Perhaps the biggest news from around the state is that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is again rearing its ugly head. It is likely it never went away completely, but the MDC has made good progress towards ridding the state of infected deer. The big issue is that MDC is having to fight the battle with one hand tied behind its back. Last year, as many will recall, the game farm industry through its lobbyists in Jeff City went to war with the MDC.
The battle is not over or decided. There are still numerous bills designed to harm the MDC. You cannot blame MDC for being a little gun shy on imposing the kind of regs that would protect out outdoor legacy, when doing so might cripple their funding and thus their ability to do anything.
For more information on the current CWD outbreak, visit MDC REPORTS 11 NEW CASES OF CWD IN MISSOURI DEER.
On the topic of MDC, an honor was bestowed on one of MDC's fine conservation agents by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Keith Wollard was honored with being named the NWTF Wildlife Officer of the Year. His photo is shown and if you would like to read more on his award visit KEITH WOLLARD, NWTF WILDLIFE OFFICER OF THE YEAR.
MDC continues its efforts to elicit comments on management of its conservation areas. In March, the areas they are soliciting comments on are:
Canaan Conservation Area
Riverbreaks Conservation Area
Gist Ranch & Midvale Conservation Areas
John Alva Fuson, MD Conservation Area
Wilbur Allen Conservation Area
Woodson K. Woods Memorial Conservation Area
Visit their page for conservation plans to learn more and/or comment.
Gardening season is coming upon us, thankfully, and a great way to enhance the beauty of your
garden and support wildlife, is to plant native plants. Runge Nature Center will have a native plant sale on March 28th from 8am-5pm. For more information, call them at 573-526-5544. If that does not work for you, the State Forest Nursery is having an open house on April 4th. It's located near Licking, Missouri. Reservations are requested - call 573-674-3229
Every year, if you pay attention, you will notice MDC awarding state records to anglers for fish caught in Missouri waters. A lot of these fish are ones that are not your typical gamefish species. Still, some of these records are quite impressive. An angler from Crestwood, Missouri caught an enormous Gizzard Shad that weighed in at 1 lb 14 oz, an increase of a half ound from the previous record. Congrats to John Burke on his catch, and the first state record fish caught in 2015. Read more and view photo at article state record gizzard shad.
Springtime is the time when wildlife offspring are often seen running around, and often mom is not right beside her offspring. Many well-meaning folks make the mistake of trying to intervene when they believe a baby animal has been abandoned. In fact, it is likely that this person's presence frightened away the mother for just a brief period of time. By intervening, it is entirely possible that the mom and baby will not reunite. Resist the temptation to intervene and let nature take its course.
If you plan to use burning as a management tool, learn to do it right by attending an MDC workshop. It can be a great tool for management, but must be done right for a lot of reasons - obviously safety being one. There is a workshop in Independence on March 31st if that works for you. Registration is required and can be done by calling 816-228-3766, where they can give you additional info.