Saint Louis Gordon Kinne, Springfield Janet Krause, Columbia Ralph Kuhlman, Saint Louis Michael Kuntz, Macon Donald La Rose, Saint Louis Bob Lawrence, Hallsville Lona Lewis, Sidney, IA Michael Lindsay, Buckner Lee Lottes, Saint Louis Thomas Macdonnell, Marshfield Dwight & Karen Massey, Linn Jerry McCall, Lincoln NE Michael McCraw, Saint Louis Eric Merritt, Springfield Ron Mertz, Saint Louis Dwayne Miller, Goodman Halee Moellering, Saint Charles Joseph Mueller, Saint Louis Joy Neuschafer, Boonville Rock Olendorff, Pacific Robert Oliver, Saint Louis Larry Osalkowski, Valrico FL Mike Perry, Sikeston Robert Peterson, Kansas City
John Pinkowski, Kirksville Richard Poindexter, Amazonia Dave Polley, Ridgeway Chad Poole, Saint Louis James Poulsen, Hermann Bryon Putman, Nixa Ronald Raglin, Saint Louis Rick Riley, Catawissa Jackie Rowe, Marble Hill Gail Rowley, Willow Springs Scott Roy, Trenton Mary Ruckdeschel, Saint Louis Jim and Kathy Salter, Saint Charles Carolyn Schafermeyer, Saint Louis James Schafers, Ballwin Jackie Schirn, Saint Louis Leo Schroeder, Eureka Jake Schuyler, Herriman UT Mark Shapley, Leeâ€™s Summit Chad Shoemaker, Mexico Frank Shores, Saint Joseph Ron Smith, Bogard Mark Snell, Clinton Cathy Spitznagel, Saint Louis Ken Stadler, Saint Charles Harold Stinson, Eureka Bud Tarrillion, Perryville Shawn & Christina Taylor, Tecumseh Harvey Tettlebaum, California Rita Thomas, Hermann Jan Thomas, Eureka Don Thomas, Pevely Tim Turpin, Columbia Wiliam Voss, Jefferson City Noah Wankum, Jefferson City Suzanne Warren, Charleston Doug Wells, Kissee Mills Karen West, Ellisville Roscoe Whitener, Imperial Ed Wilkinson, Saint Louis Ronald Worthley, Columbia
CFM thanks the 199 members that renewed since our last publication.
NOVEMBER - 2020
16MM SCOPE DOVETAILS
TRUE MICRO-LENGTH MAUSER-STYLE ACTION
SINGLE SET TRIGGER
CZ 527 AMERICAN Designed specifically for small-base centerfire calibers, it is a true micro-length Mauser action. With controlled-round feed, a detachable single-stack magazine, a cold-hammer-forged barrel, integral 16mm dovetails and our renowned single set trigger, many people think itâ€™s the ultimate small-caliber platform.
Gear Guide Nockturnal Lighted Nocks Nockturnal is a leading designer and manufacturer of lighted nocks for arrows and crossbow bolts. The Nockturnal unique, patent-pending, bow-string-activated, linear switch is piston driven and ensures L.E.D. illumination every time. With no assembly required, Nockturnal nocks feature super-bright LEDs and long-life lithium batteries for superior illumination that lasts. Nockturnal also manufactures the Predator line of lighted crossbow bolts. Lighted nocks allow you to better follow your shot and to find your arrow once it’s on the ground. www.feradyne.com
BOG HD-3 Heavy Duty Tripod For the hunter that spends all season in the field, the Bog Pod HD-3 is built tough to take a beating and still be there with you on the last day of the season. It is part of the Switcheroo Shooting System and allows you to connect accessories from gun rests to binocular holders. The adjustable height gives you the mobility to use it standing up or sitting down, depending on what your terrain calls for. www.btibrands.com
Primos Rut Roar The Rut Roar is Primos’ loudest most accurate grunt call. This is the louder version of the Buck Roar with a redesigned the housing. Primos changed the angles of the call so that it cast the sound down when calling from treestands. The all rubber construction allows you to manipulate the call to be blown full volume (the Roar) or with much lighter tending grunts without having to adjust the reed. The larger chamber size increases volume and range of the challenge wheeze. www.primos.com
Tink's #69 Doe-In-Rut Synthetic Mist Crafted to mimic the luring capability of natural #69 Doe-In-Rut, this synthetic lure will heat up your hunt this season. Tink’s Synthetic #69 Doe-In-Rut attracts bucks with the natural smell of a doe in peak estrous. It is best used during the pre-rut and rut. Tink’s Hot Shot Mist utilizes Bag-in-Can technology that enables the entire product to be dispensed - no waste. It even sprays upside down. www.tinks.com
CZ-USA 457 American Rimfire Rifle BUSINESS ALLIANCE The classic American-style rimfire rifle, the 457 has a 24.8” barrel with no sights and is meant to be topped with a scope. Its Turkish walnut stock has a high, flat comb and a classic checkering pattern. It has an 11mm dovetail milled into the top of its receiver for attaching scope ring mounts. The gun has a cold hammer forged barrel, adjustable trigger and a two position, push to fire safety. The CZ 457 American is available in .22 LR for a suggested retail of $476.00 and .17 HMR and .22 WMR calibers. www.cz-usa.com
NOVEMBER - 2020
The Missouri Association of Meat Processors
he Missouri Association of Meat Processors was founded in 1939 by a small group of meat business operators who were looking for ways to promote their products and businesses. MAMP mission is to be an open forum, bringing processors, academia, and suppliers together, to keep members on the leading edge. To share information, provide education, monitor current legislation, and promote wholesome products throughout the meat industry and all allied services. MAMP helps members expand into new markets and learn new skills. Its dual mission of protection and education for members are enhanced by unique marketing opportunities available through the Association. MAMP provides 10 newsletters a year and provides training to keep the small processor ahead of the trends. Members strive to provide quality processing and services to their communities. It represents over 110 operator members. These are small and very small meat processing facilities, many of them multi-generational businesses. Operators can be USDA and/or Missouri State inspected or custom exempt.Operator services vary but are not limited to slaughter, processing, sausage making, curing, retail sales, wholesale, private label, mail order, deer processing and catering. MAMP Board of Directors for 2020-2021. (Photo: Niki Cloud, MAMP)
MAMP Past Presidents. (Photo: Niki Cloud, MAMP)
MAMP represents nearly 100 supplier members. Suppliers would supply anything an operator would ever need. Everything from insurance to cleaning supplies to seasonings/spices to big smokehouses and packaging machines. Our association has suppliers from all over the USA. MAMP executes two activities a year to bring the membership together: the annual convention & trade show typically in early March and the Fall Bus Tour typically in mid-September. The convention brings operators and suppliers together for educational sessions, a trade show, the Dr. Don Naumann Meat Product Show and socializing. The Fall Bus Tour highlights a certain area of the state, a charter bus is rented and members ride to several member plants during the day to see how they operate. Both events are very well attended and highly anticipated.
Affiliate Organizations Anglers of Missouri
Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy
Archery Big Bucks of Missouri
Missouri Chapter of the American
Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives
Missouri State Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Missouri Taxidermist Association
Missouri Chapter of the Wildlife Society
Missouri Trappers Association
Audubon Society of Missouri
Missouri Coalition for the Environment
Missouri Trout Fishermen's Association
Bass Slammer Tackle
Missouri Community Forestry Council
Missouri Whitetails Unlimited
Big Game Hunters
Missouri Conservation Agents Association
MU Wildlife & Fisheries Science
Burroughs Audubon Society
Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation
of Greater Kansas City
Graduate Student Organization
Missouri Conservation Pioneers
Northside Conservation Federation
Capital City Fly Fishers
Missouri Consulting Foresters Association
Open Space Council of the St. Louis Region
Chesterfield Citizens Committee
Missouri Ducks Unlimited- State Council
Osage Paddle Sports
Missouri Forest Products Association
Ozark Chinquapin Foundation
Columbia Audubon Society
for the Environment
Missouri Grouse Chapter of QUWF
Ozark Fly Fishers, Inc.
Conservation Foundation of
Missouri Hunter Education
Ozark Land Trust
Missouri Charitable Trust
Ozark Trail Association
Deer Creek Sportsman Club
Missouri Hunting Heritage Federation
Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club
Festus-Crystal City Conservation Club
Missouri Master Naturalist -
Perry County Sportsman Club
Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Forest Releaf of Missouri Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Gateway Chapter Trout Unlimited Greater Ozarks Audubon Society Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri Greenway Network, Inc. Heartland Conservation Alliance
Hi Lonesome Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Miramiguoa Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Osage Trails Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Boone's Lick Chapter Missouri Master Naturalist Springfield Plateau Chapter
Pomme De Terre Chapter Muskies Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation, Inc. Quail Forever & Pheasants Forever River Bluffs Audubon Society Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Roubidoux Fly Fishers Association South Side Division CFM Southwest Missouri Fly Fishers St. Louis Audubon Society
James River Basin Partnership
Missouri National Wild Turkey Federation
Stream Teams United
Missouri Native Seed Association
Student Air Rifle Program
Land Learning Foundation
Missouri Outdoor Communicators
The Fallen Outdoors-Team MO
Legends of Conservation
Missouri Park & Recreation Association
Tipton Farmers & Sportsman's Club
Little Blue River Watershed Coalition
Missouri Parks Association
Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers
Missouri Prairie Foundation
Troutbusters of Missouri
Mid-Missouri Outdoor Dream
Missouri River Bird Observatory
United Bow Hunters of Missouri
Mid-Missouri Trout Unlimited
Missouri River Relief
Wild Bird Rehabilitation
Midwest Diving Council
Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc.
Wonders of Wildlife
Mississippi Valley Duck
Missouri Rural Water Association
Young Outdoorsmen United
Missouri Smallmouth Alliance
Missouri Association of Meat Processors
Missouri Society of American Foresters
Missouri Atlatl Association
Missouri Soil & Water Conservation
Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation
Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative
Missouri Sport Shooting Association
Missouri Bow Hunters Association
Missouri State Campers Association
NOVEMBER - 2020
2020 Events Schedule CFM Media Camp- February 3 - 6 6th Annual CFM Media Camp at Lilleys' Landing
84th Annual Convention- March 6 - 8 Let your voice be heard at the Annual Convention, Capitol
laza otel in Jefferson City
Conservation Day at the Capitol- April 1 Join CFM and over 30 affiliate organizations at the Capitol for a day of promoting and supporting conservation
Conservation Federation Banquet: Springfield- June 18 Meet fellow conservationists and support CFM at the /hite $iver Conference Center
Conservation Federation Banquet: Columbia- July 23 Fish or kayak then eat a fantastic meal while supporting CFM at ass
ro Shops- Columbia
Pull for Conservation: Central- August 29 Take your best shot at the 14th annual central clay shoot at
rairie Grove Shotgun Sports
Affiliate Summit- September 10 & 11 CFM affiliate organizations are invited to network and learn in a virtual platform.
