Thursday, October 28, 2010

MDC needs hunter help with CWD surveillance Nov. 13-14

The Conservation Department asks hunters who harvest deer in six north-central Missouri counties during opening weekend of firearms deer season to submit samples for CWD testing.


JEFFERSON CITY Mo – As part of it ongoing efforts to monitor Missouri’s free-ranging deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD), the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is asking hunters for help. Hunters who harvest yearling and adult deer during opening weekend of firearms deer season (Nov. 13-14) in Linn, Chariton, Macon and parts of Sullivan, Adair and Randolph counties are encouraged to take their deer to the following collection sites for tissue sampling between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

LINN CO
King Processing & Catering, 33181 Hwy WW in Marceline

Meadville Meat Locker, 101 E Gentry St. in Meadville       
Mussel Fork Conservation Area, 10 miles east of Brookfield and south of US Hwy 36 near Bucklin (look for signs)
MDC Brookfield Maintenance Center, 115 Pershing Road in Brookfield

CHARITON CO
Salisbury Meat Market & Processing, 29047 Market Lane in Salisbury

MACON CO
Special D Meats, 30637 Lake St. in Macon

Buck Ridge Butcher Shop (Saturday Only)11245 Grouse Ave. in La Plata

Floral Hall-Macon County Fairgrounds, 1303 S. Missouri St. in Macon

SULLIVAN COUNTY
Tucker's Grocer & Processing, 355 W Front St in Green Castle

“The process of collecting tissue samples will take only a few minutes and involves removing lymph nodes from the head,” said MDC Resource Scientist Jason Sumners. “The tissue sampling will not reduce the food or taxidermy value of deer.”

Sumners, a biologist with expertise in deer management, added that hunters throughout the state who encounter or harvest a deer in poor condition with no obvious injuries should contact their local conservation agent or MDC office. If appropriate, the deer will be tested for CWD.

He noted that hunters are vital partners in keeping Missouri’s deer herd healthy, along with the supporting the state economy.

“Adult deer have no widespread natural predators in Missouri so hunting is the primary way to control the population,” he said.  “Our nearly 500,000 Missouri deer hunters spend more than $750 million directly related to deer hunting each year. This adds up to over $1 billion in overall business activity and supports more than 11,000 jobs.”

The voluntary hunter-sampling effort is part of the MDC’s response to a single case of CWD confirmed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) in a captive white-tailed deer at a private hunting ranch in Linn County in February. This is the first and only case of CWD detected in the state.

CWD is a neurological disease found in cervids, such as deer, elk and moose. It attacks the brain and results in extreme weight loss, excessive salivation, stumbling, tremors and eventually death. CWD spreads through animal-to-animal contact and through soil-to-animal contact. The clinical tests used to detect CWD in white-tailed deer require lymph node or brain tissue.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) says that there is no evidence CWD can infect people. The MDA says that current research shows there is no evidence CWD can spread to domestic livestock, such as sheep or cattle.

While CWD is new to Missouri, the MDC and MDA have been testing for it for years.  The agencies formed a state Cervid Health Committee in 2002 to address the threat of CWD to Missouri. This task force is composed of conservation agents, veterinarians and animal health officers from MDC, MDA, MDHSS and the US Department of Agriculture.

With the help of hunters, the MDC has tested more than 26,000 free-ranging deer for CWD from all parts of the state since 2002 with no cases found.

Sumners said that Missouri residents who hunt in other states should be aware of a new regulation regarding chronic wasting disease. The MDC now requires any hunter who brings a deer, elk or moose into Missouri with the head or spinal column attached to report the carcasses’ entry by calling 1-877-853-5665 within 24 hours of entering the state. If the head or spinal cord is intact on the animal, the hunter cannot process the meat or the trophy mount and must take the carcass to a licensed meat processor or taxidermist within 72 hours of entry. Meat processors and taxidermists are required to dispose of the spinal cord and other parts in a properly permitted landfill. Hunters do not need to report if they simply bring back meat, hides, antlers, teeth, skulls or skull plates with no brain tissue attached.

