Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wildlife Refuge Near Arrow Rock Change Hunting Regulations

Missouri River
Missouri River (Photo credit: kewing)
The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge will restrict hunting on the Jameson Island Unit of the refuge to archery only, and a portion of the unit will be closed to public entry. The reason for this change is to provide safer conditions for contractors and the public as contractors with heavy equipment begin work on a side channel construction project in the closed area. This refuge unit is adjacent to the historic community of Arrow Rock, Missouri. 

Previously the unit was open to all legal hunting methods in accordance with state and federal codes. Other permitted activities such as hiking, fishing and nature observation will continue outside the immediate closed construction area. The immediate construction area will be closed to all public access for safety reasons until the project is complete. Violation of the closed construction area could result in prosecution. The Lewis and Clark Trail of Discovery will remain open for ¾ mile until it reaches the closed area. Access to the Missouri river from the trail will no longer be possible during the construction period. 

During the next year, this refuge unit will undergo habitat improvement to reconnect the Missouri River with its floodplain. The Jameson Island side channel project includes restoration of shallow water habitat through creation of an additional side channel extension on the Missouri River. A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, will excavate a new side channel approximately one-mile long and link it to an existing side channel constructed in 2006 and 2007. The amount of flow diverted into this side channel from the Missouri River will be less than 10% during the navigation season.
Shallow, slower water provides better habitat for many fishes, in particular the endangered pallid sturgeon. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses more than 560 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge encompass over 16,700 acres of public land in eleven separate units in the Missouri River Floodplain between Kansas City and St. Louis. For further information about the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and to see a map of the updated restrictions visit us on the web at www.fws.gov/refuge/big_muddy/.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Missouri Outdoor News for August 23rd, 2013

Location map of Missouri, USA

Bats at Onondaga State Park

August 31st offers interested members of the public an opportunity a chance to learn about bat conservation at Onondaga State Park.  The festivities will run from 11 am to 3 pm, and will offer the public a chance to also comment on park operations.  For information on the program, call the park at 573-245-6576.  Onondaga is located near Leasburg, MO off of I-44.

Open House at Knob Knoster State Park

Located near Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri, Knob Knoster State park is a beautiful place to visit.  They will offer an open house for the public from 2-4 pm on August 31st.  Please call 660-563-2463 to get details from park officials.

Hunter Education

Hunters born after January 1, 1967 are required to be hunter education certified before they can legally hunt in Missouri.  Also, some hunters who will act as mentors to younger hunters also require this certification.  If you have never taken the course, it is a great idea for any and all who hunt in Missouri.

There is a variety of options for completing the training, and the information can be found at http://www.mdc.mo.gov/node/11416. Don't delay in getting your certification before Fall hunting seasons get into full swing.

Waterfowl Reservations

If you want to hunt ducks on land managed by the MDC, you can start applying on September 1st.  To apply or get more information on this opportunity, visit http://mdc.mo.gov/node/3806

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Conservation Action August 2013

The Conservation Commission met Aug. 15 and 16 in Jefferson City.  Commissioners present were:

Don C. Bedell, Sikeston, Chair
James T. Blair, IV, St. Louis, Vice Chair & Secretary
Don R. Johnson, Festus
Tim E. Dollar, Blue Springs, Member


REGULATIONS
The Commission approved the following 2013-14 waterfowl hunting seasons and limits.

Duck Season: 
North Zone:                  Oct. 26- Dec. 24
Middle Zone:                Nov. 2 – Dec. 31                                            
South Zone:                  Nov. 28 – Jan. 26       
Shooting Hours:            One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Bag Limit: Six ducks daily with species restrictions of:
§  4 mallards (no more than 2 females)
§  3 scaup
§  3 wood ducks
§  2 redheads
§  2 hooded mergansers
§  2 pintails
§  2 canvasbacks
§  1 black duck
§  1 mottled duck
Possession Limit: Three times the daily bag (in total 18; varies by species).