Pull for Conservation: Southwest- September 19 Enjoy the scenic course at Ozark Shooters Sports Complex
Pull for Conservation: Northwest- October 10 Join CFM for the fifth northwest clay shoot at oot ill Shooting Ground in amilton
Conservation Federation Banquet: St. Louis- October 29 Gather for a spirited evening with friends and family to learn about CFM.
Conservation Federation Banquet: Kansas City- December 3 Enjoy a fun evening of auctions, raffles, a speaker and more in a virtual setting.
Event dates are subject to change. Please visit www.confedmo.org or follow us on social media for the most up to date schedule.
Committed to Community & Conservation Owned by the members they serve, 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.
Increased Opportunities in Unprecedented Times
s soon as I was old enough to walk on my own, I recall rolling out of bed before the crack of dawn, slipping into my camouflage bibs and following my parents to the timber. Growing up in a hunting family, I have never known another life than valuing the fascinating creatures and natural resources in the world around me. At the age of seven, I received the best Christmas presents ever: my bow, my rifle and my very own tree stand. While I was not yet old enough to hunt on my own, the following season, I found myself crawling up in my tree stand to do nothing more than appreciate the outdoors by taking pictures of everything that wandered near me. To me, hunting is memories: the excitement of harvesting my first deer and turkey with my father, days scouting with my grandfather, and nights processing with my entire family. Hunting has provided me with endless memories, but more importantly, it has allowed me to take part in managing our wildlife, provide for my family and share my harvest with others. In a time of continued uncertainty, as outdoorsmen and women, we are blessed to escape from reality as we enjoy nature. With event cancellations, virtual meetings, negative news stories and more, we all need the ability to retreat into an environment that makes us happy. Whether you are the happiest hiking, bird watching, hunting, or fishing, we all love the great outdoors.
(Left) The author pauses for a photo with a whitetail buck she harvested with a muzzleloader during alternative methods season in 2015. (Photo: Courtesy of Hannah Persell) (Right) Hannah pauses for a photo with a whitetail buck she harvested with a muzzleloader during alternative methods season in 2012. (Photo: Courtesy of Hannah Persell)
As conservationists, we do not have control of the current situation; however, we do have the opportunity to maximize the extra time we have been afforded due to COVID-19. Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill, introduce a friend to the outdoors, improve wildlife habitat, or simply relax and refresh with time spent on underserved hobbies. As the sun slowly sinks behind the treetops, many conservationists and I have witnessed the forest prepare for nightfall. Squirrels scamper through the leaves, an opossum waddles out of a fallen tree, and all that is left is the sound of turkey roosting for a good night's sleep. As we slip out of the timber, we, as, hunters know that a successful day does not require a harvest. To us, a successful life is one where we get to enjoy every day surrounded by our natural resources' beauty. I encourage everyone to take time to find your happiness in the outdoors as a reminder that we are fortunate even during these unprecedented times.
Hannah Persell CLC Vice President
In Memory In Memory of Robert (Popeye) Duren
In Memory of Edward Laurence
Thomas Janet Busch
In Memory of Gordon Jarvis Marty Kozar Jennifer Marquart Mr and Mrs John Griesheimer Mr and Mrs Don Sellmeyer Wanda Hults In Memory of Martin King Andrea Hart Mr and Mrs Booker Shaw Kim Sullivan
In Honor of Ron Coleman Patty Coll Steven Winchester Donna Wright Mr and Mrs Richard Stoll Gina Cullum Mr and Mrs Dale Pashea Susan McCaskill Marty Monteer William E Dierks Mr and Mrs Greg Sanford Deborah Bade
In Honor of Ron Coleman Cont'd Mr and Mrs Jerry Spector Lois Schultz Susan Trautman Craig Schriewer Gregory Kaempfe Bill Lockwood Kathleen LaGreek Pam Tomasovic Daryl Rix Albert Vogt Mr and Mrs Craig Lindquist Mr and Mrs Phillip Tomber Mr and Mrs Russell Simms Kay Johnson Scott Terrill Dick Wood
USPS Statement of Ownership
NOVEMBER - 2020
Pull for Conservation: Central - A Huge Success
he 14th Annual Pull for Conservation took place on August 29th at Prairie Grove Shooting Sports, near Columbia. Competitors had the option of participating as an individual or a team of two. Side games of long shot, 5-stand and pheasant chucker were also enjoyed by many shooters. Kaleb Claxton and Blake Calvert received the top score of 73 out of 75 targets in the Team Shoot. James Hayhurst received the top score of 48 out of 50 targets in the individual course. 139 shooters took part in this years shoot. Important funds were raised at the event in station sponsor and registration fees benefitting the Conservation Federation of Missouri. A special thanks to our title sponsors, Bass Pro Shops of Columbia and Central Electric Power Cooperative. Central Electric’s members are Boone Electric Cooperative, Consolidated Electric Cooperative, Callaway Electric Cooperative, Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, Central Missouri Electric Cooperative, Howard Electric Cooperative, Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, and Three Rivers Electric Cooperative. A big thank you also goes out to our food sponsor: Randy Washburn & Ozark Bait and Tackle.
This year’s station sponsors are as follows: AJ's Automotive, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Bass Pro Shops - Columbia, Capitol Solutions Consulting, Central Electric Power Cooperative, Chariton Legacy Farm, Chris Hamon, Hulett’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Conservation Employees Credit Union, CZ-USA, Dents Unlimited, Hunting Works for Missouri, Joe Machens Ford Lincoln, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, Missouri Conservation Pioneers, Northwest Electric Power Cooperative, Scott & Sara Pauley, Remax - Boone Realty, Mike and Mossie Schallon, SelecTurf, Sho-Me Power Cooperative, Sundvold Capital Management and Trumans Bar and Grill. A huge thank you goes out to all those that volunteered the day of the shoot, which included students and parents from the 4-H Shooting Sports Team, the Missouri Youth Sport Shooting Alliance, and the Conservation Leadership Corps. An entire list of scores can be viewed on our webpage: https://www. confedmo.org/pull-for-conservation-central/. We appreciate everyone that came out to support CFM, and we hope to see everyone again next year.
Affiliate Summit 2020 Goes Virtual
he 7th Annual Affiliate Summit was held September 10-11 in a virtual format. CFM welcomed representatives from 40 different affiliate organizations in this new format. The workshop provided affiliates with various information including: Risberg grant opportunities, CFM orientation, legislative training, information to help non-profits to work with donors, a presentation from MDC Furbearer Biologist on Missouri Black Bears, learning about Resource Advisory Committees, engaging with CLC students, and update from NWF and Missouri State Parks and more. In addition to the informational sessions, the event gives affiliates the opportunity to learn more about Conservation Federation of Missouri. If your organization did not send a representative, consider doing so next year. Reach out to the affiliates who attended to learn more about how the workshop might benefit your organization. Thank you to our sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation, and the National Wildlife Federation. CFM Affiliates: Boone's Lick Chapter, Missouri Master Naturalists Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater KC CFM Board of Directors Conservation Leardership Corps. Columbia Audubon Society Ducks Unlimited Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri Forest ReLeaf of Missouri Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri L-A-D Foundation Legends of Conservation Little Blue River Watershed Coalition Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI)
Missouri Bow Hunters Association Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy Missouri Chapter American Fisheries Society Missouri Coalition for the Environment Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation Missouri Conservation Pioneers Missouri Department of Conservaton - Naturalist Missouri Electric Cooperatives Missouri Master Naturalists - Great Rivers Chapter Missouri Outdoor Communicators Missouri Parks Association Missouri Prairie Foundation Missouri River Relief Missouri Rock Island Trail, Inc. Missouri State Parks MO National Wild Turkey Federation MO Chapter of American Fisheries Society Missouri Rural Water Assoication National Wildlife Federation Ozark Land Trust Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Roubidoux Fly Fishers Southwest Missouri Fly Fishers St. Charles Parks and Recreation St. Louis Audubon Society Stream Teams United Tri-Lakes Fly Fishers Wild Souls Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitation
NOVEMBER - 2020
Resolutions Process and Timeline Begins Now
reparations for Conservation Federation of Missouri’s (CFM) annual convention in March have begun. This is a reminder that the timeline and process for resolutions starts now. Resource Advisory Committees (RAC) need to know if you have issues or topics which you believe should be addressed at the next convention. The RAC chairs will start researching and discussing topics with their committees this fall and winter. The timeline and process of the resolutions can be found on CFM’s website: https:// www.confedmo.org/programs/ actions/resolutions/ Any member of CFM can request consideration of a conservation topic or issue by filling out the Member/Affiliate Request of Conservation Issue Review form. This form needs to be submitted to Tyler Schwartze, Executive Director or to Micaela Haymaker, Director of Operations, by December 31. Resolution Tips and Reminders: Use the best information for presentations, letters, resolutions, etc. – Get the best date/ research/background information you can find. This may entail emails, calls, and letters to “experts” from agencies, affiliates, other RACs, etc. This background work must be done before sending a DRAFT resolution to the Resolutions Committee. Engage other RACs – Consider whether your resolution topic may be of interest to another RAC, then share the information with them and ask for input prior to sending the DRAFT resolution to the Resolutions Committee. There is generally not enough time before convention deadlines to meet/work with another RAC after the Resolutions Committee returns it to be finalized.
Provide enough information – A resolution should contain enough information so that any CFM member or recipient who reads it can understand exactly what is being asked, and why it is important. Don’t write Resolutions to CFM – In general, resolutions are our desires projected outward, not a way to ask CFM to take action. They shouldn’t create “new” areas of work/assignments for CFM and staff – their work is driven largely by the strategic plan. Be familiar with past resolutions to avoid repeats – Avoid redundant resolutions; however, resolutions are given an expiration date to allow for updating, or an existing resolution may be brought back for reconsideration or updating. Resolution not adopted – If a resolution gets to the RAC meeting at convention, or to the General Assembly and is NOT adopted, that is a sign that the process is working! Consider how you might do it differently for future resolutions, if you expected a different outcome.