For more information, refer to page 3 of the “2010 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information” booklet. The booklet is available where permits are sold, including MDC offices, and online at www.missouriconservation.org.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Deer Season Forecast

A white-tailed deerImage via Wikipedia
Offsetting factors expected to hold deer harvest steady
Acorn availability, crop harvest, the four-point rule and population
shifts caused by last year’s harvest and hemorrhagic disease all will
affect the final tally from this year’s November firearms deer hunt.
JEFFERSON CITY–Missouri’s top white-tailed deer expert says the number of deer killed during the 11-day November portion of firearms deer season could be down slightly this year. In the end, however, the deer harvest will depend on a variety of offsetting factors, including the perennial wild card, weather.
Resource Scientist Lonnie Hansen says he expects a harvest of approximately 200,000 deer during the November hunt. This overall prediction takes into account regional variations and assumes average weather.
Hansen said hunters in the Ozarks are likely to check fewer deer this year than they did in 2009. He bases this prediction on two factors, both related to the availability of deer’s autumn food mainstay, acorns.
Acorns were scarce in the Ozarks last year. As a result, deer were concentrated in areas where food was available, and this made hunters’ work easier.
“Hunters had a banner year in the Ozarks last year,” said Hansen. “They shot a bunch of deer, and that could have some negative effect on this year’s harvest.”
This year, acorns are abundant across much of the Ozarks. Hansen says this will magnify the effect of last year’s strong deer kill. Fewer deer will be spread out over a larger area, making them more difficult for hunters to find.
He said the Ozarks’ long-term prospects are good, however, with gradual growth of the region’s deer population over the last 25 years.
Deer-hunting prospects are bright in northern Missouri, where the harvest was down last year.
“I think that we under-harvested deer in parts of northern Missouri last year because weather conditions delayed the corn harvest,” said Hansen. “With so much standing corn, deer had lots of places to hide, and we carried over more deer than normal in that region. Most crops should be out of the fields by deer season this year, and my expectation is the harvest should be up a little bit in northern Missouri.”
Hansen notes, however, that northern Missouri’s deer population is smaller than it was five years ago. He says that is a good thing.
“We needed to get the numbers down in some areas. Of course, deer are never distributed evenly across a landscape, and the fact that numbers are down across that region means that people in some areas have fewer deer than they would like and others have more than they would like. But I still think they will have a good season up there, and they could shoot more deer than they did last year because of the crop situation.”
Hansen said deer numbers have been down a little in western Missouri in recent years because of hemorrhagic disease. He said that region’s deer population is recovering well and hunters there can expect a good season.
Hunters in the 35 northern and western Missouri counties where the four-point antler restriction went into effect in 2008 can expect to see more bucks with large antlers, according to Hansen.
“What we have seen in the counties where the four-point rule first went into effect is that the third year is when people really start reaping the benefits,” he said. “Lots of hunters will see bucks with antlers like they have never seen before. Some people are going to say, ‘Wow! Where did all these bucks come from?’”
With so many opposing trends, Hansen said he hesitates to guess how many hunters will check deer during the November hunt.
“If you force me to guess, I would guess the harvest will be not quite as high as last year.”
Whatever the November harvest turns out to be, the final tally for the season is unlikely to be much different than last year’s.
“We have reached a point in Missouri where most hunters have all the time they need to shoot a deer,” said Hansen. “Back when the November hunt was the entire firearms deer season, a low harvest on opening weekend meant the final harvest total would be down that year. Today, if you aren’t successful in November, you still have 12 days of antlerless hunting and 11 days of muzzleloader hunting to make up lost ground. We have many more muzzleloader hunters today than we did 20 years ago, and today’s muzzleloaders are much more efficient than the traditional guns that we started with. That tends to reduce year-to-year variations in harvest.”
 Last year’s November deer kill of 193,155 was 4 percent below the 2008 November harvest. That was mainly because of widespread, heavy rainfall during the opening weekend. Hunters went on to make up that difference and more during the antlerless, muzzleloader, youth and archery portions of the season after the November hunt. The combined 2009-2010 archery and firearms deer harvest of 299,461 was the fourth-largest on record.
Full details about deer hunting are available in the 2010 Fall Deer & Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information booklet. It is available wherever hunting permits are sold and online at http://bit.ly/bHgKv2.
-Jim Low-

Find great public land options for deer hunting at Missouri Public Lands Hunting



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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Conservation Action October 2010