Coot season:  Concurrent with duck seasons in the respective zones with a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.

Goose Season:
§  Blue, snow, and Ross’s geese:  Statewide, Oct. 26 – Jan. 31 (98 days)
§  White-fronted geese: Statewide, Nov. 28 – Jan. 31 (65 days)
§  Canada geese and brant: Statewide, Oct. 5 – Oct. 13 (9 days)
                                              Nov. 28 – Jan. 31 (65 days)

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Bag/Possession Limit: The bag and possession limits include no more than three Canada geese daily (nine in possession), 20 blue, snow, or Ross’s geese daily (no possession limit), two white-fronted geese daily (six in possession), and one brant daily (three in possession).

YOUTH HUNTING DAYS:  Any person 15 years of age or younger may participate in the youth waterfowl hunting days without permit, provided they are in the immediate presence of an adult 18 years of age or older.  If the youth hunter does not possess a hunter education certificate card, the adult must meet permit requirements that allows small-game hunting and have in his or her possession a valid hunter-education certificate card unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967.  The adult may not hunt ducks but may participate in other seasons that are open on the special youth days.

North Zone:                              Oct. 19-20
Middle Zone:                            Oct. 26-27
South Zone:                              Nov. 23-24

            Bag Limit:                                 Bag limits and shooting hours for ducks and geese are the same as during the regular waterfowl season. 

FALCONRY SEASON FOR DUCKS, COOTS, AND MERGANSERS:   The federal framework allows 107 days.  Falconry is open during teal season (16 days), regular gun duck season (60 days), and youth season (two days) in the respective zones, leaving 29 days remaining for extended falconry.  

Statewide, Feb. 10 - March 10

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Bag Limit: The daily bag and possession limits shall not exceed three and nine birds, respectively, singly, or in the aggregate during the regular duck hunting seasons (including teal and youth seasons) and extended falconry seasons.

LIGHT GOOSE CONSERVATION ORDER:  Persons must possess a Conservation Order permit to chase, pursue, and take blue, snow and Ross’s geese between the hours of one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset from Feb. 1 through April 30, 2014. An exception to the above permit requirement includes any person 15 years of age or younger provided either 1) s/he is in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult hunter (must possess a Conservation Order Permit) who is 18 years of age or older and has in his/her possession a valid hunter education certificate card, or was born before Jan. 1, 1967 or 2) s/he possesses a valid hunter education certificate card.  Any other regulation notwithstanding, methods for the taking of blue, snow and Ross’s geese includes using shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, and with the use or aid of recorded or electronically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electronically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. A daily bag limit will not be in effect during the Conservation Order.

ZONE DESCRIPTIONS:

NORTH ZONE:  That portion of Missouri north of a line running west from the Illinois border at Lock and Dam 25; west on Lincoln County Hwy. N to Mo. Hwy. 79; south on Mo. Hwy. 79 to Mo. Hwy. 47; west on Mo. Hwy. 47 to I-70; west on I-70 to the Kansas border.
SOUTH ZONE:  That portion of Missouri south of a line running west from the Illinois border on Mo. Hwy. 74 to Mo. Hwy. 25; south on Mo. Hwy. 25 to U.S. Hwy. 62; west on U.S. Hwy. 62 to Mo. Hwy. 53; north on Mo. Hwy. 53 to Mo. Hwy. 51; north on Mo. Hwy. 51 to U.S. Hwy. 60; west on U.S. Hwy. 60 to Mo. Hwy. 21; north on Mo. Hwy. 21 to Mo. Hwy. 72; west on Mo. Hwy. 72 to Mo. Hwy. 32; west on Mo. Hwy. 32 to U.S. Hwy. 65; north on U.S. Hwy. 65 to U.S. Hwy. 54; west on U.S. Hwy. 54 to U.S. Hwy. 71; south on U.S. Hwy. 71 to Jasper County Hwy. M; west on Jasper County Hwy. M to the Kansas border.