Conservation Achievement Awards
onservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) is now accepting nominees for the Conservation Achievement Awards. These nominees should be Missourians who exemplify all that CFM stands for, and have been bettering Missouri’s outdoors through personal efforts throughout the year. Those who win the Conservation Achievement Award will be recognized at the CFM Annual Convention in March 2021. Conservation Awards are presented in the following categories: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Conservationist of the Year Conservation Communicator of the Year Forest Conservationist of the Year Air Conservationist of the Year Professional Conservationist of the Year Conservation Educator of the Year Water Conservationist of the Year Youth Conservationist of the Year Hunter Education Instructor of the Year Wildlife Conservationist of the Year Soil Conservationist of the Year Conservation Organization of the Year Conservation Legislator of the Year Outstanding Lifetime Achievement
Not sure if you should nominate someone? These awards are meant to recognize those helping to make Missouri's outdoors better. Conserving our air, water, soil and wildlife resources is an ongoing challenge that requires a continuing commitment by all citizens. Many people have made outstanding personal efforts toward some aspect of conservation, either individually or as part of an organization. Through these awards CFM seeks to give them the recognition they deserve. If you know someone who has done something special to aid conservation in Missouri, we invite you to nominate them for a Conservation Award. The nomination form can be found on our website at confedmo.org/programs/actions/awards. This also includes additional information on each award category. For questions, please call our office at (573) 634-2322. Send nominations to Micaela Haymaker at email@example.com or mail to CFM, 728 West Main St., Jefferson City, MO 65101. The deadline is December 31.
NOVEMBER - 2020
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NOVEMBER - 2020
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NOVEMBER - 2020
Missouri Trail Running
hether it’s hot or cold, whether there’s rain or shine, you’ll find trail runners out scaling the rugged Missouri terrain year-round. The cool autumn months are ideal to lace up your shoes and give in to a new outdoor challenge. I spoke with Shalini Kovach, founder of the local trail/ultra running group Terrain Trail Runners, about ultra running and trail racing in Missouri, and her goals as a community organizer and race director for the future of the sport in Missouri.
Trail running is not road running. There are rocks and roots, creeks and mud. Many runners start on roads and then move to trails for a bigger challenge, better scenery, and adventure. Trail runners pick up their feet and connect to nature through miles and miles of winding hills and forests.
Feature Story How many miles? On average ultra runners can book anywhere between thirty and sixty miles per week for an annual total of 1,500 to 3,000 miles! This feat in human endurance is fueled by a love of the outdoors, a desire to experience what nature has to offer, and a strong sense of community among avid trail runners. The trail running community is firstly supportive. “Most trail runners will reference the community as their trail family,” Kovach explained. “Each person who shows up to group runs or seasonal races becomes a small thread in the fabric of the large trail running community.” Activities like group runs, weekend adventures, and volunteering for trail work and trail building all solidify this sense of community among committed trail runners. “Once you run together, build trails together, and volunteer as a group you develop a deep rooted connection not only to the trails but also to the people in the community.” Giving back is a priority for these trail users. Public lands are vital and stewardship of those recreational resources is an intrinsic community ethic. Runners invest hundreds of volunteer hours into trail maintenance and trail building each year in Missouri. Each Terrain Trail Runner event involves pre-race trail clearing and maintenance and post-race cleanup so every mile is left improved for the next user. Want to give it a try and curious where to start? Greensfelder Park and Rockwoods Reservation in St. Louis County, and Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Boone County are popular spots. In Missouri, trails are never very far and running groups can easily be found through social media. Kovach wants new runners to know Terrain Trail Runners is an open, supportive group of outdoor running enthusiasts. “The old school runners just want to lace up and run! New age trail runners want to over-plan every route, elevation, gear etc. At the end of the day both types of runners are equally important in shaping the community!” Trail running is a physical and mental challenge, there is a real sense of the unknown in each day, and the feeling of accomplishment comes from fully experiencing the varied terrain and dynamic outdoor conditions, wildlife, sounds, and scenery. Here are a few tips for safe adventuring.
The best way to stay safe on trails is to run in a group, especially for long runs on remote trails. Make sure someone knows what area you are running in and what time to expect you back. Take a map to new trails and use a tracking app on your phone or watch if you have one. Some areas may require specialized equipment such as pepper or bear spray or a small air horn. Be mindful of hunting season. Avoid trails where hunting is allowed during deer rifle season and otherwise wear blaze. Trail running is technical. Slow down for sections with steep topography or loose footing, and think about how weather may affect trail conditions and creek crossings. Dress for the cold with hats, gloves, and layers, and have a headlamp to get in miles through the shorter winter days. When it’s really cold or icy, add traction devices to stay on your shoes and have some insulation around water to keep it from freezing. As race director for Terrain Trail Runners, Kovach designs courses that give runners some of Missouri’s best scenery. She also embraces the rugged topography that can roll quickly from gentle hill slopes to steep climbs and really makes for a memorable day. Kovach would like to see her trail races recognized nationally as challenging events. “Personally, my focus is to break the generalization that all of the Midwest is flat. What the Midwest terrain lacks in climbs it makes up for in the rugged terrain which is challenging and opens up to some gorgeous bluffs and scenery that is underappreciated and overshadowed by the mountains and vistas of the West Coast. Missouri itself has a plethora of state parks, conservation areas, and national forests that there is no lack of trails to explore whatever your choice of outdoor activity may be. I would like to continue in my volunteer efforts with trail maintenance and help build new trails in St. Louis and continue to advocate for trail events here in Missouri because our trails deserve the respect and appreciation nationally.”
Emily A. Sinnott Many runners start on roads and then move to trails for a bigger challenge, better scenery, and adventure (Photo: Howie Stern)
NOVEMBER - 2020
CLC Fall Workshop - A Different Take
he Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) Fall Workshop looked different this year. For the first time in the nearly 20 years of CLC, we were not able to meet in person. Over September 18-19, 2020, 32 students and 9 committee members got to know each other on screens that looked like the intro to the “Brady Bunch,” rather than the regular activity-filled retreat at Lake of the Ozark State Park. Nearly two thirds of those students are brand new to the CLC program. The Youth Conservation Action (YCA) Committee met virtually many times in the months leading up to the Workshop to discuss the best ways to move forward considering COVID. Some of our students are not allowed to leave their college campuses and others could not attend in-person meetings with over 25 people in attendance. The YCA decided the best option for our students was to go virtual. Going virtual presented us with a few challenges. The purpose of the CLC isn’t just to churn out resolutions, but to also create a conservation network for the students and committee members and introduce them to resource professionals throughout the state. Our major obstacle as a committee, was how do we create that camaraderie in a virtual setting? It turns out, the CFM Young Professionals Committee had planned a virtual trivia night as a possible event for themselves. We thought, ‘what a fun way for students to get to know each other as part of a team!’ The virtual trivia was added to the CLC Fall Workshop agenda and was a great success!
Judging from the student comments and review with the YCA committee, the virtual platform served us well for the overall event. “Even in tough times we can still all come together to complete are conservation goals,” one student said about the Workshop. After months of planning, we successfully adapted to the conditions before us and utilized the available tools. We added much to our virtual repertoire for engaging attendees and we are excited to see how this will help us in planning future events. We will be working closely with Michelle Gabelsberger, Membership Development Coordinator, and the CFM affiliates to provide CLC students with local opportunities to volunteer and network with resource professionals. Volunteer events have included the Pull for Conservation: Central, a workday at Prairie Fork Conservation Area in Columbia, and the Pull for Conservation: Northwest in Hamilton. If you know of other conservation volunteer opportunities, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay Social! Colton Zirkle CFM Education and Communications Coordinator
"The Voice for Missouri Outdoors" Mission: To ensure conservation of Missouri’s wildlife and natural resources, and preservation of our state’s rich outdoor heritage through advocacy, education and partnerships. In 1935, conservationists from all over Missouri came together to form the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) with the purpose to take politics out of conservation. The efforts of our founders resulted in the creation of Missouri's non-partisan Conservation Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Since then, CFM has been the leading advocate for the outdoors in Missouri.
Over 100 affiliated organizations Share the Harvest Corporate & Business Partnerships State & Federal Agency Partnerships National Wildlife Federation Affiliate Operation Game Thief Operation Forest Arson David A. Risberg Memorial Grants Missouri Stream Team
Conservation Leadership Corps Missouri Collegiate Conservation Alliance Confluence of Young Conservation Leaders Affiliate Summit Scholarships for youth and students Governor’s Youth Turkey Hunt National Archery in the Schools Grants Conservation Federation Magazine
Legislative Action Center Resolutions to lead change Natural Resource Advisory Committees Conservation Day at the Capitol Staff and members testify in hearings for conservation and natural resources
Conservation Federation of Missouri began
State Wildlife and Forestry Code published
Wildlife and Forestry Act passed
First deer season since 1937
Amendment 4 created Missouri's non-political Conservation Commission
First turkey season in 23 years
First hunter safety program formed
Missouri Department of Natural Resources formed
Urban fishing program formed in St. Louis; first in the nation
Operation game Thief formed
Design for Conservation Sales Tax passed
Stream Teams formed
Parks and Soils Sales Tax passed
Share the Harvest formed
Operation Forest Arson formed
Missouri voters Outdoor renewed Action Parks and Soils Sales Committee formed Tax by 70.8%
Conservation Leadership Corps formed
Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program formed
CFM Celebrates 85 years
Parks and Soils Sales Tax renewed by voters by the highest percentage to date (80%)
Ways You Can Support CFM Membership
Business Alliance Partnerships
Scholarships and Grant Support
Event Sponsorship and Product Donation
Support our efforts to promote and protect conservation and natural resources in our state. Members will receive our magazine six times a year, event information, our bi-weekly enewsletter, and the opportunity to grow our voice. CFM provides the platform for a diverse group of organizations to have their conservation voices be heard. Affiliates have the opportunity to apply for grants, receive educational training and promote the mission of their organization. CFM provides scholarships to graduates and undergraduates. We also provide grant funds to youth education programs and to affiliate projects. Contributing will help future generations initiate boots on the ground projects.
Become a life member for $1,000. Life memberships are placed in an endowment fund that allows us to continue our work in perpetuity.
Business partners will enjoy recognition in each magazine issue along with opportunities to reach and engage with our active membership. Ask us about our different Business Alliance levels. All of our events have raffles with both silent and live auctions. The contributions of in-kind products and services not only assists in raising funds for conservation, but also promote the businesses that support CFM.
Conservation Federation of Missouri 728 West Main St, Jefferson City, MO 65101 Phone: (573) 634-2322 ~ Email: email@example.com www.confedmo.org
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Share The Harvest: It Matters Now More Than Ever
y the time you read this, Missouri's archery season will be well underway, and the regular firearms deer season will be almost upon us. I hope the current pandemic will not keep you from hunting if you had planned to. While my out-of-state travels have been curtailed, for the time being, I still can get to the Haverstick Homestead where I am trying to meet as many whitetails as I can, up close and personal. They all have a standing dinner invitation, and I hope that several of them will have taken me up on that by mid-January. Having my hunting travels cut back is a first-world problem, as my daughter would say, and if that is the only thing I have to complain about, then I am truly blessed. The tumultuous times we currently find ourselves in have adversely affected many of our friends, family, and neighbors and food scarcity has become an issue for many folks who have never had to worry about that before. That's what makes the Share the Harvest program, and your participation in it, more important than ever. During the 2019-2020 season, Missouri hunters donated almost 6000 deer which totaled up close to 300,000 pounds of pure organic protein. That meat is gone almost as soon as it hits the food pantry shelves, and this season the need will be even more significant due to the high unemployment rate throughout the state. Please consider sharing some of your bounty with the less fortunate and, more importantly, try to recruit your hunting buddies to do the same. Where I grew up, towards the Current River's headwaters, one of the primary industries is tourism. Those people are used to having a lean winter, but this year has been incredibly tough on them since winter started around the first of April. Fortunately, I know that any deer I donate to a local locker plant will stay right in that area and maybe even help out a friend that I didn't know needed the help. We Missourians are a proud bunch and asking for assistance goes against our nature. However, the need is there, especially now, even if it goes unspoken.