The Conservation Commission met Oct. 14 and 15 at the Conservation Department’s regional office in Kirksville.  Commissioners present were:
Becky L. Plattner, Grand Pass, Chair
Don R. Johnson, Festus, Vice Chair
Don C. Bedell, Sikeston, Secretary
William F. “Chip” McGeehan, Marshfield, Member
The Commission:
Ø  Received a presentation from Wildlife Diversity Chief Gene Gardner concerning “Partnerships in Action: A Decade of State Wildlife Grants and Conserving All Wildlife in Missouri.”
Ø  Received a presentation from Resource Scientist Lonnie Hansen regarding a proposed plan for restoring elk to Missouri.
Ø  Received comments regarding potential elk restoration from individuals who submitted written requests prior to the meeting.
Ø  Voted to approve the proposed elk-restoration plan. The plan (available atwww.missouriconservation.org) calls for releasing up to 150 elk into a 346-square-mile area of Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties early in 2011. All released elk will undergo stringent health testing and quarantines and will be fitted with radio collars to permit tracking their movements.
Ø  Approved entering into a contract with AVCO, Inc., Hamilton, for the construction of the Blind Pony Lake Conservation Area Equipment Storage and Work Area building in Saline county at a total estimated cost of $301,895.
Ø  Approved recommendations for the Conservation Employees’ Benefits Plan Trust Fund.
Ø  Approved the purchase of 161.51 acres in Pettis County as an addition to W. R. Kearn Memorial Conservation Area.
Ø  Suspended hunting and/or fishing privileges of 15 Missouri residents and two nonresidents for Wildlife Code violations and affirmed actions taken by Missouri courts suspending privileges of one Missouri resident. Those whose privileges were suspended are:


                              ·         John J. Anesi, Kirksville, all sport privileges, 1 year.
·         Richard B. Berghager, Center, all sport privileges, 1.5 additional years.
·         Collin S. Burns, Lebanon, all sport privileges, 3 months.
·         Seth E. Burns, Stoutland, all sport privileges, 1 year.
·         Maria J. Burton, Jadwin, all sport privileges, 5 years.
·        David A. Chandler, Belleview, all sport privileges, 1 year.
·        Jessica C. Gamblin, Montreal, hunting privileges, until 6/22/11.
·         Travis A. Gott, Elkland, hunting privileges, 6 months.
·         Randy C. Gresham, Jr., Rolla, all sport privileges, 5 years.
·         Derek R. Johnson, Galva, Ill., all sport privileges, 1 year.
·         Dustin J. Jones, Jonesburg, all sport privileges, 1 year.
·         David W. Kilroy, Longwood, Fla., all sport privileges, 1 year.
·         Travis L. King, Winigan, all sport privileges, 1 year
·         Brandon M. Lennox, New London, all sport privileges, 2.5 years.
·         John C. McDonald, Salem, all sport privileges, 2 additional years.
·         Byran M. Ruth, Grandview, all sport privileges, 1 year.
·         John L. Shepherd, Hannibal, all sport privileges, 5.5 additional years.
·         Bradley A. Wilson, Lowry City, all sport privileges, 1 year.
Ø  Approved the suspension or revocation of all hunting and fishing privileges of 318 people who are not in compliance with applicable child support laws.
Ø  Suspended privileges of 193 nonresidents and two Missouri residents under the provisions of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
Ø  Imposed hunting privilege suspension of four years for a Missouri resident who injured another person in a hunting incident. The hunter must complete a hunter-education training course before restoration of privileges.
Ø  Confirmed the next regular Conservation Commission meeting to be held Dec. 16 and 17 in Jefferson City.
- end -

This document is provided for public information only and is not an official record of the Missouri Department of Conservation or Missouri Conservation Commission.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Conservation commission approves elk restoration plan


The elk restoration plan is consistent with the Agency’s rich history of successful management and restoration of fish, forest and wildlife for the people of Missouri

By Jim Low, MDC

KIRKSVILLE–The Missouri Conservation Commission today approved an elk restoration plan that includes health protocols, herd management guidelines and habitat management recommendations. Releases of elk could begin as soon as early 2011.