MIDDLE ZONE:  The remainder of Missouri.

NONTOXIC SHOT:  Shells possessed or used while hunting waterfowl and coots statewide, and for other species as designated by posting on public areas, must be loaded with material approved as nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Commission also approved clarifications to some sections of the Wildlife Code, made corrections to some conservation area names, and modified regulations for specific areas. Details will be published in the Missouri Register, sos.mo.gov/adrules/moreg/moreg.asp in November.

ADMINISTRATION
The Commission:
  • Received staff presentations from:
Ø  Policy Supervisor David Thorne regarding Conservation Goals and Challenges.
Ø  Public Involvement Coordinator Amy Buechler regarding public input on conservation-area management plans
Ø  Wildlife Programs Supervisor Dennis Figg regarding Healthy Forests, Fish, and Wildlife: The Comprehensive Conservation Strategy.
  • Approved the advertisement and sale of an estimated 1 million board feet of timber on 608 acres of Compartment 10 at Current River CA in Reynolds County.
  • Accepted the donation of approximately .25 acres in Phelps County as an addition to Beaver Creek CA.
  • Approved the purchase of 265 acres in Shannon County as an addition to Angeline Conservation Area (CA).
·        Suspended hunting, fishing, and/or trapping privileges of 29 Missouri residents and six nonresidents for Wildlife Code violations. Those whose privileges were suspended are:
Phillip Applegate Jr., Morrisville, hunting, 1 year
Leland E. Barnes, Warsaw, fishing, lifetime
Nickolay G. Biliychuk, Springfield, fishing, 2 years
Robert K. Cassinger, Ellington, hunting, an additional 2 years
Timothy J. Compas, Cape Girardeau, hunting and fishing, until April 8, 2015
David A. Davis, Climax Springs, fishing, 1 year
Wayne A. Dillon, Clinton, hunting and fishing, 1 year
Nickolay F. Fomin, Sedalia, fishing, 2 years
Billy D. Helm, Salisbury, commercial fishing, 1 year
Hinh V. Ho, Kansas City, all sport privileges, 1.5 years
Randy R. Howlett, Waynesville, hunting, 3 years
Leonid Khomichuk, Clifton Park, NY, fishing, 3 years
David A. Knox, Climax Springs, all sport privileges, 6 years
Kenneth I. Kobbe, Plattsburg, all sport privileges, 1 year
Vitaliy N. Konkin, Portland, Ore., fishing 6 years
Michael Krout, Warsaw, hunting, 2.5 years
Michael L. Matney, Dexter, hunting and trapping, 1 year
Mark Ognevchuk, Mora, fishing, 1 year
Jason R. Pearson, Caulfield, hunting, 1 year
David R. Pichinevsky, Houstonia, fishing, 2 years
Chad Porter, Jasper, hunting, 3 years
James W. Rogers, Climax Springs, fishing, 7 years
Vyacheslav Rotar, Springfield, fishing, 1 year
Larry E. Sharp, Climax Springs, hunting, 1.5 years
Peter Sharpelyuk, Chariton, Iowa, fishing, 3 years
Phillip J. Shepard, Filmore, hunting, 1 year
Shelby P. Snedegar, Deepwater, all sport privileges, 1 year
Michael R. Steele, Fairview, hunting, an additional 6 months
Leonid Taylor, West Dundee, Ill., fishing, 3 years
Vladimir Tsipan, Green Ridge, fishing, 1 year
Leonid Tsurkan, Sedalia, fishing, 1 year
Sergey Vedernikov, Rogersville, fishing, 1 year
Vladimir P. Voytukhov, North Port, Fla., fishing 3 years
Randy E. Yates, Wayland, hunting, 3 years
Veniamin Zubkov, Woodborn, Ore., fishing, 3 years
  • Approved the suspension or revocation of all hunting and fishing privileges of 259 people who are not in compliance with applicable child-support laws. Privileges suspended for noncompliance are reinstated once the Division of Child Support Enforcement notifies MDC that suspendees have come into compliance with the required laws.
  • Suspended privileges of 247 people under the provisions of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
·        Suspended the hunting privileges of three people who injured other persons in hunting incidents. The hunters must complete a hunter-education training course before restoration of privileges.
·        Set its next regular meeting for Oct. 3 and 4.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bring Your Ideas to an Informational Meeting at Pershing State Park on August 24

