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MDC: Softball translates the science of quail management

Posted July 23, 2015 at 11:20 am

by Tim Kavan, MDC Private Lands Conservationist

A few years ago, I met Dr. Dale Rollins, professor & Extension Wildlife Specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at a Northern Bobwhite Technical Committee meeting field trip at the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch. Dr. Rollins provided several management strategies and techniques that have worked well in Texas and across the United States. One particular demonstration has stuck with me and I have used it many times to provide a visual perception of usable space within a landscape when talking about good quail and rabbit habitat. It’s called the Softball Habitat Evaluation Technique.

Let’s begin the softball analogy by looking at the ball itself. Every time a softball is in the air, someone is trying to catch it or whack it

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    Late night…or early morning?

    It was a pretty angry strike. Angry, vicious… That bass wasn’t hungry, it was mad. It took that big spinner bait close to my boat and nearly wrenched the rod and reel from my hands. Honest to goodness, I just about lost a good Ambassadeur reel and a graphite rod that my uncle Norten had given me.

    It was about three o’clock in the morning and I hadn’t felt anything like a nibble for more than an hour. I could have curled up in the bottom of the

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    Fishing report for July 23

    Taberville Report

    by Linda McCallister

    Dains Fish Farm

    I just have one story, but it’s a good one.

    Over the weekend, a customer was fishing with a rod and reel from the bank, I think, on the first river road at Schell. He caught his limit in two hours. He had a blue we weighed that went 39 lbs. He also caught a flathead.

    He was fishing with live shad, perch and goldfish. He was probably

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    Conservation Corner

    “Litterbugs” can be found among people of every age, sex, race and ethnic origin, at every level of society and in all geographic locations. A small piece of litter you have in your hand today could amount to billions of litters at the end of the year.

    Billions of $$’s are spent just to clean up the litter that many people thoughtlessly tossed out on the streets and other public spaces. In Missouri, litter pickup on state highways alone costs more than $5 million annually. Without litter, that money could be used

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    The last bass

    It was early October of 2010, and the first falling leaves were floating along the river beside us. Uncle Norten and I had enjoyed a great day of fishing. The bass had been hitting, and I marveled at how well he could cast and fish at his age of 87.

    He had begun to have trouble remembering how to get to the river, but he had no trouble remembering how to fish a spinner-bait, or bounce a jig

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    Deer hunting, then and now

    I remember what deer hunting was like back when I was a boy. I am utterly amazed at how it has changed. Some very good hunters regularly visited Dad’s pool hall where I worked as a kid. Most of them were rural people who knew all about deer and how they moved. At that time in the mid-60′s I would estimate the Ozarks of southern Missouri had about 10 to 20 percent as many deer as we have today. In those times, if I remember right, the season was only a few days and

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    Fish biting at night

    Lake Stockton Report

    by Michael Weis

    Stockton State Park Marina

    A couple of guys brought in a lot of crappie the last couple of nights. They said they were using lights.

    The crappie were keepers, but not much bigger than keepers.

    We have a few crappie beds throughout this area.

    People have been bringing in a steady amount of catfish. They are using perch on trotlines and jugs. The cats run up to 10 lbs. a couple of blues but mainly flatheads.


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    Walleye bite in August in Canada

    It was hot last year, too, the first week of August.

    We wondered what the weather was like in Canada. Sondra Gray, who is the editor of the Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal which I publish, loves to fish, and her husband, David, had a vacation coming up. Gas was high, about 2.59 a gallon, if I remember right, but a display company in Minneapolis had asked me to build an old time wooden johnboat about 10 feet long and they would pay my expenses for delivery. So

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    Regular spring turkey harvest totals 40,447

    Hunters checked 40,447 turkeys during Missouri’s regular spring turkey season, up by 2,120 from 38,327 last spring, or about one percent. The harvest of 4,319 turkeys during this year’s spring youth weekend, March 31 and April 1, brought the 2012 spring turkey harvest to 44,766, up about one percent from 2011. Youth hunters harvested 3,893 turkeys during the 2011 spring youth weekend for a 2011 spring total of 42,220.

    Top harvest counties during the regular 2012 spring turkey season, April 16 through May 6, were Franklin with 852, Texas with 803 and

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Outdoors Archived

    Conservation Corner

    by Nancy L. Zuschlag, Missouri Conservationist Magazine

    Spiders live in virtually every type of habitat in Missouri and in staggering numbers.

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