The plan (available at www.missouriconservation.org) calls for releasing wild elk in a 346-square-mile (221,509 acres) elk restoration zone in parts of Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties. The Conservation Department selected this limited restoration zone because of extensive public lands, suitable habitat, low road density, minimal agricultural activity and landowner support.

To ensure that Missouri’s wildlife and livestock remain healthy, the plan includes health testing guidelines developed by the Missouri Departments of Conservation and Agriculture.  “The developed animal-health-testing protocol has been proven in other states and meets or exceeds health-testing requirements to move livestock or captive elk,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Taylor Woods.  

The plan includes procedures to address elk that leave the restoration zone onto private land where they are not welcome and hunting to manage the herd in future years. All released elk will be fitted with radio collars to permit tracking their movements.

The plan calls for continued habitat management on public lands and cost share incentives for private landowners wanting to attract elk to their land in the restoration zone. Since 2000, there have been significant habitat improvements on public land in the restoration zone that will benefit elk. 

Organizations including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and theAppalachian Wildlife Foundation have committed to contributing financial resources and volunteer time to help with elk restoration in Missouri.

Director Robert Ziehmer said the Department has actively engaged citizens and organizations to gather input on elk restoration. “A key component of Missouri’s plan is the defined restoration zone. Given habitat within this zone, the limited number of elk to be released, established health protocols, monitoring commitment, and solid citizen and landowner support, implementation will provide natural-resource and recreational benefits,” said Ziehmer.

Elk restoration programs in Arkansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Tennessee have successfully restored limited elk populations with economic benefits through wildlife viewing and hunting. 

Jim Smith, owner of Cross Country Trail Ride in Eminence, said restoring elk to the Missouri Ozarks will help his business by extending the tourism season. “The natural beauty, abundant wildlife and crystal clear streams draw people to the Ozarks.  Restoring elk will be an extra attraction.”
         
Elk are native to the Show-Me State but were gone by the mid-1800s, due to unregulated hunting and habitat changes. 

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Avoid live carp as bait to protect lakes

Invaders that could harm sport fishing and injure boaters are lurking below dams at Missouri reservoirs. Extra care by anglers is needed to keep them at bay.

JEFFERSON CITY MO - Silver carp and bighead carp are non-native Asian fish that can cause big problems. This year, biologists have noticed them congregating below dams and outlets for levee and wetland systems.
While fish from both species can top 50 pounds, regarding lakes, it’s the young carp that fishery biologists are worried about this autumn. They swim up shallow creeks and rivers to spillways and stilling basins below dams, which puts them within easy reach of casting nets, seines and minnow traps used by anglers to capture catfish bait.
“We don’t want them transported out of the river systems into the lakes,” said Jake Allman, a fisheries biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).  “It’s illegal in Missouri to use Asian carp as live bait.”
Large silver carp can leap 10 feet into the air when startled by boat motors, which can cause serious injuries to passengers in moving boats and tear up gear. Both silver and bighead carp are plankton feeders and they deplete food used by native sport fishes such as bass and crappie when they are young. One native sport fish, the paddlefish, feeds on plankton through its entire life cycle.
“If we get them in reservoirs,” Allman said, “we could see our largemouth bass numbers decline. These things are prolific spawners. They can fill up a system.”
Silver carp and bighead carp were imported into the United States by commercial fish farmers. Due to releases or escapes caused by flooding, they’ve spread in recent decades and thrive in many rivers.

The most likely way that Asian carp will reach a lake is if anglers carry them in water-filled bait buckets onto the lake. A live fish being placed on a hook can flop into the water, live bait can escape from hooks and anglers are prone to dumping unused bait into a lake when the trip is over.  
Anglers traditionally use cast nets in lakes and shallow waters to catch small fish, such as gizzard shad, for catfish bait. But, there’s a close resemblance between shad and small Asian carp that are two to six inches long.