Donating meat to Share the Harvest program has never been more important than right now. (Photo: Courtesy of Darren Haverstick)
So what does this deer donation cost you? In a lot of cases, nothing. The Conservation Federation of Missouri is still covering the first $75 of the processing costs you incur for donating a whole deer and many local organizations will pick up the rest of the tab. All you have to do is call a participating meat processor, or the CFM office, to get the details. With the governor's recent signature on HB 1711, the Share the Harvest program has been expanded to include shelf-stable venison for distribution. This is a huge deal because it gives the food pantries the ability to plan, months in advance, on how best to dole out that particular item. We plan to manufacture 2-packs of venison snack sticks and have those sent out to pantries across the state. We hope to incorporate these sticks into the after-school backpack programs to give children access to another protein source. There are still several logistical hurdles to overcome before this happens, but the STH committee is working hard to make this a reality. Share the Harvest is a program that is nothing but a win for everyone involved. Please consider participating in something that makes such a difference in people's lives. 2020 has been rough on many folks, but you can help ease their suffering by donating now. Have a safe, fun, and hopefully productive season! Darren Haverstick Chairperson â€“ CFM Share the Harvest Committee NOVEMBER - 2020
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION MDC Updates Regulations Around Coyotes and Feral Hogs
he Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) updated regulations to the Wildlife Code of Missouri regarding coyote hunting and feral hog control at its Sept. 4 Conservation Commission meeting in Jefferson City. The change comes in response to citizen requests to the Regulations Committee to use night vision, infrared, thermal imagery equipment, or artificial light to hunt coyotes and from landowners to allow their authorized representatives to use night vision, infrared, or thermal imagery equipment without prior approval from a conservation agent to address damage caused by feral hogs. The revised regulations allow landowners who own property of any size and their authorized representatives to possess, control, and use night vision, infrared, and thermal imagery equipment to kill feral hogs on the landowner’s property while in possession of any implement where wildlife could be killed or taken. Landowners and their representative would be authorized to kill or take feral hogs using these methods without prior approval from a conservation agent throughout the year. The regulations also allow properly licensed hunters to use artificial light, night vision, infrared, or thermal imagery equipment in conjunction with other legal hunting methods to pursue and take coyotes from Feb. 1 through March 31. The regulations become effective Nov. 30.
MDC notes that property owners and their representatives can still use night vision, infrared, thermal imaging equipment, or artificial light to kill coyotes or other wildlife causing property damage at any time of the year with written authorization from a conservation agent. For more information on nuisance and problem species, visit the MDC website at https://short.mdc. mo.gov/Z5L. MDC has updated regulations regarding the use of thermal imaging and night vision equipment to hunt coyotes and control feral hogs on private property.
Need Trees Or Shrubs for Your Landscaping?
eed trees and shrubs for your landscape? Go native with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Native trees and shrubs can help improve wildlife habitat and soil and water conservation while also improving the appearance and value of private property. MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery near Licking offers a variety of low-cost native tree and shrub seedlings for reforestation, windbreaks, erosion control, wildlife food and cover, and other purposes. The nursery provides mainly one-year-old, bare-root seedlings with sizes varying by species. Seedlings varieties include: pine, bald cypress, cottonwood, black walnut, hickory, oak, pecan, persimmon, river birch, maple, willow, sycamore, blackberry, beautyberry, buttonbush, deciduous holly, hazelnut, redbud, ninebark, spicebush, elderberry, sumac, wild plum, witch hazel, and others. Seedlings are available in bundles of 10 or increments of 25 per species. Prices range from 22 – 90 cents per seedling. Sales tax of 6.1 percent will be added to orders unless tax exempt. There is an $8 handling charge for each order. Receive a 15% discount up to $20 off seedling orders with a Heritage Card, Permit Card, or Conservation ID Number. The nursery grows millions of seedlings each year, but some species are very popular and sell out quickly. Occasionally the seedlings succumb to uncooperative weather or hungry wildlife, despite the nursery staff’s best efforts. “We had some late season cold weather this year, with nighttime lows in the 20s. Staff stayed up several nights in a row running the irrigation to keep the plants from freezing, but we still lost some. The hardest hit was a popular choice, the flowering dogwood,” said MDC Nursery Supervisor Mike Fiaoni. “I would encourage people not to wait when placing their orders.” Fiaoni said that even if a species is listed as sold out, customers can still place an order for them. Sometimes orders get cancelled, freeing up inventory. Customers won’t be charged for seedlings unless they are available to ship.
Learn more and place orders through MDC’s “2020-2021 Seedling Order Form.” Find it in the September issue of the Missouri Conservationist, at MDC regional offices and nature centers, online at mdc.mo.gov/seedlings, or by contacting the State Forest Nursery at 573-674-3229 or StateForestNursery@mdc.mo.gov Place orders now through April 15, 2021. Orders will be shipped or can be picked up at the nursery near Licking from February through May. Buy natives trees and shrubs from MDC State Forest Nursery. Orders are being taken now through April 2021. Supplies are limited so order early.
NOVEMBER - 2020
MDC Sets Proposed Bear-hunting Framework for Future Seasons
he Missouri Conservation Commission recently approved a proposed hunting framework by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) for a potential future black bear season in Missouri. The Commission approved the framework at its Sept. 4 open meeting in Jefferson City and is asking for final public input Oct. 16 through Nov. 14. If the season framework is ultimately approved by the Commission and a permit and harvest quota is established, the earliest a season could occur is fall 2021 and would be limited to Missouri residents. According to MDC, over the last 50 years bear numbers in the Missouri Ozarks have increased significantly and today Missouri is home to between 540 – 840 black bears. Missouri bear numbers are currently increasing each year by approximately 9%, bear range in the state is expanding, and Missouri’s bear population is expected to double in less than 10 years. Additionally, Missouri’s bear population is connected to a larger bear population in the surrounding states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. “With Missouri’s growing black bear population, a limited and highly regulated black bear hunting season will be an essential part of population management in the future as Missouri’s bear numbers continue to grow,” said MDC Furbearer Biologist Laura Conlee. “The timing and length of the season, restrictive methods, and permit allocation coupled with a harvest quota will initially be limited to ensure a sustainable harvest of our growing bear population.” Conlee noted that Arkansas and Oklahoma also have established bear hunting seasons. Hunting Framework Details Most of Missouri’s estimated 540-840 black bears are found south of the Missouri River, and primarily south of Interstate 44. With this in mind, MDC proposes to establish three Bear Management Zones (BMZ) in southern Missouri.
The limited hunting season would begin each year on the third Monday in October and run for 10 days or until BMZ-specific quotas are reached, whichever comes first. Hunting hours would be a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour hour after sunset. The proposal would limit black bear hunting to Missouri residents. Harvest quotas for each of the three BMZs would be determined annually each spring by the Conservation Commission based on the recommendations by MDC. Quotas have not yet been established for the potential future season. Once the specific harvest quotas are filled for each BMZ, the season for that BMZ would be closed. Hunters would need to call in before each morning they intend to hunt to determine if the BMZ-specific quota has been reached. If harvest quotas are not reached, the season would close at the end of the 10 designated hunting days. Hunters would be allowed to use both archery and firearms equipment with allowable methods being the same as those for deer and elk, except the use of an atlatl. Baiting and the use of dogs would not be allowed at this time but may be considered in the future. The harvest limit would be one bear per permit. Under the proposed regulations, bears may not be disturbed, pushed, harassed, or taken from a den. Only lone black bears may be taken. Hunters may not take bears that are known to be in the presence of others bears, including female black bears with cubs.
Agency News Bear hunters must wear hunter orange, make reasonable efforts to retrieve shot bears, and must use commonly edible portions. All harvested bears would need to be telechecked by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest. Harvested bears would need to remain intact as a field-dressed carcass or quartered until the bear has been telechecked. MDC would also require the submission of a tooth from each harvested bear within 10 days of harvest. This would help MDC staff with black bear research and management. Permit Process MDC will offer an annual online permit-application period May 1-31 each spring with a fee of $10 per applicant. Individuals must be Missouri residents and would only be allowed to apply once per year to hunt in one of the three designated BMZs. Permit selection would be determined by July 1 each summer through a random drawing of all eligible applicants. There would be no “sit-out” period for those selected to receive permits. There would be no preference points given, such as with managed deer hunts. Those selected would be eligible to buy a permit at a cost of $25. A person would need to be 11 years of age or older and have completed hunter education (or be exempt) by the time of the hunt to purchase a permit. MDC would issue a limited number of hunting permits for each of the three BMZs. Each permit would be for a specific BMZ and could be used on public or private property within the BMZ. There would not be a separate, landowner-specific black bear hunting permit. Black bear hunting permits would be awarded through a random draw with a minimum of 10 percent reserved for qualifying landowners. To qualify for the landowner allocation, landowners would need have at least 20 contiguous acres within the BMZ for which they are applying. Qualifying landowners must first submit their property information through MDC’s Landowner Permit Application at mdc.mo.gov/landownerpermits before completing a black bear hunting permit application.
Public Comments MDC proposed the limited and highly regulated hunting season framework for black bears following several years of public comment opportunities related to black bear management, including black bear informational open houses in 2019, and a public input process this spring to inform development of the proposed hunting season framework. MDC is asking for final public comments. The Commission-proposed regulations for the hunting framework will be published in the Oct. 15 edition of the Missouri Register and open for public comments Oct. 16 through Nov. 14 at mdc.mo.gov/ about-regulations/wildlife-code-missouri/proposedregulation-changes. Comments received will then be summarized and presented for final consideration at the Commission’s December meeting. If approved, the new regulations would become effective Feb. 28, 2021. Bear Background The black bear is one of the largest and heaviest wild mammals in Missouri with some reaching up to 500 pounds. Black bears were historically abundant throughout the forested areas of Missouri prior to European settlement but were nearly eliminated by unregulated killing in the late 1800s, as well as from habitat loss when Ozark forests were logged. However, a small number of Missouri black bears survived and reintroduction efforts in Arkansas helped to increase bear numbers in southern Missouri. Over the last 50 years, bear numbers in the Missouri Ozarks have been increasing. Today Missouri is home to between 540 – 840 black bears. Bear numbers are currently increasing, and bear range is expanding with the population expected to double in less than 10 years. Learn more about black bears in Missouri and MDC management efforts at mdc. mo.gov/bears.