The public is invited to an informational meeting on Saturday, August 24 at Pershing State Park near
Laclede. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the amphitheater at the campground.
Recent accomplishments at the park and future plans will be highlighted. Visitors are invited to share comments on the park’s services and operations. This informational meeting is part of an ongoing effort by Missouri State Parks to ensure citizens have input on facilities and services offered in state parks and historic sites.
A visit to Pershing State Park is also a great opportunity to log miles as a part of the Governor’s 100 Missouri Miles challenge. To celebrate Missouri’s distinction as the “Best Trails State” and to encourage Missourians to enjoy the outdoors, Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon are inviting Missourians to join them in completing 100 Missouri Miles of outdoor physical activity by the end of the year.
For more information and to take the Challenge, visit 100MissouriMiles.com. Participants can also share adventures, post photos and learn about upcoming events by connecting with 100 Missouri Miles on Facebook and Twitter.
Pershing State Park is located 18 miles east of Chillicothe or seven miles west of Brookfield on Highway 36 in Linn County. The park’s campground is located approximately one mile south of Highway 36 on Missouri Route 130. Individuals requiring special services or accommodations to attend the meeting can make arrangements by calling the park office at 660-963-2299. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Conservation Commission approves waterfowl seasons

English: crop of File:Bgforhunting.jpg Taken b...

Season timing remains the same, but possession limits have been increased.
JEFFERSON CITY–Waterfowl hunting regulations approved by the Missouri Department of Conservation at its August meeting include a 60-day season for ducks and possession limits of three times the daily limits for most waterfowl species.
Season dates approved by the Commission follow.

Duck Season: 
North Zone:                  Oct. 26- Dec. 24
Middle Zone:                Nov. 2-Dec. 31                                               
South Zone:                  Nov. 28-Jan. 26          
Shooting Hours:            One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Bag Limit: Six ducks daily with species restrictions of:
§  4 mallards (no more than 2 females)
§  3 scaup (decreased from 4 last year)
§  3 wood ducks
§  2 redheads
§  2 hooded mergansers
§  2 pintails
§  2 canvasbacks (increased from 1 last year)
§  1 black duck
§  1 mottled duck
Possession Limit: Three times the daily bag (in total 18; varies by species).

Coot season:  Concurrent with duck seasons in the respective zones with a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.

Goose Season:
§  Snow, blue, and Ross’s geese:  Statewide, Oct. 26-Jan. 31 (98 days)
§  White-fronted geese: Statewide, Nov. 28-Jan. 31 (65 days)
§  Canada geese and brant: Statewide, Oct. 5-Oct. 13 (9 days)   
                                              Nov. 28-Jan. 31 (65 days)
Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Bag/Possession Limit: The bag and possession limits include no more than three Canada geese daily (nine in possession), 20 snow, blue, or Ross’s geese daily (no possession limit), two white-fronted geese daily (six in possession), and one brant daily (three in possession).

YOUTH HUNTING DAYS:  Any person 15 years of age or younger may participate in the youth waterfowl hunting days without permit, provided they are in the immediate presence of an adult 18 years of age or older.  If the youth hunter does not possess a hunter education certificate card, the adult must meet permit requirements that allows small-game hunting and have in his or her possession a valid hunter-education certificate card unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967.  The adult may not hunt ducks but may participate in other seasons that are open on the special youth days.