“At some dams in northwest Missouri, thousands of shad and Asian carp are swirling together this fall in spillways. They are drawn by water rich in the plankton upon which they feed,” Allman said. “Plentiful rains this year have led to strong water releases, which helped attract large numbers of plankton feeders upstream.”
Anglers can use Asian carp as bait if the fish are dead. It is recommended that netted bait fish be placed on ice in coolers. The temperature shock kills the carp but keeps them fresh for use as bait.
Anglers should use caution when using live bait in any lake or river, including small community lakes. Unused bait from any source should be dumped on the ground rather than into the water.
(By Bill Graham, MDC)
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 duck season promises plentiful ducks, generous limits, spotty habitat

Green-winged Teal, a species formerly consider...Image via Wikipedia
An investment of time and shoe-leather
could pay special dividends this year.
JEFFERSON CITY–The 2010 waterfowl season promises a mixed bag for hunters, with more ducks but less habitat than usual. The winners will be those hunters who look for opportunities outside the usual hunting hot spots.
WATERFOWL POPULATIONS
Resource Scientist Andy Raedeke said annual surveys of waterfowl nesting grounds in the northern United States and Canada show continued strong numbers of most duck and goose species. Raedeke, the Missouri Department of Conservation’s waterfowl expert, said the total number of breeding ducks seen in mid-continent surveys was approximately 41 million. That is down three percent from 2009, but still 21 percent above the long-term average.
The number of mallards – the mainstay of mid-continent duck hunting – mirrored the overall trend, similar to last year but still 12 percent above the long-term average.
Eight out of 11 species tracked in the annual surveys were above long-term averages. Those showing the strongest long-term gains were green-winged teal (+78%), northern shoveler (+76%), gadwall (+67%) and redhead (+63%).
Species whose numbers remain below long-term averages include northern pintail (-13%) and scaup (-16%).
Blue-winged showed the only statistically significant population change from 2009, with a 14-percent decrease, from 7.4 million to 6.3 million. However, blue-winged teal remain 36 percent above the long-term average. The current teal breeding-population estimate is well above the 4.7-million level that would trigger a more restrictive hunting season.
The number of Canada geese in states north of Missouri has ballooned to more than 750,000. Many of these birds migrate into or through Missouri during the fall and winter, providing opportunities for Show-Me State hunters.
Mid-continent white-fronted geese numbers are estimated as average, while light-goose numbers remain above average.
WEATHER & HABITAT
While these numbers are promising, the number of ducks is only one of three factors needed to produce good hunting. The other two are habitat and weather. Raedeke said habitat conditions differ dramatically across the state.
“This year is really going to be a mixed bag,” said Raedeke. “Rainfall was extremely variable across the state. Places that got heavy rainfall early and then dried out some had very favorable conditions for moist-soil plants, which produce seeds that ducks like to eat. Other places experienced multiple floods during the summer, making it difficult or impossible to plant corn and other food crops. Repeated flooding also limited the growth of moist-soil plants on many areas. Meanwhile, southeast Missouri has had a fairly severe drought this summer, so conditions there probably are not going to be as good as they have been in the past.”
Raedeke said Bob Brown Conservation Area in Holt County is the only large, state-owned managed wetland area reporting good success with crops. He said abnormally wet weather limited habitat development on managed wetlands, especially in northeastern Missouri. However, those abnormal rains also created waterfowl habitat in nontraditional places.
“As of late August, some places that normally are dry had enough water to create excellent duck-hunting opportunities,” said Raedeke. “If we keep getting rain, this could be a year when you find ducks in places that don’t normally have water or ducks.”
Because any area with significant flood-prone acreage could be a duck-hunting hot spot this year, pre-season scouting is more important than ever, according to Raedeke.
Missouri’s waterfowl habitat picture still depends heavily on rainfall over the next two months. Southeastern Missouri needs more rain, while hunters in the rest of the state are hoping for normal rainfall, so moist-soil plants can grow and put on seeds. Once the season starts, rainfall will be needed to flood low-lying areas, so ducks have easy access to flooded crops and native plants.
REGULATION CHANGES
This year’s waterfowl seasons are:
Duck season:
·        North Zone: Oct. 30 through Dec. 28
·        Middle Zone: Nov. 6 through Jan. 4
·        South Zone: Nov. 25 through Jan. 23
Goose seasons:
·        Snow, blue, and Ross’s geese: Oct. 30 through Jan. 31 statewide
·        White-fronted geese: Nov. 25 through Jan. 31 statewide
·        Canada geese and brant: Oct. 2 through 10 and Nov. 25 through Jan. 31 statewide.
Bag limits and other details of this year’s waterfowl hunting season are available at http://bit.ly/bDCOFR for teal and at http://bit.ly/bL1NGl, or in the 2010-2011 Early Migratory Bird Hunting or Waterfowl Hunting digests, which are available wherever hunting permits are sold.
The Missouri Conservation Commission approved moving up the dates for the youth waterfowl season in the Middle Zone by one week. Holding that hunt the same weekend as the North Zone youth season avoids overlap with the statewide youth firearms deer season and youth quail season.
Raedeke said state and federal waterfowl biologists have been working on a new adaptive harvest strategy for pintails for two years. The result is a bag-limit increase from one to two this year. Biologists believe the more liberal limit will not endanger the sustainability of pintail populations but say they are prepared to change the regulation if pintail numbers drop below sustainable levels.
This year’s regulations also include changes to seasons and bag limits for Canada geese. Last year’s early Canada goose season opened in late September. This year, the early season will open one week later. Moving the early season into October, when weather is cooler and more crops have been harvested, is expected to improve the quality of hunting. The early season is three days shorter than last year.
Last year, the regular Canada goose season opened on Thanksgiving Day and ran through Jan. 31. The regular season opens on Thanksgiving Day again this year and runs through Jan. 31, but it is one day longer, due to the date of Thanksgiving.
Last year, the daily and possession limits for Canada geese were three and six birds, respectively, during the early season, while the limits were two daily and four in possession during the regular season. This year, the daily and possession limits are three and six for both the early and regular Canada goose seasons. Raedeke said this change is intended to allow Missouri hunters to take advantage of abundant migrant Canada geese from the upper Midwest.
Missouri’s resident population of giant Canada geese grew steadily during the second half of the 20th century, thanks to the Conservation Department’s restoration work. Their numbers eventually grew large enough that they became nuisances in some areas. Hunting is one of several measures the Conservation Department uses to minimize such problems. The Show-Me State’s current population of resident Canada geese is estimated to be down slightly compared to 2008 and 2009.
“We have about the right number of geese now, and we would like to keep them around this level,” said Raedeke.
For more information about waterfowl hunting in Missouri, visithttp://bit.ly/bL1NGl.
-Jim Low-


