5 years ago
• As many of you know I am an avid outdoorsman. I do a lot of hunting and I do a lot of fishing. I have a great respect for the outdoors and those that manage it for our benefit as well as the benefit of the resource.
I also just enjoy being outdoors with my family, enjoying nature and all her wonderful splendor.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) was started back in the 1930s and since those humble beginnings it has become the leader in conservation and science-based resource management in the country.
Some of you may not be aware, but the Missouri Department of Conservation is under attack from a few legislators. (Britt Graber)
• The Neosho National Fish Hatchery is taking on another endangered species to work with — the Topeka shiner.
On Nov. 21, 2014, a partnership was made by the fish hatchery with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Missouri Ecological Services Field Office, and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
“This understanding will enable us to assist the service and the State of Missouri in the propagation efforts of the species in northern Missouri,” said Dave Hendrix, fish hatchery manager.
The hatchery’s plans help meet the recovery goals established in the state’s 2010 10-year strategic plan for recovery of the Topeka shiner. (Mattie Sexton)
10 years ago
• Missouri’s top turkey biologist has two words for hunters going into the 2010 spring turkey hunting season — “challenging” and “restraint.”
Resource Scientist Tom Dailey is the Missouri Department of Conservation’s turkey specialist. He says he expects this year’s spring turkey harvest to be approximately 44,000, about the same as last year.
He based his predictions on fieldwork conducted each summer and fall. Summer observations involve hens and the number of young turkeys.
The fall turkey abundance index comes from archery deer and turkey hunters who report the number of turkeys they see and how many hours they spend hunting.
Comparing the number of turkeys seen per 1,000 hours afield from year to year gives Dailey an idea of how Many turkey’s Missouri has going into winter. (Jim Low)
• Knowledge of turkey behavior and familiarity with the terrain are keys to early season turkey hunting success, according to John LaGrand.
LaGrand, of Cadet, Mo., grew up on a small farm in the Ozarks. The 46-year-old owner of Mountain Screamer Game Calls has been hunting turkeys since he was 9. He has harvested birds in 15 states. Spring is the wild turkey’s mating season, LaGrand said.
“Some people are still under the misconception that the gobbler is supposed to go to the hen. It’s just the opposite. The hen is supposed to go to the gobbler,” he said.
“That’s why the gobbler has the big tail fan and the bright red and blue head. He has that booming gobble to let the hen know where he is.” (John Meacham)
15 years ago
• Back in the early ’70s I had little choice but to learn murky hunting by applying a little book learning with a lot of trial and error field experience.
I had little confidence in my calling ability for quite a while and made many mistakes approaching and setting up on gobbling birds. A major breakthrough came when I called in a gobbler while doing some preseason scouting.
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Just knowing I could make a turkey come to me was a tremendous confidence builder. Still, it took me all of three spring seasons to bag my first bird.
I say all because I got that first gobbler on the last day of the season. And it took another three years of hunting, spring and fall, to reach the point where I was taking turkeys consistently. (Charlie Slovensky)