North Zone:                              Oct. 19-20
Middle Zone:                            Oct. 26-27
South Zone:                              Nov. 23-24
            Bag Limit:                                 Bag limits and shooting hours for ducks and geese are the same as during the regular waterfowl season. 

FALCONRY SEASON FOR DUCKS, COOTS, AND MERGANSERS:   The federal framework allows 107 days.  Falconry is open during teal season (16 days), regular gun duck season (60 days), and youth season (two days) in the respective zones, leaving 29 days remaining for extended falconry.  

Statewide, Feb. 10-March 10
Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
Bag Limit: The daily bag and possession limits shall not exceed three and nine birds, respectively, singly, or in the aggregate during the regular duck hunting seasons (including teal and youth seasons) and extended falconry seasons.

LIGHT GOOSE CONSERVATION ORDER:  Persons must possess a Conservation Order permit to chase, pursue, and take snow, blue and Ross’s geese between the hours of one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset from Feb. 1 through April 30, 2014. An exception to the above permit requirement includes any person 15 years of age or younger provided either 1) s/he is in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult hunter (must possess a Conservation Order Permit) who is 18 years of age or older and has in his/her possession a valid hunter education certificate card, or was born before Jan. 1, 1967 or 2) s/he possesses a valid hunter education certificate card.  Any other regulation notwithstanding, methods for the taking of snow, blue and Ross’s geese includes using shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, and with the use or aid of recorded or electronically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electronically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. A daily bag limit will not be in effect during the Conservation Order.

ZONE DESCRIPTIONS:

NORTH ZONE:  That portion of Missouri north of a line running west from the Illinois border at Lock and Dam 25; west on Lincoln County Hwy. N to Mo. Hwy. 79; south on Mo. Hwy. 79 to Mo. Hwy. 47; west on Mo. Hwy. 47 to I-70; west on I-70 to the Kansas border.
SOUTH ZONE:  That portion of Missouri south of a line running west from the Illinois border on Mo. Hwy. 74 to Mo. Hwy. 25; south on Mo. Hwy. 25 to U.S. Hwy. 62; west on U.S. Hwy. 62 to Mo. Hwy. 53; north on Mo. Hwy. 53 to Mo. Hwy. 51; north on Mo. Hwy. 51 to U.S. Hwy. 60; west on U.S. Hwy. 60 to Mo. Hwy. 21; north on Mo. Hwy. 21 to Mo. Hwy. 72; west on Mo. Hwy. 72 to Mo. Hwy. 32; west on Mo. Hwy. 32 to U.S. Hwy. 65; north on U.S. Hwy. 65 to U.S. Hwy. 54; west on U.S. Hwy. 54 to U.S. Hwy. 71; south on U.S. Hwy. 71 to Jasper County Hwy. M; west on Jasper County Hwy. M to the Kansas border.

MIDDLE ZONE:  The remainder of Missouri.

NONTOXIC SHOT:  Shells possessed or used while hunting waterfowl and coots statewide, and for other species as designated by posting on public areas, must be loaded with material approved as nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
-Jim Low-

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hunters have few excuses for not pursuing doves