NOVEMBER - 2020
MISSOURI STATE PARKS Using Data to Better Guide Natural Resource Management
issouri’s state parks host some of the most unique and highest quality natural gems in the state, including the deep green, pinemantled hills of Hawn State Park, the primeval swamps of Big Oak State Park and the sea of grasses and wildflowers of Prairie State Park. Missouri state parks serve as museum quality landscapes, restoring natural communities that once covered large swaths of Missouri and requiring routine effort by park staff to protect, restore and maintain their natural quality. The majority of park staff, even those outside of the natural resource program, contribute in some shape or form to assist with natural resource management. Guiding much of these efforts are members of the Missouri State Parks Natural Resource Management Program. The program is comprised of approximately a half-dozen natural resource ecologists who conduct and partner with a variety of other state park staff in every manner of resource management to complete prescribed fire, rare species survey, invasive species management and feral hog eradication for all of Missouri’s state parks. Natural resource ecologists immerse themselves in data, calculating the number of deer per square mile in order to evaluate the need for a managed hunt, recording the number of rare plants on a remnant prairie or determining the density of a particular bird species to assess how prescribed fire impacts their abundance. The field work and the bug bites that come along with the work are followed by tedium of crunching the numbers into spreadsheets, organizing the information into charts and developing reports that managers use to digest and better manage our natural resources in the Missouri State Parks system. While data management isn’t the enjoyable field work these biologists signed up for, data collection is essential to better inform, redirect and identify culture efficiencies in natural resource management activities for the state park system.
Natural resource stewards pose a variety of questions: How much time is spent eradicating invasive species relative to participating on prescribed burns? Which parks are getting the lion’s share of attention or do other sites need more effort? How much time is state park staff contributing to natural resource management relative to all of the other needs of operating the state parks, such as mowing the grass, paying the bills and repairing pavilions? The first attempts to record and measure these efforts were quite basic. For years, park staff compiled written monthly activity reports that offered few sentences about resource stewardship. The narratives were interesting to read, but the information was difficult to quantify or portray graphically.
Agency News Instead, park staff began looking into tracking labor input in the form of hours contributed by park staff and identified ways to consolidate the data. Natural resource ecologists looked to staff to record hours contributed to resource stewardship. Initially, the data recording of resource stewardship hours was implemented for one small stewardship crew of four people. They scribbled a few notes on a piece of notebook paper that detailed the date, what park they worked at, what they did and for how many hours they worked. The data from the grimy papers, stained in chainsaw bar oil, were meticulously tabulated into excel spreadsheets. The graphs generated from the data painted a picture of where the small stewardship crew worked throughout the region, allowing park staff to identify which parks needed more attention for resource stewardship. Eventually, the data collection, what soon came to be known as the stewardship tracker, was developed into an excel spreadsheet allowing park staff from across the state to submit their resource stewardship activity hours. For several years, the system was only available for St. Louis and southeast Missouri parks, but recently went state-wide in February 2020.
The basic format now allows users to record where they worked and what resource stewardship activity took place. Activities are broken down by type of stewardship, such as invasive species management, feral hog eradication and prescribed fire. In addition, labor type is recorded such as full time, seasonal laborer, contractor or volunteer so the field can see their relative contributions. As the tracking effort has been implemented statewide, the data is painting a picture that better guides Missouri State Parks efforts and stretches the taxpayer’s dollar. Some interesting insights from the data collection include: • Missouri state parks depend heavily on seasonal laborers to assist with resource stewardship, almost equal to or more than a full-time employee’s level of contribution. While many volunteers assist our park system with a variety of tasks, there’s a great opportunity to expand volunteer contribution to stewardship. • Stewardship is year-round, whether it is invasive species management in the heat of the summer or installing fireline for prescribed fires in the dead of winter. Stewardship activities decline from May through September as the needs of accommodating on-season visitors compete with the needs of resource stewardship. Park staff are working to even out stewardship efforts throughout the year. • Invasive species management comprises nearly a quarter of resource stewardship activities. The stewardship tracker will continue to grow and evolve providing staff with a tool to better guide natural resource stewardship efforts and may expand to illustrate the contribution by park staff in a variety of other activities from interpretation to maintenance.
Ron Colatskie Natural Resource Ecologist at Missouri State Parks
A crew burns a small patch of grasses in for a larger prescribed fire. (Photo: Courtesy of Missouri State Parks) Park staff assist a contract botanist with a floristic survey at St. Francois State Park. (Photo: Courtesy of Missouri State Parks)
NOVEMBER - 2020
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Ozark Land Trust: Preserving Land for Future Generations
orever may be a long time, but if you listen to Lois Wyman, that’s the idea. “Dad always wanted the land protected from development and division,” says Wyman, a member of the family trust that owns the 2,0000-acre Boettcher Family Farm in the Gasconade River watershed.
In the case of Boettcher Family Farm, the easement not only serves as a vehicle to protect open space but allows activity consistent with that goal. The family regularly visits and has gatherings on the property, while portions of the farm are utilized by the neighboring dairy farmer and deer and turkey hunting.
And so, consistent with her father’s wishes, Wyman and her fellow family members chose to permanently protect most of the farm through a permanent conservation easement, held by Ozark Land Trust (OLT) (www. ozarklandtrust.org).
The long Boettcher family ownership adds to the strong sentiment to keep the land, once a cattle farm, from being broken up or developed. “My grandfather Herman Boettcher bought the first acreage in the early 1900s, less than 200 acres,” says Wyman. “He continued to add (land) in his lifetime, but my father acquired the larger parts in the ‘30s and ‘40s.”
Under such an easement, the landowner retains ownership of the property and can continue to utilize it as their home, place of recreation or working lands such as ranches and farms. OLT takes on the legal and permanent obligation of stewardship to protect the land’s conservation values and to ensure that it’s not broken up for development or used for purposes contrary to the terms of the easement.
(Left) Prairie Blazing Star add color to the restored prairie at Kress Farm Garden Preserve. (Photo: Van Barnes) (Right) Native hydrangea adorn Kress Falls visible from a spur off the yellow trail at Kress Farm Garden Preserve. (Photo: Van Barnes)
Feature Story The property is exceptionally diverse, with forests, nine ponds and a cave and makes for different experiences depending on the time of year. “The many trails we have let us enjoy hills, streams, even (two) cemeteries,” says Wyman. “The time of year often makes a difference – the dogwoods in bloom, the warm season grasses and flower fields, the intermittent waterfalls, the fall leaves in the valley of maples, and the ponds with ice in winter.”
Most important, however, is that the protection decision comes from the landowner. One of the most powerful aspects of what we do is its voluntary nature. No one tells our landowners what they should or shouldn’t do. We serve as an experienced partner in helping them walk through the conservation options that best suit their values, needs and resources.
Sometimes, a landowner’s decision can take years of discussion and trust building. OLT’s River Stewardship Manager Abigail Lambert, for instance, has focused on Huzzah Creek, a tributary of the greater Upper Meramec River watershed. A desire to help protect this essential Since 1984, OLT has worked with landowners, resulting Missouri resource -- which offers some of the most in the permanent protection of over 30,000 acres across beautiful floating in the Ozarks, but also serves as a more than 100 properties. OLT has evolved into a cradle for some of Missouri’s robust cattle operations. professional nonprofit from its purely This has led to a successful volunteer roots, led by a board of partnership between landowners “Land trusts are such a directors from across the Ozark region. and conservation groups through great way for landowners the creation, funding and delivery A land trust is a specialized kind of conservation practices that satisfy to preserve land for nonprofit that protects land and other both natural resource protection and resources and ensures that their basic landowner needs. future generations in nature remains intact. Some focus their own families, and more on natural lands, like prairies, “As a lay leader for OLT, I so for the greater good of watersheds and forests, others on appreciate how we build relationships cultural and historic resources, and and partnerships,” says OLT board keeping open space others on working lands such as farms president Jim Reeves. “The foundation and ranches. OLT’s work encompasses of long-term protection starts with a all of these. landowner’s belief that OLT knows what it’s doing, cares about the landowner, and finds solutions that meet the “Land trusts are such a great way for landowners to needs of both the people and the land.” preserve land for future generations in their own families, and for the greater good of keeping open space,” Adding to the foundation of trust is recent national says Wyman. accreditation, a designation only afforded about 20 percent of American land trusts after undergoing a A number of land trusts operate in Missouri, offering rigorous evaluation of standards and practices. Now, landowners many options when they seek to legally, other land trusts in Missouri are actively seeking and in most cases, permanently retain the beauty and accreditation. Many people may want to protect their character of their properties. (See related story about the properties, and having a choice among land trusts to suit Missouri Land Trust Coalition). A national trade group, their goals is positive. The more we can build awareness Land Trust Alliance (lta.org), serves as a voice for the about land trusts and conservation options, the better. sector, offering education, outreach and collaboration among land trusts. Many of OLT’s landowners are able and willing to donate to OLT’s long-term stewardship and operational funds Sometimes, conservation-minded landowners will and to help defray the costs of the transaction, including donate land outright to a group like OLT. long-term stewardship. If they can’t, OLT may, in some But such transfers only represent about 20 percent of cases, seek other, outside funds to cover these costs. the lands that OLT protects. The remainder are protected with a conservation easement, like the one on the Boettcher farm. And it’s all protected forever, due to the unique attributes that a land trust and conservation easement offer.