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BLACK BEAR STUDY UNDERWAY IN MISSOURI

Range map of the American Black Bear (Ursus Am...Image via Wikipedia
SPRINGFIELD MO – For several decades, Missouri’s bears have been something of a mystery. Numerous sightings in recent years have provided clear evidence that black bears live in this state. However, when it came to specific details about those bears (how many live here, are they year-round residents, is successful reproduction occurring, etc.), things weren’t so clear. Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) wildlife experts hope a multi-year study that started this fall will provide answers to many of their questions.

The study, which is being funded through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration program with help from Safari Club International, will provide information about the movement patterns, population densities, habitat preferences and overall numbers of Missouri bears.

“These data are needed to scientifically manage bear populations, through the use of regulated hunting, so that bears continue to thrive and expand into suitable habitats but, at the same time, conflicts are minimized for people living in bear country,” said Jeff Beringer, MDC resource scientist and project leader.

The target of the study is Ursus americanus, more commonly known as the black bear. This large mammal was found across Missouri when the first settlers arrived. Unregulated hunting and habitat alteration took its toll on Missouri’s bear population and, by the 1950s, bears were considered to be extirpated from the state.

Arkansas underwent a successful bear restoration program in the 1960s and it’s thought many of the bears we have in Missouri are the outgrowth of that program. Recent data collected indicate some bears in southwest Missouri are genetically unique and are likely the result of a Missouri bear population that was never completely extirpated.

In past years, MDC biologists conducted some bear monitoring, but the bulk of data obtained from these efforts merely showed spots where bears could be found and revealed little information about their habits and annual life cycles in Missouri.

The first phase of the current study – which is a joint effort between the MDC , the University of Missouri-Columbia and Mississippi State University – consists of trapping and radio-collaring 13 bears in southwest and south-central Missouri this fall. These bears will be monitored over winter to learn more about denning habits and the time frame of winter denning in Missouri.

In spring of 2011, hair snares at select sites throughout southwest and south-central Missouri will collect data that will help biologists get better estimates of overall population and male/female ratios. In fall 2011, 13 bears will be trapped and radio-collared in southeast Missouri and those bears’ denning habits will be monitored over the winter. The field portion of this project finishes in the spring of 2012 with the setting of hair snares in southeast Missouri.