The Conservation Department makes finding doves easy.
JEFFERSON CITY–If you are looking for an excuse not to hunt doves, don’t look to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Its staff has prepared 178 fields in 95 of Missouri’s
114 counties especially for dove hunting. No one in the state is far from a dove field.
Missouri’s dove season runs from Sept. 1 through Nov. 9. The daily limit is 15. In years past, the possession limit was twice the daily limit. This year, however, the Missouri Conservation Commission increased the possession limit to 45.
Mourning doves make up the vast majority of Missouri’s dove harvest, but Eurasian collared doves and white-winged doves also are found in the Show-Me State and are legal during dove season. Missouri residents age 16 through 64 must buy a small game hunting permit to pursue doves. All dove hunters 16 and older must have a Missouri Migratory Bird Hunting Permit.
More than 20,000 Missourians hunt doves. Why do so many people pursue such a small bird? Partly because doves are challenging game. They fly at speeds of up to 55 mph and perform aerial maneuvers that would inspire a “top gun’s” envy.
Doves’ popularity also stems from their abundance. When they aren’t humiliating hunters (who average approximately five shots per dove taken), doves are nesting. They start in March and continue well into September, often rearing six clutches in a year. This year’s nesting season got off to a slow start on account of cool weather. On the whole, however, weather has been favorable, and the Conservation Department predicts a strong hatch.
Each year, the Conservation Department plants sunflowers, corn wheat, sorghum and other crops at conservation areas to provide food for doves and other wildlife. These fields typically are treated in the weeks leading up to Sept. 1 to create prime feeding spots for doves. This practice also creates excellent hunting.
Finding these spots is easy. Just visit mdc.mo.gov/node/8905 for a list of CAs with managed dove fields. Information available on the website includes maps showing the location of dove fields and the type of crop planted there. Nine conservation areas (CAs) with managed dove fields are located in Jackson or one of the other counties bordering Kansas City. St. Louisans have seven CAs with dove fields within one county, as do Springfield residents. St. Clair and Butler counties have seven each.
If you haven’t hunted one of the Conservation Department’s managed dove fields before, here are a few tips to ensure a good, safe hunt.
n  Scout your chosen area before the season to see where crops have been prepared for hunting.
n  Arrive early on the day of the hunt to secure a prime spot.
n  Keep a spacing of 50 yards between shooters for safe and enjoyable hunting.
n  Talk with other hunters before shooting time. Find out who has hunting dogs and agree not to take low-angle shots.
n  Tell nearby hunters before leaving your stand or sending your dog to retrieve downed birds.
n  Give other hunters a heads-up when doves approach their position from a blind spot. They probably will return the favor.
n  Pick up your empty shot shells before leaving the field. Leaving hulls in the field could lead to a citation for littering.
A handful of CAs manage dove hunting through drawings to prevent over-crowding and ensure safety. These areas are:
n  James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area will have dove hunting by managed hunt with field assignment from Sept. 3 through 9. Hunting is open with a daily hunt card after that. Shooting hours are from 1:00 p.m. to sunset for the entire season.  Call 816-622-0900 for more information.
n  Columbia Bottom CA assigns dove hunting opportunities for the first week of the season by an annual drawing. Applications were accepted through July 31. Anyone can hunt starting Sept. 8. A daily hunting card and nontoxic shot are required. Call 314-877-6014 for more information. Flooding earlier this summer will limit the availability of food and cover, making hunting conditions tough.
n  Eagle Bluffs CA holds drawings at 5:45 and 11 a.m. daily to assign morning and afternoon hunting opportunities for up to the first week of dove season. After that it is open hunting. Call 573-445-3882 for more information. Hunting on this area is with nontoxic shot only.
n   Ten Mile Pond CA holds daily drawings at 4:45 a.m. Sept. 1 and 2, then goes to open hunting. Nontoxic shot is required. Call 573-649-9491for more information.
n  Marais Temps Clair CA will hold drawings at 5 a.m. and refill hunting spots vacated throughout the day for up to the first week of dove season. After that it is open to statewide regulations. A valid area daily hunting tag and nontoxic shot are required. Availability of food and cover is similar to Columbia Bottom. Call 314-877-6014 for more information.
The Conservation Department bands approximately 2,500 birds annually as part of a nationwide effort to create a dove-management database. Approximately 12 percent of those doves are recovered and reported, mostly by hunters. Data from band recoveries drive a wide array of analytical processes that directly affect mourning dove regulations. By reporting band numbers, hunters are helping manage our dove resource for future generations.
The most important thing dove hunters can do to improve their sport is to check every bird they shoot for a leg band and report any they find at reportband.gov, or by calling 800-327-BAND (2263).
For dove recipes, visit mdc.mo.gov/node/4605.
-Jim Low-

Monday, August 12, 2013

New conservation commissioner is an outdoorsman

The love of nature kindled by his grandfather still burns bright.