NOVEMBER - 2020
THE OZARK LAND TRUST
Lois Wyman (l), Glenn Boettcher and their late mother Esther Boettcher. (Photo: Ozark Land Trust)
Congress has also made charitable tax deductions available to value the development rights that a landowner chooses to restrict by subjecting their property to a conservation easement. After an easement is signed and recorded, OLT will periodically monitor the property by visiting in person or analyzing aerial imagery to ensure there have been no violations of the conservation easement agreement. And our staff will visit with landowners about management needs and changes on the property. Though many conservation easements retain the private nature of the land, they can be compatible with public access. OLT has permanently protected lands such as Kress Farm Garden Preserve in Hillsboro, which serve as nature and hiking getaways for public members. “The easement can serve as a facilitator to help ensure lands open to the public can be permanently protected and undeveloped,” says OLT Conservation Program Manager Nic Rogers. “As well as give comfort to those who have invested their time and energy in enhancing the natural beauty and wildlife benefits of the land.” “We’re proud of the work we’ve done to help landowners figure out how to permanently protect their lands,” said Reeves. “The landowner and other partner relationships we’ve built over 36 years will let us contribute in both our traditional and new ways. We can build on that by helping the Ozarks keep their unique attributes for generations to come. That’s our hope, our work and our commitment.” For more info about Ozark Land Trust, visit www. ozarklandtrust.org, OLT’s Facebook page, or contact Executive Director Larry Levin at larry.levin@ ozarklandtrust.org. Larry Levin
Ozark Land Trust belongs to the Missouri Land Trust Coalition, an association of groups from across the state dedicated to conservation in various landscapes. The group comprises land trusts and partner organizations and agencies that share common goals of conservation, protection, and resource restoration. The group has met annually to learn more about each group’s work, brainstorm potential collaborations, and offer educational opportunities. In 2020, though, despite COVID-19 challenges, MLTC has been able to take its activities to another level. Thanks in part to a new partners grant program from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), MLTC has received funding for a website, which will be under development in the coming months. And MDC has also supported new education initiatives so that the coalition’s member groups can share more about trends and key issues in the conservation community. “Though we’ve been all virtual this year, we’ve branched out from our annual meeting to have three Zoom education sessions as well,” says Mike Powell, Executive Director of Greenbelt Land Trust. He, along with Ginny Moore of the Conservation Fund, serves as co-chair of the coalition. “Our topics reflect the wide range of issues our partners face, from farmland to open space to community conservation.” Groups like MLTC operate in many states across the country and allow focus on the local challenges and offer a good point of interaction with groups like the Land Trust Alliance. “By having state, regional and national connections, we can build a strong network of knowledge, cooperation and ultimately, better and more conservation,” says Moore. The Conservation Federation of Missouri is one of over 35 organizations and groups that belong to the Missouri Land Trust Coalition. To see a list of Coalition members, visit tinyurl.com/y3kkt9da. For more information about MLTC, contact either Mike Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ginny Moore at email@example.com.
Missouri Fishing Reports Taken to a New Level
bout seven years ago, a man with a love of fishing and a career in software development moved down to Lake of the Ozarks. He booked several trips with local guides to learn how to target the trophy bass lurking around the many miles of dockcovered shorelines. During those trips, he asked each guide where he could find daily fishing reports to help him stay on a good bite throughout the summer. Nobody could give him a solid answer. So, that man, Bob Bueltmann, decided to create the solution himself. Soon after, bassingbob. com was created. The site created a resource for the general public to subscribe and receive daily fishing reports covering bass, crappie, and catfish for a majority of Lake of the Ozarks. Local guides and bait shops joined forces with bassingbob.com and the membership has grown to nearly 20,000. The site also receives about 80,000 unique visitors a month. In addition to fishing reports, bassingbob.com holds regular video seminars each week with fishing pros, hosts tournaments throughout the year, and helps increase fishing tourism around the lake. The success of bassingbob.com helped him see there was a need for sites like this across the country for popular fishing lakes. Now, Bueltmann is expanding. Local Table Rock fishing guide, Eric Prey, was the first licensee under bassingbob.com and has seen immediate success. “We are very happy about the praise from anglers for tablerockfishingintel.com,” Prey said. “Our team of guides work meticulously to produce daily video and written fishing reports, and it’s great to see the site helping others find success on the water.” Expert tournament angler and crappie fishing guide, Brad Jelinek (left), and author Tyler Mahoney had a great day chasing big crappie on Truman Lake over the summer. (Photo: Tyler Mahoney)
With its proximity to Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake was also a natural progression for Bueltmann to target for expansion. Trumanlakefishingintel.com launched in August to cover largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, wipers, and white bass. Members can subscribe to one species or all of them and see reports from expert fishing guides like Jeff Faulkenberry, Richard Bowling, Cody Vannattan, Steve Blake, Brad Jelinek, and many more. But it’s not just fishing reports you can find at these websites. For example, trumanlakefishingintel.com has in-depth, exclusive tournament coverage, news, and many extensive video interviews with Truman Lake experts. One of the most popular videos is the experts’ monthly round table hosted at Nee Nee’s Italian Steakhouse, a local restaurant in Warsaw, MO. If you’re an avid angler, with a boat or otherwise, but have been unsure where to start on the big reservoirs Missouri has to offer, these subscription websites will shorten the learning curve. With all the weekly content put out by bassingbob.com, tablerockfishingintel.com, and trumanlakefishingintel.com, you’ll learn what baits to be throwing and what patterns the fish are on throughout the year. Tyler Mahoney NOVEMBER - 2020
Ozark Bronze Battles on a Seven Weight
am bringing my seven weight—do I need anything else? Nope, he texted back. After that brief text conversation, I was off to a remote Ozark stream to try to land an old-growth smallmouth on my fly rod. Ryan Walker, Ozark streams guide and founder of Ozarks Smallmouth Alliance, fishes many bodies of water every year around the Ozarks. If there was a person in Missouri to teach you how to land a feisty bronzeback on a fly rod, it is Walker. I was excited to meet up with him. After coordinating drop and removal points, we were on the water by 7:00 am. Cool, shadow covered Creek produced nothing early. “Sometimes they need to wake up,” Walker told me. “It seems on this water once the sun gets high is when the bites pick up.” He thinks it is a combination of the water warming up, triggering feeding behavior, and the fact the fish may be full. “I always see spider webs full of mayflies and other bugs in the summer here when I start in the morning,” he said. “I think they hatch at night and the fish gorge.” After a few attempts swinging a fly he calls the Meathead, we started to float downstream to another spot. A root wad surrounded by deep blueish-green Ozark water called his name. “Pull in over there, we are fishing this,” Walker instructed me with a finger point. After a few casts with the Meathead, he summoned me to the bank to tie on a fish-catching fly—the White Trash. I pulled some line out, flipped the fly out. I let the fly swing under the root wad, keeping tension. As it came out from under the structure, a distinct “whack” and a jump of my line indicated a fish took the fly. I missed. “Do it again, you usually get two chances at a fish on the fly,” Walker told me. I swung it again and thump. This time I did not miss. After quite a battle, my first smallmouth on the fly was in the net. During the six hours of fishing, I landed 18 fish, with many being 12-14-inches. I put two 16-inchers in the net and missed a couple of 18-20-inch fish. They hit, but as any fly fisherman will tell you, there is a lot needed to go right when swinging a fly. Too much of a belly in the line, lack of feel, etc. all doomed me.
Although out of one deep hole, I threw a large fly and three times, a giant fish came up and attacked it just below the surface. Each time, the fish just did not get the hook in him. “Oh man, that was a TANK!” Walker shouted after the last drift. I concurred. Such is life! We concentrated on quick, deep water for the duration of our trip and swung our flies through it. Almost every bite came on the swing, as the fly came up from the bottom. Trout fishers know this is a reactionary bite. And when a smallie is feeding, they cannot resist it. Do not get concentrated on one pattern, though. “It can change every day on this creek,” Walker noted. “Two days ago, we had to strip our flies hard out of parallel timber—obviously that is not working today. You have to adjust!” Walker ties his flies and has developed quite a few of his patterns to target Ozark smallmouth. He specializes in taking clients fly fishing, but he also has spinning and baitcasting outfits if those suit you better. “Usually, the first third of my day is instruction and safety, which is necessary when taking folks out fly fishing for these fish,” he stated. “Once they get it down, the fun begins.” Walker does no half-day trips, only a full day, which is usually six hours. “But if you want to fish all day, let’s go,” he said with a smile. Catching an old, beautiful smallmouth on an Ozark stream was a goal of mine for a while. The fight in the fish is unmatched in the Show-Me State. “A 10inch smallmouth will demolish a 15-inch rainbow when it comes to fight and tenacity,” Walker said. After landing nearly 20 of them, no truer statement exists. Ryan Walker was the first name to come to mind for getting me my first fly rod smallmouth, and he should be the first name you think of as well. You can contact Ryan Walker for a trip or hand-tied flies at 417-366-3617 or follow his Instagram, Facebook pages. Ryan Miloshewski The fight of the smallmouth bass is unmatched in the Show-Me State. (Photo: Ryan Walker)
NOVEMBER - 2020
Jet Setter M
y guess is that just about everyone reading this article has spent some time in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, either hiking, fishing, or floating. Maybe it was trout fishing on opening day at Montauk State Park, a visit to Echo Bluff State Park or a summertime float on the Current or Jacks Fork River. You know first hand the ruggedness and beauty of the Ozarks and the splendor of these amazing rivers.Â
Conservation and preservation never seem to be without controversy. The US Army Corp of Engineers had developed plans to build a series of dams on the Current and Jacks Fork River's to provide hydroelectric power to rural Missouri, similar to the White River chain creating Beaver, Table Rock, and Bull Shoals Lakes. The new lake was to be named Blair Creek Dam and Reservoir.
Feature Story A grassroots movement of residents and conservation groups formed in opposition. In 1964, after much debate and compromise the United States Congress officially established the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, creating the first National Park to preserve a river system in its wild, untamed state. The State of Missouri donated Alley, Big Spring, and Round Spring State Parks to the National Park Service as a gift from the citizens of Missouri to the American People. This successful cooperative effort served as the prototype for the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, protecting many of America's free-flowing rivers. I have had the fortunate opportunity to experience several adventures on the Current River catching smallmouth bass with River Guide William "Bill" Smith, a lifelong area resident who retired a few years ago after a successful career with the National Park Service and now one of only a couple of authorized guides working on the rivers he loves. Bill's family has lived in the Eminence area for generations; he's one of those people that knows everybody. I won't go as far as to say he has all of the fish named, but I am pretty sure he has a name for every big rock and bolder in the river. He would call out; that's Cardareva Mountain on your left, Spring Hollow runs up that way to the west, Logyard is coming up, Big Spring provides enough water daily to fill a professional football stadium. With 180 miles of Current River to cover, Bill breaks the river into three approximately sixty-mile sections. The Upper consists of Montauk Springs downstream to Powder Mill /Blue Spring access. The Middle section Blue Spring to Doniphan and the Lower, Doniphan to the confluence with the Black River near Pocahontas, Arkansas. My first adventure with Bill began from Two Rivers access east of Eminence. This is where the Jacks Fork and the Current Rivers join, so the river gets much larger from that point downstream. Being primarily a lake fisherman, on my first trip in the Jet Boat, I found the boat control methods were a little different than what I was used to. Just in the event you aren't familiar with Jet Boats, they are designed to run in inches of water, and the outboard motors lower unit produces a jet stream to propel the boat so it doesn't have a propeller.
