Conservation

MDC Encourages People To “Be Bear Aware”

Black bears are on the move in spring and summer so avoid feeding them and other activities that can lead to problems. (Photo courtesy of MDC)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages Missourians to be “bear aware” this spring and summer. Black bears are on the move this time of year.

According MDC Resource Scientist Jeff Beringer, most black bears that cause problems in Missouri are young males that are looking for new homes in spring and early summer after dispersing from their mothers’ home ranges. In their search for food, these young males may come into contact with humans and cause problems.

MDC Limits Firearm Antlerless Deer Permits

The Missouri Department of Conservation has reduced the availability of antlerless deer hunting permits from “any number” in most counties of the state to one in most counties of the state for all portions of the firearms deer season combined. (Photo courtesy of MDC.)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds deer hunters that firearm antlerless deer hunting permits have been reduced from “any number” in most counties of the state to one in most counties of the state. The reduction applies to all portions of the firearms deer season combined.

Weekly Fall Color Reports Available From MDC

Weekly reports and a mobile app from the Conservation Department will help you find the best fall color all around the state. (Photo courtesy of MDC)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As the heat of summer fades into the cool weather of fall, trees and shrubs around the Show-Me State transform from leaves of green to a fall-foliage color palette of golds, reds, oranges, and purples.

Leaves turn colors when two things happen. First, sugars produced by photosynthesis are trapped inside leaves by chilly - but not freezing - autumn nights. Those sugars are the building blocks for red, yellow, orange, and purple pigments. Cool nights simultaneously cause the breakdown of green pigments, allowing these other colors to show through.

Discover Nature With Elk Driving Tours

Self-guided driving tours at Peck Ranch and Current River CAs offer great opportunities to see wild elk in Missouri's Ozarks. (photo courtesy of MDC)

This year’s offerings include routes on Current River and Peck Ranch conservation areas.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An additional route will make it easier than ever to see Missouri’s wild elk this year, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Conservation Department began encouraging Missourians to view elk along designated internal roads at Peck Ranch Conservation Area (CA) shortly after bringing the first wild elk to Missouri in 2011.  The self-guided driving tour has become a popular tourist attraction, especially in October, when bull elk are bugling as part of their mating ritual.

Operation Roadhouse - Colorado Man Pleads Guilty To Illegally Trafficking In Paddlefish

Photo courtesy of MDC.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Colorado man has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally trafficking in paddlefish caviar after being caught in an undercover operation in the Warsaw, Mo., area.

During March and April 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Conservation conducted a covert investigation, “Operation Roadhouse,” centered on an area known as the Roadhouse in Warsaw. As part of the covert operation, state and federal officers operated a paddlefish snagging business. Covert officers also sold paddlefish to people who were interested in buying them.

Beware Of Hungry Bears

Don't feed wildlife. Keeping birdfeeders full in summer can make nuisances of bears -- such as this one raiding a backyard feeder -- along with raccoons, squirrels, deer, and other wildlife looking for easy pickings.

Get help from MDC with nuisance wildlife and learn how to prevent problems by clicking here.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Black bears normally are shy and elusive, but the Missouri Department of Conservation urges those few Missourians lucky enough to see bears to keep them at arm’s length. Keeping bears wild not only protects people and property – it protects bears, too.

MDC Urges Proper Pruning To Help Storm-Damaged Trees

Careful pruning and tender loving care may save some trees. (Photo courtesy of MDC)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The recent storm that swept through Columbia and the surrounding area left many trees in need of a little after-storm care.  Trees that lost limbs may threaten the safety of homeowners, are at risk for decline, or even death. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has advice about how to determine which trees are salvageable and how to nurse them back to health.

According to MDC Forestry Regional Supervisor Susan Troxel-DeWitt, the amount of damage a tree can survive depends on the tree.

“Long-lived hardwood trees, such as oaks, sugar maples and hickories, might have a future if they still have at least half their branches and were in good health before the damage occurred,” Troxel-DeWitt says. “But soft-wooded species such as silver maples, poplars, Bradford pears and Siberian elms, are prone to breakage, so they are harder to salvage if they lose more than a few limbs. Those species are short-lived and grow fast, so it usually makes sense to replace them.”

"Frog Days" Of Summer Begin At Sunset June 30

Missouri has two frog species that are legal game — the bullfrog (in photo) and green frog. Frogging can be practiced with either a fishing permit or a hunting permit. (photo courtesy of MDC)

Frogging can be practiced with either a fishing permit or a hunting permit.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages Missourians to celebrate summer with a favorite outdoor pastime for many -- frogging season. It begins at sunset on June 30 and ends Oct. 31.

Missouri has two frog species that are legal game — bullfrog and green frog. Bullfrogs are larger and therefore more sought-after. The taste and texture of frog meat is similar to that of fresh-water fish. For recipes, visit the MDC website at mdc.mo.gov/node/15131.

Get Hooked With MDC Free Fishing Days This Weekend

Photo courtesy MDC

--Get hooked on fishing with our Free Fishing Days June 7 and 8 when anyone can fish in the Show-Me State without having to buy a fishing permit, trout stamp, or trout park daily tag.

Normal regulations remain in effect, such as limits on size and numbers of fish anglers can keep. Some private fishing areas may still require permits, and trespass laws remain in effect on private property.

MDC Offers Tips For Avoiding Tick-Borne Illnesses

A few simple precautions can dramatically reduce the potential for infection.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Summertime is hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking time. It also is tick time, and the Missouri Department of Conservation reminds those visiting conservation areas to take time to prevent tick bites.

Ticks can transmit diseases, including ehrlichiosis, tularemia, anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).

Pages