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Friday, October 8, 2010

MEETING OF THE MISSOURI CONSERVATION COMMISSION

Lands (owned and leased) that were managed by ...Image via Wikipedia
Conservation Department Northeast Regional Office
3500 South Baltimore, Kirksville, Missouri

Thursday, October 14, 2010 – 3:00 p.m. – Executive Session (Closed)
Friday, October 15, 2010 – 8:30 a.m.  Regular Open Meeting

TENTATIVE AGENDA

(Background documents related to each agenda item are available for public viewing at Conservation Department Headquarters, Jefferson City, for eight calendar days prior to the meeting. Any person who would like to comment to the Commission about a specific agenda item must make a written request to the Director at least four calendar days prior to the meeting. Speakers will be limited to five minutes each and number of speakers may be limited.  Recording the open meeting is permissible, pursuant to any guidelines established by the Commission to minimize disruption to the meeting. Individuals wishing to record the open meeting by audiotape, videotape or other electronic means should notify the Director at least four calendar days prior to the meeting so accommodations for such recording can be made.)

Thursday, October 14, 3:00 p.m.
Executive Session (Vote to go into closed session – reconvene open meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, October 15):
(1)        Call to order and approval of minutes of previous Executive Session.(610.021 RSMo.)
(2)        Consideration of negotiated contracts. (Documents related to a negotiated contract, 610.021(12) RSMo.)
(3)        Update on potential real estate transactions/negotiations. (Leasing, purchase or sale of real estate, 610.021(2) RSMo.)
(4)        Consideration of supporting documentation for recommendation to suspend or revoke all hunting and fishing privileges of individuals who are juveniles or who are not in compliance with applicable child support laws. Action to be taken in open meeting. (Disclosure protected by law, 610.021(14), 454.440.9, 211.321, RSMo.)
(5)        Consideration of confidential or privileged communications between the Commission and its Internal Auditor regarding work product.(Communications between public governmental body and its auditor, 610.021(17) RSMo.)
(6)        Consideration of recommendation relating to the hiring/firing/disciplining/promoting of personnel. (Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting, 610.021(3) RSMo.)
(7)        Consideration of legal actions and attorney-client privileged communications involving the Conservation Commission. (Legal actions, causes of action or litigation, 610.021(1) RSMo.)

Friday, October 15, 8:30 a.m. – Regular Open Meeting:
Approval of minutes of previous meeting.

Presentation:
8:35 a.m.         Partnerships in Action: A Decade of State Wildlife Grants and Conserving All Wildlife in Missouri – Wildlife Diversity Chief Gene Gardner.

Consideration of the Report of the Regulations Committee (no action items).
 Presentations:
9:00 a.m.         Plan for Elk Restoration – Resource Scientist Lonnie Hansen.

9:15 a.m.         Comments on potential elk restoration by individuals who submitted written requests prior to the meeting (not to exceed five minutes each).

Recommendation on elk restoration.

Consideration of 1) Major Construction/Development Projects Status Report; and 2)bids received for the construction of the Blind Pony Lake Conservation Area Equipment Storage & Work Area Project located in Saline County, and authorization to enter into a contract with the low bidder.

Consideration of August and September Monthly Financial Summaries. 

Recommendation for approval of personnel reclassifications; consideration of Quarterly Report of Personnel Changes approved by Director; and Conservation Employees’ Benefit Plan Trust Fund recommendation.

Recommendations for approval to purchase 1) approximately 160 acres in Mercer County as an addition to Chloe Lowry Marsh Natural Area in Mercer County; and 2) approximately 161.51 acres in Pettis County as an addition to W. R. Kearn Memorial Conservation Area in Pettis County.
Recommendations for approval to suspend or revoke 1) one or more hunting, fishing and trapping privileges of individuals for cause; all hunting and fishing privileges of individuals who are not in compliance with applicable child support laws; one or more hunting, fishing and trapping privileges of individuals in accordance with the terms of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact; and hunting privileges of one individual who inflicted injury to another person while hunting.

Announcement of actions taken in executive session, if any.

Other matters of interest.

Confirmation that the next regular meeting will be held on December 16-17, 2010, at Jefferson City.


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