Bill uses his bow-mounted trolling motor to face the boat into the current, so you actually float downstream backward (rear first). He then moves the boat left or right to keep you fishing in the river's most productive areas. After a day of fishing, you jet back upstream to the boat ramp eliminating the need to shuttle vehicles like you would with canoes or kayaks. On subsequent trips we fished from Blue Spring to Logyard, Logyard to below Paint Rock and a gravel spring that bubbles up into the river. Big Spring, upstream to Van Buren then back downstream to Chilton, all along the way Bill calling out natural features and telling local history and folklore. Amazing adventures each and every one. We caught a lot of smallmouths and even some nice goggle eye. When I say a lot, about one hundred fish each day, mostly on small bladed spinner baits and small jig and craws. So plenty of action to keep you occupied while enjoying the ruggedness, natural beauty and splendor of the Ozarks and this amazing wild and protected river system. You can reach Bill by calling 573-225-3390, email bill. firstname.lastname@example.org, or facebook @ scenicriversguideservice. Scott Pauley (Left) Bill Smith and Gayle Julian - Jet Setting. (Photo: Scott Pauley) (Top) Scott Pauley with smallmouth (Photo: Bill Smith)
NOVEMBER - 2020
y grandfather was not a fisherman, more of a trader. He picked up items back in the 1950's and 1960's that most walked past.
For example, in 1961 he bought a race car without the engine or transmission. I was about eight and had a great time steering that car around the yard while dad pushed. He later sold the car like was the fate of all the interesting things he bought. Years later, I found an exact photo of the car that was a 1930's racer. That body with wheels would be worth a fortune now. On another trading trip, grandpa brought home a tackle box he had traded something for in 1965. That, of course, went to me, the family's fisherman. The box was full of old lures and plastic boxes of hooks, weights and bobbers.
I was elated and made sure to hide the box before it was traded for some other treasure. I closely surveyed the tacklebox's contents at home and found several interesting items, mostly old wooden lures. But one was different and absolutely unique. I picked it up and studied a real fish mummified in layers of plastic. The lure had a nylon leader out of its mouth and a beaded treble hook from out of its anal cavity. I put that lure in a special box and forgot about it. Years later, the unique lure turned up and I decided to do some research. By then we had the internet and lots of lure collector sites. I indeed found my lure and its history.
Feature Story A story published in Field & Stream and written by Joe Cermele in 2011 stated: "Preserved baits had already been around for over 50 years when on August 15, 1939, Englishman F.J. Nevison patented a method for preserving fish, frogs, etc. in cellulose, an early plant-based plastic that is said to be the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. World War II interrupted his production plans, but after the war ended, his dream was realized by starting the Actual Lure Company in New York City. From the late 1940s until the late 1950s, Actual Lures became fairly popular with American anglers." Minnows, frogs, and insects were preserved in plastic and then rigged into fishing lures, selling for $1.75 each, expensive for that era. Some cast the lure and retrieved while others fished the minnow and grasshopper under a bobber or float. Time has yellowed the plastic on my lure, but the plastic was clear and the minnow visible when brandnew. Advertisements claimed that the fish's real eyes were shiny, but the eyes had rotted out by the time I owned this lure. My lure was named the "Skip Dip Spin-Ster" model, a four-inch-long golden shiner preserved in plastic with molded fins to make it spin in the water. The molded fins had long been gone by the time I found this lure, but it was still quite a keepsake that I still have today. I saved another lure from that box, a 1932 Dingbat. But it was beyond saving, and years later, Jack Looney, famed lure collector gave me a betterpreserved version. I caught a seven-pound largemouth bass on that lure from lake Fork Texas and retired it.
Sadly, other lures in the box were used and lost through the years, a couple that would probably be worth quite a sum of legal tender. Lure collectors claim the next big find in antique lures is likely sitting in someone's cellar or attic. That old tackle box could have a rare lure that might pay off your mortgage. The problem is that there are thousands of vintage wooden lures and some will try to profit off you. I heard of a genuine wooden lure from the 1950's being sold for over $100.00. Most collectors would have sold it for $20.00. There are several good books and websites on purchasing vintage lures. Make sure you check before buying that beautiful lure made before you were born. There are pages on Facebook dedicated to selling and trading vintage fishing equipment. These groups have other items like advertisements that may have stood in a sporting goods shop or hardware store, once a great place to buy fishing tackle. Buyer beware, Often the best-looking lures are not worth as much as that plain-looking version that fewer people bought. The market was flooded with many of the more popular types generally boldly painted in beautiful colors. Some of us may be surprised by what is being sold as antique lures, namely versions we bought in the 1960's and 1970's. For example, collectors on vintage lure websites are constantly trading various Heddon, Arbogast, Bill Lewis and Storm lures, many I still have in tackleboxes. Some collect by the company while others go for a full collection of lure types like topwater's or divers. My Skip-Dip-Spin-Ster encased minnow is not worth a great deal, but it was interesting to research and find out how, where and when it was manufactured. Besides, it came from grandpa and to me, that makes it valuable. Kenneth L. Kieser (Left) Fishing gear is ready to use. (Right) This is a 1950 era advertisement about my treasure. (Photo: Courtesy of Kenneth L. Kieser)
NOVEMBER - 2020
The Old Man in the Mirror H
e was up early getting ready to pick up his son to go deer hunting. He had brushed his teeth and was washing his face. He paused to look at himself in the mirror and saw an old man staring back at him. Maybe it was because his 74th birthday was on Christmas, and it would be here in a few more weeks. He stared at the old man in the mirror and saw wrinkles carved by frowns and smiles through the years of his life. He looked at the bags under his eyes. He saw his skin sagging down on both sides of his chin and looked like a turkey wattle hanging below. What little hair he saw was gray. The old man in the mirror was in the winter of his life.
He pulled into his son’s driveway and smiled as he loaded his deer hunting stuff in the truck. He was proud of the husband, and father, his son had become. He moved over to let him drive. His old eyes didn’t see as well in the dark anymore. The interior light of the truck revealed specks of gray in his son’s hair. It was hard for him to believe that it wouldn’t be long until his son would be a grandpa for the first time. He was in the fall of his life. Not much was said as the truck traveled down the road to their hunting place. The son glanced over at his dad. He realized that his dad was getting older. He wondered how many more deer and turkey hunting trips they would have together. Dad was still very active, and his health seemed good. But, at his age you never know.
Feature Story As he drove his mind wandered to times when he was younger and dad took him rabbit hunting, squirrel hunting and dove hunting. He thought of frog gigging trips, fishing trips and especially sucker grabbin’. Camping and trout fishing were fun too. He thought to himself how he needed to thank him for the time they had spent together in the outdoors and all the outdoor things he had done with his son and daughter when they were in the spring of their lives. This would be a good time to tell him how important all that was to him and them. They drove on in silence. The truck came to a stop and the old man got out to open the gate. The dark night sky was getting lighter. They had to hurry to get to their stands before the deer started moving. They wished each other good luck and started off in opposite directions. The son stopped, turned around and watched his dad walking away until he was gone into the dark. The old man got to his stand and started the climb up. It wasn’t as easy as it used to be. He settled into his stand, got everything ready and sat in silence waiting. He thought about the old man in the mirror that morning and wondered how many more times he would be able to do this thing he loved so much. Right now he still had the strength, the will and the desire but he knew at his age that could change at any time. He didn’t want to think about that anymore. The dark turned to light, and the wildlife started their day. Birds sang their songs, and crows talked to each other and squirrels sounded like deer as they rustled about in the woods. He watched deer traveling through the frosted field below but out of range. As the morning wore on, his thoughts turned to all the memories he had from being outdoors with his kids, grandkids and friends in the summer and fall of his life. He even thought of a time when he was fishing and would look over to watch his wife reading a book. He wished there had been more time spent in the outdoors with his son and grandsons that lived in another state. Where had the time gone? It went so fast. He looked up to the sky and said thank you for blessing him and forgiving him.
(Left) Deer camp together from long ago. (Photo: Courtesy of Larry Whiteley) (Right) Father and son deer hunting. (Photo: Courtesy of Larry Whiteley)
In another stand, in another place, his son sat waiting. He too had seen and heard the wildlife. He too had seen deer out of range and even a few that he let have a heartbeat for another day. He too thought about outdoor memories with dad, his wife and his kids as well as the memories he would make with his grandkids someday. The outdoor traditions he loves would be passed on. He too looked up and said thank you. He even thought about how he was in the fall of his life, and winter was coming. There were no deer to field dress and load that day. They talked some on the way home but it was mostly a silent trip again. The old man was thinking to himself how he wished his dad would have spent time with him in the outdoors, but he didn’t. He thought about how he never heard his dad tell him that he loved him. He had no good memories from the spring of his life. This would have been a perfect time to talk to each other about all the things they had been thinking about. Why is it so hard for men to look each other in the eye and tell them how they feel? A day will come when they will wish they had. They pull into the driveway. Hunting gear is unloaded. The old man says, “I love you, Bub!” The son says, “I love you too,” then watches until his dad has driven out of sight. He goes into the house, kisses his wife and goes into the bathroom to wash his hands. He looks in the mirror and sees the gray in his hair. His thoughts from the day sweep over him. He thinks of his dad being in the winter of his life. “I will be right back,” he tells his wife. “I need to go tell Dad something.” Larry Whiteley NOVEMBER - 2020
n my career as a shotgun instructor I get excited when a young person informs me that his grandpa has given him his shotgun. I’m excited because his grandpa has given him more than just a shotgun. He has opened up the world of shotgun shooting and a lifetime of learning, excitement, and enjoyment. After I examine the gun to assure that it is in good working condition and safe to be shot I tell him something else. I encourage him if at all possible to arrange a time to talk with his grandpa and learn the history of this gun. Shotguns many times have an interesting history, perhaps stories of different hunting trips that may have been very exciting or even dangerous. Grandpas sometimes can be very good story tellers. That being said, some of these stories may not be totally true and may have gotten more exciting the longer they have been told. Who cares? They are still mostly true and always fun to hear. Many times one can learn some interesting history about the family from these stories. In the gun’s history it may have even been given a name. You might hear something like this. “Old Betsy never failed me. All I had to do was point her and she would hit that bird every time.” Ok, who’s to say that is not true? It has also been believed that grandpa named his gun after an old girlfriend. That’s why grandmother never heard that story.
This young person has also been given the most versatile firearm one can own. It is believed by many people that the shotgun is the best gun for home defense. Actually the shotgun was invented so hunters could hit moving targets. The smooth bore in the barrel allows a load of small pellets to be fired. The gun can also accommodate a solid projectile much like a rifle bullet that can be used for large game. This versatility opens up a wide range of hunting opportunities. In addition, one can now enjoy all of the clay target sports like Skeet, Trap and Sporting Clays. Yes, this world of shotgun shooting can be very exciting and provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Thank you, Grandpa.
