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2011

The Colors of Winter

Where did all those beautiful colors go that once adorned our landscape?

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One Throw . . . One Kill

A quick thrust of the arm and flick of the wrist propelled the dart through the air and hopefully into the vital organs of the elephant-sized mastodon.

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A Long Winter Nap

During a holiday gathering, I found out something quite shocking.

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Dogs and hunters work a big prairie

2011 Quail Odyssey, Part III

Wherein mid- to late-season hunting tactics are revealed.

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Frank Loncarich approaches two dogs on point.

2011 Quail Odyssey, Part II

Wherein intrepid hunters empty their guns to kill one quail.

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Decorating Naturally

Decorating naturally is a fun and inexpensive way to bring the Missouri outdoors into your home this holiday season.

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Photo of Kyle Hedges accepting a woodcock from his English setter, Tess.

2011 Quail Odyssey, Part I

Wherein we learn the difference between “intensive” and “extensive” cover.

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Several bright-green Osage orange fruits in a wire basket

Don’t Let These “Apples” Fool You

Every fall local stores tout these big, green, gnarly-skinned fruits as "natural insect repellent." But do they really keep the bugs away? I did a little research on hedge apple lore.

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Invasive Species Alert: ZOMBIES!

Zombies Missourians should watch for this latest invasive species when going outdoors this fall.

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This photo shows Foray Coordinator Stan Hudson holding a mushroom.

Hunting the Elusive Wood Hen: Mid-Mo. Mushrooming

The Missouri Mycological Society has formed a new chapter in central Missouri.

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Can't Stand the Heat? Get Out of the Lake!

For the last couple of years, zebra mussels have declined or disappeared from some areas of the Lake.

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Moving Monarchs

Unlike the more familiar bird migrations, monarch migration is a multi-generational endeavor.

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This photo shows a misty dawn at Bennett Spring State Park.

Fall Fun in Laclede County

Where can you find trout, alpacas and Saxon Pope?

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Animal Aggregations, Or, What Do You Call a Group Of …?

Which is more fun, a "barrel" of monkeys or a "romp" of otters?

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Best Laid Plans of Birds and Men . . .

Good intentions have been known to go astray, and here’s another example.

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dove in hand with banded leg

Double Dove Opener Is Twice the Fun

Two openings, two banded birds, lots of hot fun.

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A silver carp goes airborne just as Jackson Landers nets another fish.

Jackson Landers’ Excellent Carp Adventure

Wherein the Virginian discovers he has a taste for Asian cuisine.

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Aerial view of Grand Pass Conservation Area

MDC Wetlands Are Mostly OK

Many wetland areas still okay in spite of Great Flood of 2011.

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Vintage tackle box and all contents

Opening an Angling Time Capsule

A historic gift sends our intrepid reporter on a trip back through fishing history.

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Hummingbird Numbers Increasing

Missouri’s hummingbird feeders should become busier places in the next few weeks, as additional ruby-throated hummingbirds move into our area from more northern states.

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Mystery of the Sphinx

Among Missouri’s insects, sphinx moths can appear to be part hummingbird, part bat and part moth.

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Fall Hunting Permits Now Available

It may be hard to think about hunting with the summer temperatures hovering near triple digits, but it’s just over a month until Missouri’s dove season opens on Sept. 1.

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The author's brother prepares to cast a fishing lure into a pool of clear water.

Chill Out

Nothing beats wade-fishing as a way to beat the summer heat while enjoying time outdoors.

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What's This Bug?

The male of the species, although harmless, is ferocious-looking due to the long pincers growing from the head.

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Photo of tree-branch flagging

Broken Twig Syndrome?

Have you found yourself picking up broken tree branch tips from your lawn recently, only to find your lawn cluttered with them again the next day?

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A tiny white-tailed deer fawn lies on the ground immediately below an office win

Awwwwwww!

Sometimes you have to stop and smell the whitetails.

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Plant Growth Gone Awry

Once a year or so I receive photos of a strange-looking flower that someone has photographed, usually from a field of typical flowers of the same species.

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A Taste of Chitin

When life hands you cicadas, cover them with chocolate. That’s what Julie Love in our Protection Division did last week.

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Bobwhite Quail Hatch at Its Peak

What does a brand-new quail need when it leaves the protection of a warm eggshell?

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Seeking Enlightenment

Contact with nature rekindles our inner lights.

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Several workers are helping extract the large bear from a foot snare.

Scratching a Bear

Sometimes a bear needs help with those hard-to-reach places.

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Welcome to Planet Earth

Cicadas are difficult to avoid or ignore, given their tremendous numbers, their loud singing, their penchant for landing on people and even for getting indoors where we thought we would be safe.