JEFFERSON CITY–Missouri’s newest conservation commissioner traces his outdoor roots to hunting small game as a boy. That passion for nature now finds expression in hands-on wildlife management.
Gov. Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon appointed Tim Dollar, Blue Springs, to a six-year term on the Missouri Conservation Commission. Dollar, 53, grew up in the Kansas City area. He traces his interest in conservation to time spent outdoors with his maternal grandfather, Alden Jaynes.
“He took me squirrel and rabbit and quail hunting, and I fell in love with it immediately,” says Dollar. “I didn’t have too many opportunities to explore that during my childhood, but even then I knew the passion I had for it.”
Dollar recalls that his outdoor career got a jump-start when he met his soon-to-be father-in-law, Robert Hammond. “He introduced me to deer hunting in his home area of St. Clair County,” says Dollar. “That was a life-changing experience. I was absolutely hooked.”
Dollar pursued his passion for hunting for two decades, until a friend, West Plains attorney Lynn Henry, showed the future conservation commissioner what he was doing to improve some hunting land he owns.
“I became obsessed with acquiring land and managing it for deer, turkey, and quail and other wildlife,” says Dollar. “Seeing what he was doing on his property in the Ozarks was an eye-opener. After that, managing land for wildlife became a consuming passion and hobby.”
Dollar focused his new-found passion for wildlife management on his wife’s family farm in St. Clair County, a place he refers to as “sacred ground.” He worked closely with St. Clair Conservation Agent Joanna Bledsoe to tailor management techniques to the farm’s special needs. Now, through arrangements with neighboring landowners, he manages nearly 900 acres for deer, turkey, quail and other wildlife. He built a hunting lodge a mile or so from the old home place, where his father-in-law was born.
Dollar eagerly discusses ongoing efforts to improve wildlife habitat on the farm. This includes restoring fencerows and creating thickets as escape cover for quail and other ground-nesting wildlife. Planting corn, soybeans, and winter wheat ensures ample food for wildlife.
“For the first time that I can remember down here, we are having some success,” he says. “Last week, driving through the milo and millet, we several times came across a ton of quail. We haven’t seen that in a very long time.”
An avid bowhunter, Dollar says Sept. 15 will find him sitting in a tree stand looking for white-tailed deer.
Asked if he has any special interests or programs he wants to advance during his term on the Conservation Commission, Dollar said “No, I’m really interested in it all, and I’m eager to learn. The Missouri Conservation Department is one of the finest, best-run organizations of its kind in the country. When I travel to other states and am asked about Missouri, I start by talking about the Conservation Department, because it is respected around the country. So I’m eager to learn and support this great tradition we have.”
“Commissioner Dollar’s interest and knowledge of fish and wildlife combined with his business experience make him a solid addition to the Conservation Commission,” said Conservation Department Director Robert L. Ziehmer.  “His energy and enthusiasm to enhance forest, fish, and wildlife resources will prove beneficial for citizens and the outdoor resources of Missouri.  I look forward to working with Commissioner Dollar.”
Dollar, a Democrat, will serve through June 30, 2019.
The Conservation Commission consists of four members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Missouri Senate. To ensure non-partisan oversight of the Conservation Department, no more than two members may be from the same political party.
Dollar replaces Becky Plattner, whose term expired this year.  The other commissioners are Chairman Don C. Bedell, R-Sikeston, Vice Chair James T. Blair, IV, R-St. Louis, and Don R. Johnson, Festus.
The Conservation Commission controls, manages, restores, conserves and regulates the bird, fish, game, forestry and all wildlife resources of the state, including hatcheries, sanctuaries, refuges, reservations and all other property owned, acquired or used for such purposes, as well as the acquisition and establishment of those properties.
-Jim Low-