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Be it Resolved
nyone who has been deeply involved in a nonprofit advocacy group like the Conservation Federation knows that all the important work gets done by committees. As important as the Executive, Ways and Means and other administrative committees are, their work is mainly housekeeping. They are there to support the work that actually accomplishes our mission – preserving Missouri’s natural resources. That work takes place in 10 Resource Advisory Committees - RACs. Those committees are: Archery and Shooting Sports; Big Game, Turkey and Furbearers; Education and Outdoor Recreation; Environment and Ecology; Forest Resources and Management; Grassland and Prairie; Public/Private Lands; Rivers, Streams and Fisheries; Upland Wildlife; and Wetlands and Waterfowl. The job of these RACs is to monitor developments in their areas of responsibility and look into issues raised by CFM members or affiliates. After carefully researching a topic and determining that it merits action, RACs have several alternatives. They can ask CFM leaders to meet with relevant policy makers to discuss the subject informally. Or, they can recommend expressing CFM’s position through an agency’s public comment period.
They might testify at a legislative hearing or ask CFM’s leadership to send a formal letter. RACs also can use information gathered in researching issues to inform other RACs or CFM members about emerging issues. But the option we most often think of is drafting a resolution. Resolutions usually call for action by government agencies, legislators or other elected officials. After approval by members at CFM’s annual General Assembly, resolutions are sent to the appropriate entities. The recipients generally pay close attention to our resolutions, because they know that CFM represents thousands of individual members and thousands more who belong to dozens of CFM affiliate groups. They have seen CFM rally hundreds of supporters at the State Capitol, and they respect our collective clout. CFM’s role of natural-resources watchdog began in the fall of 1935, when a group of concerned sportsmen met to discuss the alarming depletion of Missouri’s forests, fish and wildlife. That meeting led to the formation of CFM and voter approval of a constitutional amendment establishing the world’s first nonpartisan conservation agency.
Feature Story Back then, resource management was considerably simpler than it is today. Contrast the relatively simple task of restoring forest, fish and wildlife resources with the much more complicated job of maintaining those resources in the face of political and economic pressures, increasingly fragmented and contentious user demands, and environmental challenges ranging from intensive agriculture, suburban sprawl and pollution to chronic wasting disease and climate change. Back in the day, citizen conservationists could keep up with developments in their areas of interest simply by reading the daily news. Today, the same task is challenging, even for full-time professionals. As government agencies have responded to the increasing complexity of resource issues, the number of experts engaged in resource management has multiplied, making it harder to know where to go for information. Lack of communication among RAC members throughout the year compounds the difficulty of developing solid, specific resolutions calculated to spur action. RAC members understandably feel frustrated when they raise issues and nothing happens. That is why CFM instituted a more methodical approach to developing resolutions. The current resolutions process has a detailed set of procedures and a timeline to ensure that resolutions are timely, carefully researched and calculated to achieve their desired ends. The new system includes a process for emergency resolutions.
RACs are now expected to keep their fingers on the pulse of issues year-round. They generally start thinking about issues that need a resolution by early fall. October 15 is the official start of the resolutions process for RACs, and the entire membership is asked to submit issues beginning in October each year, specifically for resolutions. Instead of gathering in a meeting room at the annual convention to kick ideas around, RACs now research and fine-tune them throughout the fall and winter and have them ready for discussion and voting when their committees convene in March. To facilitate the resolutions process, the Resolutions Committee has encouraged RACs to maintain lists of members and their contact information. And, to enable better research, the Resolutions Committee has developed a list of experts with the Departments of Conservation, Natural Resources and Agriculture, as well as non-profit conservation groups, who can provide background information and advice on complex issues. Decades-long habits don’t change overnight, but as the new resolutions process becomes more familiar, the quality of resolutions is improving. This reduces frustration experienced by RAC members, whose resolutions now are less likely to be picked apart at conference and more likely to receive final approval by the General Assembly. And the resolutions that make it through are strong calls to action supported by facts. If you do not already serve on a RAC, please read the list above and consider where your passion and expertise could be useful. If you already are on a RAC, thank you for your patience, and for your commitment to things “natural, wild and free.” Jim Low
NOVEMBER - 2020
The First Beagle A
fter we moved into our house on 40 acres in rural Moniteau County, I realized there were plenty of rabbits to hunt just out the back door. They were abundant, and I hunted most weekends during the winter with my Lab. For reasons I don't completely understand, I never thought of getting a beagle to hunt with, which is a popular and traditional way to hunt rabbits in Missouri. One day I came home from work late as usual after an extra-long day. Our oldest son, who was 10 at the time, was sitting on the back porch petting a puppy, a beagle mix of some kind. I knew he had found this dog because stray dogs and cats were always showing up on our place dropped off by people who didn't know what else to do with them. We weren't running a stray animal shelter, so I would take care of the walk-ons telling our sons that
I delivered them to a place where they were loved and cared for adequately. I told our son he could take this puppy back where he found it or give it to me and I would take care of it. He looked up at me with big defiant eyes that gave me a glimpse of the dark teenage years on the horizon and said, "Dad, I think we'll wait until Mom gets home to make that decision." You can imagine my shock at being overruled, outsmarted and neutralized by a ten year old. Of course, when Mrs. Urich got home, she fell in love with the puppy and bonded with it immediately as it melted into her arms. The family was united against me on this. I'm not too fond of it when that happens.
Feature Story They named the dog Abby and added further affront by making Abby an indoor dog. Abby and I coexisted over the summer, but she was always suspicious of me and kept her distance. That fall, I was hunting rabbits on our place with my Lab. Abby, grown now, came along uninvited. Suddenly, she started baying and chasing a rabbit bringing it back to me to shoot. Whoa. This added a new dimension to rabbit hunting and was way better than jumping them up with a Labrador.
Mrs. Urich was delighted with the addition of the rabbit dogs because we were gone frequently during the winter on the weekends giving her peace, quiet and time to herself at home. She was less tolerant of our protracted absences between Christmas and New Year's when we spent five days hunting in west-central Missouri. She felt this time of the year was family time so I was mindful to invite her along but she always declined. One of our more memorable rabbit hunts was on the Paint Brush Prairie Conservation Area in Pettis County near Sedalia. We hunted rabbits on this prairie many times over the years. A woody draw through the middle of the west side of the prairie was always loaded with rabbits. One year after we arrived for a mid-January hunt, the boys looked out onto the prairie from the truck with shock and disappointment.
I knew about rabbit hunting in Missouri with beagles but never considered owning one. By the following fall we had a pack of 6 beagles. I spent the summer with our sons teaching them how to train beagles, a process I knew nothing about. All we did was let the beagles out on our 40 acres and Abby did everything else. She was an excellent teacher. I knew about rabbit hunting I had a new fondness and respect for Abby, but I still chaffed over her in Missouri with beagles but indoor living privilege.
never considered owning one. By the following fall we had a pack of 6 beagles. I spent the summer with our sons teaching them how to train beagles, a process I knew nothing about.
I knew that rabbit hunting would be a great way to introduce our kids to hunting. It's fast-paced, there's lots of shooting, and there were rabbits everywhere plus we could hunt anytime on our land at the spur of the moment. We constructed outdoor kennels in the backyard for the dogs. I promoted our sons to the rank of Canine Technician responsible for the care and maintenance of the pack as their contribution to this new endeavor.
I bought a clay rabbit thrower and taught our sons to lead a rabbit that is running away or sideways to them. They loved these practice sessions and of course, used up a lot of ammunition. So I purchased reloading equipment and taught them how to reload their own shells. If they wanted to practice shooting, they had to reload shells, finally with practice reaching my goal of only two duds per box of 25 shells.
The entire prairie was black, having been burned sometime in the fall or winter. I smiled and reassured them they were about to have the best rabbit hunt of their lives. They were suspicious thinking they were in for a long, forced hike in the freezing cold over a black, burned, rabbit-less desert.
We walked six beagles, a basset hound, a Labrador and a Vizsla on leashes out to the woody draw and let them go. Two minutes later the dogs had divided into two groups both chasing separate rabbits down the draw. All the rabbits that were usually spread out in the native grass were confined to the mostly unburned woody draw. When they ran out onto the burned area they were easy to see. It was a fast-paced hunt with a huge amount of shooting and missing. A rabbit can pick up speed in a hurry when there is no vegetation to run through. My sons frequently boasted about their shooting prowess but they were humbled on this hunting trip. I smiled and internalized very appropriate remarks, although if I missed they immediately offered disparaging comments. Sometimes parents have to bite the bullet and take the high road. I'm excellent at this.
NOVEMBER - 2020
Feature Story Another hunter observed from the parking lot what was happening, drove his truck to the end of the burned portion of the prairie and ran across to the unburned woody draw to block. This was presumptuous and inappropriate in my opinion but there was nothing to do about it. I was worried about his dog awareness because we had 9 dogs running around in the draw chasing 1 to 4 rabbits at a time. It took us almost 2 hours to walk less than Âź mile. The rabbits tried to elude the dogs and hunters by going behind us back up the draw which ended on the west end at Highway 65. We would run after the dogs to catch them before they got to the highway because the rabbits either ran along the right-of-way or across the highway. Beagles are very bad about not pausing and checking both ways before crossing a road. We finally finished up walking the Âź mile to the end of the burned portion of the prairie. We all had a limit of rabbits, including the uninvited blocker. He was so excited and thanked us profusely for a great rabbit hunt. Then he pulled $200 out of his wallet and offered to buy two of the beagles, which we declined. On the way home, the boys chatted continuously in the truck about this amazing rabbit hunt and asked if I knew of any other burned prairies. They recounted their shooting successes glossing over any misses plus dwelled on the few misses I experienced. I reminded them we had an hour and a half of rabbit cleaning in the cold shed when we got home. I also wondered what I was going to do with 24 cleaned rabbits. Over the years, we had driven the taste for a rabbit out of Mrs. Urich, and she no longer allowed them to be cooked in the house.
Their excited banter continued in the truck until we got home. We cleaned the rabbits and put the dogs into their kennels. Abby followed me into the house and laid down on her pillow in the kitchen to lick her feet. She was about 11 years old now and had trained almost a dozen beagles and basset hounds. She was still the lead beagle. No matter which beagle struck a rabbit trail first, she moved to the front and led the beagles on the chase. I realized she had made a huge contribution to our lives and I was very comfortable with her being an indoor dog. More importantly, I was so thankful that years earlier my oldest son looked up at me defiantly and said, "Dad, I think we'll wait until Mom gets home to make that decision.â€? David Urich (Top) David Urich (left) with sons Aaron, Tim and Kirk after one of our traditional Thanksgiving morning rabbit hunts on our 40 acres in Moniteau County. Abby is the third beagle from the right. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich) (Front) Aaron (left). Kirk and Tim Urich plus Abby, the first beagle, and Ed the Vizsla taking a break during a west central Missouri rabbit hunt. (Photo: Courtesy of David Urich)
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