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A Bird of a Different Color

One of the pleasures of my job is that I get to see lots of photos of unusually colored animals that Missourians submit to us for an explanation.

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Helping "Orphaned" Wildlife

At this time of the year, it is not uncommon to find bird nests, eggs or fledglings out of trees and in vulnerable situations.

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EAB Out at First

A baseball-loving wasp could help with early detection of a devastating forest pest.

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Once Upon A Mid-Day Dreary...

For Missourians, that rapping in the spring is more likely to be produced by a male cardinal.

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Respect Wildlife and Residents During Flooding

With the recent and current flooding in southern Missouri, we have received several questions about the effects of flooding on wildlife.

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Photo of Commissioner McGeehan talking with reporter

Media Bag a Limit of Information on Elk Tour

Editors, reporters and photographers got a day-long tour of the heart of Missouri's elk-restoration zone and unlimited access to top officials in charge of the project.

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Periodical Cicadas

Periodical Cicadas Nearing the Surface

With the more spring-like weather stimulating me to do yard work lately, I’ve done some shoveling in my yard in mid-Missouri. On three occasions, I have uncovered the nymph stage of periodical cicadas, a few inches below the soil surface.

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Sometimes Being PC Is a Good Thing

MDC is in the fourth of a five-year effort to bring the greater prairie chicken back to the Show-Me State's prairie lands.

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Fossil From China Sheds New Light on the Origin of Flowering Plants

I was amazed at this photo of a plant fossil found recently in China.

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Wildlife Progress Spans Three Careers at Peck Ranch

One family's conservation legacy culminates in elk restoration.

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E-Permits Off to a Running Start

Missourians bought three times as many permits online during March this year than they did during the same time last year.

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Nokia Connection Casts Doubt on State-Record Catch

Unusual circumstances have one angler asking, “Can you certify me now?”

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New Guide to Missouri Natural Areas

The new Department publication "Discover Missouri Natural Areas – A guide to 50 great places" can help you locate and explore some of the state’s best remaining biological, ecological and geological features.

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Turkey Display

Wake-Up Call

I'm considering roosting on the deck until April 18.

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Ruby-throated hummingbird in flight

Hummers on Their Way

It’s not too early to visit an interesting website that annually tracks the spring migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds.

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The March of Spring

Spring won’t officially arrive until the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 20 this year, but some Missouri wildflowers just won’t wait.

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Signs of Spring

Here are a few natural history tidbits that might give you psychological comfort that spring is indeed approaching.

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photo of a ten-year-old angler with an 11-pound rainbow trout

Nothing Says Love like a Big Rainbow Trout

Missouri's urban trout-fishing program gives city dwellers a chance to catch rainbow trout during the winter.

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Photo of a Resident Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit

One Reason to Look Forward to 60

One of the best things about turning 60 is qualifying for cheap hunting and fishing permits.

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Skunk Is in the Air

Late February through March is the breeding season of Missouri’s common skunk, the striped skunk.

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our precious forests

Celebrate "Year of the Forest"

Join the Missouri Department of Conservation in celebrating 2011 as the “Year of the Forest.”

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Spring Turkey Hunting Booklets Now Available

Get your spring turkey-hunting booklet to begin planning for the next hunting opportunity.

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Photo of mourning dove, adult female

Round-Round, Get-Around, Doves Get Around

Doves don't just fly fast; they go far!

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Birds in Snow

Small birds can struggle with prolonged deep snow.

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photo of a pileated woodpecker on a suet feeder

A Midwinter Jicker Flicker and a Silly Pileated

Being snowed in has its rewards.

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Hints of Things to Come

If you are among the many Missourians who can hardly wait to see and hear elk in the Ozarks, check out this video.

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A Good Day in Elk Country

Missouri's elk-restoration aspirations are one step closer to fulfillment.

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Trumpeter Swans in Missouri

Overwintering trumpeter swans are becoming more common in Missouri.

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elk trapping

Exciting Times in Elk Country

MDC has more than three dozen elk in a holding pen in Kentucky.

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Winter fishing at Thomas Hill Resevoir

Limiting Confusion

Possession limits can be puzzling when fishing waters with special regulations.

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Photo of a cedar waxwing foraging for food.

Waxwing Birds Mean Waning Winter

Seeing these birds reminds me that winter is on the way out.

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Pic of agent making a transportation tag compliance check

Conservation Agents Ramp Up Enforcement with New Method

The last couple of years, conservation agents have implemented a new enforcement tool to check for transportation and Telecheck permit compliance.

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