Conservation Corner

Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:57 am

It is about this time of year that we begin to receive complaints about skunks digging under porches, sheds or other outbuildings and questions about their habits but most of all how to get rid of them.

This is the time of year when skunks begin breeding and depending on the age of the female, this breeding season can last a month or so. The gestation period is 62-66 days but may extend to 75 days.

This is the time that the female begins to search for a good home for her babies and they usually stay with the female until fall. So, it is very important that landowners make sure they have no good nesting sites for the female to begin with. Skunks prefer a den that is customarily below ground but occasionally is in a stump,

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    Kayaks and the Eye of the Eagle

    I think I am going to build myself a 12- or 14-foot wooden johnboat to use on some of the local rivers, like my dad and grandfather once built to use on the Big Piney.

    I have several boats for rivers of all sizes, a 19-foot square-stern canoe and a 16-foot Lowe paddle-john amongst them. Last year I acquired a 12-foot kayak just to see what I could do with it. It can be used for quietly drifting down a river sneaking up on ducks or deer

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    Boaters and Ethanol Gas:

    BoatUS Urges Boaters to Speak Up Now

    New bipartisan legislation introduced today would help ensure recreational boaters don’t put unsafe fuel in their boats, according to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), with 30 co-sponsors introduced the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act of 2015. BoatUS is urging all boaters to contact their US Representative to support the bill. “The new bill would recognize the failure of the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its out of date ethanol-mandate, and make the necessary changes so there is

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    Making good browse for deer

    As much as we love the idea of warm weather in February, it worries me a little. It could backfire on us if Mother Nature starts thinking spring has come early. Then all of a sudden there are early blooms and buds then an awful cold spell comes along. Uh-oh. The fishing goes to heck.

    The white oak acorn crop can be devastated by such a situation and nothing is more important to wildlife in the fall and winter of next year than those acorns. But even

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    Conservation Corner

    The bark on a tree is something like the wrinkles on an old person’s face. Both add character, while often going unnoticed. Unless the furrows are particularly deep or the pattern of lines particularly striking, or unless there’s a tint in the color that sets it apart, there’s really not much in bark to attract attention. Yet, without differences in color and variations in patterns, faces would not be so distinctly unique nor trees so easily distinguishable.

    Some trees have bark so distinctive that there’s no mistaking them. The chalky white trunks

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    Share the Harvest deer meat helps feed hungry Missourians

    According to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), nearly 4,000 deer hunters donated more than 212,300 pounds of venison from the 2014 Missouri deer harvest to the state’s Share the Harvest program.

    Share the Harvest is administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) and MDC to help feed hungry Missourians. The program orchestrates the efforts of thousands of hunters, numerous local supporting organizations, and more than 100 participating meat processors to get ground venison to people in need through food banks and food pantries around the state.

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    Conservation Corner

    Woodchucks of Missouri

    If a woodchuck could chuck wood…how much wood could a wood chuck chuck?

    According to legend, if the groundhog saw his shadow on Monday, Feb. 2, he went back into his burrow for another six weeks. If not, we would have an early spring.

    The groundhog (or woodchuck) is a medium-sized animal with short, powerful legs and a medium-long, bushy and somewhat flattened tail. He has a blunt nose, moderately sized eyes and small, rounded ears. His body fur is long and

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    An old bridge, old magazines and old Bolt

     

    I have mentioned here that a couple of years ago I bought a tract of land with a small cabin on a little creek back in the middle of nowhere, mostly for my kids and grandkids to have when I am gone and forgotten.

    There is an ancient, high, iron bridge on my place, crossing the creek and it stands on rock outcroppings with no road coming or going. It shows no names or numbers anywhere and the flooring is long gone except for a couple of old

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    February, early March best time to prune fruit trees

    From February to early March is an excellent time to prune fruit trees according to John Hobbs, an agriculture and rural development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    “Sometimes, we plant trees and neglect them for several years or just don’t have time to maintain and keep them pruned on a yearly basis,” said Hobbs. “It is worth taking the time to prune fruit trees you just want to do it at the right time of year and in the right way.”

    First, Hobbs says to study the

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